Provident Funding
2.4 of 5 73 reviews
www.providentfunding.com San Bruno, CA 500 to 999 Employees

Provident Funding Reviews

Updated Jun 25, 2014

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2.4 73 reviews

                             

74% Approve of the CEO

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Craig Pica

(19 ratings)

25% of employees recommend this company to a friend
73 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Pay is pretty good for an entry level job"
    in 9 reviews
  • "Opportunity to build a career and advance quickly, especially as a recent college graduate"
    in 7 reviews
Cons:
  • "Extremely cheap company - No 401K match"
    in 9 reviews
  • "Little PTO, no sick which is fine but then you need to provide more PTO"
    in 7 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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    A perspective from a previous employee.

    Underwriter (Current Employee)

    ProsGood opportunity for overtime, good opportunity to earn small monthly bonuses and maybe a christmas bonus. Good opportunity to learn some corporate culture. Sometimes you have great co-workers and awesome branch leads. I was fortunate to have both. Good out of college job.

    ConsHere is where the cons really stack up. Provident Funding being my first job, in which they only target college graduates, I guess you could say I was naive. Having been at my employer for a few months, I can honestly say Provident Funding was one of the worst companies I have worked for.

    1) No freedom over your time. Be in at 8am, take one hour lunch during a specified time because you will be answering phone calls all day and you need someone to pick up the phone. Leave at 5pm. I guess this is just an hourly thing, however, you were definitely not in charge of your time.
    2) Benefits are very lean. Little PTO, no sick which is fine but then you need to provide more PTO. Health plan is very lean and you pay a lot for it.
    3) Work is not creative at all. You look at the exact same thing day in day out. Sure you get opportunities to look at other things but the company is run like a factory.
    4) CEO states it's great to switch roles and be put into different roles. Most professionals would laugh and walk if they were told this, but being naive, I ate it up. You were basically made to be a jack of all trades, but the work again is very monotonous, it wasn't like being able to do some creative work.

    I'm very happy to be where I am. For those that need a couple years to make some money and pay off student loans, this isn't a bad job, but this shouldn't be your "career".

    Advice to Senior ManagementNone, I had no problems with management.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Worst Job I've Ever Had

    Audit Department (Former Employee)
    Burlingame, CA

    ProsProbably the only thing that this company has going for it, in terms of employment, is that it's a job. The CEO does know what he's doing but that's about it.

    ConsProvident is run by one family, husband and wife, brother, father, and a family friend. They have absolutely NO idea about hanging onto good employees and the place is run exactly like a factory. Come into work at 8 am, work work work until 5 pm, go home and repeat the next day. Sometimes they expect you to come in on weekends. I worked in the Audit department and when I was there they told me to do one thing before the audits went out and then another thing when the audits were disputed. Almost all major audits were disputed and removed so what's the point of even having an audit department? They expected you to literally do the work of two people and to be happy doing it. They'd have company-wide conference calls every once in a while and talk the talk about how much they value their employees and unless things have radically changed since I left in 2010, don't believe a word of it. If you quit, don't even bother asking for any recommendations, they do the bare minimum in terms of verifying your job with your new employer - it's like they're vindictive but in a childish way. The mid-levels have a huge chip on their shoulder because they're given a little responsibility. Five holidays per year, you work the day after thanksgiving. The day before thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, expect to stay until 5 pm, they won't let you out early. I ended up quitting and going back to school to do something different - completely soured my outlook on working in Finance.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRestructure, get rid of the mid-levels and hire good people. Do what you can to make them feel valued and appreciated.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Unfulfilled. Monotonous.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsIf you have leverage, you can argue for a pretty decent salary and have pretty good access to the higher ups.

