Frequently Asked Questions – Mortgage Broker Partner Program


What is ICS?

ICS is a correspondent commercial mortgage lending company. We provide commercial, multifamily, and investment property loans nationwide (not including Nevada).

How long has ICS been in business?

ICS started as a Commercial Real Estate company in 2009. In 2015, ICS arranged our first commercial loan. In March of 2017, ICS launched designed to help Independent Loan Brokers and ICS Commercial Loan Advisors package and place commercial, multifamily, and investment property loans with lenders on a nationwide basis.

What is Lending Partner?

A Lending Partner "Loan Broker" is an independent loan broker that uses the ICS Funding Platform to package and place commercial, multifamily, and investment property loans with lenders. Lending Partners have the option if approved to work directly with ICS as ICS Commercial Loan Advisors on an exclusive basis.

Is this a job?

If you join ICS as an Independent Lending Partner you do not work for ICS. You submit loans for funding on a non-exclusive basis. The ICS Funding Platform at is a commercial mortgage funding resource we offer to Independent Loan Brokers. If you apply to join the ICS Team as an ICS Commercial Loan Advisor, and are approved, you work exclusively with ICS as a contract ICS Loan Advisor. It is a 100% commission, 1099 opportunity, exactly like being a Realtor.

How many loans are originated through ICS on a monthly basis?

Over 50MM+ in commercial and investment real estate loans are originated through ICS each month.

What is the best way to see what type of loans ICS offers?

Use the Loan Finder tool on the website.

Can a Lending Partner order credit through ICS?

Yes. Lending Partners can order Soft Credit Checks that do not affect the borrower's score. The cost is $44 and can be paid by the Lending Partner or borrower via credit card online.

What is the largest loan ICS can fund through our lenders?

There is no maximum loan limit. ICS funds loans through the largest lenders and institutions in the country.

What lenders does ICS work with?

ICS works with over 1,000 lenders.

What is the smallest loan ICS can fund through our lenders?

$250,000. We fund smaller loan on a case-by-case basis.

What are the SIX Core Loan Programs most commonly used to fund loans through ICS?

  1. Bridge Loan (Non-bank)
  2. FLEX Perm (Alternative to Bank)
  3. Permanent Loan (Bank, CMBS, Agency, Life Co)
  4. Fix & Flip / Rehab Loan (Non-bank)
  5. New Construction Loan (Bank & Non-bank)
  6. SBA Loan (Bank)

If you have a general question about the Funding Platform, training, or an administrative related question, who should you contact?

First visit your tools and resource page from your Loan Dashboard by logging in. If you cannot find the answer to your question, contact the ICS Support Team via email from the "Contact" link on the main menu at

If you have a direct question about the status of a loan you have submitted, what should you do?

You can login to your Loan Dashboard and select the loan you are working on. In the processing section of the loan, you can check the status of the loan. If you want more information, you should contact your assigned Senior Loan Advisor assisting you with the loan.

If you have a specific deal related question or scenario and the answer is not covered in training or available via the ICS website, what should you do?

Contact your assigned ICS Senior Loan Advisor assigned to the loan.

Does ICS handle general questions and support matters by phone?

No, all support questions should be submitted online via the ICS contact page.

What is the #1 thing newer Loan Brokers should focus on when getting started?

Learn your loan programs and stay informed on market rates and news daily. What you may lack in transaction experience you can make up for with product and market knowledge, which is what clients are looking for.

Will you be assigned a dedicated Senior Loan Advisor at ICS for assistance?

Yes, all Lending Partners are teamed with a Senior Loan Advisor as well as full Loan Support Team. 

If you have a loan scenario, and are unsure if the loan can be funded through ICS, what should you do first?

Login to your Loan Dashboard and enter the loan into the system. You can then schedule a "Loan Review Call" with an ICS Loan Team member. 

What documents are needed to property package a loan for lender review?

Documents vary based upon what type of loan the borrower needs.

See Required Loan Documents

What are the three most important things ICS looks at when evaluating the strength of a borrower?

