Loan Origination

Everything You Need to Know About a Loan Origination System

June 23, 2023
Everything You Need to Know About a Loan Origination System

As a lender, you’re always looking for ways to enhance your efficiencies and improve your bottom line, while offering your customers top-notch service. Leveraging a robust loan origination system can help you do just that.

A loan origination system (LOS), also known as loan origination software, is a tool banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions use to streamline the loan origination and fulfillment process. The right LOS can help you enhance efficiency, improve compliance, and provide borrowers with with a more personalized experience.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about LOS. We’ll also explain how to choose the right LOS for your business.

What is a Loan Origination System?

According to an ICE Mortgage Technology survey, 99% of lenders believe that technology enhances the loan application process. By automating redundant or rote tasks, your loan team has more opportunities to humanize the experience and provide better customer service.

Loan origination systems are one of the game-changing tech solutions lenders can leverage. LOS is a software platform that can help you manage, simplify, and automate your loan origination process from start to finish. While every lender’s loan origination system workflow looks slightly different, a modernized LOS can streamline the following stages of the lending process:

  • Prequalification – Prequalification is often the first stage in which an applicant enters a lender’s sales pipeline. If you offer online prequalification, your applicants’ submission data can be sent directly to your LOS. After that, your LOS can generate automated responses based on your pre-set eligibility and pricing parameters.
  • Applications – After prequalification, many applicants will go on to submit formal loan applications. A LOS can capture this application data, whether it’s submitted online or via an app. If you still administer paper applications, you can scan them or manually enter their data as well. Once your applicants’ information is uploaded to your LOS, you can save it for future review.
  • Underwriting verifications – Borrowers aren’t always completely accurate or honest on their loan applications. As a result, you must verify their claims before initiating funding. A credit check can dig into an applicant’s creditworthiness, while third-party income and employment verifications can evaluate their degree of risk. Some LOS can integrate with credit reporting agencies and third-party verification vendors, enabling you to underwrite your loans in a few clicks.
  • Quality control (QC) – Since lending is a highly-regulated industry, you must evaluate the quality of your lending decisions to ensure your loans are priced right. Failing to do so can result in costly consequences. Fortunately, some LOS include built-in QC support.

Beyond these high-level stages, the right LOS can also assist with low-level, granular tasks that typically eat up loan agent’s time:

  • Document management – Traditionally, the lending process has involved a lot of paperwork. These days, many lending documents can now be generated, shared, signed, and stored online. You can manage these documents within your LOS.
  • Compliance – Whether you specialize in mortgages, student loans, auto loans, or all of the above, you need to meet all of your regulatory requirements. A robust LOS can help you collect, store, and analyze your lending data and alert you of any potential red flags.
  • Milestone tracking – Keeping tabs on applicants can be overwhelming, especially at scale. A LOS can help you track each applicant’s progress as they move through your loan origination pipeline.
  • Analytics – Optimizing your operations is easier when you have data-driven insights to back up your decisions. Your LOS can provide you with a wealth of data you can use to improve your lending processes and portfolio health.

What Are the Challenges of Operating With a LOS?

While LOS can offer a wide variety of benefits, some also present potential challenges. Most notably, you’ll need to carve out the time to set up your LOS and train your employees on how to use it.

Additionally, it may take some time to find a LOS that can:

  • Be customized to support your unique lending process
  • Scale up with your business as it grows
  • Integrate with your desired third-party applications

The good news? All of these challenges can be resolved or avoided by selecting the right LOS provider that prioritizes loan automation.

How Can a LOS Support My Business?

Once you find the right LOS, it can support your business in a variety of ways. Here are just a few of the benefits of implementing a high-quality LOS:

  • Streamlined workflows
  • Fewer errors and inconsistencies
  • Fortified compliance
  • Shortened time to close
  • Greater productivity

Better yet, a LOS can help you satisfy borrowers’ expectations for digital applications and fast responses. As your LOS automates the more tedious elements of the loan origination process, you can funnel your newfound free time into focusing on customer service.

Since a LOS can offer so many advantages, lenders who choose to forgo them may fall behind as they continue to waste time on manual processes and toggle between disparate software systems.

How to Choose the Right LOS For Your Business

Now that you know the benefits of using loan origination software for banks and credit unions, you may wonder how to select the best one. After all, not all LOS are built the same.

