What Does a Mortgage Underwriter Do?
Mortgage underwriters review and analyze mortgage loan applications to determine whether borrowers meet financial and creditworthiness criteria. To assess the risk associated with approving a loan, they evaluate the borrower’s income, credit history, employment history, debt-to-income ratio, and other important factors. Professionals in this role typically work in an office setting for a mortgage lender, bank, or other financial institution.
A successful mortgage underwriter has a thorough understanding of mortgage lending regulations, underwriting guidelines, and loan processing procedures. The ability to analyze and solve problems quickly and accurately is a key characteristic of these professionals. They can use complicated financial information in order to make quick and accurate decisions. They should also be able to effectively communicate with borrowers, loan officers, and other parties to ensure that all the necessary information is collected and evaluated. Additionally, they must be able to work efficiently, adhere to strict deadlines, and comply with all legal and regulatory requirements.
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National Average Salary
Mortgage underwriter salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Mortgage Underwriter is:
Mortgage Underwriter Job Descriptions
It’s important to include the right content in your job description when hiring a mortgage underwriter. The following examples can serve as templates for attracting the best available talent for your team.
Responsible for the underwriting of the Bank’s residential lending correspondent/agency (FNMA/FHMLC) programs as well as portfolio underwriting. Is proficient and adheres to Bank and Investor credit and collateral loan policies and procedures. Ensures each mortgage loan is underwritten in accordance with all investor guidelines and in compliance with government regulations applicable to the residential underwriting guidelines, office operations and support staff functions. Makes sound lending decisions within their board assigned lending authority up to $500,000. Responsible for supporting the bank’s residential lending programs by providing services of underwriting for all residential loan products and monitoring CRA loans guidelines, requirements, and changes.
- 5+ years of residential mortgage loan underwriting experience, with specific experience in FNMA and FHMLC
- Correspondent lending experience
- Expert with Fannie Mae DU/DO and Freddie Mac LP programs and policies
- Knowledge of federal and state regulatory requirements
- Thorough understanding of credit, underwriting, credit policy and financial analysis in portfolio underwriting
- Strong analytical and decision making skills
- Knowledge of Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter and Freddie Mac Loan Prospector
- Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, borrowers, and internal/external clients
- Ability to work with Origination and Processing staff
- Must be familiar with fraud detection techniques
- Microsoft Office proficiency required
- Encompass LOS knowledge preferred
- Ability to manage by taking charge and directing others
- Leads by building commitment and keeping others involved and takes a strategic approach to problem solving and/or decision making
- Production-oriented by setting high expectations for self and others and functions efficiently and effectively under deadlines and stress while maintaining a professional and mature demeanor
- Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Real Estate, or related field, or the equivalent year of experience
Responsible for reviewing all documentation, performing analysis and making judgment on loan applications; Complies with all regulations which apply within the scope of the position, including Bank Secrecy Act.
- Perform a variety of mortgage loan documentation duties and ensure all tax, title, insurance, and closing documentation are in place
- Review appraisal to ensure accuracy and thoroughness to warrant the loan; Specify closing conditions
- Review and ensure applicant’s income, financial statements, credit history, debt ratios, and savings
- Approve applications for closing and funding and ensure all applicable regulations are met
- Collaborate with team members to identify potential solutions/exceptions for denied loan files
- Provide superior customer service while maintaining knowledge of available loan products
- Perform other duties as assigned
- Education: Bachelor’s degree in business or related field preferred
- Experience: Minimum 5 years of mortgage banking experience specific in underwriting; technical history with FHLMC FNMA FHA VA or equivalent mortgage products
- Skills/Abilities: Strong analytical and auditing skills along with a firm gasp on math, good decision-making skills backed by relevant details and research, knowledge pertaining to mortgage regulations, excellent computer skills, customer service and communication skills, and the ability to handle delicate situations with diplomacy and tact
ABC Company is seeking an experienced, positive and motivated individual to join our Home Loans underwriting team. The successful candidate will possess a combination of deal structuring and underwriting skills and experience underwriting mortgage loans for sophisticated borrowers with complex income streams. Our Mortgage Underwriters are responsible for analyzing client’s financial background, and making lending decisions.
Location: Remote Based
- Underwrite complex mortgage loans for high net worth clients
- Perform business financial statement analysis along with complex income/tax return analysis
- Analyze loans within delegated credit authority and in accordance with MSPBNA credit policy and credit culture
- Proactively manage assigned pipeline
- Assist in identifying or recommending alternative loan solutions
- Ensure data accuracy
- Underwrite within the Private Bank lending standards and risk appetite
- Private bank lending experience, business relationship management, or commercial credit analysis experience required including providing business financing
- Minimum 7 years experience credit analysis and underwriting for high net worth individuals
- Experience underwriting non-conforming loans
- Experience structuring and underwriting loans held in entities i.e. LLCs and Trusts
- Pipeline management experience required
- College degree preferred or equivalent experience, advance degree a plus
- Ability to comprehend business financial statements and personal tax returns
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including ability to articulate the borrower’s financial profile and associated risks
- Must have current knowledge of underwriting and credit risk principles
- Ability to recognize, mitigate, and escalate risks where appropriate
- Strong knowledge of unique property vesting i.e. trusts and LLC
- Complex self-employed income analysis is a critical requirement
- Ability to partner, collaborate with a deal team (comprising of Mortgage Consultants, Relationship Managers, loan processors, Private Banker, and Financial Advisors)
- Experience with wealth management clients
- Extraordinary client service aptitude
- Meticulous follow-up and follow through
- Ability to work under tight timelines
- Excellent attention to detail
- High level of proficiency with Microsoft excel; proficient with Microsoft Office suite
Sample Interview Questions
- How do you ensure that loans are processed efficiently and accurately?
- Are you familiar with mortgage lending regulations and underwriting guidelines, and how do you ensure compliance with them?
- When approving a mortgage loan, how do you evaluate the borrower’s financial standing and creditworthiness?
- Tell me about a time when you made a difficult underwriting decision and how you handled it.
- Do you take steps to minimize the risk associated with mortgage approvals, and how do you manage it?
- What strategies do you use to ensure that loan officers, borrowers, and other stakeholders are kept updated on all pertinent information?
- What are your methods for staying on top of changes in mortgage lending regulations and underwriting guidelines?
- How would you manage your time effectively to ensure that loans are processed on time when faced with tight deadlines?
- What steps do you take to ensure professionalism and respect between borrowers, loan officers, and other stakeholders during difficult or sensitive conversations?
- How do you streamline the underwriting process using automated underwriting systems?
- What red flags do you look for in loan applications?
- What process do you think is most effective for fraud detection?