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CJ Paloucek

Sales Manager/VP of Mortgage Lending
2311 E Beltline SE , Ste LL 100, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
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NMLS: 279541
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TestimonialsCustomer testimonials Read more

Everyone was so understanding of our situation with the short sale! You made it very easy to work with you guys and everyone was so nice! All of our questions were answered and explained so we could understand!

Angela C. | 12/29/2016

CJ and her team provided exceptional service. They constantly provided updates and always answered the phone or email. I couldn't have had a better experience!

Jonathan H. | 1/30/2017

You got me in my house in 2015. You helped me refinance this year. You guys are awesome. Every person I communicated with was kind, very gracious And very knowledgeable. Your office has great customer service keep up the good work.

Michael J. | 2/13/2017

What a wonderful team of people! My husband and I had never bought a house together before and it felt like no work at all. They told us exactly what needed to be done and helped us every step of the way. Love this company!

Angela C. | 2/10/2017

Everyone here was so friendly and helpful. Even during difficult times everyone was so eager to help and walk us through every step and process. You have some great people working in your company.

Jacob G. | 2/22/2017

Everyone here was so friendly and helpful. Even during difficult times everyone was so eager to help and walk us through every step and process. You have some great people working in your company.

Jacob G. | 2/22/2017

Everyone from CJ to Liz were excellent through our whole house-buying process! Thank you so much!

Elizabeth F. - September 16, 2016

We wanted to say THANK YOU for helping us with the purchase of our home. We LOVE it and are excited for the future…. there's no doubt in our minds we made the absolute right decision in moving to Naperville. Thank you again!!!

Christine W. - August 16, 2016

Everyone was great! I was very anxious and every time I called, everything was explained and clearly laid out. CJ was awesome!

Cynthia U. - August 16, 2016

Thank you CJ. It was a pleasure working with you and your team.

Kariana J. - July 16, 2016

CJ and her teams were unbelievably professional. We are very thankful with them.

Marianela V. - July 16, 2016

CJ, Ken and Liz made the whole loan process very convenient and enjoyable. They kept me informed with everything that was going on in the process and were always more the willing to answer any questions I may have had. I will definitely be using them in the future!

Erik W. - July 16, 2016

We had the best experience with Jon and his team. They were on top of everything and made this process seamless. We would recommend them to our closest family, friends and clients!

Amy M. - July 16, 2016

CJ was outstanding.

Kyle J. - July 16, 2016

CJ and Ken were delightful to work with! The whole team was very helpful and extremely efficient. Thanks so much for helping our family get into our new house!

Jay W. - July 16, 2016


Carla A.- June 16, 2016

Thanks again for all your help on this transaction. Your team did a great job!

Patrick N.

CJ Paloucek and her team made everything easy. They explained the things they needed from us and we were able to get everything to them quickly. Great communication. I would definitely use CJ and Guaranteed Rate again and I would highly recommend them! Thanks so much!

Mary S.

CJ Paloucek and everyone associated with the Phalen Group were AMAZING! They were incredibly helpful and made a generally stressful process a lot easier. I would recommend them to anybody! :-)

Lindsey G.

I would like to thank you and your fine staff for all the efforts, professionalism and hard work on behalf of my family. I will be sure to refer you to friends and family in need of a loan knowing they would be treated with the same care and attention. Thanks again for the dedication from Guaranteed Rate. Jennifer and I love the house!

Dennis D . – Aurora, IL | APR 2016

CJ, Liz, Jenna, and Andrea were able to answer any questions we had and they were available even on the weekends.

Anthony B. – Plainfield ,IL | JULY 2015

CJ and his team were so helpful and knowledgeable. They made the process so easy. I already recommended someone!

Brandi C. -- Aurora, IL. | Nov. 2014

After seeing how things operate at GR I feel strongly that I would never go through another lending company. I can't imagine things being any better anyplace else.

