Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Loan Officers Buckle in for a Bumpy Ride

Unlike many Oregonians, loan officers in consumer services experience effects of the ongoing economic turmoil on two fronts. As individuals, loan officers face substantial job losses. Tightened credit markets and national economic policies impact loan officers by influencing the fundamentals of their profession.

But first: Who are loan officers and where do they work?
Loan officers evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of commercial, real estate, or credit loans. They advise borrowers on financial status and methods of payment. A loan officer’s skills are highly analytical and technical in nature.

Minimum job requirements usually include a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics or a similar field. Employers tend to pay well for these skills. In 2009, median earnings for a loan officer in Oregon were $27.31 hourly, compared to the $15.95 median hourly wage for all occupations in the state.

Nationwide, approximately nine out of 10 loan officers work in the financial industry at commercial banks, savings institutions, credit unions and similar credit intermediation organizations.

Now, as we were saying in the introduction...
Occupational data from the Oregon Employment Department shows 4,083 loan officers employed statewide in 2008, compared to 5,262 in 2006. This 22.4 percent decline ranks loan officers in the top 10 occupations with the largest overall number of job losses for Oregon over the two-year period.

Beyond job losses, the process loan officers use to conduct their work has been subject to change. For instance, a consumer needs a higher credit score today than a few years ago in order to receive a loan...

Want to know more? Check out the full article by Workforce Analyst Gail Krumenauer ( 503-302-8568). Gail is taking over Charlie's responsibilities as a blog author and editor.

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