Working with an experienced licensed mortgage loan officer (MLO) can save you a ton of time and money when purchasing a home. Let’s look at the top 12 reasons why using an MLO is better than working with a direct lender, such as a bank or other financial institution.

It is important to note that we refer to licensed loan officers,which means they have completed the required courses, have passed the SAFE MLO test to demonstrate financial responsibility, and maintain their annual continuing education. These requirements don’t apply to loan officers who work at banks and credit unions.Therefore, licensed MLOs have more industry knowledge and training under their belts.

1. MLOs offer loans from many different lenders.<
Unlike banks that only offer their own loan products, MLOs can present homebuyers with many different loan options. More options meanyou have more choices when it comes toloan types, terms, and rates.

2. MLOs handle your entire loan in-house, from start to finish.
Loan officers handle your mortgage transaction in-house, which means they already have established relationships with the other departments involved with your loan, including underwriting. This can streamline the entire process, helping it move along faster and smoother.

3. MLOs can resolve issues quickly.
Let’s say a problem comes up when your loan is in underwriting. As the underwriter and loan officer work closely together, your loan officer can quickly and easily reach out to the underwriter andimmediately resolveany issue that arises.

4. You don’t pay fees to a loan officer.
MLO loan officer compensation is a set amount; therefore your MLO has no financial incentive to offer you one type of mortgage over another. They will connect you with the loan that best fits your situationwith no ulterior motives.

5. MLOs gather all paperwork for you.
There are many documents needed when applying for a loan, whether you’re buying a home or refinancing. This necessary paperwork includes income and bank statements, credit reports, employment history, and more. Your MLO advises you on what is needed, gathers it all, and hands-off your file to the lender.

6. MLOs act as valuable middlemen.
MLOs are not only the go-between with you and the lender, but they also work in tandem with real estate agents, underwriters, title companies, and attorneys throughout the homebuying process. From applying for a loan, appraisal deadlines, home inspections, and closings, your MLO is there at every step.

7. AnMLO can find you the best interest rates and terms.
A loan officer’s job is to work on your behalf with several lenders to find you the most competitive interest rates and negotiate terms that best fit your needs. This, of course, makes the mortgage process easier for you and can save you a lot of money.

8. You save time when using anMLO.
It can take days to apply for different loans, deal with all the back-and-forth communication involved with underwriting the loan, and ensure that your application, approval, and closing stay on track. AnMLO saves you the time and hassle of managing the entire mortgage process on your own.

9. You get better access to lenders through anMLO.
Some lenders work exclusively with MLOs and don’t work with homebuyers directly. Some lenders rely on loan officers to be the gatekeepers that bring them suitable clients. Because of the relationship MLOs have with lenders, they may also be able to secure you a special rate due to the volume of business they generate for specific lenders.

10. An MLO may be able to lower your fees.
When you take on a new mortgage, there are several fees involved. These include origination fees, application fees, and appraisal fees. Sometimes, MLOs can get lenders to waive some of these fees, which can save you additional money.

11. Some MLOs specialize in FHA and VA loans.
If you’re seeking a Veterans Affairs (VA) loan, or you’re looking for a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, several MLOs have a ton of experience with these types of products. Working with a loan officer who is proficient in VA or FHA loan requirements can simplify the process for you.

12. MLOs can help homebuyers with unique financial situations.
If you’re self-employed, have inconsistent income, or not-so-great credit, it would be best to work with an MLO who can find the loan that’s your best fit. Loan officers are usually familiar with lenders who will issue loans to untraditional borrowers. MLOs can also help investors, who are often looking to protect their profit margins with the lowest-rate loan products possible.

As you can see, there are many benefits to using an MLO over working directly with a bank or other direct lender. Cross Timbers Mortgage loan officershave your back throughout the entire homebuyingor refinance process and ensure that your loan closes quickly and smoothly.