Mortgage Broker vs. Loan Officer

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When it's time to get a mortgage loan, you should know the difference between a loan officer and a mortgage broker. It's common to confuse the two since both will give the same result: a new home. However, recognizing how they differ is important to the mortgage loan process.

What is a Mortgage Broker?

A mortgage broker (either a firm or an individual) is an independent agent for both the mortgage loan borrower and the lender. A mortgage broker facilitates things for you and your lender, which can be one of the following: a credit union, bank, trust company, finance company, mortgage corporation or even a private investor. Acting as a facilitator between you and your lender, your mortgage broker can match you with a bank, trust company, credit union, mortgage corporation, finance company or even an individual, private investor. You use a mortgage broker to analyze your financial circumstance and find the lender who has the right loan for you. Your broker will offer your mortgage application to various lenders, and works with the lender of choice until the loan closes. The broker receives a commission from the borrower at closing.

What is a Loan Officer?

Lending Institutions (banks, finance companies, and others) employ loan officers to offer, and process loans originated by that specific institution alone. While a loan officer may promote quite a variety of loan programs, they will be programs from that one lender.

A loan officer (also called an "account executive" or "loan representative") represents the borrower to the lending institution. The loan officer can help the borrower through the application, processing and loan closing. Loan officers may be paid a commission or salary for their work by their employers.

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