Loan origination systems (LOS): A thorough guide for financial institutions

How can financial institutions optimize their loan origination systems?

In today's rapidly changing and highly competitive lending industry, financial institutions are continually seeking innovative solutions to streamline their processes, improve operational efficiency, and provide exceptional customer experiences. One solution that has gained significant popularity is the loan origination system (LOS). The term LOS can have different interpretations among bankers in the industry, but it generally refers to a set of software solutions that automate the workflows involved in originating commercial loans at a financial institution. The LOS emerges as an indispensable powerhouse, uniquely equipped to ensure utmost accuracy, enforce compliance with regulations, faster decision-making and masterfully navigate risk management complexities. In light of these paramount objectives, the LOS stands tall as an indispensable ally in propelling growth while enhancing the borrower experience.

In this article, we will discuss LOS, exploring its key features, benefits, and the transformative role it plays in the lending industry. Additionally, we will discuss how OutSystems, a leading low-code development platform, empowers organizations to harness the full potential of LOS and drive exceptional outcomes.

What is a loan origination system (LOS)?

A loan origination system (LOS) is a software platform that automates and manages the loan origination process for financial institutions such as banks, credit unions, and mortgage lenders. It serves as a central hub for all activities related to loan applications, approvals, and disbursements.

LOS also simplifies and accelerates the lending process by providing a digital framework for collecting and evaluating borrower information, assessing creditworthiness, determining loan terms, and facilitating document management. It replaces manual and paper-based processes with streamlined workflows and standardized procedures, increasing operational efficiency and reducing processing time.

The seven steps of a loan origination process

A typical loan origination process for any lending institution  (banks, credit unions, micro-finance institutions, etc) consists of seven steps. This includes qualification, documentation, application processing, underwriting, credit decision, quality check, and loan approval & disbursement. Let’s discuss these steps in detail below: 

Phases of Loan Origination

#1: Borrower pre-qualification

As the first step of the loan origination process, it involves the borrower providing all his information to the lending institution. This includes identity information, address details, current employment details, income, payment history, tax returns & expenses, loan amount and purpose, etc. 

#2: Documentation

In this second step, the borrower is asked to provide more comprehensive information and fill it up in an application form. They are also asked to submit relevant documents related to financial status, employment, income, and other credentials. They can either submit these information and documents offline or online by accessing the lender’s web portal or mobile application. 

#3: Application Processing 

Once all the comprehensive information is received, the lending institution’s credit department reviews the information, checking the accuracy, authenticity, and completeness of the borrower’s documentation. Other important action items of this step involve bringing in the credit analyst to validate the information and run algorithm-based analysis to assess if the borrower will be able to repay the loan.

#4: Underwriting

This is a critical step in the loan origination process and assesses the creditworthiness of a borrower and determines whether to approve or deny the loan or what loan amount can be disbursed. The borrower’s financial situation is evaluated along with other details like credit history, debt to income ratio, repayment capacity, and the overall risks associated with loan approval. 

#5: Credit Decision

This is where credit analysts decide whether or approve or deny the loan request. In case there are any further details required, it is re-send to the originator to procure that information. Even when the loan is denied, it can be reconsidered with a reduced loan amount, increased loan tenure, or revised loan interest rates to lower the equated monthly installments (EMIs), etc. The final decision regarding the loan is announced in this stage. 

#6: Quality Check

This is the stage where the accuracy and compliance of the loan application in regards to various related regulations and internal policies is assessed. Quality check of a loan application is a critical stage before the final approval and disbursement of the loan. 

#7: Loan approval & disbursement 

Once the borrower and the lender mutually agree on the loan terms and conditions as outlined in the loan document, the approved loan amount is then disbursed to the borrower. This disbursement can either take place in the form of a cheque or via direct bank transfer to the borrower’s account. If required, alternate channels like digital wallets, cards, etc. can be considered. 

Typically, this entire process takes 40-60 days and more depending on various factors. As a lot of paperwork is required for the same, it takes a lot of manual effort and a significant amount of time, from origination to final processing. 

Why do banks need to establish a loan application processing system?

Banks need to establish a loan origination system (LOS) to address the challenges associated with manual application processing operations. Tasks like verifying application information, determining loan terms, and preparing documentation can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Banks can automate these processes by implementing a LOS, saving time and resources while increasing their application processing capacity. One of the key benefits of a LOS is its ability to ensure accuracy and consistency in handling loan applications. Manual processing is prone to errors and inconsistencies, resulting in financial losses and damaging the bank's reputation. A LOS streamlines the application handling process, reducing the chance of mistakes and ensuring a smoother and more reliable experience for both the bank and its customers.

A streamlined and efficient loan origination process enhances customer satisfaction as clients experience a smoother and more streamlined application procedure. Additionally, a LOS facilitates better risk management practices, enabling banks to assess and mitigate risks associated with loan approvals.

What are the features of a loan origination platform?

A high-performing loan origination platform offers a range of features that streamline the loan application and approval process, enhance efficiency, and improve decision-making. Here are some key loan origination system features to look for:

#1. Automated application processing: The platform should automate various manual tasks involved in application processing, such as data entry, document verification, and application review. This reduces errors, saves time, and improves the overall efficiency of the lending process.

#2. Configurability and flexibility: A powerful loan origination platform allows lenders to configure the system to align with their specific business processes and requirements. It should offer customizable workflows, decision rules, and user interfaces, enabling lenders to adapt the platform to their unique needs.

#3. Integrated data and document management: The platform should provide seamless integration with data sources and external systems, allowing lenders to access and analyze relevant information during the loan origination system process. It should also offer robust document management capabilities, ensuring secure storage, retrieval, and sharing of loan-related documents.

#4. Compliance and risk management: An effective loan origination platform helps lenders comply with regulatory requirements and manage risk effectively. It should have built-in compliance checks, automated credit scoring, and risk assessment capabilities. The platform should also support regulatory reporting and audit trails to ensure transparency and accountability.

#5. Collaboration and communication tools: The platform should facilitate smooth collaboration and communication among various stakeholders involved in the loan origination system process, such as loan officers, underwriters, and customers. It should provide real-time updates, messaging features, and task assignment capabilities to streamline communication and enhance teamwork.

#6. Analytics and reporting: A high-performing loan origination platform offers robust analytics and reporting capabilities. It should provide comprehensive dashboards and reports that offer insights into loan performance, application metrics, approval rates, and other key performance indicators. These analytics help lenders make data-driven decisions and identify areas for process improvement.

#7. Scalability and integration: The platform should be scalable to accommodate the growing needs of the lender's business. It should also offer easy integration with other systems and technologies, such as credit bureaus, fraud detection tools, and loan servicing platforms. This enables seamless data flow and enhances operational efficiency.

#8. Mobile accessibility: In today's mobile-driven world, conducting business via mobile phones has reached unprecedented levels. For lenders, having a loan origination system software that provides real-time access to the loan approval status becomes crucial for optimizing all stages of the loan process. This holds particularly true for auto sales, where essential information such as the vehicle's sale price, interest rate, terms, loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, and the probability of loan closure are critical. By incorporating this innovation, all relevant stakeholders can stay informed and up-to-date on the status of a loan, ensuring efficient and effective decision-making.

Leverage and LOS accelerator to start accepting loan applications quickly

The global loan origination and management market, which was valued at $1.9 billion in 2021 is expected to reach $3.3 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 14.7%. Several reports also state that lending institutions wish to leverage digital loan origination systems to streamline the process. The usual demands of lending institutions are around tools that include capabilities for custom automated workflows, automated checks & underwriting, identity verification, secure storing of loan files and borrower details, and compliance management. 

However, traditional LOS processes are limited by legacy systems, data silos, lack of data-driven decision-making, slow and cumbersome loan origination processes, divergent compliance and regulations, etc. While some lenders might have a digital LOS in place, it lacks the agility, scalability, and adaptability required and only serves as over-the-counter software. To maintain pace with today’s competitive ecosystem, lenders need to leverage a technology that is easy to scale, modify, and change, takes into consideration your custom workflows, and ensures compliance, data security, and integrity. 