    ConsYou'll be unfulfilled and won't enjoy your job. If you aren't in the inner circle, your salary will suck and you will not be happy.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't hire if there is nothing to do. There are many intelligent people there would would like to do more, but there simply isn't enough decent work to do.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    So So

    Funder, Underwriter, Trainer (Former Employee)
    Bellevue, WA

    Pros-The company has a good CEO Craig and Lori Pica; they are both very understanding and is willing to listen to suggestions if they ever get to them. Majority of the time however the immediate supervisor will take credit for the work or is unwilling to pass on ideas.
    -decent training program and support for small company

    Cons-although the CEOs are great themselves the fact that they are a private company that can not control the simplest aspects of promoting correctly--they should be named as the first negative aspect of this company.

    -promotion is based on whether you are willing to stay over time, but management fail to check whether the overtime was warranted. Many employees do honest work and do not require overtime is punished b/c they are viewed as dedicated. Especially people who are new typically sit on their phones playing with Facebook or twitter, then spend extra time at the end of the day so they can earn overtime. Those are the people that get notice at this company bc they simply stay after.
    -lower management is often a year into the job and have no experience dealing with people. They are very power hungry, incompetent, and non-knowledgeable.
    -while I was employed here, there were two specific example that just blew my mind. Case 1: an employee was at the branch for about 1 year and he threaten to quit, the head of the department gave him a raise and promoted him to branch manager simply he does an insane amount of overtime. After about 6 months as branch manager the employee left for another company anyways. Case 2: the wholesale division manager promoted an employee who has been with the company for about 1 year over an experienced underwriter who had trained me I funding and underwriting--after a year this new branch manager was fired for incompetency. These are just two very specific case of mismanagement which causes confusion and chaos in the branch.
    -some branches have remote managers so new employees take advantage of this. They arrive late and have someone log onto the system for them so they are shown as being on time. Remote managers are too incompetent to know that they should call a branch meeting each day or once in a while to make sure everyone is on time!

    I was with provident for roughly 4.5 years. I worked as a funder for 2 years, then worked as an underwriter for 1 years then became a trainer for about a year and a half and left for PACCAR mainly bc I was sick of seeing discrimination and lack of values in promotion practices. Currently I manage roughly 6-7 folks.
    My advice for new graduates is that if you are looking for a job in this track then prepare yourself---this is not the best company to work for. Your "manager" will likely be fairly incompetent, your training will be decent, your hours will be long, and you will be frustrated.

    Advice to Senior Management-do not promote people just because they do a lot of overtime. Check to see what they accomplished throughout the day as well. Check for accuracy and not just quantity.
    -show loyalty to those who stayed loyal with the company.
    -instead of trying to save money by promoting the younger and more inexperience people, award the people who has been there with the company and know what they are doing.
    -check up on supervisors and make sure they are competent
    -do not have remote managers. Office manager is highly recommended. The office manager should have experience, been with the company, and know what he/she is doing.
    -do not promote people to "manager" over those who has been on the job for 5,6,7 or 8 years, after 1 year on the job! This creates chaos in the branch and these new 1 year managers are the core of incompetency. It does nothing positive except save the company some money in terms of lower compensation for the new manager.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    OK place to start out entry-level in mortgage industry...if you have no other options

    Mortgage Underwriter (Current Employee)

    ProsA good comprehensive introduction to the mortgage industry. Solid training-although it is mindnumbingly boring at the time you are going through it, after about a year you realized how much you learned.

    You can take your training and experience here and become a broker/LO and easily make 2-3X what you were making here. Mortgage is a difficult industry to get started in from scratch and PF does a good job of getting you started with an incredibly detail-oriented training and comprehensive overview of the industry.

    Also, whether you are a closer or an underwriter, you will get exposure to all parts of the mortgage origination process. That's because of the limited staffing--no account reps/AE's, no setup/processing staff. So by the time you've been there a year plus, you have exposure to lots of different scenarios, questions, things going wrong, etc. - after the fact, I've found this broad exposure to be very useful.

    Sometimes I think I've seen more scenarios, questions, etc. than people who have been in the industry 10-20 years due to the tremendous volume that runs through PF's doors and the fact that everyone in the branch kind of collectively takes on the role of the AE.

