All posts by Chris Cole



Monster of the Month – Jenny Nguyen – September 2016

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Creating lasting connections and helping families achieve their American Dream of homeownership is what drives Jenny Nguyen, Funder at MonsterLoans.

She prides herself on two things, her ability to create solutions in demanding situations, and her drive to work hard for her teammates to ensure that each loan is funded on time, every time. Jenny attributes her accomplishments to her unparalleled level of service, and her outstanding coworkers.

Jenny exemplifies the foundation of ethics, excellence and entrepreneurial spirit that MonsterLoans is built upon.

lashes-pink-monsterWhen asked about what motivates her to succeed, Jenny Nguyen responded by saying, ‘“I really love what I do.’ ‘Especially when I close a file for a purchase loan and the family is able to move into their new home, it feels very rewarding.”’

As a funder, Jenny doesn’t like to take the credit for a successfully funded loan. She is adamant about giving the credit to the entire MonsterLoans team for completing the transaction. “Everybody contributes from the loan origination stage, all the way to the end, everybody deserves the credit” Jenny explained.

Jenny’s career goals are to one day venture into Underwriting. After so many years in funding, she would like to make a change sometime in the future and learn a new aspect of the mortgage industry.

Given Jenny’s years of experience and love for this company, we are confident that she will be able to achieve whatever her heart desires. On behalf of MonsterLoans we thank you for all that you do.

Personality Questions:

What do you do for fun and what makes you happy?

“ I love to work in my garden and go shopping, especially in the summertime.”

What is your favorite sports team? screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-10-52-27-am

“Kobe and the Lakers.” 

If you won the lottery, what are some things you would do?

“I would keep it a secret that I won the lottery for as long as possible, then do my best to help my family and the less fortunate.”

When you were a kid what was your dream job?

“Growing up I really enjoyed political science and history, I wanted to do something in that field.”

What is your favorite book/movie?

“I love all of the Harry Potter books.”logo-hello-kitty-2-jpg-10815234uoqbo_large

What is your guilty pleasure? 

‘“I love to collect Hello Kitty.’ ‘ It is crazy how much I love Hello Kitty. My friends even call me Kitty Cat?”’

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

“The craziest thing I have ever done was ride the Superman Roller Coaster at Six-Flags. It was the first and last roller coast I will ever ride.”


5 Financial Mistakes to Avoid in Your 20’s

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For most people in their 20’s, the only way to discover how to sustain and improve their financial health is through trial and error. Some need to experience failure before they can truly understand how to manage their finances. For those who wish to forgo these mistakes, read the following advice below.

Mistake Number 1 – Overly Excessive Student Loan Debt

As advantageous a college education may be for your career, one needs to understand that there are several financial mistakes that can happen while going to school. These mistakes can have long-term effects on your finances, and prolong you from taking that next step to home ownership in your life.

Mistake: Many kids get accepted to a private school or University and don’t even know what they want to major in. As prestigious as it is to go to one of these schools, many students take more than four years to graduate. This can be because their grades slip while adjusting to a new independent lifestyle, or they decided to switch majors half way through their college career. Nevertheless, tuition at many private schools can be very expensive and leave you in a lot of debt.


Advice: Before enrolling into an expensive school, make sure you know what you want to do. Also, consider taking your general education courses at a State or Community College first. General education courses will be the same no matter where you go to school. Minimize your student loan debt and transfer to the school of your dreams after you have received your Associates Degree. This will allow you time to discover your career path and the freedom to switch majors without already having so much invested in your previous major. Lastly, once you have transferred to the prestigious school of your dreams, you will then receive a diploma at almost half the cost, versus if you had gone there for all four years.

Mistake Number 2 – Not Budgeting

As cliché as creating a budget sounds, it is very beneficial for your financial health. A budget is an overall plan to make sure that you have money for your fixed monthly expenses.

Mistake: People who do not budget can have a tendency to lose track of their expenditures and find themselves not able to pay their bills towards the end of the month. This in return can damage your credit score and cause unwanted late fees. You don’t want to be calculating your bills in you head every week wondering if you have enough to go see a movie.

alan-blackjack-oAdvice: Make yourself a budget that will cover your fixed payments and have some money left over for savings and unforeseen expenditures. When you get your paycheck, set aside your budgeted money in a separate “untouchable” account that is specifically for your monthly bills. By doing this you guarantee that you will have enough money for the entire month. As for the leftover money, feel free to do whatever you want with it, even though it is undoubtedly better to save.

Mistake Number 3 – Over Spending

Mistake: People who are new to the workforce can be overly excited once they start getting regular paychecks or a raise. This causes them to overspend on things like leasing an expensive car and moving into a better apartment. As great as all that is, in many cases, decisions like these can cause people to go paycheck-to-paycheck and prevent them from building equity for their future. All the money you spend leasing a car and on rent for an apartment helps someone else get rich, not you. Once your lease is up on both your car and your apartment all the money you invested in those two luxuries just disappears and cannot be used to help you down the road.

Advice: While you are in your 20’s, save as much as possible. Live with your parents or with as many roommates for as long as you can. The less you rent early on, the more you will have to buy with in the future. When it comes to a vehicle, ‘buy’ a reasonably priced ‘used’ car that is a year old. Make all of the monthly payments on time and pay it off as soon as you can. The sooner you pay off things like your car, the sooner you can then sell your car to invest that money elsewhere. This will help you save, it will help you build credit, and allow you to be more eligible to afford a mortgage sooner in your life.

Mistake Number 4 – Not Establishing Good Credit

Your credit score is a three-digit number between 301 and 850 based on your credit spending habits in the past, and the higher, the better. Generally, you do not want your credit score to fall below 650, as potential creditors will consider you less dependable and deserving of certain favorable rates.

Mistake: Younger people who are new to adulthood feel entitled to certain things they have always wanted. With that being said, just because you have a credit card, does not always mean you should use it. It goes without saying; if you do not have the money for a specific item, you should not be buying it. People in their 20’s can sometimes find themselves getting into a lot of credit card debt and spend the rest of their lives paying it off.


Advice: Do yourself a favor and be smart with your credit. Build your credit by making small manageable purchases and pay them off as soon as possible. This will allow you to make bigger purchases later on when you are applying for a mortgage or a loan. Your credit is very fragile; a couple mistakes here and there can make a huge difference down the road.

Mistake Number 5 – No Emergency Fund

It is always wise to have an “emergency fund” in case the worst should happen. While most people try not to even think about the possibility of losing their job, a medical emergency, or their car breaking down, these are all things that can potentially happen.

Mistake: In our youth we feel invincible and have the mentality that nothing bad will ever happen. The problem with that kind of attitude is you don’t prepare yourself if anything bad does happen. You spend your money on different things like vacations and other forms of entertainment rather than saving it to protect yourself if you briefly lose your income. Without an emergency fund, how will you pay your bills if you unexpectedly get laid off from work, or break your leg on a ski trip?


Advice: Before signing a lease, be sure to have a backup plan and an emergency fund that can keep you afloat for at ‘least’ three months. It is recommended to have six months saved, but everyone’s finances are different. Having this emergency fund will help sustain your needs until you find a new job. It also gives you enough time to heal and rehabilitate if you have a serious injury or get sick.


Here at MonsterLoans we understand that for many people, their 20’s is a decade spent learning what it’s like to be an adult. It is a time of great opportunity and a time to live and learn. Some of our greatest memories are when we were in our 20’s but not all are perfect. That is what makes us human. Try to control what you can to better your chances, live your life to the fullest, and plan ahead to achieve the American dream of homeownership.

As always, if you have any questions, or are interested in finding out if you are eligible for a home loan, call us to speak with one of our trained loan professionals.

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Monster of the Month – Jane Chavez – July 2016

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Jane Chavez’s commitment to excellence can be seen on a daily basis. As MonsterLoans’ Credit Manager and Jr. Underwriter, Jane works vigorously to ensure that all our borrowers’ files are completed in a timely manner.

“My number one concern is to complete the clients’ files correctly and on-time,” says Jane. “I know there are a lot of people struggling financially; the quicker and more accurately I do my job, the sooner our borrowers receive financial relief and can start living better lives.”

Jane’s hard work and dedication hasn’t gone unnoticed. Her positive attitude, fun-loving personality, and desire to help others have influenced us all here at MonsterLoans.

“I feel right at home every day when I come to work, I enjoy helping those who are in need,” Jane says. “I take pride in helping my coworkers and love seeing them do well. When they succeed, we all succeed.”

Jane Chavez has been a part of our team since February 2015 when Nidal Khader, Chief Financial Officer at MonsterLoans, recruited her.

Her willingness to do whatever it takes for the borrower, and strong work ethic are the reasons she was chosen to be the Junior Underwriter at MonsterLoans.

When asked about her secret to success, Jane replied by saying, “there really is no secret, I set daily goals for myself, try to complete eight to ten files a day, and prioritize my time in a way that makes me the most productive.”

