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How to Choose a Mortgage Loan Officer in Oregon

Sammamish Mortgage
October 20, 2020
Last updated:
June 30, 2021
How to Choose a Mortgage Loan Officer in WA State
In This Article

Are you looking for a home in the Beaver State?  If so, then the assistance of seasoned mortgage professionals is a must. In addition to making buying a home easier and helping you get the best possible terms for your Oregon home loan, the right mortgage loan officer in OR State can guide you through the entire process.

A mortgage loan officer in Oregon State can be an individual working at a commercial bank, credit union, other financial institution, or an independent mortgage company. Their job is to match home buyers with the right loan product. As a result, it’s important to partner with the right mortgage loan advisor to ensure your loan application is not only properly handled and processed but also that you are on the right track.

Why do I Need a Mortgage Loan Officer?

Trying to compare and contrast multiple loan products can make buying a home in OR State feel like a challenge when it shouldn’t. A mortgage loan officer brings industry-specific knowledge and experience to the table. They know the right questions to ask about your current finances and can recommend the best home loan products for your situation.

What’s more, without an Oregon mortgage loan officer on your side, it’s all too easy to get bogged down in the loan application process and potentially end up with a home loan that may not suit your needs in the years ahead. In contrast, working with a loan officer means you have a professional that can guide you through the confusing portions of the program, explain in detail the closing costs, and amortization schedules to take the stress out of your home purchase experience.

What Does a Mortgage Loan Officer in OR State Do?

A mortgage loan officer is your main point of contact. They gather basic information about you, your income, any co-applicants, and the size and type of loan you need—typically over the phone. Alternatively, if you’ve applied online, they’ll pick up where the online application process ends.

Based on this initial consultation, your loan officer can present you with the loan options that best fit your needs and finances and help you fill out your loan application. They might recommend a 20, 25, or 30-year fixed rate mortgage and can walk you through your options and answer loan-related questions Note, one question you should definitely ask your loan officer is whether or not you qualify for Oregon Housing and Community Service (OHCS) below market-rate mortgages for first-time homeowners or buyers.

Oregon-State Specific Programs to Discuss with your Local Loan Officer

Along those same lines, you should make sure your prospective OR State loan officers discuss other important OHCS loan programs, including the Oregon rate advantage home loan, the cash advantage home loan, and Oregon down payment assistance. In fact, the state of Oregon has several avenues to help out first-time homeowners financially, so you definitely want a loan officer who knows that and can assist you with finding out if you qualify for these programs.

Pre-approval vs. pre-qualification

Your mortgage loan officer also can guide your pre-approval process and help you get everything that you need for your home loan together. A pre-approval is a thorough review of your application, credit, and supporting documentation. A pre-approval is different from and superior to pre-qualification, which is another service offered by many lenders.

Pre-quals can be done very quickly with little effort, as they don’t include a review of your supporting documentation by an underwriter. Agents and home-sellers can be hesitant to accept an offer with only a pre-qualification letter. Even if you do manage to get a home under contract, pre-qualification doesn’t protect you against unexpected surprises later in the loan process.

In contrast, a pre-approval is exactly what it sounds like: an approved loan application backed by your lender. At Sammamish Mortgage, we urge our clients to complete the complete pre-approval process. Real estate agents and sellers can then be confident that our clients are qualified to purchase homes they make offers on.

You’ll need to give permission for your mortgage loan officer to run a credit report to complete your pre-approval. If your credit score is too low for the loan product(s) initially selected, your loan officer can advise you about ways to raise your score. They may also be able to provide you with alternate home loan products that are available to home purchasers with lower credit scores.

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Key Players in the Mortgage Loan Process

A large bank might have an entire network of people and software applications working on each loan. A smaller credit union could have only one or two employees handling initial consultations and pre-approval processes. At Sammamish Mortgage, our loan officers and other mortgage experts handle your loan application as it works its way from pre-approval to closing.

Transaction Coordinators

The transaction coordinator is in charge of the loan application and approval pipeline. They constantly monitor all applications assigned to their review and communicate with your loan officer, who will keep you updated on the status of your home loan. Your transaction coordinator works closely with loan processors to gather the documentation required for application analysis and verification.


