Chicago-based Guaranteed Rate is slated to significantly expand its mortgage operations this year as it looks to create approximately 280 new positions for its Liftoff loan origination training program.

The Liftoff program requires no previous mortgage industry experience and offers an instructional sales itinerary. Once finished, Liftoff graduates will originate loans for Guaranteed Rate’s Online Division from leads generated through digital marketing and advertising channels.

Guaranteed Rate Founder and CEO Victor Ciardelli said that the company has grown by more than 25% over the last year, and as a result, the company has created hundreds of job opportunities in Chicago and across the country.

The Liftoff program is just one example of this. According to the company, it also hired about 90 people in the first 90 days of 2017 alone, and over the last decade, Guaranteed Rate has more than quadrupled its employee count, going from 680 employees in 2006 to more than 3,000 by the end of 2016.

Along with the influx of employees, Guaranteed Rate is expanding its office space by 22,000 square feet, where the Liftoff program will be based.

"Guaranteed Rate continues to grow, create jobs and give back to the communities it serves," said Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity Director Sean McCarthy. "The creation of nearly 300 full-time, skilled positions with high income potential and full benefits this year is exciting news for Chicago's workforce."

Its employee count isn’t the only area that Guaranteed Rate is growing. In February, the company announced a new joint venture with Realogy Holdings Corp titled Guaranteed Rate Affinity, which is expected to begin doing business in June 2017.

Under the agreement, Guaranteed Rate Affinity will originate and market its mortgage lending services to Realogy's real estate brokerage and relocation subsidiaries, respectively NRT and Cartus, as well as to other real estate brokerage and relocation companies across the country.

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