HomePostsLoan Processor Spotlight: Nikki Cuenca

Loan Processor Spotlight: Nikki Cuenca

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

At Mr. Cooper, we believe that anyone with the right mindset can become the next success story—even those who start off on one career path but end up on a completely different one.

Meet Processing Manager Nikki Cuenca who realized early on that her dream job in corporate communications was not a perfect fit for her. After some soul-searching and a stint as a bartender, Nikki knew that she wanted more for herself and applied for a loan processing position at Mr. Cooper. In just three years, Nikki quickly leapt from loan processor to team lead to processing manager and is now proud to lead a top processing team of her own.

Read on to find out how Nikki’s career change led to major milestones, get insights on working at Mr. Cooper and take away valuable career advice!

Nikki Cuenca

Processing Manager

Photo of Nikki Cuenca next to a quote from her interview

Could you share a bit about your career path prior to joining Mr. Cooper?

I graduated college a semester early with a BA in Journalism/PR, had a great job in corporate communications and I was waiting tables on the weekends in the airport just because I loved it. I was on top of the world—until I wasn’t. I grew to really hate my corporate job when I started to feel like I didn’t have a purpose. My dad was a union worker for that company years before and his supervisor was the one who got me the interview. The role itself wasn’t the issue, it was more of not relating to any part of the corporate culture. I looked forward to the weekends only because I enjoyed waiting tables more than my weekday job. I worked at a restaurant since I was 16 and my boss at the time (still one of my mentors to this day) let me keep my job when I moved away for college so I could work whenever I came home to make a little extra money.

How did you muster up the courage to leave your corporate job?

I come from a family of immigrants and I’ve worked a full-time job since I was 16. I had a hard look in the mirror one day and decided that I didn’t work this hard to pay for my school to be in a job that I hated. My parents already made it a point to do that so I wouldn’t have to. I decided to use this time to soul search and travel the world. I began working at the airport full time and got promoted to bartender shortly after. Working in an airport had its perks as most of our guests were corporate travelers so I met a lot of great people and shook a lot of hands with executives from companies all over. The people aspect of the job was my favorite and meeting people from all walks of life only helped me better understand the world.

What led you to Mr. Cooper?

Life happened and I ended up working at the airport a little longer than I anticipated. I wanted something more for myself and as much as I loved my job, I grew out of it even after taking on more administrative and managerial tasks. I reached out to one of the girls who used to wait tables with me and was working at Mr. Cooper. I told her that I applied for a loan officer job online and she spoke to her manager and advised me to come interview for a processing position since she was a processor and thought it would be a better fit. I had a phone interview for the loan officer role that morning in the parking lot and an in-person interview for the processing role right after. I walked into my interview admitting that I had no idea what I was interviewing for. I accepted the processing role later that day and now here I am as a manager over four years later!

How is Mr. Cooper different from other companies?

The Innovative Culture! It is easy to get stuck in “founder’s syndrome” and do things one way because we know it works. The mortgage industry is so dynamic and we have to be “Challengers of Convention” to really compete with the rest! I am often impressed to see how as a company we encourage a “we can always learn and do better” type of attitude. Leaders are always reaching out for feedback and I’ve always felt heard. This culture exposes employees to the behind-the-scenes of leadership and possible growth opportunities!

In what ways has your career change impacted your life and how has this experience shaped you as a manager?

I feel blessed every day to work in a role that I love, surrounded by people with the same drive and mentors who are invested in my success. I’m almost free of my student debt and I purchased my first home this year—all before 30! I know what this job has done for me, and even if I can help make that happen for one or two of my employees, I would call it a job well done.

Do you have any words of wisdom for those who dream of a successful future?

My story is relatable to a lot of people in so many ways. Sometimes you need to find someone who will take a chance on you for things to start happening. But, it’s also important to remember that if you want someone to invest in you, you have to invest in yourself and understand that it should never stop. I am where I am today because I made things happen—not because of the cards I was dealt. I spoke my ambitions into existence and I work to earn my seat every day.

What are three pieces of advice that you would share with someone wanting to succeed in a Loan Processor position?

1. Be hungry – The job has a fun and competitive environment and those who always strive for more do well in this role!

2. Remember your “WHY” – Like all jobs, some days can get tough and stressful. It’s important to remember what motivates you or what gets you up in the morning. It could be your kids, that new house you’ve been saving up for, or maybe even paying down all your student debt. When those hard days come, remembering your “WHY” will refuel that fire to push you when you need it most!

3. Believe in yourself – It all starts with you and how bad you really want something! I came into this business a nobody with no mortgage experience. Here I am over four years later as a Processing Manager leading a top processing team of my own. If you’re willing to do the work, this can be you, too!