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Career and Education Opportunities for Loan Officers in Columbia, Maryland

There are many career and education opportunities for loan officers in the Columbia, Maryland area. Currently, 8,190 people work as loan officers in Maryland. This is expected to grow by 11% to 9,080 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for loan officers, which sees this job pool growing by about 10.1% over the next eight years. Loan officers generally evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of commercial, real estate, or credit loans.

A person working as a loan officer can expect to earn about $26 per hour or $54,140 annually on average in Maryland and about $26 per hour or $54,700 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for loan officers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Accounting and Auditing in Maryland, and not quite as good as the overall Accounting and Auditing category nationally. Loan officers work in a variety of jobs, including: loan supervisor, mortgage specialist, and commercial lender.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including fourteen within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a loan officer. Loan officers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying 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 Columbia 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.
  • Assessor. Appraise real and personal property to determine its fair value. May assess taxes in accordance with prescribed schedules.
  • 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.
  • Insurance Underwriter. Review individual applications for insurance to evaluate degree of risk involved and determine acceptance of applications.
  • 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.
  • Real Estate Appraiser. Appraise real property to determine its value for purchase, sales, or loan purposes.
  • Tax Examiner. Determine tax liability or collect taxes from individuals or business firms according to prescribed laws and regulations.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Loan Officer Training

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated fifty-six students in 2008.

Marymount University - Arlington, VA

Marymount University, 2807 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207-4299. Marymount University is a small university located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,541 students and an admission rate of 84%. Marymount University has a one to two year program in Finance.

University of Maryland-Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250. University of Maryland-Baltimore County is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,268 students and an admission rate of 72%. University of Maryland-Baltimore County has a two to four year program in Finance.

Loyola College in Maryland - Baltimore, MD

Loyola College in Maryland, 4501 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21210-2699. Loyola College in Maryland is a medium sized college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,080 students and an admission rate of 69%. Loyola College in Maryland has a master's degree program in Finance which graduated twenty-eight students in 2008.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated nine students in 2008.

Georgetown University - Washington, DC

Georgetown University, 37th and O St NW, Washington, DC 20057. Georgetown University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,318 students and an admission rate of 19%. Georgetown University has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated thirty-eight students in 2008.

George Mason University - Fairfax, VA

George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. George Mason University is a large university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,800 students and an admission rate of 63%. George Mason University has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated nine students in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and post-master's certificate programs in Finance which graduated twenty-two, sixty-six, and one students respectively in 2008.

Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N Charles St, Mason Hall, Baltimore, MD 21218-2688. Johns Hopkins University is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,049 students and an admission rate of 26%. Johns Hopkins University has a postbaccalaureate certificate and a master's degree program in Finance which graduated zero and fifty-five students respectively in 2008.

Catholic University of America - Washington, DC

Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20064. Catholic University of America is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,705 students and an admission rate of 81%. Catholic University of America has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated two students in 2008.

University of Maryland-College Park - College Park, MD

University of Maryland-College Park, , College Park, MD 20742. University of Maryland-College Park is a large university located in College Park, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,000 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Maryland-College Park has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Trinity Washington University - Washington, DC

Trinity Washington University, 125 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC 20017-1094. Trinity Washington University is a small university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,734 students and an admission rate of 74%. Trinity Washington University has a master's degree program in Finance which graduated four students in 2008.

Gallaudet University - Washington, DC

Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20002-3695. Gallaudet University is a small university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,389 students and an admission rate of 64%. Gallaudet University has a bachelor's degree program in Finance.

Morgan State University - Baltimore, MD

Morgan State University, 1700 East Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21251-0001. Morgan State University is a medium sized university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,554 students and an admission rate of 34%. Morgan State University has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated twenty-seven 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.