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Jim Blackburn

Senior Mortgage Specialist
1800 W Cuyler Ave, 2W, Chicago, IL 60613
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NMLS: 1072866
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TestimonialsCustomer testimonials Read more

We have gone thru the application and approval process smoothly. Jim's team gave us a list of specific documents they need. After these documents were submitted, Jim's team reviewed them and quickly gave us feedback on what's missing. After a quick exchange of QA and submission of missing documents, Jim's team told us the submitted documents were together and the application is in the underwriter for approval.The process went without a hitch. We were funded and closing happened. This is by far...

Branda H. -Stroudsburg, PA |AUG 2016

I had a really great experience working with Jim Blackburn and his team. Their was a 2hr time difference between Jim and I but he made himself available day or night 7 days week. That kind of service was greatly appreciated and it was one of the things that made me give my business to Guaranteed Rate. The level of professionalism, attention to detail and maniacal focus on dates and gates was great and I look forward to working with Jim and team in the future.

William S. -Tigard, OR |AUG 2016

Jim was able to help us secure an extra $1500 credit by timing the lock for us. Whether it was just our lucky timing or his ability to get us locked at the right time, it was appreciated. Jim communicates quickly and is upfront throughout the entire process. I've sent his name to a few colleagues purchasing or refinancing homes but am not sure if they took me up on the lead or not. Looking forward to working with Jim again on the next refi.

Richard W.- Woodinville, WA |AUG 2016

A great big thank you!!! To Jim Blackburn and his team! He worked very closely with me for over a year helping me understand what I needed to do to purchase my dream home! He personally would answer my text messages at all hours of the night, and emails as fast as I could send them. I would also like to say thank you to Ashley! For All your help! I would recommend the Jim Blackburn team to anyone looking to purchase a home! Class act people!

Robert B.- Kansas City,MO | JUN 2016

Jim and Team are a case study of best in class customer service. Jim has been a guide for me as a first time home buyer and he exceeded my expectations on execution, me and my wife had a very pleasant experience throughout the process.

Raman S.- Kew Gardens,NY | JUN 2016

Jim and Team are a case study of best in class customer service. Jim has been a guide for me as a first time home buyer and he exceeded my expectations on execution, me and my wife had a very pleasant experience throughout the process.

Raman S.- Kew Gardens,NY | JUN 2016

Jim and his team made the process smooth and transparent. I understood what was going on at every step and received quick follow up if I had questions. I would enthusiastically recommend them to anyone looking to buy a home or refinance their existing home (like I did).

Terrence S. - Waukesha, WI | MAR 2016

When I thought it was impossible to get a loan unless I sold the existing condo, Jim Blackburn went the extra mile and did not give up. He tried hard and he made it happen. We closed yesterday and look forward to moving to our new home. Thanks to Jim and his team. I would highly recommend Guaranteed Rate to everyone, all my friends and relatives. Thank you for making my dream of purchasing our home a reality.

Emma B. - Chicago, IL | Dec. 2015

It was an ideal experience working with a pros like Jim Blackburn and his team. We were first-time home buyers, and so we had a lot of questions. Jim answered them promptly and made himself available at any for additional questions and advice. We were incredibly grateful to have Jim at the helm of our loan approval!

Jonathan A. – Chicago, IL | SEP 2015

Jim was professional and pleasant. Even though he is based in Illinois, I never felt too distant from him. He handled my dissatisfaction with our first loan attempt very well, to the point that I was willing to try again with him and I leave very pleased with the results.

Matthew H. – MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, WA | July 2015

I am a very aggressive loan applicant in terms of rate negotiation and documentation accuracy. Jim Blackburn, to my surprise, solved every single problem in my application process, with great confidence. I have been working with quite a few loan officers before dealing with Jim and Jim is no doubt top 1 because every time I throw him a bunch of sticky questions he just answered each of them very efficiently with not any excuse, saving me tons of hours to figure out what's the exact answer. I...

Xiaonan C. – SAN DIEGO, CA | JULY 2015

Jim was always "there" and even to my surprise many times I would forward a question or request expecting to get a reply the next day and he would be "there" within minutes. I felt very confident that he was looking out for me and to keep things "on track".

Donald B.– ANCHORAGE ,AK | June 2015

When it came down to crunch time, Jim and Team stepped up to get us through the Underwriting Process and get our loan closed, including staying late.

Adam M. – Chicago, IL | May. 2015

Jim was awesome. He would answer emails at the wee hours of the morning and was available by phone, email and text. He explained every little detail, gave us the right contacts and showed us the roadmap to get our mortgage to clear. Frankly, obtaining a mortgage was the easiest part in our home buying experience!

Carolina F.– Maplewood, NJ | May. 2015

I feel that Jim was looking out for my best interest from day one. I remember getting a call from him and I didn't have enough money saved up yet for a loan. He assured me he would be calling in 6 months, he sure did. He explained what loan was best for me. Broke every process down. His response time was very quick. He even helped my agent when something iffy pop up during a house bidding process.