Processors are in charge of the segment of the loan process that concerns verifying application data. They’ll request documentation that supports the information you provided during the pre-approval stage. Typical documentation a processor will ask you for includes:

  • Updated pay stubs
  • Updated bank statements
  • Explanations for any credit report discrepancies or inquiries
  • Large deposits showing on your bank statements

Once you’ve satisfied all requests from the processor, they’ll hand your file off to an underwriter.


Underwriters review the data gathered by the transaction coordinator and verified by the loan processor. They make the call on whether your mortgage loan request is granted or declined. Factors taken into account include:

  • Calculating the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio (the loan amount compared to the appraised value of the home)
  • Evaluating your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio (how much you make compared to your outstanding financial obligations)

If these ratios fall within acceptable ranges, the underwriter can approve the mortgage and issue an OR State mortgage loan commitment. If you fall short in either area, the underwriter may consider other information before making the call. They might allow the mortgage under certain conditions, such as selling another property to meet equity requirements or purchasing private mortgage insurance (PMI).


The underwriter will send your approved loan to the funder. Your funder will confirm that all conditions on the mortgage loan and home purchase are complete and documented. They will check to make sure that:

  • The property title is clear
  • All insurance and taxes have been paid
  • Any requirements laid out by the underwriter are met
  • Any escrow or down payments have been handled

Once all conditions for the sale are satisfied, the funder will coordinate closing with the settlement agent. They will deliver all required documents and wire monies on the correct date, completing the home purchase.

What are the Different Kinds of Mortgage Loan Officers?

Larger financial institutions, as well as online banks and fintech’s, may use a digital-only approach. You likely will be contacted by an inexperienced Call Center Loan Officer, or you might not work with another human being until well into the loan application process. If there is any complexity at all to your situation, you might find the process stalls out, and you have to wait for a real person to get back to you.

At a smaller bank, you might deal with an overworked bank official who handles new loan applicants as well as a hundred other daily tasks. Getting in touch with them or obtaining updates on the status of your loan application could be difficult. There’s only so much a small staff can do to process mortgage loan applications, and at certain times of year or at the end of the month, tasks can pile up.

What Should I Look for in a Mortgage Loan Officer in OR State?

When it comes down to selecting a mortgage loan officer in OR state, there are a few things you should look for, like whether or not the loan officer is working with a well-known, reputable lender. Reputation is everything these days. Therefore, the right loan officer will have the proper level of expertise, which will highlight the fact that he or she works with a lender that is proficient in all types of loans, competitive mortgage rates, and closing costs.

You should also look for someone who is cooperative, willing to listen, plus will work with you to understand your needs and financial situation. There are many loan programs available, and a good loan officer will offer you a choice of ways to finance your home purchase. Are you a first-time homebuyer? Do you need a mortgage with a low down payment? Are you looking for a specific mortgage type? Do you have a low credit score? All of these things matter and the right loan officer will want to go over everything. Other must-haves to keep in mind when searching for the right OR State Loan Office are integrity, transparency, as well as being committed and focused on the task at hand.

Loan Limits

You won’t necessarily be permitted to take out any loan amount. There are “loan limits” placed on mortgages that are dollar caps on home loan amounts, Any amount that exceeds this loan limit will mean you are taking out a “jumbo loan.”

Loan limits are adjusted every year to reflect the increase in home prices across the nation. Every county in every state will have its own loan limit set, though many counties may have the exact same loan limit.

Both conventional loans and FHA loans have their own respective loan limits based on each county. For VA loans, loan limits were eliminated in 2020. Having said that that, borrowers who already have VA loans on the go or have defaulted on a VA loan in the past may still be subject to loan limits.

Check out our mortgage loan limit tool for conventional, FHA, and VA loans.

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Why Choose Sammamish Mortgage?

At Sammamish Mortgage, we strive for a personalized experience for each mortgage applicant. That’s why we employ a full staff of experienced mortgage loan officers, transaction coordinators, processors, and funders.

Mortgage loan processing is all we do, so every member of our team is highly experienced. If your personal loan officer is out for the day, or it’s the weekend, and you need to talk to someone about your loan, someone will be available to you.

Sammamish Mortgage has been in business since 1992 and has assisted many home buyers in the Pacific Northwest. If you are looking for mortgage financing in Oregon State, we can help. Sammamish Mortgage offers mortgage programs in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Contact us if you have any mortgage-related questions or concerns. If you are ready to move forward, you can view rates, obtain a customized instant rate quote, or apply instantly directly from our website.

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