It’s not every day a comment from an acquaintance changes the course of your life, but, for Kelly Phillips, one woman’s brief words spun her on a new path to becoming one of the Charleston area’s leading mortgage writers.
Phillips was 21 and working in a jewelry store when the store manager’s daughter commented that she would make a great loan officer. Phillips took the comment to heart and soon trounced her way through a five-interview process with a mortgage company that hired her with no mortgage experience.
“Not only was I the only woman there, but I had never had a mortgage and felt clueless in the industry. I had to stay diligent and focused,” she reminisced. “My boss taught me everything about the guidelines and products, and I stayed on top of the directional changes that happen in this industry.”
Phillips took every opportunity to learn. In addition to knowing every detail of her products and guidelines, she became a certified underwriter, which gave her insight that many mortgage writers lack.
“I often get clients who were previously turned down for a loan, most times because the loan officer didn’t put the loan package together well. You have to know what the underwriter wants to see versus what they don’t want to see,” she explained.
“Many people don’t realize they don’t have to go to a bank for a mortgage loan. Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae regulate the lending guidelines, setting things like credit score requirements and debt-to-income ratio minimums,” she said.
Phillips credited detailed time management, knowing her products, building meaningful working relationships and staying focused for her success in the mortgage lending industry that she once never considered a possibility.