Kelly D. – Torrance, CA | May. 2015

The loan officer and his associates were always available to answer questions and kept me informed through out the whole process in a professional manner.

William P. – Chicago, IL | May. 2015

Jim especially has been awesome and really appreciate all he did for us both communication and escalation-wise. It turns out there were multiple offers on the property including the Secondary, so we feel really fortunate we got the property at the price, rate and time we did!

Adam M. | May. 2015

Jim Blackburn has been very helpful and responsive all the time, really appreciate that.

Branda H. – Stroudsburg, PA | Apr. 2015

I really appreciated all the hard work that Jim Blackburn put into this process, and in fact I just recommend some of my friend last week to call guarantee rate to get their house refinance with this company.

Stephanie T. – Clarkston, MI | Mar. 2015

Absolutely the best refinance experience. Jim and his team out of the Chicago office was quick, efficient, pleasant and knows his business well. He knows how to satisfy the customer and move things along quickly and with the least amount of obstacles. Any problem or question that came up was resolved with top priority. The rate we received was great in comparison to what we had before and it was the best rate that we could get given our particular circumstance. I would recommend Jim Blackburn...

Janet – Chicago, IL | Jan. 2015

I remember Jim's call like it was yesterday. He sounded like a telemarketer when he told me he had a "preapproved buyer for me with no strings attached." I thought it was too good to be true, until Jim delivered the client's information within a few minutes after the call. I am very thankful that Jim invited me into his partner network.

Ryan S. - San Francisco, CA - October 2013

I have worked with numerous mortgage companies over the last 25 years, and I never experienced a mortgage process as smooth and efficient as with Guaranteed Rate and Jim Blackburn. The online application took me less than 10 minutes to complete. I received several updates every few days showing me exactly where we stood in the process, what was required from me. Signing the documents was a piece of cake with just a few clicks of the mouse. Amazing innovation guys! Very pleased.

Chuck P. Spokane, WA - September 2013

Guaranteed Rate is the cleanest, simplest, most efficient mortgage company I ever did business with.

Chris V. - Racine WI - September 2013

Jim Blackburn is the definition of customer service. He goes over and above your expectations. When I first spoke with Jim, I just wanted to know the rate. Jim took the time to ask me about my savings goals for retirement and my children's college, ensuring me that there was a method to his madness. At the end of our conversation, I felt more clear about my financial goals than I ever felt before. Not only did Jim make me realize that I was considering the wrong mortgage product, but he also...

Charles H. Los Angeles, CA - September 2013

From start to finish, Jim set my expectations, and GR met them when we closed in less than 30 days. Very satisfied.

Mary P. Ocean Shores WA - August 2013

I found Jim Blackburn's level of financial awareness highly useful in my circumstances. He helped me realize that my mortgage was simply a piece of my financial puzzle. He showed me how my choice of mortgage product could favorably or adversely affect my other financial goals. Thank you.

Barbara N. - East Lansing, MI - August 2013

This was our first experience with a mortgage company. I have no complaints. Everything was great!

Larry J. - Muskegon, MI - August 2013

I was very pleased with the efforts of Jim Blackburn. He helped me with negotiation ideas. He responded quickly to my calls and emails. I never felt like he was rushing me. Whenever I did not understand something, he took the time to re-explain before ending the call. I have recommended Guaranteed Rate and Jim to my friends and coworkers.

Katie T. - Madison, WI - July 2013

I just bought my first home. When I first spoke with Jim Blackburn, I had no idea what to expect. I was nervous and really had no clue what I was doing. By the the time Jim and I finished our first conversation, I felt confident in the decision to buy. Overall it was a great experience. I can't wait to buy my second house with Jim.

Jason A. Chicago, IL - July 2013

Quick. Easy. Accurate. Enough said. Thanks Jim and GR.

George R. Bloit, WI - July 2013

You guys were awesome over there! The process was smooth. Your team seemed to coordinate well. I really liked whenever I had a question about the loan, I could speak to anyone on the team, and each person always knew exactly where we were in the process.

Jody K. - Royal oak, MI - June 2013

I was very pleased with Guaranteed Rate and Jim B's simple 3 step mortgage comparision process. Jim's efforts saved me a lot of time and he was able to get me a great rate. Thanks Jim!

Bill W. - Chicago, IL - June 2013

About Jim

Jim has been assisting clients with their financial planning since 2001. Today he is helping First Time Home Buyers to understand the home buying process, Empty Nesters to downsize, and Savvy Investors to purchase Second Homes and Rental Properties. Jim helps his clients to identify their short and long-term goals, and takes the time to help his clients understand how their mortgage choice has long term affects on their children's college fund, their personal wealth accumulation, and ultimately their quality of life in retirement.


Hi, I'm Jim. I've always been a curious person. I enjoy learning about my client's career choice and discovering where they are headed next and how they plan to get there. I especially enjoy contributing to their journey and helping them to overcome obstacles and breakthrough barriers; whether that be by introducing them to a friend who can help with a special need or simply by shining light on a new financial concept that they never thought about on their own. In the long run, I enjoy connecting on a deep personal level, eventually becoming friends, and referring our friends and family to one another.

