Banking & Financial Services
Loan officers assess the validity of personal or business loan applications and approve or reject them.
What does a Loan Officer do?
Loan officers assess the validity of personal or business loan applications and approve or reject them. Loan officers are also known as lending officers.
As a loan officer, you would:
- scrutinise loan applications and check credit histories to determine the likelihood of granting loans
- research or arrange relevant valuations on properties, commercial enterprises or vehicles
- meet with loan applicants to discuss their options and the loan process
- review loan agreements to check accuracy
- approve loans within specified limits, and refer loan applications outside those limits to managers for approval.
Key skills and interests
To become a loan officer, you would need:
- excellent customer service skills
- good, clear communication skills
- a high level of numeracy
- strong attention to detail and accuracy
- good organisational skills
- good computer skills
- the ability to work in a timely manner.
Working hours and conditions
As a loan officer you would usually work a standard number of hours per week. Many loan officers see clients in their own homes in the evenings or at the weekend.
You would spend you time based in an office but may visit clients in their homes or businesses.
How to become an Loan Officer?
Entry Level Education
Although no formal qualifications are strictly required to become a loan officer, most financial services and banking industry loan officers would have a degree in economics, commerce, accounting or a related area. To get into degree courses, you need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English and maths would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
You may also become a loan officer through a traineeship in Credit Management. Employers would generally require a senior secondary school certificate or equivalent.
Most loan officers would start their careers in loan administration or similar roles, and gradually gain the experience to become loan officers.
Employment of loan officers is projected to decline slightly.
The need for loan officers usually mirrors the economy, there are more opportunities in times of economic growth, low interest rates, and population growth as these all create a demand for loans and lending. However, with increasing use of technology in this field as well as less loan applications being done in person but instead over the phone or online, fewer loan officers are needed to process these applications. As new technologies improve the need for people to use a loan officer, or financial insitutions to have qualified loan officers will decline.