Why is it painful to use a cubicle-based mortgage professional? Well, most often, they are in a call center. So, perhaps, I could have titled this “The Pain of using a Call Center based Mortgage Professional” but, alas, I did not. 

Mortgage Professionals who work in call centers, and in cubicles, in my post-work primarily off of leads. By definition, this means that they are transactional lenders. It’s all, and only, a numbers game. A lead comes in. The lender calls, or answers the call, gets an application going, or doesn’t, it doesn’t matter. They don’t care. If the person on the line is unsure about putting in an application they are either pressured to do so, just put in an application so we can see where you are at, or they are dismissed and hung up on. 

Why does this matter? Well, here’s the rub, if you put in an application and if you provide your social security number and if you click submit if on a website, or simply give someone your social security number you are authorizing them to pull your credit. If someone is worried their credit is too low to qualify and they give someone their social security number then they just approved a hard pull on their credit and its’ associated 4 point cost against their credit score. 

If they were too low to qualify then they are now just that much further away. 

If the call center mortgage professional hangs up to move on to their next lead from this one that will be too much trouble then the interested party is set adrift. They have wasted their time and they have no answers. They are no closer to a home than when they started and they might be discouraged. And this is bad and not fair. 

As I’ve commented already the mortgage process is very complex and borrowers, especially first-time homebuyers and people who might have not gone through the process for an extended period of time, might not be comfortable or familiar with the process. And to simply be dismissed is a disservice. Cubicle and call center mortgage professionals are not incentivized to be mentors and partners through the loan process. They are about volume and production. 

If you love being treated like a number, then click that app or log in to that website recommended by a sports professional. If you’d rather have a partner that works with you every step of the way, find a relationship-based lender. 

There is another important reason why cubicle lenders are a bad loan partner. Availability. Often their hours are set, forty hours a week and not a minute more. If their hours are nine to five and you need them at six-thirty, they won’t be there. If they work Monday through Friday and you need an updated lender letter Sunday evening at seven-fifteen, you are out of luck. Think about when you will be shopping for a home? The days. The times. Are they during business hours? Monday through Friday, nine to five? Or are YOU looking after business hours, after work, on the weekends, etc…? You will want and need to have your lender available during these non-business hours. If you are using an app, a transactional lender, a cubicle lender, or a call center lender you might very well have difficulty getting what you need to put in an offer outside of business hours. And this will be very frustrating. 

Finally, these cubicle, transactional and call-center lenders are paid very little per loan. They have no skin in the game. They have no reason to be available for you when you need them to be available to you. They have no reason to spend more than the bare minimum amount of time on your loan, which, as I’ve already stated, is a very complex process. 

Having someone want to spend as much time is necessary for you to make the best possible decision on what is, most likely, the largest purchase and largest debt in your life to date has huge value. Being reassured that a friendly and interested voice is available to you when you need that answer to what escrows are, to why you need mortgage insurance, to do math about how much to put down on the purchase, and to talk through the numerous products and programs available will always prove to be invaluable. 

Choose wisely.