What Are the Differences Between a Loan Officer and a Loan Processor?

By Jacqueline DeMarco · April 07, 2024 · 6 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

What Are the Differences Between a Loan Officer and a Loan Processor?

When someone applies for a personal loan, there are a lot of moving parts and key players involved. While each lending institution will have their own unique process in place, loan applicants can expect to come across a loan officer, loan processor, or an underwriter.

There’s a decent amount of overlap in these roles, so to get some more clarity on who does what, let’s take a look at a loan officer vs. loan processor vs. underwriter.

What Is a Personal Loan Officer?

A loan officer evaluates loan applications and determines whether or not to recommend them for approval. A personal loan officer is a specific type of loan officer that focuses on personal loans. Personal loan officers are generally employed by credit unions, banks, and financial institutions.

Generally, a personal loan officer takes on the following job responsibilities:

•   Contact potential borrowers to see if they need a loan.

•   Work with loan applicants to gather information required for the application.

•   Walk applicants through the different loan types available to them and their unique terms.

•   Collect, verify, and review an applicant’s financial information (e.g., credit score, income, and other factors).

•   Review any loan agreements to confirm they are in compliance with all state and federal regulations.

•   Approve loan applications or pass them onto management for a final decision.

A major part of a personal loan officer’s responsibilities happen during the underwriting process. This process is used to determine if an applicant qualifies for the loan they are applying for. Once a loan officer collects and verifies all of the necessary personal and financial information about an applicant and any corresponding documents, the loan officer will assess the applicant’s need for a loan and their ability to repay it on time.

A loan applicant working with a loan officer can turn to them about any questions they have about what a personal loan is or about the application process. A personal loan is a type of consumer loan and consumer loan officers may use a fully automated underwriting process using software or they may complete it themselves (which is more often the case with smaller banks and credit unions).

💡 Quick Tip: Some lenders can release funds as quickly as the same day your loan is approved. SoFi personal loans offer same-day funding for qualified borrowers.

What Is a Personal Loan Processor?

A personal loan processor, also known as a loan interviewer or loan clerk, is responsible for interviewing applicants and other necessary parties to obtain and verify the financial and personal information required to finish the personal loan application. Once the applicant is approved for the loan, the personal loan officer will prepare any documents required for the appraisal and the closing of the personal loan.

Recommended: Where to Get a Personal Loan?

What Does a Personal Loan Processor Do?

The personal loan processor serves as a liaison between the financial institution issuing the loan and the applicant to make sure that qualified applicants can secure a loan in a timely manner. The loan processor will also help applicants decide which loan product is the best fit for their financial needs and goals. For example, if an applicant is experiencing financial hardship, the loan processor can help them set up debt payment plans.

Review Your Application

A loan processor receives, collects, distributes, and evaluates applicant information required to complete the loan application. They can approve or deny an applicant.

Verify Your Information

Personal loan officers are tasked with interviewing applicants and other necessary parties in order to verify any financial and personal information that must be evaluated during the application process.

Request Documents

As a part of the verification process, they will also request and collect any necessary documents from the applicant. They are also responsible for preparing any documents required for the appraisal and closing process.

Third Party Reports

In addition to collecting documentation from the applicant, the personal loan processor will work with third parties to obtain any necessary documents and reports, such as the applicant’s credit report.

Is a Personal Loan Processor the Same as an Underwriter?

While there is some overlap between what a personal loan processor and an underwriter do, these are two different roles. A loan underwriter focuses on evaluating how creditworthy an applicant is by collecting and evaluating an applicant’s financial information. Typically, they then use loan underwriting software to make an approval or denial recommendation.

A loan processor also reviews how eligible an applicant is for a loan by collecting and verifying important information and documents, but they don’t use underwriting software to make a decision. The loan processor has the ability to approve or deny an applicant.

Loan Processor


Collects and verifies applicant information Collects and verifies applicant information
Makes approval decision Uses underwriting software to determine eligibility
Prepares documents for appraisal and closing

Is a Loan Officer or Loan Processor Responsible for Your Personal Loan Approval?

When it comes to loan processor vs. loan officer, both loan officers and loan processors have the ability to reject or deny a loan application or, at the very least, make a recommendation for whether or not an applicant should receive a loan.

💡 Quick Tip: With lower fixed interest rates on loans of $5K to $100K, a SoFi personal loan for credit card debt can substantially decrease your monthly bills.

When Does a Personal Loan Processor or Officer Get Involved?

When someone applies for a personal loan, they’ll connect with a personal loan processor or officer when they submit their initial application. Either one can start the process of collecting personal and financial information and supporting documentation from the applicant.

What Happens During Personal Loan Processing?

During the personal loan processing stage, the applicant will work with the personal loan processor to provide them with any personal information, financial information, or documentation that the personal loan processor needs to finish their application.

Recommended: How Much of a Personal Loan Can I Get?

Getting Approved for a Personal Loan

Getting approved for a personal loan requires going through the underwriting process which assesses how qualified a loan applicant is. Some firms use underwriting software to make a decision whereas others make the decision without the aid of software.

The Takeaway

When comparing a loan officer vs. loan processor, it’s clear that both loan processors and loan officers play an important role in the personal loan application process. Their roles often overlap and where they work determines the exact role they take on.

Think twice before turning to high-interest credit cards. Consider a SoFi personal loan instead. SoFi offers competitive fixed rates and same-day funding. Checking your rate takes just a minute.

SoFi’s Personal Loan was named NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Personal Loan overall.


Is a personal loan processor the same as an underwriter?

No, a personal loan processor is not the same as an underwriter, although they share similar responsibilities. A loan underwriter determines whether or not an applicant is creditworthy. A loan processor collects and verifies any personal and financial information required to complete loan applications.

What does a personal loan processor do?

A personal loan processor works with personal loan applicants to gather the information and documents needed to complete their applications. A personal loan processor also prepares appraisal and closing documents.

When does a personal loan processor or officer get involved?

A personal loan processor or officer gets involved once a consumer starts the application process. They can help guide the applicant through that process.

Photo credit: iStock/Delmaine Donson

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.


All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store
SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender