Career Progression in the Mortgage Industry

 Written By: Frankie Lacy

So you've taken classes, shown initiative, and communicated your desire to progress into higher positions. You want to expand your knowledge levels within your company’s organization. However, it seems like you have waited forever to get the green light and your manager keeps giving you the brush-off. What should you do next?  Are you stuck in the same position forever? How do you increase your marketability and skill level if no one will give you a chance? The simple answer is; move to a new company. However, how can you guarantee the new company will not lock you into a similar cycle of going nowhere fast?

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There is an art to career progression in the mortgage industry. It involves making moves to the right company, in the right timing, and with the right expectations. Making a sudden leap to a new company to avoid an annoying boss or as a result of an emotional outburst is never a good idea. Making strategic moves that will increase your skill level, experience level, and compensation is always the goal.

The best time to make a move in the mortgage industry is when business is first ramping up and staffing is low. This is usually late spring / early summer. An even better time to make a move, though this cannot always be planned, is when a company has recently experienced high turnover in the middle of their busiest time. During this time, companies are hungry for experienced talent that can jump in and learn the systems and the process flow with minimal oversight. Employees that can perform under this kind of pressure are often given free rein to learn new products and programs just to keep the company’s pipeline moving.

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Simultaneously, the best time to seek new employment for a better opportunity is when you’re already employed. This can be tricky in the mortgage industry, which is notorious for lay-offs. But if you can manage it, you have more leverage and bargaining power with the prospective firm. You’re not desperate for a new gig, so you have the privilege of shopping around a bit for the best offer.

When you’re seeking new employment, even in times of unemployment, communicate your career goals to the interviewers. Let them know that you have aspirations on moving up from processing to underwriting, or learning FHA and VA. Ask about training programs and mentorship opportunities. Try to get a feel for the expectations they have for employees that currently hold the position you’re trying to move into. For example, if you’re currently underwriting conventional loans, the employer may expect a 95% pass rate on audits before training you on FHA and VA for designation.

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Making your goals and aspirations clear to the prospective employer can help solidify a career path within the new company. If the company is looking for people that are willing to learn and grow, they will be glad to have someone on board who is willing to learn. If however, they are more interested in hiring talent that already has experience, this may not be the job for you. As a result, you should expect to interview with several firms before you find the right place for you.


About The Author

Frankie Lacy - As an active NAMP® member and a NAMU®-CMMU designee, Ms. Frankie Lacy is a 13-year mortgage industry veteran with extensive conventional mortgage underwriting experience. Frankie is also a mortgage instructor for Mortgage Underwriter University (www.MortgageUnderwriter.org). Topics of Frankie's expertise include: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, USDA Rural Housing, underwriting to investor overlays, self-employed borrowers, personal and business tax return analysis, rental income, condos/co-ops/PUDs, and more. Frankie is a Davenport University graduate with a degree in Business Administration. If you're interested in becoming a writer for NAMP®, please email us at: contact@mortgageprocessor.org.


Opinion-Editorial (Op-Ed) Disclaimer For NAMU® Library Articles: The views and opinions expressed in the NAMU® Library articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official NAMU® policy or position. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world application as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of NAMU®. Nothing contained in this articles should be considered legal advice.