Why on earth would anyone choose to be a mortgage broker in these hard economic times? If given the choice with all the issues in the housing market, you might think me or anyone else a fool to get started in this industry.
But I am here to dispel this myth and shed some light on why mortgage brokering can be a great employment choice.
My Path to a Secure Job in the Mortgage Industry
I have been doing loans since 2001. In fact, it was right after the 9/11 tragedy that I started. Before becoming a mortgage broker, I managed financial accounts with companies like Sprint, American Express, and Fleet credit cards. I worked for a company that handled these accounts, which seemed to be good for me at the time.
I thought that I must work for the “MAN” to be successful and earn a decent wage, but I was wrong. The company started downsizing, and I took a 50% pay cut on my salary. This was extremely bad for me financially because my wife stopped working and we had just had our first child. Because job security working for corporate America was not secure anymore, I figured I must make a change.
Through a family member, I started working as a loan officer for a company that specialized in nothing but government loans (FHA, VA).
I have since stayed on that career path, and it’s proven to be more stable than any other job. I have found out that if you have a niche market and a good business model, you can be successful in the industry.
Being a mortgage broker has its benefits over working for a lender. Look at Countrywide, Taylor Bean & Whitaker, etc. They serviced mortgage loans and they are out of business. Being a mortgage broker, you don’t service your own loans and you are set up with multiple lenders, which makes brokering loans more flexible and adaptable to an ever-changing market.
Top 5 Best Things about a Career as a Mortgage Broker:
The following are some of the top reasons to choose mortgage brokering as a career:
1. Job Security – You are not a liability to the company (salaried employee). If you don’t close loans, then you don’t make money (and you end up by costing the company nothing). No one goes to work and says, “I’m not going to make any money today.” Work hard and you’ll likely find success.
2. Schedule – You can make your own schedule. It’s up to you. If you take more time off you make less money due to a lack of prospects. The difference is you are in control, not your boss.
3. Satisfaction of doing good – Seriously, it’s been great, in my situation, to get to help Veterans and other families obtain homes. Homeownership is much better than paying rent, and it’s something people can call their own. Whether or not you get to help veterans, knowing you played an important part of helping someone get a home gives a certain sense of purpose and satisfaction.
4. Money opportunity – Once again this is not like a salaried job where no matter how many hours you put in and how hard you work you end up by making the same. Actually in a salaried position the longer hours you work the less you are actually making per hour. Being a Loan Officer the harder I work the more opportunity there is to make money. There is no ceiling, no cap on how much you can make.
5. Industry Knowledge – Having a full understanding of how mortgages work can actually save you a lot of mortgage interest money. If you understand how interest works, escrow and your loan program on your own home loan then you can apply the principles you learn and probably tell others to your own loan.
But aren’t Mortgage Brokers the Bad Guys?
I have recently read on other blogs that mortgage brokers contributed to this housing mess and that we have no place in the industry.
I will admit that there were probably many brokers who engaged in predatory lending, but to say that all mortgage brokers caused this would be ignorant. There are many actions, people, and systems to blame, and mortgage brokering as a whole can’t be blamed.
After this mess, I hope that all homebuyers, especially Veterans, do their due diligence to avoid brokers who are less than reputable. I sincerely hope for the best for homebuyers and owe a lot to this industry and Veterans. My company specializes in VA home loans, and this has been able to keep us busy and in business through all the difficult and uncertain times.
In summary, I would not have changed my career path whatsoever. The last 7 years have been very rewarding.