Setting Goals

Written By: Shawna Greene

In his first time to testify before Congress since taking over his post last July, HUD Secretary Julian Castro on Wednesday defended the decision to lower Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance premiums and predicted that the agency's Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund would exceed the required 2 percent ratio within two years.

There have been many times that a loan processor has felt they are stuck in their type of work because their job details are hard to translate to other types of positions. I have to say that is not entirely true.

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Being a loan processor involves many skills. You have to have a great eye for details and accuracy, math skills, customer service skills, ability to adapt to constantly changing rules and regulations, knowledge of products, understanding of credit and debts, ability to spot red flags and have awareness of a fraudulent situation, a measure of leadership, creativity, team player, work with reports, train other employees, and many more skills.

You are the heart and soul of the loan sales process, therefore after putting in some years of work as a processor you have begun to have an understanding of what is required of a loan officer, how underwriters view loans, what’s needed to settle a loan, what’s needed to sell a loan to an investor. Why not use your acquired skills and go for a promotion to another position?

That is easier said than done, right? Not only does processing get to be extremely stressful and take a lot of energy out of you, but you also have to deal with other things in your personal life that just gets you in a slump and makes you lose your positive attitude and energy. Some of us have health issues, deal with depression or depressed family members, financially drained, no motivation, and some just have no clue at all what else we might want to do and don’t have any support system to motivate or direct us into taking any actions.

When dealing with a lot in our personal lives it can sometimes transfer into how we produce at work and have an effect on how our performance is viewed by our peers and management. So how can you start working on that?

I challenge you to think about anything that has crossed your mind that you need or want to do, whether it be starting your own part-time business for more income, getting a promotion, losing weight, paying down some debt, starting an exercise plan, getting help for your depression or anxiety problems, having a better relationship with your significant other, friends, family members, take a nice vacation, go back to school, just anything that could possibly make things better for you.

Think long term and short term and use a SMART Goal Worksheet or process to write them down. What is SMART? It’s an acronym for:
Specific- The goal should identify a specific action or event that will take place.
Measurable- How will you know when you have reached this goal?
Achievable- Is goal realistic with effort and commitment? Do you have the resources to achieve this goal? If not, how will you get them?
Realistic/Relevant -The goal should be of significance to your life and require you to stretch some, but allow the likelihood of success.
Timely -The goal should state the time period in which it will be accomplished.

Here are some tips that can help you set effective goals:
1. Develop several goals. A list of five to seven items gives you several things to work on over a period of time.
2. State goals as declarations of intention, not items on a wish list. "I want to apply to three schools" lacks power. "I will apply to three schools," is intentional and powerful.
3. Attach a date to each goal. State what you intend to accomplish and by when. A good list should include some short-term and some long-term goals. You may want a few goals for the year, and some for two- or three-month intervals.
4. Be specific. "To find a new job" is too general; "to find and research five job openings before the end of the month" is better. Sometimes a more general goal can become the long-term aim, and you can identify some more specific goals to take you there.
5. Share your goals with people who care if you reach them and will help you.
6. Write down your goals and put them where you will see them. The more often you read your list, the more results you get.
7. Review and revise your list. Experiment with different ways of stating your goals. Goal setting improves with practice, so play around with it.
8. Write down why goal is important to you and what the benefits of achieving it will be.
9. Write down potential obstacles that can hinder your progression then write down the potential solutions to those obstacles.
10. Write down your list of specific action steps that need to be taken to get to your goal and set an expected completion date for each item on your action list.
11. Now take action!

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This process helps with figuring out why you may be in a slump and what you need to get out of it. Stay focused on your goals and as time goes by and you see progress being made in your personal life, you will also see progress in your professional life.

About The Author:

Shawna Greene - As an active NAMP® member, Ms. Shawna Greene is a Senior Loan Specialist working full-time with a major U.S. Homebuilder (NVR, Inc). Her work includes processing, training, and assisting loan closers. She has been in the mortgage industry for 12 years working in several aspects of the business including being a mortgage broker, loan officer, loan processor, servicing settlements, loan modifications, special loans, investor reporting, and mortgage defaults. Shawna enjoys this business and looks forward to helping many others learn about it as well. Shawna is also a mortgage instructor for Loan Processor University ( If you're interested in becoming a writer for NAMP®, please email us at:

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