Everything we do here at MonsterLoans is a team effort. Sometimes that means people have to step up and wear multiple hats. Jane Chavez fully embodies this concept going outside of her job description and helping everyone get on the same page.

“Everybody has to be willing to work as a team to accomplish a common goal. MonsterLoans is a family; we need to work together, not as individuals, if we want to be successful,” she explained.

Jane Chavez loves this company and wants to see MonsterLoans establish itself as one of the leaders in the mortgage industry. She is very passionate about the overall success of her department and the wellbeing of every employee at MonsterLoans.

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What does being Monster of the Month mean to you?

“I was shocked when my name was called! I accidentally shouted some profanity! In the past I have never been one to relish the spotlight, but I am very honored and grateful that all my hard work is being recognized. I am just here to do my job and strive to help those in need. That is what satisfies me.” 

What is your favorite memory from working at MonsterLoans?

“I loved this years 4th of July party. Everyone was having fun, playing games, and taking pictures in the photo booth.”

What advice would you give to all of the recent new hires here at MonsterLoans?

“Ask a lot of questions and be honest with yourself and don’t be afraid to learn. Also, don’t be nervous, we all want to see you succeed.”

What do you do for fun and what makes you happy?

“I love to fish. I’m a big fisherwoman, all I want to do is go out on a charter boat and catch me some tunas!”

Who is your hero?

“Jesus Christ, my one and only.” 

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see casted as you?

“Sandra Bullock hands down, she’s a great actress”

What is your office nickname?

 “Dontae calls me Scarface because I’m strict and always asking for stuff.”

Who is your favorite monster?

“Tasmanian Devil”

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5 Things to Avoid When Applying for a Mortgage

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Qualifying for a home loan is not easy, and there are several factors that go into the qualification process besides your income and credit score. As much as underwriters would like to see your loan make it to the finish line, it’s their job to evaluate your income and credit score to make sure you’re a qualified borrower. It’s important to avoid some of the common mistakes that many borrowers make when applying for a home loan. Be prepared and try to limit the mistakes listed below to increase your chances for success.

1.) Avoid making large purchases beforehand

To get approved for a home loan or mortgage, your lender needs to extensively analyze and calculate the probability of reimbursement. One way to prove to them that you are a strong candidate is by showing them that you have reasonable spending habits. Consistency in your finances indicates that you are liable for your expenses and that you can be trusted to manage consumerism. Try not to make any sizable purchases such as a new car, boat, or RV. The financial decisions you make before applying for a loan can greatly impact the likelihood of your loan being funded. Generally, it’s recommended to wait on any sizable purchases until after the loan process has closed.

2.) Avoid major lifestyle changes

Quitting your job to start a new career path is a major lifestyle change that could negatively affect your chances of qualifying for a loan. Try to establish longevity with your current employer before applying for a home loan. By showing  job security, Underwriters can better determine whether or not you will be able to handle the financial commitment of a mortgage. Bringing a newborn child into your family can create uncertainty as well when applying for a home loan. Children, although a blessing, are a huge financial commitment, which is why timing is so important.

3.) Avoid new credit accounts or credit inquiries

Your credit score is one of the most important factors when applying for a home loan. Resist the urge of opening new credit accounts with your local retail stores or bank. It might be tempting to save 15 percent on your new TV by opening up a credit card, but doing so could be the difference between you getting an affordable mortgage rate or not.

4.) Avoid closing any credit accounts

Closing a credit account might intuitively seem like it will help your credit score, but will in fact hurt your credit score. Instead of closing out any credit accounts, it’s recommended to continue to make your monthly payments at an amount that’s higher than the minimum due. When applying for a home loan, focus on maintaining consistent credit card payments, and try not to make any big purchases in the six months leading up to your home loan application.

5.) Avoid taking on the financial responsibility of others

When you co-sign on a loan and assume the financial responsibility for someone else, underwriters will question whether or not you can sustain a new monthly mortgage payment. Co-signing on a loan to support your family member or friend means that you’re liable if the worst should happen and they can’t pay off their own financial commitment.

Here at MonsterLoans we understand that life happens and sometimes financial setbacks can’t be prevented. Try to control what you can to better your chances of achieving the American dream of homeownership. As always, if you have any questions, or are interested in refinancing your home, call us to speak to one of our trained loan professionals so that we can provide you with our top-rated customer service.