#1: Streamlined processing time

To address lengthy processing times, financial lending institutions can implement advanced digital tools and technologies that automate and expedite various stages of the loan origination process. This includes leveraging machine learning algorithms for faster credit assessments, digital document submission and verification, and real-time data analysis to reduce the overall time required for loan approval and disbursement.

#2: Efficient loan origination workflows

To improve efficiency, financial institutions can adopt centralized and well-integrated loan origination systems that provide a holistic view of borrower and stakeholder activities. These systems can automate communication, eliminate duplicated borrower records, and facilitate seamless collaboration among stakeholders. Implementing a well-structured workflow management system can ensure a smooth and error-free process from pre-qualification to loan funding.

 #3: Adaptive compliance and regulatory solutions 

To navigate compliance challenges, institutions can invest in flexible digital loan origination systems that allow easy configuration of compliance rules based on region-specific regulations and protocols. These systems should also offer automated compliance checks, documentation management, and underwriting criteria customization, ensuring that the institution remains compliant with evolving regulatory requirements.

#4: Comprehensive automation throughout the loan origination process

Automation is key to addressing manual inefficiencies in the loan origination process. Financial institutions can implement end-to-end automation solutions that cover tasks such as data entry, document processing, credit scoring, and reporting. By reducing manual intervention, these solutions enhance operational efficiency, reduce errors, and ensure that all regulatory checks are consistently met.

#5: Resource management  and scalability

To overcome capacity constraints, lending institutions can consider outsourcing certain non-core functions or investing in scalable cloud-based loan origination platforms. This allows them to flexibly allocate resources and scale up or down based on market demands. Partnering with third-party service providers for routine maintenance and support can also free up internal resources for strategic initiatives.

#6: Enhancing borrower experience

Delivering a seamless borrower experience can be achieved by offering user-friendly, mobile-responsive loan application interfaces. Leveraging data analytics and AI-driven personalization, lending institutions can tailor loan offerings to individual borrower needs. Clear and transparent communication channels, including chatbots and digital support, can provide borrowers with timely assistance, making the overall experience fast, convenient, and customer-centric.

Building a robust loan origination system with OutSystems low-code

While we discuss the challenges faced by lending institutions, the question that now arises is, ‘how to build a robust loan origination system that helps fulfill the dual objectives of efficient lending operations and an exceptional borrower experience?’ The answer is to build a loan origination system (LOS) backed by the capabilities of OutSystems’ high-performance low-code. 

Lending institutions need a loan origination system that expedites loan application and approval process, enhances borrower experiences, helps them ensure regulatory compliance, improves risk assessment, and enables customization. Building a loan origination system on OutSystems not only helps achieve all those objectives, but even lays the foundation of a secure, scalable, and agile loan application and approval process. 

Here we discuss the six ways how OutSystems low-code helps you develop a robust lending platform fast and for the future. 

#1: Develop, extend, and scale your loan origination system

OutSystems low-code platform, with the support of OutSystems.AI, accelerates app development by as much as 50%, thus reducing associated costs proportionally. This serves as a real deal for banks and financial institutions that wish to develop a custom loan origination system, optimize its capabilities, deploy new features fast, address bug fixes; all with minimal coding demands. Citizen developers can now install new upgrades and roll out new functionalities leveraging the visual development style and drag-and-drop capabilities of OutSystems, thus building interactive and powerful banking applications.

  • OutSystems.AI: OutSystems.AI is a suite of artificial intelligence (AI) tools that can be used to improve the efficiency and accuracy of loan origination systems. For example, OutSystems.AI can be used to automate tasks such as document classification and risk assessment.
  • OutSystems Forge: OutSystems Forge is a marketplace where developers can find and download third-party components that can be used to extend and customize OutSystems applications. Several components of OutSystems Forge can be used to improve the functionality of a loan origination system, such as credit scoring, fraud detection, and loan servicing.
  • OutSystems support: OutSystems offers a variety of support services that can help lenders develop and deploy loan origination systems. These services include training, consulting, and maintenance.
  • OutSystems Sentry: OutSystems already provides extensive security features tailored to the needs of lenders. With OutSystems Sentry, lenders can confidently build and manage applications while ensuring the protection of sensitive financial data. The platform offers robust security measures, risk management capabilities, and monitoring, making it suitable for banks and organizations dealing with critical customer information. OutSystems Sentry ensures a secure and compliant low-code cloud platform for lenders.

