Erika Westcott has been in the mortgage business for 21 years, and next year will celebrate her 20th anniversary with First Federal Bank. The Auburn University graduate and mom to three served as the affiliate director for the Northeast Region of Alabama Association of Realtors for six years, was honored as the Etowah-Cherokee County Association of Realtors' Affiliate of the Year in 2002, and has been a Top 10 Producer for First Federal Mortgage for the last four years.
Q: How long have you worked with AHFA's homeownership programs?
A: I believe you all introduced us to the Step Up program when it first rolled out in 2005. We were Etowah County's first AHFA lender.
Q: What do you think is the greatest benefit of AHFA programs?
A: The greatest benefit I've seen is borrowers being able to utilize the down payment option for ANY home in ANY area. Having higher income limits than other programs has also helped several of my buyers take advantage of low down payment options. I love how the Mortgage Credit Certificate allows a buyer to afford more home by taking advantage of the tax credit during the year. I also love the fact that the loans are serviced in Alabama, which is a comfort to buyers when it comes to loan servicing. AHFA loans have been a large part of our company's portfolio for many years, and I feel it has set us apart from competition in our area (not to mention the staff at AHFA is top notch)! AHFA's down payment assistance products have been a great contributor to First Federal's success in Etowah and surrounding counties. These products have held true over 10 years, and we love working with AHFA. I have agents that refer buyers here specifically for Step Up loans.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: I feel my duty as a loan officer is to educate. I love to explain the process to first-time buyers and educate them on what is going to happen. I am a people person. I LOVE people...meeting them, talking to them, singing to them (just kidding). This career has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people from all walks of life. I am now in the phase of life where I am making mortgage loans to people I babysat, coached on swim team, taught gymnastics to, etc. It is so neat to see people I knew as children growing up and becoming homeowners. That is the part that is most rewarding to me.