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Career and Education Opportunities for Loan Officers in Portland, Maine

If you want to be a loan officer, the Portland, Maine area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 1,510 jobs for loan officers in Maine and this is projected to grow 9% to 1,650 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for loan officers are expected to grow by about 10.1%. Loan officers generally evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of commercial, real estate, or credit loans.

Loan officers earn about $24 hourly or $51,060 yearly on average in Maine and about $26 per hour or $54,700 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for loan officers are better than earnings in the general category of Accounting and Auditing in Maine and not quite as good as general Accounting and Auditing category earnings nationally. Loan officers work in a variety of jobs, including: commercial banker, branch lending officer, and farm loan representative.

The Portland area is home to twenty-three schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree 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 Portland 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.
  • Income Tax Advisor. Prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses but do not have the background or responsibilities of an accredited or certified public accountant.
  • Loan Counselor. Provide guidance to prospective loan applicants who have problems qualifying for traditional loans. Guidance may include determining the best type of loan and explaining loan requirements or restrictions.
  • 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

University of Southern Maine - Portland, ME

University of Southern Maine, 96 Falmouth St, Portland, ME 04103. University of Southern Maine is a large university located in Portland, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,930 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Southern Maine has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated three students in 2008.

Saint Joseph's College of Maine - Standish, ME

Saint Joseph's College of Maine, 278 Whites Bridge Rd, Standish, ME 04084-5236. Saint Joseph's College of Maine is a small college located in Standish, Maine. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,771 students and an admission rate of 78%. Saint Joseph's College of Maine has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated three students 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.

LICENSES

Loan Broker or "Credit Repair Clinic" Operator

Licensing agency: Department of Professional & Financial Regulation
Address: Office of Licensing and Registration, Attn: Geraldine Betts, Administrator, 35 State House Station, Gardiner Annex-Northern Avenue, Augusta, ME 04333-0035

Phone: (207) 624-8603
Website: Department of Professional & Financial Regulation Office of Licensing and Registration Attn: Geraldine Betts, Administrator

Mortgage Company Lender or Small Loan Lender

Licensing agency: Department of Professional & Financial Regulation
Address: Office of Licensing and Registration, Attn: Geraldine Betts, Administrator, 35 State House Station, Gardiner Annex-Northern Avenue, Augusta, ME 04333-0035

Phone: (207) 624-8603
Website: Department of Professional & Financial Regulation Office of Licensing and Registration Attn: Geraldine Betts, Administrator

LOCATION INFORMATION: Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine photo by Pauk

Portland is situated in Cumberland County, Maine. It has a population of over 62,561, which has shrunk by 2.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $164,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were built in Portland, down from thirty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 36.4% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 6.3%, which is less than Maine's average of 7.6%. About 14.1% of Portland's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.4%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Mariners Church, Swedenborgian Church and Stroudwater Christian Church are among the churches located in Portland. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Portland is home to the Cumberland Wharf and the Browns Wharf as well as Longfellow Square and Hadlock Field. Shopping centers in the area include Mill Creek Shopping Center, Monument Square Shopping Center and Portland East Shopping Center. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Fairfield Inn Portland Airport and Ramada Limited Portland for temporary stays in the area.