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Monster of the Month – Paul Nguyen – June 2016

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Paul Nguyen, Disclosure Desk Specialist at MonsterLoans is June’s Monster of the Month. He is inspired by creating lasting connections within the mortgage industry and helping families achieve the American Dream of homeownership.

“I strive to treat others the way I want to be treated,” says Paul. “I understand how eager our clients can get waiting to see if their loan will be funded. That is why I do my best to complete the disclosures as soon as possible.”

Paul’s positive attitude and consistent work ethic has spread like wild fire throughout the office here at MonsterLoans. His compassion for others and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done truly exemplifies what it means to be Monster of the Month.

 “I try my best to keep a positive attitude on a daily basis,” Paul explains. “I strive for perfection and I try to help everyone to the best of my ability. I also believe smiling is contagious and so I try to greet everyone in the morning the same way everyday.”

Paul was recently hired and has been part of the MonsterLoans family since the beginning of May.

 “I wouldn’t have gotten Monster of the Month without the help from my teammates and my supervisor Kelly Richard,” says Paul. “Kelly has so much experience in the industry and has really taught me a lot about my job and the mortgage industry.”

When asked about what it means to be Monster of the Month, Paul was very surprised. He never thought he even had a chance to win Monster of the Month since he is so new to the company.

“I was really surprised when my name was called, I never thought I would win let alone be in the running since I am so new,” Paul explains. “I guess it goes to show you how hard work pays off and doesn’t go unnoticed here at MonsterLoans.”

Paul Nguyen’s career goals are to climb the latter within MonsterLoans and someday become an Underwriter or Funder.

 “I feel there is a lot of room for growth at MonsterLoans. My career goals are to one day become an Underwriter or Funder and I strongly believe that MonsterLoans will be able to give me that opportunity,” says Paul.

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What do you do for fun and what makes you happy?

“I love to cook food and I really enjoy photography. I would love to retire and start my own photography company.”

If you won the lottery, what would you do?

 “I would invest in a camera company and try to create the next big technological advancement in the camera industry. I also think it would be fun to travel the world and not pack any luggage. Just explore, take pictures and buy whatever I need at the destination.”

When you were a kid, what was your dream job?

 “I always wanted to be a chef; I love Vietnamese and Italian food.”

What is your favorite sports team?

 “I don’t have a favorite team but I love watching the Olympics. My favorite events are Track and Field and Gymnastics. Usain Bolt is my favorite athlete.”

Would you like to tell us three things that most people might not know about you?

1)“I have moved six times in the last two years.

2)“I was born pre-mature.”

3)“I used to weigh 320 pounds and lost 100 pounds in 6 months.”

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

“My friends and I spontaneously hiked the Grand Canyon and forgot to bring water. We hiked well over 10 miles and barely survived.”

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MonsterLoans Treats You Like Family

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Are you searching for the right mortgage lender to refinance your home? MonsterLoans understands the anxiety that comes with this process and would like to put your mind at ease. We’re proud of our excellent customer reviews, our streamlined in-house process, and the specialized service we offer to military veterans. Our staff treats our borrowers like family, which is why our business has thrived since 2003.

We know it helps to hear feedback from people who have worked with us before. In an effort to earn your trust, we gathered a few testimonials from our Yelp and Facebook pages , which average 4.3 out of 5-star reviews.

 “Rick Rawlin made the loan process seamless. In our first conversation he said he was a “man of his word” and would work his “tail off” for me—He delivered. Ask for him by name, he will make a sometimes stressful situation, less stressful. I give him my highest recommendation!” – Darren K. from California

 “These guys are the loan masters! They helped my sister with a complicated loan refi that we thought we could never get done. They were on top of it every step of the way, were so professional & knowledgeable & saved my sis & her hubby so much in mortgage payments helping them out immensely! Thanks guys for saving the day you are the best!!” – Tania J. from Maryland

MonsterLoans streamlines your loan by centralizing our services under one roof, from processing to underwriting, all the way to funding. This eliminates the possibility of miscommunication and delays, making the process simple and easy for everyone involved. With this advantage, MonsterLoans has been recognized to fund loans in half the time when compared to the industry standard.

 “My fiancé and I had the privilege of working with Dave at MonsterLoans and decided to refinance our condo in order to do some upgrades. He was very professional and always put our needs first. Our loan was funded in less time than originally anticipated thanks to Dave and we couldn’t be happier. If we decide to move in the future, or need other financial advice, we will definitely contact Dave! Thanks again!!!” – Courtney from California

MonsterLoans specializes in VA Loans to support the brave men and women who served our country. Our veterans risked everything to keep “our home” safe; the least we can do is help finance theirs.