The first step is to take stock of your current loan origination process. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What channels do you use to attract leads?
  • What steps do your applicants take from their first interaction with you through closing?
  • What are your credit requirements and eligibility parameters?
  • How and when do you assess applicants’ credit?
  • What documents do you need to meet your regulatory requirements?
  • What current software are you using at your business?
  • What lending software would you like to try out in the future?

Once you’ve mapped out your internal processes and clarified your needs, you can evaluate various LOS on the following factors:

  • Customization – Your unique lending process informs your competitive advantage. Rather than molding your loan origination process to suit a LOS, it’s important to find a LOS that allows for easy customization. This way, you can tailor your LOS to suit your pre-existing workflows and specific compliance requirements.
  • API integrations – Application programming interface (API) is code that connects software systems so they can share information. A LOS that can integrate with your CRM, POS, and other vendor partners won’t disrupt your lending workflows. It’s also worthwhile to look for a LOS that allows for a large number of API integrations. After all, every integration will simply add more functionality to your LOS.
  • Decision management – Depending on your loan offerings, you may want to define and configure more advanced decision rules within your LOS. If so, a LOS with a workflow engine is your best bet. Workflow engines allow you to set up several decision factors using complex, rules-based technology. On the other hand, you may be just as satisfied with a LOS that lets you set basic parameters for loan approval and automate all lending decisions against those criteria.
  • Hosting – Your LOS hosting determines where your data will be stored and who will be responsible for managing it. The most popular types of LOS hosting are as follows:
    • On-premise hosting – With on-premise hosting, your LOS data is maintained on physical servers within your financial institution. In turn, you can maintain total control over their configuration and security.
    • Web hosting – With web hosting, your LOS data is stored on an off-site server. While you won’t have to manage the server, you also forgo the degree of control you would receive if you opted for on-premise hosting instead.
    • Cloud hosting – With cloud hosting, your LOS data is stored on a network of off-site servers, rather than a single server. Cloud hosting makes it easy to scale up your LOS storage capacity. However, like web hosting, you won’t be able to customize your server configuration or security settings.

Fuse Offers Personalized Solutions for All Loan Types

If you’re ready to bestow your team with the benefits of a comprehensive LOS, Fuse can deliver. Our lending software and loan origination software is built to support financial institutions of all sizes.

Here are some benefits of choosing Fuse for your LOS:

  • Easy customization – At Fuse, we believe that your lending software should work for you, rather than the other way around. As such, we make it easy to customize our LOS to suit your needs even if you don’t have any technical expertise.
  • 100+ integrations – Fuse can integrate with any third-party vendor in a matter of days. In turn, you can integrate Fuse with your pre-existing software with ease.
  • Efficient implementation – Some LOS come with steep learning curves. Fortunately, Fuse isn’t one of them. You and your team should be able to familiarize yourself with Fuse in less than a day.
  • Scalability – Fuse offers enterprise-grade scalability, enabling you to grow your business without limits.
  • Strong security – Fuse is SOC 2 Type 1 and Type 2. Beyond that, our LOS adheres to the latest security and policy standards.
  • On-premise hosting – With Fuse, you can maintain complete control over your servers, access controls, audit logs, SSO, and approval workflows.

Want to learn more? Request a demo to discover how Fuse can help you reach your lending goals today.


Forbes. How Digital Technology Changed The Face Of The Mortgage Industry.

McKinsey & Company. Competing on customer experience in US mortgage.

Related articles

LOS & POS Integration: 5 Advantages to Merge Them
Loan Origination

LOS & POS Integration: 5 Advantages to Merge Them

Digital lending is helping lenders bring loan products to market faster, provide customers with more accessible user experiences, and leverage data analytics to meet customer expectations.
13 Bank KPIs to Scale Loan Offerings
Loan Origination

13 Bank KPIs to Scale Loan Offerings

Key performance indicators (KPIs) help businesses evaluate their performance and determine operational efficiency. In the banking industry, KPIs enable financial institutions like banks and credit unions to optimize processes such as lending, especially when using advanced loan origination systems.
How to Calculate Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR)
Loan Origination

How to Calculate Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR)

In the lending industry, metrics like the debt service coverage ratio (DSCR) are essential to evaluate borrowers’ ability to service loans. Lenders, financers, or investors can use the DSCR to determine if individuals or businesses can afford to pay back loans based on factors like their income and recurring expenses.
Get started

The ultimate Loan Origination System built for continuous automation