Have you decided to become a licensed Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO)? Are you confused about the procedure to do so? Don’t know where to begin? Don’t worry! We’re here to help you get through your mortgage licensing journey.
Regardless of your end goal, becoming a mortgage loan originator can lead to satisfying and lucrative outcomes. Maybe you’re looking for a fresh start in a new field. Perhaps you just want to look into a secondary income source. No matter your motivations, we can help you get there.
The Mortgage Bankers Association’s chief economist, Mike Fratantoni, claims that the housing market is experiencing a rebound after the negative impact of the pandemic. Borrower demand is on the rise, thanks to mortgage rates being as low as they’ve ever been.
Here is everything you need to do to start your career as a mortgage loan originator.
- Apply for a Personal NMLS Account
This is the first step in the process of becoming an MLO. The NMLS fulfils licensing requests for applicants in all 50 states. The process is fairly simple. All you have to do is create an account and receive an ID number.
- Go to the NMLS website, access the registration portal and apply for an NMLS account.
- Choose “Individual” when prompted.
- You may see a “captcha” security feature that needs to be filled out. Complete that and click “Next.”
- Fill out the form with the necessary information and submit it to successfully create your account.
- Education Requirement for NMLS Pre-License
NMLS SAFE Mortgage Pre-License Training is a mandatory part of your training as an MLO.
You are required to receive 20 hours of mortgage education by a mortgage school authorized by the NMLS in each of the 50 states. Here is a breakdown of the things you will have to learn.
- Federal Law (3 hours)
- Ethics (3 hours)
- Non-traditional Mortgage Lending (2 hours)
- Electives (12 hours)
There will be specific educational requirements, but the state mandates the 20 hours of SAFE courses. As such, you should enrol in these courses and review the state-specific mortgage pre-licensing education requirements.
- Pass the SAFE MLO Test (NMLS Mortgage Licensing Exam)
Having completed your education, you need to prove you’ve actually learnt everything you need to know as an MLO. You will have to register for the National test component with uniform state content via the account you created on the NMLS website.
As of April 5th, 2021, these are the details of the test:
- Total Questions: 120, with 115 being scored.
- Total Time: 190 minutes.
- Total Fees: $110
The National test component will cover the following areas:
- Federal laws about mortgage and ethics.
- MLO activities.
- General information regarding mortgages.
The Uniform state content is a section of the exam that will test:
- Definitions and documents related to mortgages.
- Compliance issues.
- Licensing and regulations as they apply to mortgages.
- Regulation – relevant authority, responsibilities, and limits.
- Application for NMLS License
Once you’ve successfully passed the required exams, you can apply for a license to become an MLO via the NMLS website.
To complete your application for the same, you will have to follow these steps:
- Log in to NMLS account
- At the top of the screen you’ll see the filing tab; click on it.
- Choose “Individual”.
- Select “Request New/Update”
If you are handling the financing for the license yourself, continue. However, if your employer has agreed to pay for it, ask them to take care of it. The fees are non-refundable so proceed only after you’ve consulted your employer.
Here are the next steps in the process:
- Select “Add”
- Choose the one that you’ve applied for and move forward.
- Choose the MLO license for your state, then press “Next”
- Make sure the information is accurate, and then proceed by clicking “Next”.
- Review the final page. If all the information is accurate, click “Finish”
You are now just one step away from being an MLO.
- Background and Credit Checks
According to the SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008, all MLOs must meet certain standards. You will have to create an account with Fieldprint to submit your fingerprint. You will have to register for an appointment to do so. You will also need to fulfil the following requirements via your NMLS account. The requirements and their associated charges are as follows:
- Processing Fees by NMLS - $30
- Criminal Background Check by the FBI - $36.25
- Credit Report - $15
- Application Fees - $300
- Look for Employment
Your NMLS ID needs to be associated with and sponsored by a licensed employer in your state. You cannot practice as an MLO without this. The sponsorship is required because the government needs assurances that professionals supervise your activities. Your sponsorship can be submitted via NMLS ID.
The National Mortgage Staffing is an excellent job board that can help you find employment and start as an MLO in your state!