Money in the bank, equity, property income.

What is the largest loan ICS has originated to date?


How much does ICS charge per closed loan?

ICS typically wraps a loan fee into the loan paid by the lender at closing. In some cases, when no YSP is available through the lender, ICS will charge a minimal loan origination fee in addition to any points you are charging the borrower. ICS fees, if not paid by the lender, range from 0.5% to 1%+ depending upon the property type, loan type, and loan size.

What is the split for an Independent Broker?

Independent Brokers keep 100% of their loan fees when packaging and placing loans with lenders through the ICS Funding Platform. Lending Partner fees are added in as loan origination points.

Can a borrower use seller financing as their down payment to purchase a property?

In most cases, no. A borrower must have the down payment available.

Can a borrower use equity in other properties they own to purchase additional properties?

Yes, as long as they do not exceed the maximum LTV required by the funding lender across collateralized properties.

Does ICS fund loans outside of the United States?


Do you need a Loan Officer license to originate commercial real estate loans?

In most states, no. A real estate brokerage license is required in California. A loan officer license is required in Arizona and Nevada. If you are unlicensed in those states, ICS will team you with a licensed Lending Partner to assist you in closing the loan at an agreeable split to both co-brokers.

If you don't know the meaning of a term (terminology) or want to learn more about commercial lending, what should you do?

Go to our Commercial Lending Terminology page and/or login to your Loan Dashboard and access your training manual.

Why do Commercial Loan Brokers join ICS?

Brokers join ICS as Independent Lending Partners in order to structure, package, and place loans with lenders. Our Funding Platform helps Loan Brokers package professional funding request packages which are sent electronically to lenders for easy review. Brokers that want to work for ICS and be part of a team can apply to join ICS as an ICS Team Commercial Loan Advisor.

Are Independent Lender Partners ICS employees?

No. Loan Brokers are independent contractors and work under the ICS brand or under their own company name. Loan Brokers are usually paid at closing. In some cases, Loan Brokers are paid following closing by ICS when required by the funding lender. If paid directly by ICS, Loan Brokers are issued a 1099 tax form at the end of the year. ICS Team Loan Advisors are also 1099 contractors, but work exclusively with ICS only.

Does ICS work with foreign nationals and non-US Citizens?

Yes. Very common.

If a borrower does not want to provide bank statements or other documents requested, what happens?

You should stop working on the loan and wait until they provide the documents requested.

If a borrower has not filed taxes for 1 or more years, can we still do the loan?

Yes, but they will not get a bank loan. They will have to go with a non-bank bridge loan or FLEX Perm loan until they have filed taxes.

What fees are charged to borrowers?

Partners usually charge 1%-2% on most bridge loans, hard money, and fix and flip loans. Fees vary.

How long is the contract with ICS?

Independent Lending Partners that sign up to use our Funding Platform are on a 6-month agreement, billed monthly, which renews month-to-month after the initial 6-month period.

Do ICS Independent Brokers get their own online web application link?

Yes. Once signed-up the website link is available via the Loan Dashboard.

Can Brokers work under their own company name?

Yes. Independent Loan Brokers can work under their own company name and use ICS to process, underwrite, and place their loans with lenders. ICS Team Loan Advisors work exclusively under the ICS brand.

Is there a quota at ICS?

No for Independent Lending Partners.  Yes for ICS Team Loan Advisors.

Does ICS offer training?

Yes, learning materials are available online. Our training tools and resources include loan program training, packaging, financial review, sales scripts, email templates, and much more. All training materials and resources are available online once you sign up with ICS has one of the best training programs available and is far cheaper than any other program you will find. Why? That's because we focus on originating loans.

How many lenders are there in the ICS Lending Platform?

Over 1,000+

What is the best way to learn about Commercial Lending?

Go through the ICS online training.

Who is the typical ICS Lending Partner?

Residential real estate agents, commercial realtors, residential loan officers, business consultants, financial planners, salespeople, and other similar fields.

What is a typical rate for a hard money loan?

