Should I become a part time loan officer?

Asked by bhonorine, Campbell, CA Fri Sep 6, 2013

I have a great job but want to get a part time job. I want to know if processing loans part time is a tough job. Is it worth doing this given the time and effort I will need to spend/ take? How about

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Jim Simms’ answer
Jim Simms, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Louisville, KY
Tue Sep 24, 2013
Would you use a part time doctor or lawyer?

You may want to wait before making this decision until 1/13/14, see what happens when the rest of the law goes live. My bet is a lot of rats will leave the ship.

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
I answer questions about financing real estate based on my decades of experience dealing with mortgage underwriters. This answer is my personal opinion, has not been reviewed or approved by the company I work for. I do not offer legal or tax advice, if you need answers from an attorney or CPA find one knowledgeable in your local market.
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0 votes
Grace Hanamo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Mon Sep 9, 2013
Hi Bhonorine:

Thanks for the post.

Loan officers, like any business related to real estate, is a sales intensive job. This means that you'll spend about 90 percent of your waking day (and, you notice I did not say "working hours"...I said "waking day") cultivating leads, making contacts, attending functions that get you more leads, and, ultimately, give you OPPORTUNITIES to make money. Turning an opportunity into an actual loan--or in my case, an actual sale or home purchase, is another part of the job that can take equal amounts of effort.

Loan processors are, as the others noted, a completely different "animal" than a loan officer. A loan officer makes most of the money because he or she brings in the client and sells the loan. The processor handles the paperwork, but my best loan officers also have some of the fastest and most attentive loan processors--they're on the job almost as many hours as their loan officers or else, why would I refer a client to that particular loan officer? I don't see a busy loan officers hiring a part-time processor for a job without that processing having a list of leads to bring to bank or without having a lot of experience that will ultimately make the loan officer's or broker's job easier and more productive.

Bottom line, there is nothing about these jobs that is "part time." In fact, in most cases, my (and I'm sure their) working hours are longer and much more relentless than ever they were as a "regular" 9-5 worker. I'm always going somewhere, always seeing someone, always "pressing the flesh" as they say, and when I'm not doing that, I'm writing blogs, and posting information on my facebook page, and answering questions here--all in an effort to be seen by potential home buyers.

Trying to do this part-time is likely to be an extremely frustrating thing for you. You will--I guarantee--be able to do about four (4) transactions in your first year, but after that, you've run out of friends who need loans and you need to cultivate opportunities and leads. This cannot be done with only 2 hours a day, so after those first four transactions...what then?

My suggestion...there are plenty of other part-time jobs out there that will bring in extra cash if you need it. Think about what you do now, and see if you cannot become a consultant to a start-up or work in a retail business or host an on-line shop. High ticket item sales work is never a part time job if one wants to be successful and that's what loan officers are doing--selling huge loans to the public.

Good luck!
1 vote
JR Thrasher, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Sep 9, 2013
No, part timers rarely make enough money to be worth it.

J.R. Thrasher
1 vote
Gregorio Den…, , San Diego, CA
Fri Sep 6, 2013
Processing loans part time and being a loan officer are 2 very different positions. Which one do you want? It may be possible to process loans part time as a contract processor, but who would hire you when... #1, you have no experience, and... #2, you are only part time. If my processor doesn't answer my emails within 10 minutes I get a bit ... "Testy."

The idea of being a part time loan officer is not going to happen. Again... #1, who would hire you and #2, you would starve to death!

Have you looked into what it takes and what it costs in CA to become licensed?
1 vote
Michelle Car…, Agent, Coppertino, AL
Fri Nov 1, 2013
Real estate and/or loans can be great careers to begin as a part-time agent. As you gain experience, you may want to consider going full time.

Getting your license is one of the least expensive barriers to entry as related to the money you can potentially make.

Feel free to contact me offline-408-252-8900.
0 votes
Ray Stevens, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Cape Coral, FL
Tue Sep 24, 2013
Legally you can be a part time loan officer. However, we provide a service that requires full time attention. You may need to have a system in place where you can respond to your client and/or the processer/underwriter.

Delays in responding to requests for information, will lead to a very upset client, not to mention a bunch of real estate agents.
0 votes
Juliana Lee, Agent, Palo Alto, CA
Tue Sep 24, 2013
Although I've never worked as a loan agent, I believe loan agents have many things in common with real estate agents. Others may have different beliefs but I believe the more work you do, the better your skills become. The better your skills become, the more work you will have. There is tremendous benefits to being the best you can be. Aiming to do it occasionally will give you limitations your competition doesn't have. One of my favorite comparisons is baseball. Almost everyone can play baseball. How many people can make a good living playing baseball?

The loan industry is very susceptible to economic changes. When interest rates fall and refinancing is beneficial to current borrowers, the business can grow tremendously. When interest rates rise and refinancing disappears, a lot of business and many jobs disappear.

Campbell home values at

Juliana Lee
Top 2 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty, the nations largest
Cell 650.857.1000

Over 20 years experience
Over 1,000 homes sold in Santa Clara County and San Mateo County
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0 votes
bhonorine, Home Owner, Campbell, CA
Fri Sep 6, 2013
How about the return, job schedule, growth potential, etc? Thanks.
0 votes
These are demanding careers. While it's possible to be part-time, when you get busy, the work may demand your attention full-time. For the right person, these careers can offer unlimited growth potential.
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