Tracy ManleyWhat do you do? I work for HomeAmerican Mortgage -- the Mortgage Company for Richmond American Homes . I process mortgage loans for new Richmond home buyers . This entails checking their credit , employment , assets , etc. and making sure they meet all program requirements in order to be approved. The entire process takes an average of six months from the time they fill out their loan application to the time they close on their new home. What skills are needed? Great customer service skills are a definite must in my profession. The mortgage industry is very competitive and homebuyers have many options. Most people want to work with a company and people who are friendly and treat them as if they are our only customers. Buying a new home is a huge event in someone's life and people want it to be as enjoyable and hassle free as possible. What was your major? I attended the University of Northern Colorado and received my Bachelors degree in Sociology -Family Studies, with a minor in Spanish. How did you get started in your career? I got started in my career as a loan processor when I moved to Dallas with my ex-fianc_ He was in the mortgage industry and one of his brokers was hiring a loan processor and was willing to train me. I realized that the money would be much better in the mortgage industry than working for social services. Although working for social services and helping people is very rewarding, lets be realistic- money talks!! What experience do you need in this job? Most companies would like you to have prior mortgage or banking experience; however, it is not always a requirement. They look for any real estate , mortgage, financial , banking or title experience. Unless you are willing to start at a lower salary, experience is a definite plus. Describe your "typical" workday: Is there a typical workday? I wish! Actually, I start my day by checking my e-mail, voicemail, in-box, etc. and return any calls to customers, realtors, loan officers, etc. Next, I check the reports we receive from the builder to see what homes are on schedule to close. I am constantly following up with customers to obtain required documentation from them in order to get final approval on their loan so that they can close. This can be difficult at times and can be very frustrating. The loan processor is sort of the middleman and has contact with the builder, Title Company, loan officer, underwriter, realtor, appraiser, insurance companies and most importantly, the customer. It is very important to make sure that everyone is on the same page and know what is going on with the loans. I am always submitting files to underwriting to meet conditions and make sure our customers are qualified. There is a lot of paperwork and phone calls. What is the hardest aspect of your job? Gathering all of the required paperwork from our customers. Many homebuyers do not know why they need to supply so much paperwork and do not understand the importance of much of it. Many times I am not able to do my job if I do not have what I need from other people. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? By far, it's when my customers finally close on their home. Many of them are first-time homebuyers and this is very exciting for them. It makes you feel good to know that you helped someone achieve this. They are always very appreciative when it is all said and done! What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? The mortgage industry is a very stressful and constantly changing industry. If you do not handle stress and constant change well, I would not recommend it. On the other hand, if you like learning new things everyday and being busy, it may be for you.