Who Is Your Loan Officer?

Mortgage and Lending with Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, MD, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA NMLS #138061 MMCD #1141

Who is your loan officer?


In the digital world, mortgage shopping is a little different than it used to be.  What hasn't changed over the years, though, is that a mortgage loan is a big decision.  It's often the biggest chunk of debt someone will ever have, tied to their most valuable asset (which, if things go wrong on the mortgage, someone could lose!).  As much as fintech companies like to push the narrative of "push button, get mortgage", that's a recipe for disaster, or at least a whole lot of extra money spent.

Case in point, just this week I talked with a customer who was telling me about her loan process thus far.  She was being 'sold' on a product (an FHA loan) that was vastly more expensive than some other options I thought may be available.  Upon asking the right questions, it turned out another option was both a better, cheaper loan option, but also one that would help her present a stronger offer (a conventional loan) in a very competitive marketplace.  In this particular case, I wondered if the loan officer was being self-serving (the numbers were really tight on a conventional loan, and approval would have been much easier on an FHA loan), or inexperienced?  It had to be one.  

In a separate instance, a guest on our very own Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 's radio show inquired about knowing who their loan officer was.  Specifically, a prior victim of identity theft, the gentleman wanted to know what protections were in place should an unethical person be entrusted with his personal data.  This is a question that doesn't get considered often enough.  There are honestly not a lot of stop gap measures to prevent an unethical individual from doing bad things with people's data.  Sure, there is an ethics portion of an LO licensing exam, and a background check that prevents most people convicted of fraud from obtaining a license to originate, but is that really assurance that you can trust who you're working with?  

In my opinion, one major gauge of who you can trust, is who has experience, a book of positive reviews, and something to lose.  Odds are, a loan officer with years of industry experience and a long history at their employer are doing things the right way, and consider your loan as part of their career - they care about your experience, and care about the feedback you'll provide after your transaction is complete.  

While it's not a guarantee that you'll have a bad experience with an inexperienced loan officer or an internet company, the odds of working with someone new to the industry, very young, and very inexperienced are high.  Frankly, any research you do won't reveal much about them.  I checked an online directory where most times you can find the "lowest rate" online lenders, and did a quick reference check on job history of the first loan officer's I could find.  Here's what I came up with:


The first 3 I found were inexperienced, recent students, with little to no industry experience.  I know nothing about the ethics of these folks, but I will say they are very likely unqualified to help someone with the biggest financial transaction they'll ever make, yet that's exactly what they're tasked with doing at these online companies.  There is, after all, a price to pay to get the 'cheapest' deal.

Again, I emphasize that an experience with these folks may very well be great.  Maybe they're hard working, doing their best to learn quickly, and they have a high degree of ethics.  But can you be sure?  Do they have any track record?  

Experience matters in the finance world, as does reputation.  Working with an experienced, trusted loan officer is not only a way to be comfortable about getting the right product, but to also to rest assured your information is in good hands with someone whose career depends on it!

Posted by

John Meussner
NMLS ID #138061

It's more than a house - it's home.  So we offer a wide range of mortgage products at competitive prices to help our clients achieve financial security at home.  While we get great feedback on our prices and products, many clients say their favorite part of working with John Meussner & MasonMac is the level of service provided along the way.

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Comments (6)

Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

John Meussner, Glad you were able to speak with and hopefully assure this potential buyer. Being ready to purchase a home, he had reason to be concerned. When the identity theft happened, he no longer knew who to trust. 


Jan 21, 2022 07:38 PM
John Meussner

I didn't really think people gave the topic much thought (and I'm sure most people don't), but they should be aware of who has their SS#, credit card info, DOB, address history, and more!  I would never trust a loan officer who was unemployed for the past 12 months or is fresh out of college, they just don't know enough to do the job well!

Jan 24, 2022 11:28 AM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-939-2727

Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 
Wonderful that you were able to connect the Caller with John Meussner for some accurate advice! Take care - Lynn

Jan 24, 2022 06:50 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello John - "connections" can make a difference but it is the connection made between a person and their loan broker that make a transaction more satisfying.   

Jan 22, 2022 06:13 AM
Gwen Fowler-864-710-4518 SC * Mountain* Lake*Home
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Walhalla, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

An experienced ethical loan officer can make the real estate transaction run much more smoothly.  

Jan 24, 2022 05:40 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi John:

These are important issues to consider, and questions to ask yourself, before making the decision about which loan officer and company to work with. There is too much at risk to not be thorough in your due diligence, and checking out recommendations from those you trust.


Jan 24, 2022 04:31 PM
John Meussner

Absolutely - trusted referrals from people you trust is a great way to get things done : )

Jan 25, 2022 03:47 PM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-939-2727
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Love our Great City - Love our Clients! Buckhead - Midtown - Westside - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

John Meussner 
Your posts read like entertaining non-fiction! Having the right answers comes from your "years of industry experience and a long history... doing things the right way". 
All the best - Lynn

Jan 24, 2022 06:47 PM
John Meussner

Thank you, Lynn, I appreciate that! : )

Jan 25, 2022 03:47 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Like doctors, real estate agents or brokers, sometimes a second opinion before hooking up mortgage financing will save time, money, a hassle. But thinking you or I are the most experienced in the land can be a lofty laurel to hold up and come off as a cocky  superior vibe John Meussner .  

Jan 26, 2022 04:27 AM
John Meussner

Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573 and I'd certainly hope the latter part of your comment wasn't how this post reads - 'most experienced', 'best', '#1', etc, are all subjective, but it's important to know where you stand above your competition.  In our case, customers send us documents from these other lenders, and they're often being misled and overcharged - not for any devious or diabolical reason, but simply because some companies build a business model based on cheap, inexperienced labor, and it's never clear to the public what that may look like.

Jan 26, 2022 03:10 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573

When most folks only get financing one or a couple times in their life, they don't know the red flags and the behind the scenes. You do a good job of spotlighting financing 101 and the black, white and all the gray area John Meussner !

Jan 27, 2022 03:44 AM