Comparing Mortgage Brokers to Underwriters
Mortgage brokers are those middlemen between a borrower/homeowner and a bank or lending company. Underwriters are those professionals who make sure someone has represented their financial selves truthfully on the loan paperwork before sending the loan to the loan committee. Below is a comparison of these two home financing professionals along with some salary information about them.
|Job Title||Education Requirements||Median Salary* (2017)||Job Growth** (2014-2024)|
|Mortgage Brokers||Bachelor's Degree preferred||$61,169||3% (real estate brokers)|
|Mortgage Underwriters||Bachelor's Degree||$56,643||8% (loan officers)|
Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Responsibilities of Mortgage Brokers vs. Underwriters
The primary task for a mortgage broker and an underwriter is to help prospective home buyers get into the house they can afford. Both are experts in the laws of their state and in filling out loan applications. However, where their allegiances lie is where the two jobs diverge. The mortgage broker works for the home buyer in collecting financial information including credit reports. In most cases the mortgage broker will take the loan application to an underwriter at a lending institution. Underwriters will verify all the financial paperwork to make sure it is correct and that the borrower can repay the loan.
The loyalty of a mortgage broker belongs to a potential home buyer who needs help with the loan application. Many brokers are self-employed while the rest work for brokerage companies or leasing operations. These individuals collect a financial history of the prospective buyers, fill out the loan applications and get credit reports. They help write explanations in case there are discrepancies that might affect someone from acquiring the loan or interest percentages.
Job responsibilities of a mortgage broker include:
- Advising clients on the latest home buying changes or trends
- Generating sales and rental property lists of locations and features
- Accompanying buyers on tours of possible real estate sites for purchase or lease
- Preparing documents, deeds, credit reports and applications
Underwriters work at banks, loan companies and credit unions. They will be contacted by prospective purchasers or mortgage brokers to finish the loan process for a home buyer. Underwriters represent the company the money comes from to buy the home. They make sure the application has been filled out properly and that all statistics are accurate and truthful. A buyer needs the approval from the underwriter for the loan application to go forward through the process as it is the underwriter's job to make sure the borrower can pay back the loan.
Job responsibilities of an underwriter include:
- Selling loan products to companies or individuals interested in buying property
- Meeting with prospective borrowers to ask questions and fill out applications
- Explaining to clients loan details, changes in the market and latest trends
- Reviewing loan applications to make sure they meet state and federal laws
Mortgage brokers and underwriters are open to a variety of related careers. Those interested in the sales aspect may also in be interested in working as a wholesale sales representative selling products for wholesalers and manufacturers to businesses or the government. For those who find assisting people with financial decisions appealing may be interested in becoming a financial analyst providing investment guidance to businesses or individuals.