Loan Officer License

Congratulations on your decision to acquire your license and become a loan officer; you have definitely come to the right place! is an information hub for all your mortgage loan officer needs. Whether you are gathering information on becoming a loan officer, looking for NMLS approved classes, inquiring about license requirements, or searching for loan officer jobs, we want to make your life easier by guiding you through the steps. Requirements vary by state, so please select your state from the map below.

Online self-study (CE) and instructor-led online (Pre-license) courses are provided through a partnership with Cape School Inc. NMLS Provider #1400105.


Mortgage Loan Officer

Some of you might be asking – what is the difference between a mortgage loan originator (MLO) and a mortgage loan officer? The answer, both are actually the same, but the official title is Mortgage Loan Originator. Most people in the industry, however, just refer to themselves as loan officers.

Loan officers play a key role in society, which is why the mortgage loan industry is one of the most popular among job seekers today. No matter what part of the U.S. you live in, there is always a demand for loan officers. Consumers are always looking to purchase new homes or refinance existing ones, and when this happens, mortgage loan officers are needed in the process.

Mortgage Loan Officer Job Description

The job description for a mortgage loan officer will vary depending on what type of position one is applying for.

For example, there are two types of loan officers: residential loan officers and commercial loan officers. Both perform the same types of duties but on different types of properties. A residential loan officer will assist a borrower with purchasing or refinancing a home while a commercial loan officer will assist a borrower in purchasing commercial real estate (office buildings, malls, etc.) that will be used solely for business purposes.

Most loan officers are employed by financial institutions – for example, banks, mortgage companies and credit unions. While some loan officers work at their employer’s location, most spend their time out of the office marketing and advertising their services to real estate professionals and potential borrowers.

Typically, mortgage loan officer responsibilities entail:

  • Discovering potential borrowers through advertising, seminars, telemarketing, etc.
  • Assisting borrowers in choosing proper loan programs
  • Compiling loan applications and acquiring necessary paperwork needed
  • Communicating with appraisers, escrow officers, loan underwriters, etc.

Loan Officer Standards & Requirements

The Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (SAFE Act) established requirements for the licensing and/or registration of all Mortgage Loan Originators (MLOs.)

Below you will find the profession requirements needed to become a state-licensed mortgage loan officer; please use the links for additional information on the subject matter:

Reasons to Become a Licensed Loan Officer

If you are considering a career as a licensed loan officer, then you probably already have your own reasons. However, we are going to give you a few more reasons as to why this would make a great career move:

You are helping people achieve their dreams. It can be quite satisfying helping potential borrowers find their dream home within their budget. You are essentially leading them to their dream of homeownership by guiding them through the process and educating them on what it is they are purchasing and what they can afford.

It offers a flexible schedule. Looking for a job that is as flexible as you are in life? Loan officers might have odd schedules because they may need to work on the weekends and keep strange hours, but they have a very flexible schedule that allows them to find that perfect balance between their work and home lives. They are able to work the hours needed to accommodate their clients while also being able to adhere to their own schedules.

It offers stability. One of the biggest advantages of becoming a licensed loan officer is the stability that this kind of career can provide. Many are offered job perks, including health insurance, retirement plans, and even mortgage leads among other perks and benefits.

Loan Officer FAQs

How long does it take to become a loan officer?

On average it takes a couple months to become a licensed loan officer, you will need will need to take mandatory education classes, pass examinations and have credit scores and background checks ran. While many banks and other financial institutions lean toward hiring loan officers with bachelor’s degree it is not a requirement to have a college degree.

Can you have bad credit and still become a loan officer?

Depending on the state in which you apply, you can have bad credit and still be able to become a loan officer. It is also worth mentioning that the SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 requires that a licensed loan originator needs to demonstrate financial responsibility.

How often are the renewal requirements for an MLO license?

MLO licenses need to be renewed annually. You will need to submit a license renewal request and then pay all associated fees through NMLS. Prior to submitting the license renewal, you are also required to complete at least eight hours of continuing education (Additional State specific hours may be needed). You must then attest to all your information in the NMLS system. You can then submit your request and pay the renewal fee. Many mortgage company whom employee loan officers will pay these fees and offer on site continuing education classes, so it is important to check prior to renewal.

Can you be a real estate agent and a loan officer at the same time?

A licensed realtor can be a loan officer, but there are strict rules and regulations that must be followed. For example, real estate agents with their own real estate client can help with the loan as long as it is not an FHA loan. Realtors who are also licensed loan officers can’t originate FHA loans for their own clients.

How do loan officers get leads?

One of the biggest assets you can have as a loan officer is a mortgage website. It gives you authority while also providing you with a portal for your business. It is also a great place to direct any potential leads. Realtors are also great resources to have as a loan officer as well since they usually need loan officer to help fund home purchases for their clients.

How are loan officers paid?

Most loan officers do not receive base pay or a salary. Instead, they are paid through commission. For example, many loan officers get paid a percentage of the total loan amount – this is typically 1%. Other loan officers may be offered an hourly salary, and this average amount comes out to between $17 and $25 an hour, but this varies depending on several factors including your location, the benefits you receive, and the company you work for.

So if you’re ready to take the next step and become a loan officer, sign up for our loan officer training and get your MLO license!

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