Moreover, lending institutions can facilitate easy and fast integration of LOS with CRMs, credit bureaus, and anti-money laundering (AML) checks, thanks to OutSystems TrueChange engine. 

#2: Automate simple to complex workflows

LOS systems involve complex workflows, including application processing, credit checks, document verification, and approval processes. OutSystems offers tools for designing and automating these workflows, streamlining operations. 

#3: Regulatory compliance

Compliance with financial regulations is critical. OutSystems provides features that help you maintain compliance with industry-specific regulations and standards, such as Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements.

#4: Customization and flexibility

Loan Origination Systems often have unique business processes and requirements. OutSystems stands out with its flexibility, allowing organizations to customize the system to align with their specific needs. This adaptability enables quick responses to changing market conditions and evolving regulatory mandates, ensuring that the LOS remains tailored to the institution's operations.

#5: User experience

OutSystems excels in empowering organizations to create modern and user-friendly interfaces, a capability that is absolutely pivotal for the efficient processing of loan applications and for delivering a positive user experience, whether for customers or internal users.

#6: Scalability & security

LOS systems must be able to handle varying workloads, especially during peak times. OutSystems provides scalability through horizontal scaling, allowing organizations to add more server instances as needed to accommodate increased demand. Additionally, it places a strong emphasis on security, offering authentication, authorization, encryption, and role-based access control features.

#7: Integration capabilities

LOS systems often require integration with various data sources, credit bureaus, third-party services, and financial systems. OutSystems provides pre-built connectors and an extensible integration framework, making it easier to connect and interact with external systems.

#8: Mobile access

In today's mobile-centric world, providing mobile access is crucial. OutSystems allows organizations to concurrently develop mobile applications alongside web applications for their LOS. This ensures that the LOS is accessible to both customers and employees on various devices, enhancing convenience and accessibility, and catering to a broader user base.

Loan origination system use case with OutSystems

A leading financial institution was facing challenges with their traditional loan origination process, which was manual, time-consuming, and prone to errors. The cumbersome paper-based system resulted in inefficiencies, delayed processing times, and a poor customer experience. In their quest for a solution, they choose OutSystems, a powerful low-code platform, to streamline their loan origination process.

With OutSystems' robust capabilities, they were able to build a customized Loan Origination System (LOS) tailored to their specific needs. The LOS automated various stages of the loan origination process, including application evaluation, approval, and document management. By leveraging OutSystems' visual development environment, the company rapidly created intuitive user interfaces and seamlessly integrated data from multiple sources. They also successfully eliminated the reliance on manual paper-based processes. 

The LOS now enables digital submission and processing of loan applications, significantly reducing processing times and improving operational efficiency. With real-time status updates and notifications, both customers and the internal team could track the progress of loan applications, enhancing transparency and providing a superior customer experience. By adopting OutSystems' low-code platform, they achieved a modern, streamlined, and secure loan origination system, positioning them as a frontrunner in the competitive financial landscape.

Fasttrack loan origination with an OutSystems-based LOS accelerator

A Loan Origination System (LOS) is a valuable tool for banks and credit unions seeking to streamline and enhance their lending processes, from initial borrower interaction to loan closing and funding. By leveraging digital loan origination systems, financial institutions can deliver the level of customer service expected by borrowers, with even faster turnaround times. 

As a leading OutSystems Partner, we have successfully assisted numerous banking and financial organizations in optimizing their loan origination process. Our certified experts are ready to help your institution achieve similar results and maximize the benefits of the OutSystems platform. Contact us to explore how OutSystems can optimize your loan origination system.

Automate your loan origination process with our certified OutSystems experts.


Talk to our experts for more insights.

We would love to hear from you.


Please fill the form or send us an email at