Jim interview Q&A

How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I've served a financial advisory role since 2001, but only offered mortgage services since May 2013. I've always loved meeting people and making new friends. It's as simple as that...
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
Mortgage Rate Shoppers say "I want to meet with 5 lenders so I know I'm getting the best deal." Since I offer rates from 23 banks as a correspondent lender and 20+ Specialty Banks as a broker, I am always able to offer my clients 3 very competitive offers in 3 simple steps. 1) We complete 1 application. 2) We pull credit 1 time. 3) We match the client up with the 3 best loan offers that match his lending profile. Financial Savvy Savers say "I don't want to pay closing costs." I am normally able to find a lender that will cover all of the closing costs with a Lender Credit. Typically a lender credit will result in a slightly higher interest rate than what the market has to offer. My short term focused clients love the instant savings with no break even period since they did not pay any closing costs. My long term focused clients love the lowest rate on the market and are happy to pay for it because they know that discount points are tax deductible and they will save the most in the long run. Competitor Bank Customers say "The loan process is long and difficult." Now that we have the worlds 1st Digital Mortgage with Ty Pennington, the loan process is super easy! 1) Fill in the online application in 10 minutes. 2) Receive loan disclosures electronically in 5 minutes. 3) Sign the disclosures with 8 clicks of the mouse in 60 seconds 4) Upload documents in 10 minutes 5) Meet the appraiser in 2-4 days 6) Close the loan in 1/2 the time as a Retail Bank and get a great rate!
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
1) First we fill out an application so we can get an accurate Debt/Income ratio, FICO Tier, and Loan/Value ratio. 2) Second, we perform an in-depth review of the Credit Report, and discuss how we can climb up into Tier 1 or 2 so we can qualify for the best programs and rates. 3) Third, we review Sole Proprietor's Schedule E, Business Partners' 1065 and Shareholders' 1120 to find hidden hidden income opportunities by adding back certain deductions. 4) Lastly, we refer Registered Realtors and Attorneys from my Partner Network to my clients to assist them with their goals.
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
I've been in the mortgage business since May 2013. I achieved President's Club in 2015 which required 30 million in Funded Loan Volume with 60% Purchase.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
The lowest rate is not the best rate. A higher rate has the advantage of a big Lender Credit that can cover all closing costs and escrows.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
Nobody would disagree that the mortgage industry has changed for the better. Thanks to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and National Mortgage Licensing Service instituting new regulations and licensing procedures, consumers are now safer. Markets are more controlled and because of that, artificial inflation should not be a problem again like it was in the past. I believe that the real estate market is healthy again thanks to these changes, and we will continue to see steady positive gains in most regions for the next 11 years.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
"I need to meet with 5 lenders to know I'm getting the best deal."

Since we lend for 43 investors, we're able to save our clients many hours of anxiety. We complete one application. We pull credit one time. We match the client up with deal that best fits his profile.

"I don't want to pay closing costs for a refinance."

Many people are concerned about paying closing costs, as they should be. In every mortgage transaction, I use a detailed calculator that compares the client's current mortgage with the possible savings should they decide to refinance. We identify the monthly payment savings, the annual interest savings, and the interest paid over the life of the loan savings. We also identity the precise number of months that they must remain in their home to make back the closing costs. In many cases, I am able to find a lender who is offering lender credit to offset the closing costs. In every case, I never recommend a mortgage product that does not make financial sense for my client.

"The loan process is long and difficult."

Yes indeed, the mortgage process WAS difficult before the Internet came along. Today, thanks to the Internet, telephone, and fax everything happens in lightning-speed. Our online application can be completed in less than 10 minutes. After we lock a rate, the loan package and disclosures is sent electronically within 12-24 hours. The borrower can use his mouse to electronically sign the documents by clicking his mouse. No paper. No ink. No postage. No waiting. The borrower can drag and drop his important documents from his computer directly into a secure folder online in just a few seconds and the loan team can access them instantly. Every part of our system is designed to make the borrower feel at ease.

What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
1) Label every document as requested. 2) Upload into the correct folder. 3) Return phone calls and emails the same day
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
I've always been a curious person my entire life. I enjoy learning about my client's career choice and why they chose it. I love to know where they are headed next and how they plan to get there. However, most of my satisfaction comes at that moment when my client overcomes his perceived obstacle with my motivation and guidance. Most importantly, by connecting with my clients a deep personal level, we become friends. And to me, life is all about connecting and serving others. As a result of serving others at the highest level, it reflects on my character and I feel great about myself, which in turn results in an ongoing stream of referrals.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
I love learning! I am addicted to Ted Talks & YouTube. I listen to expert point of views on various topics relating to the true nature of reality, human consciousness, sacred geometry, human emotion, vibration, sound, color, sexuality, relationships, love, marriage, birth, death, evolution, spirit, and energy flow.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I'm missing that "Filter" that prevents one from opening their mouth when maybe it should not be opened. My honesty sometimes gets me in trouble. LOL

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