KickStart Program Providing Grants To Mortgage Brokers Who Go Solo

The National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) has teamed up with United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) to launch a kick-start program to get more new independent mortgage brokers to set up their own shops.

The KickStart program, as it is being called, will grant loan originators up to $10,000 to open their own broker shops, NAMB and UWM say in a release. These funds can be used to cover start-up costs, such as office space and software technology.

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, CEO of NAMB, in a statement. “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.”

Applicants to the program must already be loan originators in banks or branch networks and have a minimum of three years of experience in the mortgage industry. In addition, they must demonstrate a potential aptitude to successfully own and operate an independent mortgage brokerage firm. These individuals should also embody an entrepreneurial spirit.

Applicants must provide a company description, outline their production goals and describe their 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 recent survey of approximately 200 loan originators conducted by NAMB, roughly 70% of respondents reported an interest in owning their own shops.

In the same survey, 44% of respondents indicated money as their main barrier to opening their own businesses, but 60% 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 comprises three representatives from NAMB, 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 organizations sit in on the committee.

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