For the ninth year in a row, we compiled the industry’s most comprehensive list of the nation’s top mortgage
originators. The rankings include
not only the originators who are
closing the most dollar volume and
the most loans, but also the leaders
in niche areas, like Federal Housing
Administration, U.S. Department of
Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department
of Agriculture loans as well as home
equity lines of credit.
View Scotsman Guide’s
Top Originators 2017 at
By Steven Wyble
Stephanie Machado Barto is clearly doing something
right. For the second year in a row, Machado topped
the list of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
lenders in Scotsman Guide ’s Top Originator rankings.
Machado ranked No. 1 on the USDA Volume list in
this year’s rankings with $20.3 million in loan originations, compared with $22.6 million the prior year.
She also gained ground in the Most Loans Closed
and Top Dollar Volume categories, earning the No. 36
and 95 spots in this year’s Scotsman Guide rankings,
Machado, who works for GMFS LLC in Covington,
Louisiana, about 40 miles north of New Orleans,
says one key to her success is having her borrowers
fill out a full loan application so she has as much
information as possible to work with.
“The more I know about the customer’s situation,
the more I will know if I can get them into [a particu-lar] product or not,” Machado says.
Educating borrowers is an important part of her job,
particularly when it comes to making people aware
of the benefits of the USDA Rural Development
mortgage program, she says. Most people don’t
realize they can get a lower mortgage payment
with a USDA loan than with a Federal Housing
Administration (FHA) loan, even if they put less
money down, she noted.
People tend to think USDA loans are limited to rural
properties, like farms, but that’s not true, Machado
says. Many suburban areas just outside urban centers
Steven Wyble is online content editor for Scotsman Guide Media.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
are eligible for USDA financing. The trick is making
people aware that it’s an option for them, she says.
“My goal is to make sure the customer is well informed
about the products (available to them) … People just
don’t know that (the USDA loan program) is there to
utilize,” she explains.
That proclivity to educate and build relationships
with clients is largely why Machado says she isn’t
terribly worried about rising interest rates and
“We don’t sell rates,” she says. “As those rates come
into play, that’s not what we’re here to do. We’re
here to sell a product and a service. We sell benefits.”
More than anything, however, Machado says a
mortgage originator’s work ethic determines their
level of success.
“Right now, as the market is tending to shift a little bit,
they just need to hustle,” she says. “It’s always a hustle
… Even when you’re busy, you need to be looking for
new opportunities, because you always have to have
that same mentality from month to month to month.”
Hustling should not, however, come at the expense
of a manageable work/life balance, she adds. Having
recently given birth to twins, and now with a total
of three children all under the age of 5, Machado
admits pursuing that goal of balance can be a challenge. How does she do it?
“When I find that answer, I will let you know,” she
says with a laugh. But, she adds, “I have help. This is
a team effort, not just a one-man show here.”
Stephanie Machado Barto, GMFS LLC
No. 1 USDA Volume (2017)