Cash Out Refinance “My husband, a retired serviceman and I decided to refinance our condo in order to do some upgrades.  We previously had a V.A. Loan and were pleased to know we could refinance into another V.A. Loan. We had the privilege of working with Brian G. Harvey at MonsterLoans. What an attentive, personable, and thorough professional is Brian, with one thing in mind – serving the customer.  Brian was able to ask for documentation before it was requested which shortened the process greatly and assured us that Brian really knew his job As in most financial transactions there were several bumps to overcome, however, Brian assured us this was quite normal and the process continued with calls to let us know exactly what was going on day-to-day.  Our loan funded in less time than anticipated thanks to the expertise of Brian G. Harvey.  If we decide to move in the future, or have other financial interests, most definitely we would contact Brian once again for advice and direction. Besides the praises we have for MonsterLoans, we feel as though we made a friend throughout this process.- Frank S. from California

“Amazing group of people! You are in good hands with MonsterLoans!!”Jay C. from California

 “Dontae Ward knocked the ball out of the park, helping me with my refinancing on my home. This was an easy exchange and he will go the limit for you! Thanks Dontae!!!!!” – Michael G. from Colorado

Our numerous product offerings and capable staff help us meet the needs of clients both big and small. MonsterLoans takes the fear out of financing and we will go out of our way to treat you like family. Call us today at 1-866-808-0377 for a free quote.


Monster of the Month – Ian Galan – May 2016

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Establishing relationships within the community and helping our nation’s veterans attain the American Dream motivates Ian Galan, Processing Manager at MonsterLoans.

“What I enjoy most about being the Processing Manager here at MonsterLoans is being able to help our veterans,” Says Ian. “It means so much to be able to help those who sacrifice so much for our country on a daily basis.”

Ian Galan has been a part of the MonsterLoans team since February, 2015. She found MonsterLoans on Craigslist and really relishes the perks of working for a smaller company. Ian’s determination and drive has an impact on everyone here at MonsterLoans. She contributes in every department, works weekends without being asked, and always maintains a positive attitude. Most importantly, she demonstrates compassion for everyone in the office and really embodies what it means to be the Monster of the Month.

“I love how close everyone is here at MonsterLoans,” Ian describes. “Everyone treats each other like family and you really get to know everyone in the office.”

Ian works hard everyday and is driven to do everything in her power to maintain the pipeline and ensure our customers loans make it to the finish line in a timely matter.

“I don’t like to fail; I am a very passionate and competitive person and even though you learn from failure, I would rather not.” Ian explains .


Monster Of the Month Q&A

What does being Monster of the Month mean to you?

“It makes me feel appreciated and valued to know that the company has faith and trust in me to contribute to the well being of the company.”

What is the key to your success?

“Time management and compassion with my teammates. My teammates and I help each other through both the good and the bad days,” Ian says. “Whenever anyone in the office is struggling or going through a tough time, we all will be there for one another to help them get through it.”

What advice would you give to all of the recent new hires here at MonsterLoans?

“Make sure to establish a connection with your teammates and remain open minded to new ideas and strategies because it can make all the difference”

Do you have any career or life goals that you would like to achieve?

“I would love to retire and move to Hawaii with my family but still remain active and start a small business there.”


Personality Q&A:

 What do you do for fun and what makes you happy?

 “I love spending time with my family. I look forward to hanging out at Chucky Cheese on Saturday nights with my niece and nephew,” Ian proudly says. “I love spending time with my husband and our four dogs; Boober, Giget, Wicket, and Tory.” 

Monster-of-the-Month-CelebrationIf you won the lottery, what are three things you would do?

“I would make sure everyone in my family has their houses paid off, buy my dream home in Hawaii, and throw a huge party before I leave!”

Who is your hero?

“Every girl’s hero is their dad, but I have a special connection with my dad because it was just me and him for the first three years of my life,” Ian explains. “We developed a special connection that will never change, if I am ever in need, I will always go to my dad first.”

 What are three things that most people might not know about you?

I have a pace maker, I know how to ride a motorcycle, and I’ve known my husband since I was six years old.

What is your favorite sports team?

Dustin Brown “The L.A. Kings, I grew up in L.A. and will always make that drive to go see my Kings play.”

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

“Bungee jumping and sky diving.”

What is your favorite Book?

“Gone with the Wind”

What is your favorite food?

Milanesa with Sage Sauce”

 Who is your favorite monster?

 “Edward from Twilight”



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