Loan Underwriter

Grant or deny loans based on applicants' ability to pay.
picture of Loan Underwriter

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$31,000 – $112,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Loan Underwriters do?

Loans are formal agreements. One party agrees to give another some money, and the latter promises to pay it back within a specified time. If you’re a Loan Underwriter, you work for the former, screening applicants to make sure your company doesn’t loan money to people who are unlikely to pay it back.

On a typical workday as a Loan Underwriter, you meet with potential clients and answer any questions they may have about the loan application documents your company provides. When an applicant has completed the documents, it is your job as the Loan Underwriter, to check through all the information they’ve entered, as well as their credit reports. If they’re borrowing money for something like a car or a house, you verify that the item is worth at least as much as the loan amount. That way, if your company must take the item away from the client as repayment, you ensure that you won’t lose money in the process.

If you approve the loan, you send it to the contracts department so a legal document can be drawn up. But if the loan is quite small, you may be able to draw up the contract yourself. You then ask the client to sign the paperwork.

If, on the other hand, you don’t approve of the loan, you tell the client why it has been declined. You keep boxes of tissue at your desk, just in case. You may advise the client on other loan options your company offers that might be more appropriate. These may be difficult decisions, but you’ll do your career no good if you approve loans that aren’t repaid.

Should I be a Loan Underwriter?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Lender, Underwriter, Direct Endorsement

    How to become a Loan Underwriter

    Loan Underwriters often have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:vxx9aa&chl=no+college+%2826%25%29|certificate+%2827%25%29|associate%27s+%2813%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2834%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,26,34
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