What is a Third-Party Mortgage Originator?

Article Summary:

Third-party mortgage originators are intermediaries between borrowers and lenders that facilitate the loan origination process and reduce the time it takes for potential homeowners to get approved for a mortgage.

Mortgage lending is a complicated process. Before you actually receive the home loan, your credit history, debt-to-income ratio, and potential risk are reviewed multiple times by different entities. To make the process smoother, my lenders rely on a series of third-party originators.

Third-party originators play a variety of roles in helping to originate loans, including processing applications and preparing documents for closing. In this post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about third-party mortgage originators, including what they do and what their role is in the loan origination process.

Third-party originators

In a nutshell, a third-party originator is any third-party entity that works closely with a lender to help facilitate the mortgage origination process.

Because mortgage origination tends to be a complex process with many moving parts, many mortgage lenders outsource the work to third-party originators, especially if they don’t have the resources or the capacity to handle the entire process independently. Lenders can better streamline this process with the help of third-party originators, making it more efficient for everyone involved.

How does a third-party originator help?

When it comes to applying for a mortgage, the loan origination process can involve many different steps and tasks. Fortunately, third-party originators can be a valuable resource for streamlining this process, offering expertise and assistance in areas such as credit analysis, loan processing, and underwriting.

By integrating third-party originators in the process, lenders can more effectively manage their operations, and reduce the time and costs associated with mortgage origination. For example, many third-party loan originators use technology systems to help:

  • Automate data collection from borrowers
  • Verify compliance with regulatory requirements
  • Automate the underwriting process through AI-driven decisioning
  • Consolidate and streamline applications

Apart from loan management, traditional lenders can also work with third-party originators such as mortgage brokers to find borrowers who need mortgages. By partnering with someone who is already established in the industry and has a built-in network of connections, lenders are able to tap into a new source of leads and gain access to a wider pool of potential borrowers.

What is the loan origination process?

To understand why a third-party originator can be a valuable resource to lenders in terms of improving efficiency, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how the loan origination process works. It typically involves several steps, including prequalification, loan application, underwriting, quality check, and closing.


In some instances, you may be required to present a preapproval letter from a lender before touring a home. When you’re preapproved for a mortgage, lenders will verify your eligibility as a borrower by assessing your financial information, such as your FICO score.

Keep in mind that being prequalified only tells you how much the lender is willing to lend you, and doesn’t equate to being approved for a loan.

Pro Tip

Before you start shopping for your new home, it’s important to get preapproved for a mortgage by multiple lenders. This will allow you to compare loan rates and interest so that you can get the best deal possible.

Loan application

The loan application begins after the borrower decides on which lender and loan type to go after. Traditionally, this step would require borrowers to fill out a lot of paperwork to provide relevant information for the loan application.

Nowadays, with the technological solutions provided by third-party originators, borrowers can simply fill out the loan application online. This not only reduces human error, but also makes the overall application process less arduous and more efficient.


Mortgage underwriting is the process where underwriters assess a mortgage loan application to determine whether the loan should be approved. The process usually involves an analysis of the borrower’s credit history, employment status, and assets.

To make sure that lenders are protected against default, underwriters are responsible for ensuring that the terms of the mortgage loan are within acceptable risk parameters. This is also where third-party loan origination systems help perform risk analysis and assessments.

Quality check

The quality check process includes reviewing the entire loan file to identify any potential areas of noncompliance. The goal is to recognize and correct any issues before the loan is closed and funded. This helps to protect the lender and the borrower while ensuring that the mortgage loan meets all regulatory requirements.


Once the loan has been approved, the final step is closing. During closing, you’ll sign paperwork and agree to the terms of the loan. You’ll also need to pay closing costs, which typically include origination fees and other charges associated with processing the loan.

Ultimately, mortgage origination can be complex and time-consuming. By outsourcing some of the work to third-party originators, lenders can focus their resources on more critical tasks.


What happens when a loan is sold to a third party?

When you get a mortgage, you’re signing up for a long-term relationship with your lender. But what happens if that lender sells your mortgage to another loan servicer?

When your mortgage loan is sold to another servicer, you’ll typically get a letter in the mail telling you about the change. This letter will include important details about who bought your loan, where to send your future payments, and how to contact them if you have any questions or concerns. Though this change can seem quite alarming, it won’t actually affect your loan terms, interest rate, or the total loan amount owed.

What is the difference between a loan officer and an underwriter?

A loan officer is a financial professional who works for a bank, credit union, or mortgage lender. They are typically your main point of contact when it comes to applying for a mortgage, and will work directly with you to gather the documents needed for your application.

Loan officers will then take a look at your income, debt-to-income ratio, and credit score. With this information in hand, they’ll determine which loan products best fit your needs, and whether you qualify for underwriting.

It’s important to note that loan officers don’t deny or approve mortgage applications (that’s the underwriter’s job). An underwriter’s main role is to review loan applications to make sure the borrower meets the lender’s guidelines for risk and creditworthiness. They’ll check your credit history, verify your identification, and assess your overall delinquency risk (the possibility of you defaulting on the loan).

What does a mortgage originator do?

A mortgage loan originator (MLO) is a person or a company that helps a borrower navigate the mortgage process. They not only work with prospective homebuyers to find the right mortgage but also help them step-by-step through the application process—including verifying information and collecting documents. An MLO can be a loan officer, mortgage broker, or lending company.

Key Takeaways

  • A third-party mortgage originator is a third-party entity that helps lenders originate a mortgage loan.
  • Working with third-party mortgage originators can help lenders save time and money on the various steps in the origination process, such as loan processing and underwriting.
  • Many third-party originators utilize cutting-edge technology help to streamline the mortgage application process and offer flexible solutions to lenders.
  • By partnering with these third-party originators like mortgage brokers, lenders are able to gain access to a wider pool of potential borrowers. This allows them to find the right fit for each customer’s unique situation and financial means.
View Article Sources
  1. What happens if the company that I send my mortgage payments to changes? — Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  2. Loan Processors Frequently Asked Questions — Washington State Department of Financial Institutions
  3. What is a Satisfaction of Mortgage? — SuperMoney
  4. How To Get Equity Out Of Your Home — SuperMoney
  5. What is a Mortgage Note? — SuperMoney
  6. Everything You Need To Know About Closing a Mortgage — SuperMoney
  7. The Best Shared Equity Alternatives to a Cash-Out Mortgage Refinance | April 2022 — SuperMoney
  8. Refinancing a Mortgage? Here’s What You Need To Know — SuperMoney