How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer
At Freedom, we call a “mortgage loan officer” a “loan advisor”. Our loan advisor teams help customers choose the right financing options for their unique needs by educating and guiding them every step of the way. Mortgage loan officers (loan advisors) are backed by a dynamic operations team that simplifies loan closings and allows our advisors to focus on what they do best – educating and guiding customers through thoughtful sales to deliver homeownership dreams and financial empowerment.
Interested in learning more? Check out our six simple steps outlined below to help you launch your career!
What Does a Mortgage Loan Officer Do?
Before we answer the question of how to become a mortgage loan officer, let’s dive into the day in life on the job.
Typically, the role of a mortgage loan officer is all about analyzing mortgage loan products and counseling customers on loan availability, interest rates, terms, and qualification requirements. Our sales professionals function as crucial liaisons between the lender (Freedom) and borrowers (our valued customers).
A day in the life of a mortgage loan officer may include…
- Sharing different loan options with customers and educating them on the real estate and lending market
- Helping them to make an informed decision in finding loan programs with the rates, terms, and lowest closing costs meets their needs
- Ensuring loans follow current regulations and laws
- Gathering necessary documents, reviewing customers’ credit histories, and verifying their financial statements
- Educating clients on the loan process, required documentation, and coming up with an estimated timeline for their mortgage approval.
- Comparing lender fees and terms to present borrowers with options
Six Steps to Becoming a Mortgage Loan Officer
Step One: Earn Your High School Diploma and/or an Advanced Degree
While a formal degree is not necessarily required, you must have at least a high school diploma or GED to meet the educational requirements for a career as a mortgage loan officer (loan advisor) at Freedom. To go the extra mile, earning an associate or bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or business administration may improve both your hiring and earning potential.
Step Two: Take a Pre-Licensure Class
The number one requirement of becoming a mortgage loan officer is to be licensed. All aspiring mortgage loan officers must complete the pre-licensure program in the state they want to work in. This program consists of a 20-hour class that covers applicable state and federal laws, financial regulations, mortgage origination, broker ethics, and more. At Freedom, we currently pay for a minimum of 15 licenses.
Pro Tip: Check the job prospects in your intended market before beginning the licensure process.
Step Three: Pass the NMLS Test
After you’ve successfully completed your pre-licensure class, you’ll need to take and pass the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) test with at least a 75% score. Also known as the SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator test, this exam consists of both a federal and state portion.
Step Four: Start Working as a Mortgage Loan Officer
Once you’ve successfully passed the exam, it’s time to apply for your mortgage loan officer license.
To get your mortgage loan officer license, you’ll typically have to:
- Pass your exam
- Pay a licensing fee
- Submit your application
Once you have your license, you can start working as an official mortgage loan officer (loan advisor) at Freedom!
Step Five: Maintain Your License
To renew your license each year, you’ll need to submit proof of a certain number of hours of continued education. This ensures your customers have the most current information based on your trainings, while keeping your license active. At Freedom, we assign required federal and state continuing education and apply for as well as pay for renewals.
Step Six: Keep Your Mortgage Lending Training Current
To be the most successful mortgage loan officer (loan advisor) you can be, it’s important to stay in-the-know about our industry. Further your education and training to put yourself ahead by:
- Taking online or in-person courses
- Read publications, blogs, or other news sources to improve your industry knowledge
- Gain a better understanding of state and federal regulations
- Forge professional relationships with other loan advisors at Freedom
- Join the MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association) and attend any of its events
- Utilizing our E-Learning courses and extensive library of resource materials once you are an employee at Freedom