Mortgage Underwriter Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Mortgage Underwriter, or Mortgage Agent, works on behalf of a financial institution, bank, or credit union to review and approve loan documents for a mortgage. Their duties include assessing financial risk during the mortgage application process, recommending appropriate loan products, and explaining loan details.

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Mortgage Underwriter duties and responsibilities

A Mortgage Underwriter ensures the customer follows all requirements of the mortgage application procedure. They manage the entire process, from a request for information to the completed documentation and signing of the paperwork for a mortgage. Some essential duties and responsibilities of a Mortgage Underwriter may include:

  • Completing and reviewing mortgage application paperwork for accuracy
  • Analyzing applicant’s credit history and financial information to assess eligibility
  • Answering inquiries and questions from lenders and brokers
  • Escalating any applications that require managerial approval
  • Establishing credit terms, pricing, and conditions during the application approval process
  • Creating business relationships with brokers and customers
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What does a Mortgage Underwriter do?

Banks, loan companies, and other financial groups employ Mortgage Underwriters to represent their interests during the mortgage application process. While most Mortgage Underwriters work with various customers, others may work with only a select few high-performing mortgage brokers, depending on volume. When first starting, an individual typically performs as a Mortgage Underwriter Associate, assisting more senior Underwriters. Once they have accumulated two or more years of experience, they can move into a Mortgage Underwriter role.

Mortgage Underwriter skills and qualifications

A Mortgage Underwriter must have extensive knowledge of the mortgage process, including all necessary paperwork. Working on behalf of the lender, they must work with integrity and discernment. Top skills for a Mortgage Underwriter include:

  • Exceptional communication skills to correspond clearly with brokers and clients
  • Ability to manage multiple applications at a time
  • Time management skills to complete tasks promptly
  • Attention to detail ensuring that they attend to all elements of the application process
  • Ability to assess a client’s credit and to analyze financial data, including tax returns and other financial documents
  • Comfortable prioritizing their work schedule and required tasks

Mortgage Underwriter experience requirements

Mortgage Underwriter candidates typically require a minimum of two years of experience in a Mortgage Underwriter Associate. A successful candidate will have experience working within the real estate or financial industry in addition to formal education, reviewing mortgage applications and financial documents. Depending on your company’s requirements, a candidate may benefit from experience with specific customer management and mortgage software, such as SalesForce, Filogix, or Velocity.

Mortgage Underwriter education and training requirements

Mortgage Underwriter candidates need to have completed post-secondary education, for example, a bachelor’s degree in business administration, economics, or finance. The role is a regulated profession in most provinces and territories. Be sure that candidates have the necessary certification for your area of operation.

Mortgage Underwriter salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, average pay for a Mortgage Underwriter in Canada is $20.57 per hour. The actual salary earned will depend on factors like experience, location, education, and the hiring company.

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Mortgage Underwriter job description FAQs

What is the difference between a Mortgage Broker and a Mortgage Underwriter?

A Mortgage Broker works on behalf of the individual or group attempting to secure financing for a house or property. They represent their customer to find the best financial option. A Mortgage Underwriter represents the lending company, bank, or other financial institution providing the mortgage.

What are the day-to-day duties of a Mortgage Underwriter?

A typical day for a Mortgage Underwriter will include checking emails and phone messages, and answering questions and requests from brokers and customers. They review mortgage files to follow up on outstanding documents, such as tax assessments, property searches, and credit reports. They may work with a junior associate to help gather missing documentation. A Mortgage Underwriter will also review documents to analyze credit risk and ensure accurate and complete applications.

How can you make your Mortgage Underwriter job description stand out?

You can make your job description stand out for a Mortgage Underwriter by defining your company’s vision and values. Specify if you need candidates to have knowledge of particular software. For a more senior role, be sure to include any additional management or leadership qualifications you require. Also include any unique benefits and incentives your company offers to employees. 

What qualities make for a good Mortgage Underwriter?

A successful Mortgage Underwriter has a sharp attention to detail and is goal-oriented. They are great communicators and collaborators. A Mortgage Underwriter needs to work within the confines of integrity, ethics, and confidentiality. They also have excellent skills in math, decision making, and problem-solving.

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