Here’s how NAMB, UWM plan to revive the independent mortgage broker channel

Announce $500,000 KickStart program

The National Association of Mortgage Brokers, the association of mortgage professionals, and United Wholesale Mortgage announced a new initiative on Friday geared to help grow the mortgage broker channel.

In order to achieve this, the KickStart program offers grants to loan originators aspiring to open their own mortgage shops.

“At NAMB, our mission is to grow the mortgage broker channel, and the KickStart initiative shows how committed we are to putting our money where our mouth is,” said Don Frommeyer, CEO of NAMB. “We value the industry leadership and sponsorship UWM has provided to get this program off the ground, and we hope other lenders will participate in the program as sponsors as well.”

To help fund the initiative, United Wholesale Mortgage, the No.1 wholesale lender in the nation and the program’s first sponsorship partner, provided a $500,000 grant, which will be for qualified individual loan originators, up to $10,000 each.

The $10,000 is provided with the goal of covering startup costs such as office space and software technology that makes it possible for them to accept loan applications. Applicants are not required to pay back the funds.

Mat Ishbia, president and CEO of UWM, recently explained in an interview with HousingWire that mortgage brokers took a major hit after the financial crisis, vacating their individual businesses and fleeing to the security of working for a bigger company.

However, this new partnership with NAMB should be able to help in that growth. “The KickStart program is about strengthening the mortgage broker channel as a whole because it’s the best way for consumers to get a loan,” said Ishbia.

“Wholesale currently makes up 12% of market share – the goal is to double that, at the least. KickStart will strengthen the market by getting more loan originators where they belong, at independent mortgage companies,” he continued. “We hope that our competitors will join us in this initiative to make the wholesale channel stronger.”

The announcement noted that KickStart is targeting loan originators in banks or branch networks “who have experience in the residential mortgage industry and demonstrate a potential aptitude to successfully own and operate an independent mortgage brokerage firm.”

Requirements that applicants must meet in order to receive funding include:

  • Minimum 3 years of experience in the mortgage industry
  • Company description
  • Production goals
  • Anticipated operational structure

Grant requests are reviewed and approved by the KickStart Review Committee, which is comprised of three NAMB representatives, two independent mortgage brokers, and one representative from UWM.

In addition, other wholesale lenders that sponsor up to $500,000 toward the program are invited to have an individual from their organization sit on the committee. Check here for details on the program. 

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