7.5% - 12%

What is the standard maximum LTV on conforming / institutional loans?

65% to 75%, 80% on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac apartment building loans over 5-units.

What is the standard maximum LTV on hard money / bridge loans?

70% to 75%

What type of properties does not work with?

Owner-Occupied Residential Home Loans.

Hard Money loan approvals are based off what primary factors?

Equity & Cash-flow.

Does ICS provide SBA financing through lenders?


Why is it beneficial for a borrower to work with a correspondent lender or broker instead of a bank?

Brokers source capital through every lender in the country providing borrowers with more options. Correspondent lenders sell and assign loans to multiple lenders. With ICS, we do both. We have access to more lenders providing our clients more financing options through one single point of contact.

How do you change your profile / phone, contact information with ICS?

Login to your Loan Dashboard and from the dropdown menu select Update Profile.

How do you update your bio with ICS?

Login to your Loan Dashboard and from the dropdown menu select Update Profile

How much is the ICS monthly platform fee for all services and support provided by ICS to our Independent Brokers?

Regularly $279/month. ICS is currently running a promotion through the end of the month at $140/month. This fee is reimbursed on every closed loan.

How long does it typically take to close a hard money / bridge loan?

15 to 30 days

How long does it typically take to close a conforming / institutional loan?

45 to 90 days.

What is a non-recourse loan?

Borrower is not personally responsible in the event of default. Property secures the debt.

What is the typical term length of a hard money / bridge loan?

12 to 24-months, sometimes 36 months.

Do hard money loan payments include principal and interest or interest only?

Interest Only.

What does the Primary Market mean?

Loans are brokered or sold in the primary market to banks and lenders.

What does the Secondary Market mean?

Loans are packages by lenders and banks and sold to investment companies which are then positioned as securities.

How do you calculate a Cap rate?

Net operating income divide by market sale price.

What is Senior Debt?

Long-term loans.

Who determines what investor a loan will be sold, assigned, or brokered to at ICS?

The ICS Loan Processing team structures and submits loans to lenders, including our asking rate and terms. The ICS Loan Processing team handles all lender correspondence and negotiation.

How much is the Loan Processing fee on loans processed and place by ICS?

$975 to $2,500 depending upon loan size and borrower credentials.

What does loan processing and underwriting include?

If Lending Partner employees ICS to process and underwrite the loan, the following are included.

  • Instant Rate Quote
  • Title Report
  • Deed of Trust
  • Tax Report
  • Financial document review
  • Package loan for lender review
  • Submit loan to lender chosen by Lending Partner
  • Schedule escrow closing
  • Schedule appraisal as needed
  • Clear lender funding conditions

Where is the main office of ICS?

ICS has offices in Seattle, Washington and Newport Beach, California.

In what states does ICS service Loan Brokers.

Nationwide. Brokes are responsible for their own licensing in states where required.

Does ICS assist Loan Brokers fund residential home loans?

ICS can refer you to a licensed residential loan officer if you have an owner-occupied home loan to place. ICS does not arrange residential owner-occupied home loans directly.

If a borrower can apply once through a Broker and have their loan viewed by multiple lenders and investors to fund, why would they go to any other bank or loan officer?

There is no reason why they would apply with another bank, lender or loan officer. Loan Brokers can submit loan packages to multiple lenders for review to attain the most competitive rate and terms.

How many people use monthly to search for loans?

ICS has over 1,500 registered Independent Lending Partners.

Multifamily loans refer to properties with how many units?

5+ units

What is a single-tenant building?

A building with one occupying tenant.

Give an example of a single-tenant building.

Home Depot.

Should a Loan Broker use a 1003 application or Commercial application?

Either works, but the ICS C-1003 Loan Application is preferred.

What does LOI stand for?

Letter of Interest or Letter of Intent.

How long does it take to receive an LOI from a Lender?

Once the final lender is determined that lender will usually issue a final LOI with more specific terms within 1-5 days of receiving borrower and property financials.

