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Housing market experts predict a rising number of millennials will buy homes in the coming years as their careers stabilize and more of them begin to marry and start a family.

Yet, according to the National Association of Realtors, the median age of its members is 57. The average age of a loan officer is 54, according to Mortgage Professional America, a news outlet that covers the mortgage and finance industry.

Freedom Mortgage, a national lender headquartered in Mount Laurel, N.J., aims to change that age differential by recruiting more millennials as loan officers. The company’s First Flyer program trained more than 100 loan officers in 2015, and the company anticipates hiring at least 1,000 more mortgage professionals this year as the program expands to new markets.

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The theory is that millennials naturally prefer to deal with professionals closer to their age, particularly for something as complex as purchasing a home. The year-long First Flyer program includes cohorts of students managed by the executive staff, cohort leaders to guide the teams and coaches to mentor each participant. Trainees in the program work on company projects and attend networking events in addition to learning about mortgage products and best practices.

Locally, the First Flyer program is offered in Columbia, Md. Other programs are held in Florida and New Jersey. Freedom Mortgage is recruiting recent college graduates and even current college students who will graduate this spring or summer throughout the Washington region to become paid trainees.

For more information, contact program coordinators Ruth Ringwood at Ruth.Ringwood@FreedomMortgage.com or Katherine Rugge at Katherine.Rugge@FreedomMortgage.com or visit www.FreedomMortgage.com.

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