Real estate agents get a lot of the limelight, and for good reason. They are indispensable on your road toward homeownership.

But loan officers deserve a lot of credit too. They are responsible for putting together a financial game plan, which involves a ton of groundwork and activity until the very end.

Here are five ways loan officers support their clients as they navigate the sometimes-tricky waters of today’s real estate market.

Provides consumer education
New homebuyers will have plenty of questions. Many of them can be answered by a real estate agent. But when it comes to understanding the financial details, you should go through the expert.

Loan officers answer questions about the home-buying and lending processes. The details, which include lots of paperwork, fees and other costs associated with buying a home, can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to partner with a loan officer who focuses on education and is always available to answer questions.

Determines eligibility
The primary job of a loan officer is to determine the buyer’s qualifications and to verify the supporting financial documents that guide the decision.

Throughout the process, homebuyers are in direct contact with loan officers. They will work on the behalf of the buyer to make all the necessary contacts and complete other tasks that move the process along quickly.

Homebuyers will be thankful that they do not have to keep track of all the moving pertinent contacts, including real estate agents, underwriters and other professionals. That’s the loan officer’s job.

Strengthens offer
In today’s market, every advantage matters. And thanks to loan officers, buyers can bulk up their offer and increase their chances of buying a home.

This is made possible with a preapproval, which is the lenders green light that the buyer is a go. It demonstrates the applicant’s readiness and provides a dollar figure amount on how much they buyer can borrow.

Coming in with an offer that’s already lender approved lets the seller know the buyer means business.

Reviews finances
Buyers will need to undergo a financial health checkup before buying a home.

The job of the loan officer is to review the applicant’s income, assets and other areas that relate to finances.

If needed, the loan officer will give financial guidance, putting the buyer in the ideal financial position to succeed in buying a home and managing a new budget.

Recommends loan programs
Borrowing money to buy a home is not a one-size-fits-all proposition.

Loan officers will work their magic to find program features that suit the borrower’s needs and goals.

Whether you’re considering an FHA or conventional loan, remember that the loan officer is an encyclopedic resource for your questions about the various loan programs.

Homebuyers can also lean on loan officers for advice on how to make the most of their chosen loan program to maximize their investment.