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Career and Education Opportunities for Loan Officers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for loan officers in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. There are currently 5,270 jobs for loan officers in Iowa and this is projected to grow 16% to about 6,110 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for loan officers are expected to grow by about 10.1%. In general, loan officers evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of commercial, real estate, or credit loans.

A person working as a loan officer can expect to earn about $25 per hour or $52,470 yearly on average in Iowa and about $26 per hour or $54,700 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for loan officers are better than earnings in the general category of Accounting and Auditing in Iowa and not quite as good as general Accounting and Auditing category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: loan supervisor, mortgage banker, and loan counselor.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Cedar Rapids area, including two within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree to start your career as a loan officer. Given that the most common education level for loan officers is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be a loan officer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Loan Officer

Loan Officer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, loan officers evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of commercial, real estate, or credit loans. They also advise borrowers on financial status and methods of payments.

Loan officers meet with applicants to obtain data for loan applications and to respond to questions about the process. They also analyze applicants' financial status and property evaluations to establish feasibility of granting loans. Equally important, loan officers have to obtain and compile copies of loan applicants' credit histories, corporate financial statements, and other financial data. They are often called upon to stay abreast of new types of loans and other financial services and products to better meet customers' needs. They are expected to explain to customers the different types of loans and credit options that are available, as well as the terms of those services. Finally, loan officers handle customer complaints and take appropriate action to deal with them.

Every day, loan officers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for loan officers to coordinate with clients to pinpoint their financial goals and to discover ways of reaching those goals. They are often called upon to approve loans within specified limits, and refer loan applications outside those limits to management for approval. They also inspect loan agreements to insure that they are complete and accurate in line with policy. They are sometimes expected to talk with underwriters to assist in resolving mortgage application problems. Somewhat less frequently, loan officers are also expected to supervise loan personnel.

Loan officers sometimes are asked to ready reports to send to customers whose accounts are delinquent, and forward irreconcilable accounts for collector action. and interview and train new employees. And finally, they sometimes have to market bank products to individuals and firms, promoting bank services that may meet customers' needs.

Like many other jobs, loan officers must have exceptional integrity and have a strong social orientation.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Cedar Rapids include:

  • Accountant. Analyze financial information and prepare financial reports to determine or maintain records of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.
  • Auditor. Examine and analyze accounting records to determine financial status of establishment and prepare financial reports concerning operating procedures.
  • Budget Analyst. Examine budget estimates for completeness, accuracy, and conformance with procedures and regulations. Analyze budgeting and accounting reports for the purpose of maintaining expenditure controls.
  • Credit Analyst. Analyze current credit data and financial statements of individuals or firms to determine the degree of risk involved in extending credit or lending money. Prepare reports with this credit information for use in decision-making.
  • Financial Analyst. Conduct quantitative analyses of information affecting investment programs of public or private institutions.
  • Financial Examiner. Enforce or ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing financial and securities institutions and financial and real estate transactions. May examine, verify correctness of, or establish authenticity of records.
  • Insurance Underwriter. Review individual applications for insurance to evaluate degree of risk involved and determine acceptance of applications.
  • Personal Financial Planner. Advise clients on financial plans utilizing knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, and real estate. Duties include assessing clients' assets, liabilities, and financial objectives to establish investment strategies.
  • Tax Examiner. Determine tax liability or collect taxes from individuals or business firms according to prescribed laws and regulations.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Loan Officer Training

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Kirkwood Community College, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2068. Kirkwood Community College is a large college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,241 students. Kirkwood Community College has an associate's degree program in Finance which graduated nine students in 2008.

University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA

University of Iowa, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316. University of Iowa is a large university located in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,475 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Iowa has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Finance which graduated forty-four, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Lender Business Banker: Applicable to financial services professionals whose primary function and expertise focuses on the provision of credit and financial transaction services to businesses and/or corporations.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Bankers website.

Certified Personal Banker: Applicable to financial services professionals who have completed the AIB Personal Banking Diploma and who function as personal bankers.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Bankers website.

Certified Investment Management Analyst: The CIMA offers an intense educational experience focusing on asset allocation, manager search and selection, investment policy and performance measurement.

For more information, see the Investment Management Consultants Association website.

Certified Residential Underwriter: The Residential Underwriting Professional Certificate is designed for residential underwriters seeking recognition for continued excellence in education and professionalism.

For more information, see the Mortgage Bankers Association of America website.

Mortgage Compliance Achievement Certificate: The Mortgage Compliance Achievement Certificate recognizes compliance officers, lawyers and other professionals who seek to maintain current and comprehensive knowledge of the laws, regulations and other compliance requirements applicable to the residential real estate finance industry.

For more information, see the Mortgage Bankers Association of America website.

Commercial Certified Mortgage Servicer: The Certified Mortgage Servicer (CMS) designation recognizes an individual's superior knowledge and experience in servicing practices, theories and applications.

For more information, see the Mortgage Bankers Association of America website.

Residential Certified Loan Officer: The Certified Loan Officer(CMT) designation creates a recognizable and meaningful seal of quality for residential loan officers.

For more information, see the Mortgage Bankers Association of America website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.