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Career and Education Opportunities for Loan Officers in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for loan officers in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area. There are currently 6,070 jobs for loan officers in Tennessee and this is projected to grow by 11% to about 6,750 jobs 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.

Loan officers earn about $21 hourly or $45,210 annually on average in Tennessee and about $26 hourly or $54,700 annually on average nationally. Earnings for loan officers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Accounting and Auditing in Tennessee and not quite as good as general Accounting and Auditing category earnings nationally. People working as loan officers can fill a number of jobs, such as: mortgage specialist, personal banking officer, and loan service officer.

There are twenty schools of higher education in the Chattanooga area, including two within twenty-five miles of Chattanooga where you can get a degree to start your career as a loan officer. The most common level of education for loan officers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a loan officer if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Chattanooga 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.


Tennessee Temple University - Chattanooga, TN

Tennessee Temple University, 1815 Union Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37404. Tennessee Temple University is a small university located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 706 students and an admission rate of 24%. Tennessee Temple University has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated three students in 2008.

Southern Adventist University - Collegedale, TN

Southern Adventist University, 4881 Taylor Cir, Collegedale, TN 37315-0370. Southern Adventist University is a small university located in Collegedale, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,731 students and an admission rate of 70%. Southern Adventist University has a bachelor's degree program in Finance which graduated four students in 2008.


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: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee photo by Avala

Chattanooga is situated in Hamilton County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 170,880, which has grown by 9.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chattanooga, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chattanooga are priced at $141,100 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-two new homes were built in Chattanooga, down from four hundred forty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Chattanooga are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 21.5% of Chattanooga residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chattanooga is 9.5%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Chattanooga residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.2%, is more than both the national and state average. Stuart Heights Baptist Church, Kings Point Church and Stanley United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Chattanooga. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.

Chattanooga is home to the Creeks Bend Golf Club and the Concord Golf Course as well as Warner Park and Ross Landing City Park. Shopping malls in the area include Northgate Mall, Northgate Crossing Shopping Center and Lee Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Chattanooga can choose from Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Crystal Air Sport Motel and Hampton Inn Chattanooga I-75 North for temporary stays in the area.