A mortgage broker is a professional who connects mortgage applicants with potential mortgage lenders, but does not actually lend out money or make approval decisions. Many states require the broker to be licensed.
The mortgage broker looks at the applicant's credentials, including his credit score and income, then matches him with lenders who accept applicants with those characteristics. The broker should act as a financial professional and advocate to help the applicant find a home mortgage at the best rate. The broker also oversees the completion of the loan, including the closing and the signing of the documents.
The mortgage broker isn't directly employed by the lender he directs an applicant to, and he may work for a large company that has a broad network of mortgage brokers. The mortgage broker is usually paid on commission when the loan is closed, and this fee may come from the applicant or the lender, depending on the terms of the agreement. A mortgage broker can choose to work in a commercial office space or corporate environment, or may be able to work from a home office. In this case, he can make his own schedule and determine his own hours, dependent on the needs of his clients.