Stephen B. --11/10/2014

“What a smooth process buying my first house was! I really enjoyed having someone to contact at all times, and the constant quick responses I received were very helpful. CJ and her team did a great job taking care of me and I really appreciated everything from start to finish. Well done!”

Justin M. – Addison, IL – 8/2014

CJ and her team moved the process along seamlessly! They kept me informed with every step!

Jay F. -- Wheaton, IL 8/27/2014

I was pleased with the responsiveness and professionalism of every single staff member I communicated with. Everyone knew what they were talking about. The process was smooth and completed without any delays.

Junaid Y. -- Downers Grove 4/15/2014

"I'm very satisfied with Guaranteed Rate. Everyone that helped us in Naperville were people that went above & beyond to ensure that all was correct! CJ, Jenna,and Lisa helped make us confident that things were done properly while obtaining our loan. Of course this was a stressful time but again thanks to CJ and her team at Guaranteed Rate it was less stressful than it could have been. Job well done!!!!!"

Robert R. -- Bartlett, IL. -- 11/2013

"I was nervous as I was selling my condo and buying a condo at the same time but everyone at Guaranteed Rate was very helpful, understanding and patient with me. I left all the work and worry to Guaranteed Rate and they handled everything - I couldn't have been successful with my outcome without their help. Guaranteed Rate was a referral from my agent, Jean Reedy Baron, and I am so happy with the results that I will refer both to anyone should they ask me. My thanks to all those that helped at...

Katherine G. -- Lombard, IL. -- 10/2013

"The primary reason I used Guaranteed Rate is because of the people, the simple process from start to finish, and the overall customer service CJ and her staff provided. They are very professional and very helpful / friendly. I was very impressed with the level of service, the time it took from start to finish, and everyone at guaranteed rate. Overall I'm very satisfied; If I had a choice to do it all over again, I would choose Guaranteed Rate in a heartbeat! CJ was so wonderful to work with!"

Abid Q. -- Lombard, IL. -- 10/2013

"Everyone that I worked with was phenomenal. I always received quick responses to emails and phone calls and they were always willing to answer my questions or concerns. CJ and the team were even able to expedite the closing process when the sellers attorney needed a quick turnaround after short sale approval. Excellent work!"

Gretchen B. -- Chicago, IL. -- 9/2013

"Everything went great, no problems. It was very smooth, the team had the papers on time and always stayed in contact and CJ was very helpful and professional."

Terrence W. -- Hillside, IL. -- 9/2013

"The communication was outstanding! I'm a first time buyer and they held my hand through the entire thing. If I called with a question they would call back within 20 min! I worked (tried) with Harris Bank before and it was like pulling teeth! This was so much better, I'm incredibly satisfied."

Catherine M. -- Boilingbrook, IL. -- 9/2013

"The process went as smooth as possible and it was hassle free as well. C.J and Lisa were awesome at getting back to me with prompt responses to any and every question that I had. Thanks!"

Christopher P. -- Chicago, IL. -- 6/2013

"CJ answered all my questions and explained everything very well so I could understand the process from beginning to end. She was great!! I have heard horror stories about buying a house but the process was easy and painless for my husband and me thanks to Guaranteed Rate!"

Ashley V. -- Naperville, IL. -- 6/2013

"CJ played a key role in completing the entire process under a very tight timeline. Your excellent communication and thorough management skills made this possible for us. Thanks again!"

Todd W. -- Plano, IL. -- 5/2013

"Everything was great, I would use GR again, CJ was fantastic!"

Erica S. -- Lombard, IL. -- 4/2013

"We were extremely impressed with everything from beginning to end! Smooth! You came strongly recommended by my realtor and we are already raving about you to everyone!!! Thank you so much!"

Dyana V. -- Schiller Park, IL. -- 3/2013

"I used Guaranteed Rate for my original financing and it was a great experience so I went back for my re-fi and it was another great experience. I can't recommend CJ enough!"

Jeffery W. -- Chicago, IL. -- 12/2013

"CJ Poulek and her staff all seem to really know their stuff. Everything was very professionally handled. I have worked with CJ for many years on at least five home loans. She knows what she is doing and does a great job. I highly recommend working with CJ!"

