LIVINGSTON, NJ - TAPinto Livingston recently sat down with one of the Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce’s newest members, 45-year Livingston resident, Bea Chaiklin.
Bea is currently a Senior Loan Officer at NJ Lenders Corp and has been in the business for over 21 years servicing clients with residential, commercial and reverse mortgages.
Q: What are your stand-out services?
A: My stand out services would be that I help people get the loan that they are applying for by helping them to correct their credit to get a higher FICO score, I help with difficult loans, find the lowest rates possible and because of our size, we have many niche banks that have the best rates and deals around. We have a bank to fit everyone’s needs so they can get the home of their dreams.
Q: Why did you decide to go into this profession?
A: I used to teach 5th grade. I taught decimals, fractions—all of that. I’m a numbers person. But that is not necessarily why I got into mortgages.
I was working on my own home refinance when the young man doing the home owner’s insurance for me felt that I should start working in the mortgage field because I was picking up on the mortgage info so quickly. He told me to go see his friend who owned a mortgage company and perhaps he would hire me. I went and interviewed and got the job.
I was there about eight months before a man I worked with there suggested that I would do better with another company – the one that he was switching to. So I interviewed and got hired – that was NJ Lenders and I’ve been here for over 21 years.
Q: What did you go to school for? If you could have done it all over again, what do you think you would have studied instead?
A: I went to school for elementary education and taught 5th grade. I probably would have gone into stocks and bonds – I like that. I think I would have become a stock broker or financial planner.
Q: What is the most frequently asked question you get from potential clients?
A: What’s my rate?! And the answer I always give is that it depends. It depends on your FICO score and qualifications. For example, do you have a job? How much income do you make? How much debt have you incurred? And of course, what was your adjusted gross income the last two years on your tax returns?
Q: What is your favorite part of the work day or week?
A: Everyday brings new challenges. Nothing is ever the same. You never know who you’re going to meet or what’s going to happen. I do advertise that I’m available from 8 in the morning to 10 at night, seven days a week. There are never any dumb questions and I enjoy educating people about getting a mortgage. I really have a passion for what I do.
Q: If you or your business could be described in a song, what would it be?
A: Enjoy yourself, its later than you think. Why? Because, I’ve gotten older.
Q: If you could service one celebrity, who would it be?
A: Barry Manilow. I like the way he sings.
Q: Why did you decide to do business in Livingston?
A: Because I have lived here for so long, put three kids through school here and don’t plan on moving. It’s a great community.
Q: What is your favorite thing about Livingston?
A: The location. It’s centrally located, it's a beautiful town and I love my home.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not at work?
A: Shopping! I like going to Pennsylvania to Bon Ton and Boscov’s. They are department stores that have everything different from what we have here.
Q: Who is your hero?
A: My mother and father. They were a big influence on my life – both of them – I can’t say one without the other.
They were hard workers, they had a strong love affair.
My mom had breast cancer and after my dad passed she came to live with me. After five years she was in the hospital and the doctor said she’d be gone in a few days and I told the doctor ‘no not yet.’ So the doctor said ‘oh no, why not?’
I said ‘because the Hebrew date my father died isn’t until next Thursday and he will come to get her.’ He said ‘I don’t think so, but it’s a nice thought.’
Well my mother died that next Thursday within 10 minutes of the time my father died. Tell me he didn’t come get her.
Q: Tell me about your family.
A: My husband Harold is a semi-retired cash register dealer (there is an interesting story to that I can tell you another time). We met when I was 16 and he was 20. He took me to my high school prom. We have three wonderful children: Dr. Ronald Chaiklin, Lisa Chaiklin Aflalo who is an attorney, and Philip Chaiklin who works for New York Life Insurance.
I also have seven grandchildren ranging from ages five to 19. The most recent high school graduate it getting ready to spend a year abroad in Israel and another one is coming home from her year in Israel.
My 14-year old granddaughter is graduating 8th grade from Hillel Academy in Ocean with double honors as valedictorian in Hebrew and English Studies, and her brother was valedictorian two years ago.
My two 12-year old grandchildren, who were born four days apart from each other, are just as bright and are doing extraordinary things as well. And my five-year old grandson is gorgeous and keeps me lively.
Q: Wow Bea, it seems like you’ve done a lot and have a ton of experience with what you do now. Is there anything else?
A: I am an outside sales agent with Alice Travel and have been involved in travel for almost 40 years and at one time owned my own travel agency. I still have clients who refuse to give me up as their agent!
If anyone has any needs in the mortgage field, it would be my pleasure to give them a free consultation. I can also offer them a $200 coupon towards closing costs.
To contact Bea Chaiklin, call her toll free at (973) 992-3650