    Another pro is that in terms of mortgage lending, Provident is one of the least shady companies, and I like that. They have integrity in their lending guidelines and programs. They are very good at what they do. It's a good learning environment just to witness that firsthand.

    ConsUnfortunately, the working environment leaves a lot to be desired from an employee's perspective. I understand why they do what they do but it sucks to be the employee at the other end of their policies which all emphasize consistency, efficiency, production at all costs.

    Incredibly strict, rigid environment. You have to submit a formal PTO request at least 2 weeks in advance even if you just want to leave half an hour early to go to the doctor. They don't allow any unpaid time off or any schedule modifications (e.g. take a shorter lunch and leave a half hour early for the doctor). Because of the limited amount of PTO and slow accrual, I ended up budgeting my PTO more rigorously than I budgeted my actual earnings. It's stressful when one sick day can set you back an entire month in terms of "saving up" to take a real vacation.

    Branch managers are micro-managers. That helps the branch as a lot gets done. But it can be stressful at times. Employees lack opportunities for flexibility/creativity/critical thinking - you are basically a cog in a factory assembly line, all they care about is getting more "production" out of you.

    Not only do they send out a daily company-wide report listing all employees and their production percentages from the previous day...depending on the branch, they might also write everyone's names (in the branch) and percentages on a giant whiteboard. Just in case people weren't paying attention to the PDFs being sent out. This can be incredibly stressful.

    Tasks are very repetitive. Expect to spend all day scrolling through hundreds of pages of PDF documents on one monitor and clicking some checkboxes on the other monitor screen. The only break you get from that is answering "cases" and emails from brokers etc., and if you're lucky, after about 6 months they'll start "letting" you answer the phone calls. Which means getting yelled at a majority of the time by angry mortgage brokers and escrow agents and people you have never met. And it's not uncommon for others in your branch to slack off, be intentionally vague in their conditions and communications to the brokers, and then let you and others take the brunt of it by having to answer the phone calls when these brokers call in confused and frustrated by the lack of clear communication. Meanwhile you have no knowledge of the file and just have to listen to them talk your ear off until you are able to get them off the phone.

    To somebody who said "what did you expect to do with that finance or accounting degree?" - definitely not this. The actual work duties require very little if any brainpower at all. If I had stayed here longer than 2 years I would have felt I was wasting my brainpower and education on mindless repetitive tasks that can also be incredibly hard on the body due to their repetitiveness.

    HR is also a little bit shady...and it definitely doesn't help that the only HR contact is the COO of the company, who is also the CEO's wife. That means you really don't have anyone to "talk to" about any HR issues that come up....and good luck if you decide to report any issues. Expect to be marginalized. They will likely not outright violate your employment rights, but they will do as much as they can get away with on the right side of the law to squeeze as much out of you as an employee and save as much money for the company.

    There is no focus on advancement, career development, personal development, or building any skills except those directly related to the job (underwriting/closing). When I took the classes to get my LO's license, I had to do so secretly outside of work, because this kind of aspiration for advancing my career would certainly not have been supported by management.

    Also, there is a lot of pressure to work overtime and come in on the weekends (except in the rare times when volume is slower). Expect to be asked every Friday, often in aggressive and manipulative ways, if you can come in this weekend. They don't outright force it but will ask it in such a way that you basically can't say no.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI understand PF's reluctance to hire additional employees as account exec's/reps. But the communication issues cause a serious burden. It's basically just a giant chaos and nobody seems to care. It would be nice to at least have some sort of an "underwriting help desk" for brokers to e-mail scenario questions to, and have some sort of a system for shifts. Employees should be rewarded for responding to communications and evaluated on the clarity of their responses, as the current system only rewards new underwrites/condition clearing, and as a result incentivizes avoiding communication or giving unclear responses.

