NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals has announced the launch of KickStart, an initiative designed to grow the mortgage broker channel by providing grants to loan originators aspiring to open their own mortgage shops. With a $500,000 grant from United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM), Kickstart will begin immediately.
The initiative will grant interested and qualified individual loan originators an amount up to $10,000, with the aim 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.
“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, chief executive officer 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.”
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. These individuals should embody an entrepreneurial spirit and have experience as a mortgage loan officer. Requirements that applicants must meet in order to receive funding include:
►A minimum of three years of experience in the mortgage industry
►Anticipated operational structure
“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 Mat Ishbia, president and CEO of UWM. “Wholesale currently makes up 12 percent 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. We hope that our competitors will join us in this initiative to make the wholesale channel stronger.”
In a survey that NAMB distributed to approximately 200 loan originators around the country, roughly 70 percent of respondents reported an interest in owning their own shop. In the same survey, 44 percent of respondents indicated money as their main barrier to opening their own business, but 60 percent said they would be more inclined to take the chance if given seed money.
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. Other wholesale lenders that sponsor up to $500,000 toward the program are invited to have an individual from their organization sit on the KickStart Review Committee.