Loan Officer Job
Many believe you must have a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting or economics to become a loan officer but this isn’t the case. Sure it looks good to have these designations and it might give you a leg up on your competition, but there are people in the industry who only have high school diplomas, so having a bachelor isn’t mandatory.
Most loan officers will however need to become licensed and certified, (exceptions include those working for traditional bank and credit unions.) General guidelines for becoming a state-licensed loan officer include:
- Criminal Background Check – Fingerprints will need to be submitted through NMLS for an FBI criminal background check.
- Education – Completion of a NMLS approved pre-licensure education course.
- NMLS Testing – Required to pass National and State components of the SAFE MLO Test.
- NMLS Credit Report – Applicants will have a credit report run through NMLS.
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.
Financial institutions employ most loan officers, some examples might be, 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.
Qualities found in successful loan officers include:
- Excellent problem solving skills
- Ability to negotiate/persuade
- Capable of managing multiple assignments at once
- Strong communications skills
Becoming a loan officer can be a very rewarding career in many ways, so if this sounds like a career for you check out the loan officer requirements.