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Monica Aldana

Vice President of Mortgage Lending
9121 W. Russell Road, Suite 210, Las Vegas, NV 89148
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NMLS: 868975
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Monica 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 Lending industry since 2001. I had just moved to Las Vegas, I was 18 years old. I had a friend that was the branch manager and asked me to come and work for her as a receptionist. From there, I was promoted every few months from a customer service representative, drawing loan documents and then to a funder.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
My typical client is either a purchase (or) refinance. Conventional, FHA, VA. Primary, second home (or) investment. 20% down (or) down payment assistance. SFR (or) condos.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I present different options to them that benefit their specific needs and goals. I let them choose and provide my advice based on my experience.
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
With a previous employer, that I was the Operations Support Manager for, I received the Employee of the Year award 2 years in a row.
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
- The pros of having a fixed rate mortgage: The principal and interest payment stays the same through the life of the loan. You know what to expect and it will never change. - The pros of an adjustable rate mortgage: You start initially with a lower interest rate than a fixed rate mortgage. This can be the best option for a client that knows they will only be in their home for a few years before selling, refinancing (or) paying off the loan. You can save a lot of money in interest during the initial fixed-rate period on Hybrid Arms. - The cons of an adjustable rate mortgage: The interest rate can change periodically based on the market, increasing the monthly payment.
Tell us about a specific challenging borrowing situation and how you got the mortgage closed and funded.
From time to time, you do run into unique situations. How you handle them is very important. You cannot change the situation, but you are in control of the outcome. I had a loan where the client knew what his projected closing date and costs were. He was on target with the expectations and ready to move into his new home. Over the holidays, he was helping a friend cut down a palm tree and broke his leg when the tree fell on him. This was two weeks before the closing date. He immediately contacted me and explained that the broken leg was preventing him from working and was on leave. As a result, his pay was reduced due to the leave. Because he informed me immediately, we were able to collect a few more documents from him and his employer and restructure the loan accordingly to his situation. We were able to close on time. Communication with your Mortgage Banker is so important.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
1) Decide the max amount you are comfortable paying per month for your mortgage, in order to maintain your social life. 2) Decide the amount of down payment you are comfortable paying. 3) During the loan process, do not open new credit accounts, do not close existing credit accounts, do not change employment, pay your bills on time and do not borrow money from anyone. Contact your mortgage bank before doing any of the above.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
Home is Possible. There are down payment assistance options currently available.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
When I started in the mortgage industry, it seemed like anyone could get a loan. There were options for stated income and no doc loans. When the market crashed and foreclosures were on the rise, the lending industry leaned the risks of these types of loans. Consumers lost a lot of money during this time period, along with their homes. For this reason, banks now require that consumers provide the necessary documentation to prove they can re-pay the loan they are applying for. In today’s market, you do have to provide more documentation to qualify and the guidelines are more strict.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
Often, customers get frustrated that they have to provide necessary credit, income and asset documentation. At Guaranteed Rate, we have technology that enables the client to send and receive personal documents securely, efficiently and easily. EVERYTHING can be sent electronically. In the past, clients had to submit their original documents in person!
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
That all they have to do is fill out their name, social, date of birth and address and they can close on their loan.
What 2 or 3 mobile apps would you recommend for home buyers or house hunters, and why? What Smart Apps do you recommend your customers use for the house hunting process?
What resources could you recommend that borrowers use to learn more about the mortgage process and how to ensure a successful home closing?
I recommend they use their Realtor.
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
After application, I send an email to the client explain the loan process, urgency of returning documents and the contact information of my staff that will be contacting them throughout the loan process.
Are you active in any local associations or community groups, and at what level? What goals and/or success have you helped these groups achieve?
In 2016, I was a member and sponsor for the Women’s Council of Realtors. I helped with financing and promoting their events.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I was born and raised in Orange, California. I graduated from Orange High School.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
I love helping people invest in their future and achieving the American dream of homeownership.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
I love spending time with my family, exploring the outdoors and helping in the local community.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I have been told I am unique professional because I treat my clients like family. I hold their hand through the entire loan process, take the time to explain everything to them, I am always available by phone (or) email, including nights, weekends and holidays and I continue my relationships with client even after closing. I strive to be their mortgage consultant for life.

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