Beyond saying the simple words of “thank you,” many people aren’t sure how to express their gratitude to service men and women.

Corey Kates at work

Corey Kates decided he could offer specialized services as a thank you for the service of veterans.

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Corey, AVP, Mortgage Lending at INB, recently completed courses to become a Veteran Mortgage Advisor. This gives him unique expertise with a Veterans Affairs (VA) loan, which is a mortgage option available to veterans, service members and select military spouses. VA loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“This was a way for me to give back and say thank you, to truly give to them like they have given to me. I’m trying to reciprocate in some way for the sacrifices they have made for all of us,” Corey says.

One of Just a Handful

Corey is one of only 200 mortgage lenders across the country with the Veteran Mortgage Advisor certification – and one of just a handful in Illinois.

What sparked his interest in this certification were several experiences working with veteran clients over the last year. Corey saw stigmas associated with VA loans that made it more difficult for his clients to buy a home.

During the certification process, Corey got to learn from veterans who had returned from fighting in Afghanistan and the only benefit they could take advantage of was a VA loan – which can sometimes be complicated.

“That really hit hard with me, especially since we have a large military presence in Sangamon County,” he says. “I took it to heart and decided I wanted to change the perceptions of some of those myths about VA loans – not only for my clients but also to spread knowledge about VA loans to my colleagues, other local lenders and realtors.”

‘Genuine Happiness’ in Helping First-time Homebuyers

Corey first joined INB in 2017 as a loan processor before moving up to mortgage lender. He doesn’t hesitate to name working with first-time home buyers as his favorite part of his job.

“The genuine happiness of buying your first home and having someone alongside you to answer your questions, it’s a very fulfilling feeling,” he says. “The journey has been incredible; no day is alike in the mortgage business.”

INB jumped behind Corey when it came to his new certification, ready to partner with him to make the VA loan process as easy as possible. Corey has worked with the entire INB Mortgage department to restructure VA loans to ensure a smoother process getting our veteran clients into their new homes.  

He also has expert knowledge ready at his fingertips; weekly, he reviews new VA guidelines, and he’s able to contact the VA loan center with any additional questions.

Corey’s already been putting his new expertise to work.

Just after he received his certification, one of his clients moved from Texas to Florida and needed a VA loan. There were a lot of moving parts with handling two VA loans at the same time, but Corey was thrilled to help his client navigate those challenges.

“I take pride in specializing in these loans now, not just doing them,” Corey says. “At INB, we know exactly what we’re doing with VA loans and are able to make banking easy for veterans now.”

Cory’s NMLS # is 1652367.