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Vendor Spotlight: The J Lending Team

Obtaining a mortgage loan is a major financial decision, one that affects numerous aspects of you and your family’s life. Because of this, you need to have a trustworthy and talented mortgage team on your side to make the right decision.

The J Lending Team is well known in the Greater Chattanooga Area for their exceptional communication skills, well informed mortgage advice, and reliable service they give each and every one of their clients.

Our team has been lucky to have worked with the J Lenders for many years and look forward to many more as their partnership has never failed us or our clients!

We sat down with Jessica Smith Upshaw, J Lending Team’s senior loan officer to learn more about how the team began, what sets them apart from their competitors, the story behind their mission and more. 

Check it out!

When and how did the J Lending Team begin?  

After a busy 2020, I talked with my husband, Joe, (almost every night) asking him to leave his corporate job to come build a team and do mortgage loans together. In January 2021, he finally made the decision to join me and we launched The J Lending Team! We are both J names (Jessica + Joe), so that is how The J Lending Team came to be. From there, it has been amazing and well worth the work to get here!

Jessica Smith, Scout Guide Photoshoot

How did you get into the mortgage industry?

After graduating from the University of Tennessee, I worked at a local credit union and was a loan officer handling consumer loans (car loans, RVs, personal loans, etc).  In October 2015, I was asked if I ever considered doing mortgage loans. Honestly, I never gave it much thought because who wakes up in the morning thinking “I want to start doing mortgage loans.”  However, that October, I decided to give it a try and LOVED it. I haven’t looked back since! 

What makes your team different from other mortgage lenders? 

Communication.  Communication.  Communication.  When getting a mortgage,  it is very important for the lender to keep all parties involved (realtors + clients). There is nothing worse than making the biggest financial decision of your life and you cannot get a hold of your mortgage lender.  I am available nights, weekends, and during the work day to be there for my clients!

What do you think is the most special quality about your side of the real estate business?

The most special piece is seeing an individual, couple or family who thought they could never achieve homeownership or purchase their dream home!

Can you describe the vision behind your mission: “Your Family. Your Future. Our Focus?”

Getting a mortgage with us or buying a home is not a one-time affair.  We go more in depth to talk about your family, your future, your goals so that we help find the perfect mortgage loan for you. We want to make sure that your family and your future are the focus of our entire business. We don’t want to be your mortgage lender one time, we want to be your mortgage lender for life. 

Left to right: Jessa Smith Upshaw and Joe Upshaw

What is one piece of advice you would give to new homeowners going through the home buying process?

Decide how much you are comfortable paying each month for a home.  What you are qualified for and what you are comfortable paying can be very different sometimes.  You don’t want to get in over your head when it comes to a mortgage payment. 

What do you like most about having a business in the Chattanooga community?

Building relationships and supporting other business owners in Chattanooga whether it is realtors, title companies, home stagers, movers, home inspectors, etc. I have developed some life long friendships with these people and I want to help their businesses succeed! 

Additionally, is there anything you would like to say to the community about yourself or your business?

If you are in the market to buy or refinance or know someone who is, we would love the opportunity to talk with them. When you work with us, you are family. 

Check out the J Lending Team on Instagram and Facebook at @thejlendingteam and The J Lending Team.


Jessica Smith Upshaw Smith

Highlands Residential Mortgage

NMLS: 179250

C: 865.712.0352

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