What are mortgage underwriter jobs like?


A mortgage underwriter is a person who assesses whether a loan applicant is eligible for a loan or not along with ensuring that the paperwork is appropriately completed as per the lender guidelines. They receive documents from loan officers and then check whether anything else is required.

Tasks of a Mortgage Underwriter

The job of a mortgage underwriter entails four major tasks

  • Income and employment verification of the applicant

    These are verified through pay slips, tax forms and contact with the employer.

  • Reviewing credit history of the applicant

    Many mortgage underwriters look at FICO scores to determine the credit worthiness of an applicant. It's a risk-based system to determine the possibility of a borrower to default on his/her financial obligations.

  • Reviewing bank accounts of the applicant

    Underwriters check the nature of accounts from which the down payments of the mortgage are being made. If the funds are only just sufficient to close the deal, the underwriter can ask for other sources of funds.

  • Getting an independent appraisal of the house

    An independent appraisal of the house is important to determine whether the value of the collateral would be enough to recoup the lender's cost in a worst case scenario of borrower not being able to make payments.

If a loan is approved, the mortgage underwriter sends the paperwork to the legal department so that a contract can be drawn out.

Requirements for Becoming a Mortgage Underwriter

It is not necessary to gain formal training for becoming a mortgage underwriter; however, schools do offer training programs and certificate resources for appropriate training. It is good to hold the DE (Direct Endorsement) for career prospects in this field. There is no substitute for experience though, and many underwriters start at a lesser position as a trainee. As they gain experience they can work their way up the ladder to become underwriters.

Availability of jobs as underwriters is highly dependent on the market. During times of low interest rates, the demand is high and during times of downturn it is very difficult to find a new job.

Mortgage rates hit their lowest since 1955. Ask the home loan experts we recommend Quicken Loans how to take advantage of them.
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