Know what to expect: Mortgage Brokers vs. Loan Officers

Either a mortgage broker or a mortgage banker can help you when it comes to applying for a mortgage loan. It's easy to confuse them since both will produce the same outcome: a new home. However, knowing the ways they differ will be beneficial to the mortgage process.

Mortgage Brokers

During the mortgage loan process, an individual or group who is an independent agent for both mortgage loan borrower and lender is a mortgage broker. A mortgage broker facilitates things for you and your lender, which can be one of the following: a bank, trust company, credit union, mortgage corporation, finance company or even a private investor. Acting as a facilitator between you and your lender, your mortgage broker can match you with a bank, trust company, credit union, mortgage corporation, finance company or even an individual, private investor. A mortgage broker will consider your numbers to determine which lender is the right fit for you. Your broker will submit your loan application to a handful of lenders, and works with the chosen lender until closing. If the loan closes, the broker's commission is given by the borrower.

Mortgage Bankers

Mortgage Bankers represent a specific lending institution (such as a bank) who offer and process mortgages and other loan products originated by their company alone. They may have the ability to promote loans to fit many different situations, but all the loans will be programs of the same lender.

A loan officer (also known as an "account executive" or "loan representative") acts on behalf of the borrower to the lender. From choosing a loan product to closing, a loan officer will guide a borrower through the process. Lenders compensate their loan officers with a salary or commission.

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