Loan Officer Vs. Financial Advisor

This article explores the roles of loan officers and financial advisors. Read on to learn about their typical duties, the tasks these financial professionals have in common and the distinctions between their roles.

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Comparing Loan Officers to Financial Advisors

Loan officers and financial advisors both deal with people's finances but their objectives differ. Although they have similar academic requirements financial advisors earn much higher salaries. They also currently enjoy a faster rate of job growth.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary (2016)* Job Outlook (2016-2026)*
Loan Officers Bachelor's degree, license $63,650 11%
Financial Advisors Bachelor's degree, license $90,530 (all personal financial advisors) 15 % (all personal financial advisors)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Loan Officers vs. Financial Advisors

Loan officers and financial advisors both meet with clients and discuss financial matters with their clients. Loan officers process loan applications and decide who to lend money to. Financial advisors help people take their money and invest it so that they can be financially prepared for specific life events. Both loan officers and financial advisors need to consider their clients' financial status to do their jobs effectively. Loan officers and financial advisors share the common task of promoting their services and seeking new clients. Loan officers must ensure they consider all relevant financial data when making decisions about loan applications while financial advisors continue to oversee investments and make adjustments to help their clients meet their financial goals.

Loan Officers

When people need a loan they submit an application that's reviewed by a loan officer. Loan officers are typically employed by banks, automobile dealerships or credit companies. While many loan officers spend their time in an office those that work with real estate or commercial loans spend time traveling to meet clients. Loan officers must be detail oriented since they need to ensure they have all the relevant information they need. They also need good decision-making skills so that they can confidently form conclusions about applications they process.

Job responsibilities of a loan officer include:

  • Promoting services to potential clients
  • Meeting with potential clients
  • Verifying loan application data
  • Helping clients complete applications
  • Operating underwriting software

Financial Advisors

When people need help managing their money and saving for the future, they turn to financial advisors. Financial advisors have strong analytical skills, which they use to assess market conditions. They also need to have good interpersonal skills since they need to be able to make people feel comfortable with the significant financial decisions they're influencing. They spend most of their work hours in an office. They may also work some evening and weekend hours. Advancing to a role in management is possible with a master's degree and relevant experience.

Job responsibilities of a financial advisor include:

  • Explaining market conditions and investment options to clients
  • Identifying client goals
  • Creating an investment strategy for clients
  • Exploring new investment options
  • Monitoring accounts
  • Teaching workshops and seminars

Related Careers

Since loan officers and financial advisors both work in the field of finance, other finance career options may also interest those considering either of these occupations. Learn more about what certified financial analysts and financial examiners do by following the links below.

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