Mary S. -- Elmhurst, IL. -- 2/2013

"I was very pleased with everyone that I dealt with especially since I live in Florida and the people I dealt with are in Illinois. Although it is probably unlikely, if I were asked by someone up there, I would be more than pleased to recommend CJ."

Jeanne C. -- Naples, FL. -- 1/2013

"Smooth process! We can always count on CJ to point us in the right direction because we completely trust her. It was so convenient to be able to sign the closing documents right at our house. We have recommended CJ Paloucek to friends & family previously and will continue to do so in the future and we wouldn't think of going anywhere else...unless she does. We were originally referred to Joe Phalen by a colleague 18 years ago. We have worked with Joe and CJ Paloucek many times over the years...

Thomas K -- Downers Grove, IL. -- 12/2012

"I found everyone I spoke with to be very pleasant, helpful and hardworking. All my questions were answered and I never felt uneasy about anything during the loan processing. I enjoyed working with all of you and hope you have a Happy New Year!"

Donna C. -- Bartlett, IL. -- 12/2012

"Michael and I feel that this was the best experience we've ever had regarding a refinance. It's probably because CJ Paloucek was the one person who saw this project through from beginning to end. She went above and beyond, even delivering the paperwork to the closing. Thanks for all your hard work!"

Michael F. --- Winfield, IL. --- 12/2012

"Thanks to CJ and the team, everything was quick and smooth. Everyone was easy to work with, and there was always someone there to talk with. I have already recommended to several friends and family."

Joseph S. -- Chicago, IL. -- 9/2012

"Everyone we worked with was friendly, and professional and they kept me informed every step of the way so that everything continued very smoothly. Thank you to our real estate agent Jeanne Jordan for referring us to CJ and Guaranteed Rate!"

Paul P. -- Villa Park, IL -- 9/2012

"We couldn't be happier with the services, i.e. attention, professionalism, devotion to our case by CJ Paloucek, Kelly Bruno and the rest of the staff at your Naperville, IL office! Thanks everyone!"

Edward B. -- Westmont, IL -- 9/2012

"CJ and her team were amazing. As a first time home buyer they "held my hand" and answered all of my questions and took the time to explain everything!!!! Great customer service. I was new to the home buying process and GR made it not so scary. Yes and NO - I don't plan on buying another house."

Karen K. -- Villa Park, IL. -- 9/2012

"We were very impressed with CJ and the team. They were extremely helpful throughout every step of the process. Whenever we had a question or an issue they responded quickly. I have already recommended them to a colleague and they also had a good experience!"

Oliver H. -- Pinetree Grove, IL. -- 9/2012

"The whole loan application process was a lot easier than I thought for my first time doing it! CJ gave a lot of good guidance that simplified my path to a new home. It was a very good experience!"

Tammy B. -- Roselle, IL. -- 9/ 2013

Hey check out how amazed Joel was with CJ services! “CJ and his entire team rocked! They were able to get us the loan we needed when Chase Bank dropped the ball on us. If it wasn't for Guaranteed Rate stepping up and helping us out we would not have been able to secure the house we wanted. CJ was awesome and made it happen for us!!”

Joel H. -- Naperville, IL -- 12/2012

Very simple and clean. You assured me all along that your group would make this easy and painless. I didn’t believe you. You were 100% correct. Honestly, you have changed my entire picture of the mortgage process. It doesn’t have to be this gut wrenching, life destroying process where everyone builds up your hopes and then crushes them. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. If you ever need any testimonials for those giant billboards of yours, let me know. My wife is happy as a clam this...

Al S. - Villa Park, IL 11/2012

Just wanted to say "Thank You" so much for working with my buyers... I know this was a fast closing and that made it a little more stressful. I do appreciate all your hard work. Chris & Amanda told me they were very impressed with all of you at Guaranteed Rate. They felt they were in very good hands. That is the reason you are my preferred mortgage experts!

