You would probably never guess what I did before I started “The Kindred Way”. I was a mortgage underwriter. Do you know what that is? I was the person that reviewed your home loan package to decide if you were approved for the loan.
When I was 19, I started working in a real estate office. I wasn’t a realtor but was the receptionist and data entry person. It was a job and I couldn’t complain. The office would have these awards banquets with other real estate offices and that was a great perk to the job. My aunt worked at the office, so it just seemed like the place to be at the time.
One day a family member told me they knew a woman that worked at a mortgage company and she told him that they wanted someone as an administrative assistant and that I should apply. So, this woman that I never met put in a word for me and I went on an interview with the head of human resources. Once I got there, it really wasn’t much of an interview. I think that they thought I knew the woman who put in a good word for me and gave the job without really knowing anything about me. That was probably a good thing because I really had no experience to speak of. I had no idea what I was doing but I was doing it anyway. And that my friends, is how my life and career into the mortgage business started at age 20.
I was the “Administrative Assistant to the Senior Vice President of Residential Lending”. How’s that for a title when you are only 20? That sounds really fancy, but I think that really meant to make copies and send them out to the people that needed updates. We didn’t have email. What we did have was a copy room with about five copies machines, tons of paper and a cabinet full of toner.
When new guidelines came in from investors or from government agencies, I was to make copies and update the library, (punch holes and add to binder) so that all can stay in the loop with all the changes.
I made binders for loan officer classes and helped plan meetings and make travel arrangements. I loved my job but eventually, I wanted more.
Staying with the same company, I made my way to the data entry/computer department. Again, I had no experience whatsoever, but I was going to learn. I tweaked data entry in our computer software to help branches with loan applications. I ordered case numbers for government loans. This was simple but little did I know that each jump and each department was teaching me more and more about the mortgage business.
Little by little I was learning and moving up. I became a Mortgage Processor. That is the person that calls you and asks for your documents and for additional information if needed. The processor gets all your information together, verifies your employment, makes sure you have enough income, checks to make sure you have nothing questionable on your credit. Then she puts all your information together in a certain order and sends it over to the lender for approval. Once it is at the lender, then it is given to a Mortgage Underwriter who checks to make sure that all that information is correct and that you meet the guidelines of the loan type you are trying to be approved for.
After being a processor and owning my own processing company (as well as being a loan officer at the same time), I became …. a Mortgage Underwriter. That was the next step after being a processor. I was a mortgage underwriter for two decades.
During that time the bottom fell out for the mortgage business and my company went under. For a while, I was an Account Executive. Those are the people that go out and drum up business for their company. I was at a new company and they hired me for that position. I figured if there was no business for underwriting then I might as well give it a shot to find the business. I had nothing to lose. I knew all the programs and it was nice to get out and see people instead of being in an office all day.
Once the mortgage industry started coming back to life, I went back to underwriting. The mortgage business and all that goes with it just clicked for me. I understood it and I loved it. I was in this business for over 30 years.
Now I bring you to today. After decades in this business, I quit. I quit at the beginning of 2019. My time seemed over. I no longer got the rush of getting everything done by the end of the month. The thrill was over. I could no longer move up and I felt I no longer had value where I was employed. Talk about a leap of faith! I was scared but I did it anyway and quit.
What is next? I am here writing to you and I couldn’t be happier. I am on a new journey to learn new things. Being creative was never in my wheelhouse but I think I can get the hang of this. I have so many ideas in my head that I have never even thought of doing before.
Where will this take me? Wherever I want to go! The skies the limit and I am so excited to start something new at this point in my life. I feel young and revitalized. Life is good and I couldn’t be happier.