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Thinking of Becoming a Mortgage Loan Officer?

Are you considering a career in mortgage lending? Would you like to become a licensed mortgage broker?
If so, this is my suggested path to follow.


There is not a college degree in mortgage lending, nor is a college degree required. However, to be a licensed mortgage broker, the National Mortgage Lending System requires that you take a 20-hour class by an approved provider. Depending on your state(s) for originating business in, there may be additional hours pertaining to that state. Then you must pass the NMLS exam with a score of 75% or higher.

The 20-hour class, however, will not train you to do your job. The exam is about ethics and lending law, so the classes are aimed toward people who already know how to originate and process loans.

How, then, does a person learn how to do the job of a mortgage loan officer?

This is the way most of us have done it, and the way most of us recommend.

1) Get hired at a bank, credit union, or other direct lender first.
Why? Because you don’t need to be licensed with that type of lender and because many provide on-the-job training. They will teach you how to read a mortgage credit report, how to complete an application, what documents are required, how to input into the system, and all the other basic steps.
Also, this type of lender requires much less knowledge on your part, because you only need to learn their loan programs. (As opposed to being a broker who works with 30+ wholesale lenders!)

2) Learn everything you can about the mortgage business and become a stellar employee so that you earn a top recommendation when you are ready to move up in your career.

3) In two years, you should be ready to move your career up. You don’t want to stay stagnant for too long. But believe me, literally every day in that first year, you will learn something new. Every loan is different and has its own unique challenges.

4) Take the NMLS 20-hour class and state class, and pass your exam.

5) Apply with a good mortgage broker so that you can get your clients the BEST loans at the BEST pricing. You will want this ability if you do loans for family and friends, and to grow your career.

Being a mortgage broker takes ambition, drive, determination, tenacity, knowledge, creative thinking, communication skills, intelligence, and persistence. It’s not for people who can’t handle stress. It’s not for people who are looking for an easy income.

But once you become a mortgage broker, it gets in your blood, and it is hard to think of ever doing anything else. The reward of helping people with their financing to achieve The American Dream of homeownership is truly a blessing in itself.

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