What is the most common type of commercial lease?

A Triple Net Lease (NNN).

Why do commercial lenders typically charge an upfront deposit when providing financing after issuing an LOI?

To cover due diligence and underwriting costs and keep borrowers from backing out of the loan and going with a different lender during the underwriting process.

Does ICS fund loans directly?

Loans are arranged through institutional and private lenders that fund the loan. ICS table funds some loans depending upon the loan type and chosen funding lender.

In most cases, who pays the points (fees) on a loan to the Broker, the lender or borrower?


Is ICS a Bank?


What loan has a higher rate, conforming or hard money?

Hard Money.

Who do most institutional lenders sell their conforming loans to?

The secondary market.

Why do private investors like hard money loans?

High interest rate returns on secured real estate assets.

How does ICS qualify lenders and investors?

Lenders must provide verification of 5+ closed transactions.

What is the standard cost of a commercial appraisal?

$500 to $4,000+

What percentage of a property must a business owner occupy as a commercial tenant to attain SBA financing?

51% or more.

How do borrowers typically complete their Commercial & Multifamily Loan Application?

Over the phone or online. It is highly recommended to complete a loan application over the phone with your client to ensure the loan is entered correctly. You can also send your client your personal short-form loan application which is available via your dedicated online loan application link or via Form Fill PDF application.

How do borrowers typically send their financial and property documents to Brokers?

Secure upload via or via email to the Loan Broker directly. Documents can be uploaded securely at by the originating Loan Broker or borrower.

Who sees a loan submitted to ICS?

The Loan Broker submitting the loan, the ICS Loan Team, and approved lenders interested in funding the loan.

Why should Brokers require a Funding Fee Agreement?

A Funding Fee Agreement (FFA) will ensure you get paid your commission from the borrower at closing. ICS handles the funding fee agreement on all loans, including the Lending Partner and commission associated.

 Is the ICS Commercial Funding Fee agreement exclusive?

FFA's can be exclusive and non-exclusive.

Who do you contact at ICS for general website and administrative related support?

Contact the ICS Support Team from the main Contact link from the main menu.

When purchasing a commercial or multifamily property, what is that standard minimum down payment required?

25% - 30%. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provide an 80% LTV on 5+ unit apartment buildings with loan amounts over 1M.

What should you do if you forget your password to access

Reset your password at the Login page.

What are primary items you need when submitting any loan to ICS for lenders to provide an LOI?

Rent Roll

Profit & Loss

Personal Financial Statement or Loan Application

What are 3rd party fees borrowers typically pay directly to the 3rd party prior to closing or at closing?



Title & Escrow fees

Phase 1 and Phase 2 (if required)

What are the FIVE primary things an underwriting looks at when evaluating a loan.

LTV – Equity in the property / down payment

Property type, condition, and location

Property & Borrower Income (ability to make mortgage payments)

Borrower Credit Score and history

Borrower Cash Reserves in the bank

If a property is not income producing, and/or the total property income and borrower income does not support the mortgage payment, would this be a conforming or non-conforming / hard money loan?

Non-conforming / hard money / bridge.

What is the primary objective of a Commercial Mortgage Broker?

Originating and closing loans.

Do Commercial Mortgage Brokers need to have an NMLS license?

No. An NMLS license is for Residential Mortgage originators.

What type of loan application is usually required for a commercial mortgage loan?

1003 Loan Application or the ICS C-1003 Commercial Mortgage Loan Application.

What does P&S stand for?

Purchase and Sale Agreement.

Do rates change daily?


How are rates determined by lenders?

Most lenders base their rate off indexes + margin. Common indexes used by lenders to prices loans include SOFR, Libor, Prime Rate, Treasuries, and Swaps.

Why does ICS charge a monthly Funding Platform fee?

ICS charges a Funding Platform fee in order to provide an abundance of training, tools, resources, loan processing, underwriting, and loan support to our Lending Partners and ICS Loan Advisors. We charge a minimal monthly fee to provide these services, which is reimbursed on every closed loan.