How To Be A Successful Underwriter

Andrew Dehan1-Minute Read
PUBLISHED: February 04, 2021


Rocket ProSM TPO underwriters play an important role in securing mortgages for our clients. Hundreds of our team members are committed to this role every day. We interviewed a few of them to get their take on what makes a successful underwriter.

But first, let’s define what an underwriter is.

What Is An Underwriter?

After a client submits a mortgage application to us, an underwriter steps in to complete the job. A mortgage underwriter is the person who verifies a client’s income, debts and assets, and determines the client’s mortgage eligibility. They get into the nitty-gritty to analyze the application and make sure the client can pay their mortgage.

What Skills Are Needed To Be An Underwriter?

Laura Wingate, a Triple Crown Credit Underwriter who has been with Rocket ProSM TPO for over 9 years, lists “critical thinking” as a top skill. To her, being able to ask questions like, “Why are we asking for this?” “Why do we need this?” and “How can I get more information?” are essential for the role.

Shannon Mathena, another Triple Crown Credit Underwriter, has been with Rocket ProSM TPO for over 17 years and backs this up. To her, analytical skills and critical thinking are incredibly important. Along with that, she says that new underwriters with a mortgage background do better.

In his 11 months with Rocket ProSM TPO, credit underwriter King Wilson states a necessary skill is being “customer service oriented.” When talking about what motivates him every day, King says, “When COVID-19 happened, I heard how much help our clients needed during this hard time. I put myself in their shoes and wanted things to go smoothly for them.”

Critical thinking, time management, people skills and mortgage knowledge are all vital to being a successful underwriter. Now that we’ve outlined the skills needed, let’s look at how these underwriters go through their day.

What Does A Day In The Life Of An Underwriter Like?

Some of our underwriters, like King, clock in from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., 5 days a week. Others, like Shannon, get started earlier, around 6:00 a.m. Hours vary depending on the team member and business needs.

The first thing they tackle after clocking in is responding to missed voicemails and emails from the day before. According to King, “You take care of those first because clients come first.”

From here, underwriters work on verifying loan applications. Each of these loans has a deadline for underwriting that our underwriters work very hard to meet. Laura says that many underwriters have to work with a “100+ loan pipeline in 40 hours.”

Underwriters often must take direction from their team leaders and pivot when the business or another team member needs a hand. As Shannon says, “If a team member is behind, we help each other to get caught up.” Things change on a regular basis and team spirit helps keep team members united.

Our Rocket ProSM TPO underwriters take to heart one of our core company principals: “Every client. Every time. No exceptions. No excuses.” A large part of the mortgage approval process is in their hands. It’s their job to determine whether a client is eligible for a loan. A successful underwriter thinks critically, manages their time and has strong communication skills.

Interested in joining our Rocket Pro(SM) TPO team?

Learn more about Rocket Pro(SM) TPO and talk to a recruiter today.

Andrew Dehan

Andrew Dehan is a professional writer who writes about real estate and homeownership. He is also a published poet, musician and nature-lover. He lives in metro Detroit with his wife, daughter and dogs.