    Also, employee benefits could be improved. The rigid structure of PTO and lack of any sort of flexibility in scheduling is a major factor in employee stress and turnover. And I agree with another comment...a budget of $12 per person for the end-of-the-year "appreciation" lunch is just a complete joke....we got better lunches from our brokers voluntarily showing us their "appreciation" at random times throughout the year. If the brokers are rewarding the employees better than the company is, something is wrong.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Great place to start as a college graduate

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGood co w-orkers and the training is meticulous. Everyone is helpful. No overhead

    ConsNo sick days. Only Paid Time off. Work can get monotonous.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    If you're good, you will be happy.

    Mortgage Underwriter (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat pay, annual review. One year I got above 10% the next above 20% raise. If you're a star, and that means doing a lot of production and with little audits, you will go far.
    Good people, majority of the people that work here are good, everyone is pretty smart. There are a few slackers, management has a hard time firing people, they just put them in non-essential roles.
    I'm in the entry underwriting position, above me is a branch lead, above him is a regional manager, above him is a department manager, and above him is the CEO. The vertical to the top is very short, however the company has a lot of different operations so you can move around and climb that way.
    Unlimited overtime, when things get busy and if you want to make money, you're going to be making time and a half if you're in the entry positions. Very cool.

    ConsBenefits. Even though you will easily make much more than with any competitor it still sucks. 12 days PTO with no sick pay when you start. 2 yrs in that moves up to 15 days. I want to say 5 yrs you get 17-18 days and 10 yrs you get 20 days. No 401k match.

    Advice to Senior ManagementImprove the benefits and I'll be happy. Overall I enjoy the company, appreciate the job in this economy!

    Also someone needs to fix this, Doug Pica is the CTO not CEO. The CEO is Craig Pica.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Mortgage Underwriter

    Mortgage Underwriter (Former Employee)

    ProsTraining in underwriting conventional mortgage products
    Management is helpful and laid back if you do your job.
    Good technology, paperless
    Friendly co-workers
    Sense of accomplishment through metrics ie. funding and productivity

    ConsAngry brokers calling all day- faceless communication through email and cases compounds stress and gets passive aggressive quickly.
    Other employees do not know you and will throw you under the bus. Document everything so when audited you can protect yourself...
    Pay is crap but if you're single a nd it of college, the commission and OT is pretty awesome.
    Oh, no advancement.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTurnover is quite high I think largely to the pressure of production and dealing with brokers. Maybe putting a layer between underwriting and brokers would allow underwriters to do their job, not destroy relationships.

    Pay more. Wages are not competitive.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Not bad, but could be better

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGood entry level job
    Great raises if you're a top performer
    Potentially large commission and bonuses if you and your branch are doing well
    Company will invest in your training
    Job allows you to work and develop yourself in different areas
    Great co-workers
    Hardworking, challenging environment

    ConsDysmal benefits
    No 401k match
    Only 7 paid holidays a year
    Depending on the branch, micromanagement can be seen
    Unrealistic expectations to achieve perfection and high numbers
    Seemingly no loyalty to employee

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Mindless, Soul Sucking Job

    Mortgage Underwriter (Former Employee)
    Pittsburgh, PA

    ProsMy Co-Workers were all great people.

    ConsUnderstaffed - As an underwriter, we also had to answer every single phone call from mortgage brokers. This was extremely frustrating while trying to get work done to be bombarded every 5 minutes by an angry broker. The worst part is that we had to take calls on every loan that our branch was doing. This means that brokers would call and you would have to answer questions and figure out problems on loans that you weren't even working on.

    Not much room for advancement

    Extremely cheap company - No 401K match. Minimum paid holidays and and no sick days.

    Zero job satisfaction - You stare at a computer for 8 hours a day doing the same boring tasks and you talk to angry mortgage brokers.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire account managers
    Stop being so cheap. More people would stay

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Provident Funding reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Provident Funding CEO Craig Pica. All 73 reviews posted anonymously by Provident Funding employees.