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CRA Loan Officers: Simply Empowering the Local Community

July 20, 2022 By: Great Midwest Bank
Professional photo of Great Midwest Bank CRA Loan Officer Jennifer Lamb

Our CRA loan officers are not only assets to our team at Great Midwest Bank, but they are valuable assets to the entire community. How can a loan officer bring added value to the communities they serve? CRA loan officers specifically focus on making sure low-to-moderate income communities have proper and fair access to Home Mortgage Loans. And we’re proud to have two dedicated CRA loan officers who serve Southeast Wisconsin.

CRA is short for “Community Reinvestment Act,” which was passed by Congress in 1977. The Community Reinvestment Act set up guidelines for financial institutions to meet housing needs of the entire community they serve, regardless of any person’s household income.

Being a CRA loan officer allows me to help people achieve their dream of becoming a homeowner.

Jennifer Lamb

GMB’s CRA Loan Officers

The local CRA loan officers at Great Midwest Bank are specially trained for CRA compliance. They help ensure everyone pursuing a Home Mortgage Loan is given the tools and respect they deserve to work toward homeownership.

We previously introduced you to CRA loan officer Brenda Brown’s background and efforts. This time, we met up with Great Midwest Bank’s other resident CRA loan officer, Jennifer Lamb, who operates out of our Greenfield office.

Meet Jennifer Lamb

Jennifer Lamb is fluent in Spanish and has worked with many borrowers in the local Latino community. At GMB we pride ourselves on being Simply Local, and Jennifer lives that value day in and day out by helping us reach this important community in Wisconsin.

CRA loan officers like Jennifer are an invaluable resource for our customers — we like to think of them as superheroes not everyone knows about. So, what led Jennifer to the CRA loan officer path?

“I have always led a career in banking,” Jennifer says. “I started as a teller and eventually moved to different areas in the banking industry. I enjoy sharing valuable information and assisting families to reach their financial goals; being a CRA loan officer allows me to help people achieve their dream of becoming a homeowner.”

Empowering Local Customers

The loan officers at Great Midwest Bank are dedicated to taking a personal, customer-first approach to lending — and Jennifer is no different. Jennifer has a special passion for her local community in Milwaukee. Every person she helps sticks with her in one way or another.

“All my customer transactions are memorable,” she remarks. “Each one is different because of their unique stories and efforts to reach homeownership.”

CRA loan officers take everyone’s specific needs and situations to heart and go from there to set them up for success. At GMB our staff works to help all our customers feel confident and empowered in their home journey.

“I notice how nervous people are as they walk into closing,” Jennifer observes. “Once customers have their keys, many show gratitude with tears of joy. My response to them is, ‘YOU did it!’”

Programs CRA Officers Connect Customers With

At Great Midwest Bank we set customers up with the resources and assistance necessary to become a homeowner. Our CRA loan officers take it a step further by connecting homebuyers with financial resources they qualify for.

“As a CRA loan officer, I partner with local organizations that offer home counseling. These include the United Community Center, ACTS Housing, Housing Resources and Greenpath. I encourage borrowers to visit their websites to learn more about their services.”

Jennifer also describes how she works to connect low-to-moderate income families with the resources they need to secure a home loan.

Down Payment Plus Program

Whenever possible, Jennifer works to set up qualifying first-time homebuyers with a grant to ease some of the cost burden.

She tells us, “At Great Midwest Bank, we have partnered up with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago to offer first-time home buyers assistance with down payment funding. The program is called Down Payment Plus Program, or DPP. It provides down payment cost assistance for income-eligible homebuyers.”

Jennifer goes on to explain, “The cost assistance is in the form of a forgivable grant paid on behalf of the borrower. The grant funds are considered forgiven after five years.”

At Great Midwest Bank, we understand that buying a home can be stressful — especially if it is your first time. Our loan officers like Jennifer love facilitating assistance programs like DPP and opening more doors to homeownership.

Home Renovation Loan Rate Program

CRA loan officers at Great Midwest Bank also help connect people with accessible home renovation loans. Qualified borrowers can secure a low-interest Home Renovation Loan.

“Our home improvement product is specifically offered to families who are income-eligible or reside in a low-to-moderate income area,” Jennifer notes.

It’s just another way GMB and our CRA loan officers work to provide practical options that serve the needs of the community. We value helping enable local people make their house a personalized, comfortable home.

“The neat thing about this Home Renovation Loan program is the low monthly payment and the assurance that the homes are in good hands with a licensed contractor,” Jennifer points out. “The rate is fixed for five years and the max amount is $20,000 based on equity of the home.”

If you’re unsure how to pursue a home purchase, loan officers at GMB have the know-how and connections to form a path to get you there.

Talk to Our Loan Officers Today

If you’re ready for your home journey, talk to one of Great Midwest Bank’s Simply Local Loan Officers. We believe home loans don’t need to be stressful. At GMB it’s our goal to help you experience a state of Bankquility. For CRA resources, information on how we serve the needs of the Spanish-speaking community, or any other loan questions, talk to Jennifer Lamb today! She’s your neighborhood CRA Loan Officer.

Jennifer Lamb, CRA Loan Officer (Greenfield Branch)
NMLS 524193