How to Become a Commercial Loan Officer

Finding loans for businesses can be rewarding for the business and the commercial loan officer. This banking career involves selling knowledge, expertise and loans to potential business clients. Most loan officers work for financial institutions within the banking industry. Learn how to become a commercial loan officer for a rewarding banking career.

Steps

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    Know what the duties of a commercial loan officer are.
    • Unlike other banking careers, the commercial loan officer often works outside of the office, calling on potential businesses.
    • Loan officers help commercial clients through the loan application process.
    • In addition to gathering information, this process may include addressing potential lending problems.
    • Commercial loan officers who work for mortgage brokers may also process the loan.
    • A commercial loan officer is often paid on commission, usually 1/2 of 1 percent of the amount of the loan.
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    Graduate with a bachelor's degree in finance, business, economics or something related.
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    Gain experience in the banking industry or sales before embarking on a commercial loan officer career.
    • Useful skills include doing financial statements, business accounting and cash flow analysis.
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    Obtain a license, a fairly recent federal requirement, if you will also be operating as a mortgage loan officer.
    • Federal licensing requires 20 hours of education in lending, passing an examination and successfully undergoing a background check.
    • Individual states may have additional licensing requirements for loan officers.
    • Loan officers must meet continuing education requirements to continue licensure.
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    Check with a banking association for available lending education programs and continuing education.
    • For example, the Bank Administration Institute of the American Bankers Association offers a Loan Review Certificate program.
    • Private business schools are another resource.
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    Prepare yourself for on-the-job training as a commercial loan officer.
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    Work well with others by using appropriate communication and social skills.
    • Loan officers often have to attend social functions as a representative of the bank. This is a good way to make contacts with future clients.
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    Demonstrate an above average skill level with computers and technology, including financial software.
    • As loan officers often work in the field, they need to rely on laptops and cell phones to obtain current information and to maintain contact with their employer and potential clients.
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    Contact businesses about lending needs.
    • Commercial real estate agencies are also a good resource for the commercial loan officer.
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    Meet with potential borrowers to obtain preliminary information regarding loan needs and their ability to repay loans.
    • Be available to answer questions and help with the loan application.
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    Analyze loan applications to determine whether the business is a good loan risk.
    • Verify application information.
    • Check a borrower's credit history with underwriting software, but understand that most commercial loans require additional financial information.
    • Consult with bank managers to determine whether a loan should be granted.

Tips

  • In the case of very large loans, you may need to work with multiple lenders to put together a loan package.
  • If you are a one-person brokerage firm, you may have to function as a commercial loan officer and a broker.

Warnings

  • Licensed commercial loan officers can't have a felony conviction.


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Categories: Finance Careers