Homeowners on the hunt for a mortgage in 2017 have more at their fingertips than ever before. Often, borrowers gravitate to their local banking office to secure a mortgage for their new home. But, increasingly, new homeowners are finding it easier, and more cost effective to finance the purchase of their new home with the help of a private mortgage broker.

While each entity may share the same goal, mortgage brokers differ from their big bank and online counterparts in a few ways that benefit customers.

How Mortgage Brokers differ:
At any bank, the person who reviews and approves mortgage applications is called a loan officer, or maybe even a loan originator. But despite similar titles, there are some significant differences between a loan originator working at a typical bank and one at a private mortgage brokerage.

One of the largest differences between the two are the legally mandated licensing and registration requirements. A loan officer or originator working at a depository institution (Bank or credit union) must be registered under the National Mortgage Licensing System. Once approved under this system, the loan officer is authorized to originate mortgage loans for their company. As a loan officer with a private mortgage brokerage, however, the standard is arguably higher. Since they are considered “non-depository institution” loan officers at such company’s must not only be registered under the NMLS, but also must pass a rigid financial exam, and obtain a license in the state where they operate.

This additional license requirement means private mortgage brokers must undergo at least 20 hours of state-mandated coursework, as well as at least eight hours of continuing education and testing per year. Mortgage brokers are often more experienced and can save you the groundwork of finding the best mortgage rate and terms for your specific needs.

Jackie Toppin, NMLS 50162 is a professional mortgage broker licensed in Alaska, Texas and Colorado. Jackie has been helping individuals and families finance their new homes for over 35 years. She can be reached at (907)-644-0491 or email at jtoppin@GMSMortgageService.com