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Loan Officer vs Mortgage Broker: How They Differ & Why It Matters

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When looking to secure a mortgage, borrowers typically work with one of two types of professionals: loan officers or mortgage brokers. When choosing who to work with, it’s important to understand: loan officer vs a mortgage broker—what’s the difference, and is there an advantage to working with one over the other

What’s the Difference Between a Loan Officer and a Mortgage Broker? 

The main difference between a loan officer and a mortgage broker is who they work for. Mortgage brokers either work independently or within a mortgage brokerage firm. Because they have no loyalties to a specific bank or financial lender, mortgage brokers typically have access to mortgages with better rates and can offer a more tailored solution to borrowers. Loan officers, on the other hand, work for a mortgage lender, such as a bank. This means they are typically limited to offering loans from their employer. 

Working With a Mortgage Broker

Mortgage brokers are independent facilitators who can help borrowers find the best mortgage for their financial situation and the property they wish to purchase. They work as a ‘middle man’ to facilitate the best transaction possible between you—the homebuyer—and the lenders. Mortgage brokers can utilize their connections within the industry to work with lenders in order to negotiate fees, such as application, appraisal, and origination fees. They only get paid if you close on your home loan, so they are willing to advocate and work diligently on your behalf to secure the best terms for you.  

Maple Tree Funding is an independent mortgage broker, and the licensed professionals who serve our clients are ‘Mortgage Loan Originators,’ or MLOs. MLOs must pass both a state and federal test to get their license. They are highly skilled, highly trained, and highly motivated.     

Working With a Loan Officer

Loan officers offer home loan options from one financial institution (or bank) to potential buyers. This means they are more specialized in what that specific institution offers, but they cannot offer mortgages from other lenders. If a borrower knows exactly what loan they would like, working with a loan officer may be a good choice. Unlike brokers, which are specialized and exclusively handle mortgages, loan officers also offer other financial services and loans to customers.

Unlike MLOs, loan officers are not required to have a license to coordinate home loans for their potential customers.      

What’s the Best Choice For You?

If you’re shopping around for the perfect home loan, a mortgage broker like Maple Tree Funding may be the best choice for you. If you’re ready to start the process, give us a call at 518-782-1202 or send us a note and we’ll contact you at your convenience. We look forward to helping you with all your home financing needs!


Investopedia – Loan Officer vs. Mortgage Broker: What’s the Difference? 

Maple Tree Funding – What is a Mortgage Broker & How Does it Differ from a Bank?

Maple Tree Funding – 3 Key Advantages of Working with a Local, Independent Mortgage Broker


Posted in Home Buying Tips & Info, Mortgage & Refinance Programs on Tuesday, April 30, 2024 by Maple Tree Funding