Becoming a Mortgage Closer: Salary Information & Job Description

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What are the pros and cons of a career as a mortgage closer? Get real job descriptions, career prospects and salary information to see if this career could be the right choice for you.
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Pros and Cons of a Career As a Mortgage Closer

Mortgage closers, also known as loan interviewers and clerks, review borrowers' financial information to determine whether or not they qualify for loans. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of choosing this career option.

Pros of Becoming a Mortgage Closer
Potential to earn a median annual wage of about $37,000 without a degree*
Opportunity to obtain on-the-job training*
Full-time work is typically available*
Most work in a comfortable office setting*

Cons of Becoming a Mortgage Closer
Average job growth predicted at 9% from 2012-2022*
Might need to be able to deal with aggressive behavior, remain calm in difficult and stressful situations and accept criticism **
Must be able to give bad news to clients who are denied loans**
Work can be repetitious and tedious (inputting data, verifying information, completing paperwork)**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **O*Net OnLine

Career Information

Job Description and Duties

As a mortgage closer, you might examine and verify information on loan applications and closing documents, assemble and compile title abstracts, prepare closing documents and checks, calculate costs and advise borrowers about the process and transactions. Since not every applicant is approved for a loan, you may have to deal with aggressive customers and deliver bad news when loans are denied. Most loan closers work full-time hours in an office environment, often for title companies, credit unions, mortgage companies, banks or real estate companies.

Salary Information and Career Outlook

In May 2014, the BLS revealed that loan interviewers and clerks earned a median annual wage of $36,880 or $18.33 an hour. The lowest 10% of earners made about $24,400 or less, while the highest 10% earned about $54,370 or more. PayScale.com indicated that the majority of mortgage loan processors earned approximately $27,000-$51,000 with bonuses, commissions and overtime, as of September 2015.

Employment for the broad field of financial clerks was predicted to grow by 11% from 2012-2022, according to the BLS. However, growth varies by specialty area. Employment was predicted to grow by only 9% for loan interviewers and clerks during the same decade, partly because the availability of online forms often lessens the need for in-person interviews.

Career Skills and Requirements

A high school education is usually sufficient to enter this field. Most of your duties are learned on-the-job, with the help of a senior worker or supervisor, in about a month. If you're considering this occupation, you'll want to have strong skills in several important areas: basic math, communications and organization.

What Employers Are Looking For

Employers often looked to hire employees with related work experience and strong communication and computer skills. Other qualifications employers might desire include completion of college coursework, a good work ethic and a track record of meeting deadlines. Read the following excerpts from real job postings, to see what employers were seeking in April 2012.

  • A bank in Texas advertised for a full-time mortgage loan closer with 5-7 years of experience and some college credits. Applicant would prepare for mortgage loan closings, review loan applications, obtain titles and relevant insurances and complete and record mortgage loans. Required skills included meeting management, verbal communication, confidentiality, financial skills, financial software knowledge and professionalism.
  • A credit union in Oregon was looking for a full-time, temporary mortgage loan closer, with at least 3 years of experience and a strong work ethic. Applicant's main job duty would be helping to close and service loans. Wages were competitive, the benefits were great and the work environment, according to the posting, was stellar.
  • A financial institution in Florida advertised for a full-time mortgage closer with 1-3 years of experience. Applicant would be responsible for reviewing and auditing all files for accuracy and compliance, preparing closing documents and drawing documents in two or more loan closing document systems. Other requirements included excellent communication skills, familiarity with underwriting, ability to meet deadlines, strong organizational skills and computer proficiency.
  • A bank in Wisconsin was looking for a full-time mortgage closer with 2-4 years of experience, ideally in a funding department. Qualifications included strong analytical and interpersonal skills, the ability to meet deadlines and computer proficiency. Familiarity with laws and regulations, such as the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), was also desired.

How Can I Stand Out?

Cross Train/Stay Up-to-Date

Declining employment for mortgage closers can create stiff competition for jobs. The majority of growth for financial clerks, from 2010-2020 was predicted to be in the specialty areas of billing/posting clerks and payroll/timekeeping clerks, according to the BLS. You might want to consider cross training in those areas to widen your skills and experience. In addition, it's often wise to keep updated in your field by participating in educational opportunities, maintaining personal networks, reading professional publications and belonging to professional organizations.

Further Your Education

According to San Diego Miramar College, completing coursework in the area of mortgage brokerage and banking can improve advancement opportunities for professionals already working in the industry. Additionally, one of the previous job postings indicated that completion of some college coursework was required. Both 2-year and 4-year colleges offer courses and degree programs related to business, real estate, math, finance and banking. Additionally, most colleges offer courses in computer technology, which could benefit aspiring mortgage closers who aren't yet computer savvy.

Related Careers

Bookkeeper/Accountant/Auditing Clerk

If you're looking to put your mathematical and organizational skills to use in a field with higher growth potential, consider a career as a bookkeeper, accountant or auditing clerk. These professionals keep financial records for organizations by recording transactions, checking financial records for accuracy and updating statements. A high school diploma or its equivalent is the typical requirement to enter this field. According to the BLS in May 2011, the median annual wage for these professionals was about $35,000, and the predicted job growth from 2010-2020 was 14%, which is about as fast as average.

Information Clerk

Another career possibility with some predicted job growth that enables you to utilize your communication and organizational skills is the job of information clerk. Professionals in this field work with customers, collect data and maintain records. They might work in a private business, law office, government agency or medical office. The typical entry-level educational requirement is a high school diploma or its equivalent. In May 2011, the BLS revealed that the median annual wage for receptionists and information clerks was about $26,000, and the projected job growth from 2010-2020 was 7%.

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Saint Leo University

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Saint John's University

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  • Master of Business Administration

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