Jane Beckwith, Broker - J.W. Reedy Realty

Thank you for working with us on yet another advantageous refinancing of our home. Amazingly, we have been able to cut our interest rate almost in half since we bought the house a few years ago! Thanks again to you and the rest of the Guaranteed Rate team!

Bryan S. - Geneva, IL 9/2012

Jason & I would like to sincerely thank you for all of your efforts to getting us to closing. You both (CJ & Linda) do great work at your job & we are grateful for your talents. We are slowly getting settled into our new home, and are so grateful to be in the house! Thank you both so much for all of your help!

Amanda & Jason B. - Lombard, IL 9/2012

Everything went very smoothly in regards to our loan. We were very satisfied and will recommend the Phalen Group at Guaranteed Rate to all of our friends. We have worked with the Phalen Group on several loans, and we have never been anything but completely satisfied.

Ray H. - Elmhurst, IL 9/2011

About CJ

After graduating from the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana, I began my journey in the mortgage industry. I have had an opportunity to be heavily involved in operations and management, with underwriting having a large influence on choosing to move into a VP of Mortgage Lending Role. What I experienced in managing sales and operations however, has enabled me to become a very detailed and thorough loan officer. There aren't very many loan officers who can say that they have an FHA DE underwriter designation! I enjoy helping people with their purchases and refinances, both cash out and rate and term. Whether it is for a primary residence, a second or vacation home, or for an investment property, Guaranteed Rate lends in all 50 states and we offer conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA and portfolio lending, including both fixed and arm mortgages. In my spare time, I like anything to do with water. Swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving just to name a few. Traveling is a must as I live in the western suburbs of Chicago with my husband, a dog and a cat, and am not a great cold water diver. We are officially empty nesters as my daughter lives and works in Grand Rapids MI, and my son is a rugby playing freshman at Montana State University in Bozeman Montana. We cheer for Sparty, the Bobcats and the Illini. One of the things I find most rewarding about mortgage lending is that the majority of my referrals come from past clients, Realtors, financial planners and attorneys. It is especially touching when someone refers their parents or their children who are in need of assistance. Our new digital mortgage platform allows you to apply 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and generate your own preapproval. Myself and my amazing sales and operations team look forward to helping you reach your goals, on time and at the agreed upon loan structure. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

CJ interview Q&A

How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I have been in the mortgage industry since 1986 and enjoy helping families and households with their goals.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
There is no such thing as a typical customer. Everyones' mortgage questions are as unique as their personal financial situation. Myself and my group take the time to listen to their individual needs and determine what we can do to help them borrow the money the cheapest.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
It is not unusual for well intentioned friends and family members to give you advice that may not be accurate or sound. This is especially evident when it comes to the changes in credit reporting and scores, underwriting guidelines and qualifying for mortgages. Using a mortgage expert who is in the top 1% in the country means you have a reliable source for your mortgage knowledge.
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
We refer to is as "financial lockdown"- after applying for a mortgage loan, it is important that there aren't any adverse changes to your financial situation, whether it is on your credit report, with your employment or with your assets. There is a final quality control check done a day or so before the closing and it's important that how we start the process is how we get you closed.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
It may sound odd, but I get the most satisfaction out of my job by helping someone obtain their individual goals. Every person or family situation is different and if someone comes to me and tells me what they want, I feel rewarded when we can look back and say "we did it!"
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
When I am not helping people with their home loans, I enjoy travelling and spending time with my family. My son is currently a sophomore at Wheaton North High School. My daughter is currently a junior at Michigan State University. Both of the kids love to snowboard so we have winter destination vacations. My daughter and I have been scuba diving together since she was 15. We get to balance the cold weather vacations with warm weather scuba diving locations. My husband and I met at the University of Illinois, were married in 1986 and look forward to travelling with the kids, or on our own as time permits.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I was on the tug of war team in college- not many people know that. We were able to take a trip down to Mizzou on a bus filled with Illini beer. It was an interesting weekend.

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