How to Be a Mortgage Broker?
April 20, 2023
I. Obtaining a License
1. Check job prospects in your intended market. Check listings for open loan originator positions to see if the jobs you want are available and plentiful. Because your license is not transferable from state to state, you’ll want to become licensed in a place where you feel you can find work.
- There’s little sense in becoming licensed in an area you only intend to work for a short time or one that has no job prospects.
2. Meet the educational requirements. Get your high school diploma or take and pass the GED test, which is the professional equivalent of a high school diploma. Use GED.com to find study materials and a test center near you. The test is only administered in person on certain dates, so study with a test date in mind.
- A successful loan originator will have a basic understanding of math, and preferably deeper knowledge in accounting and business principles. To gain further knowledge in these areas, consider earning a college degree in a related discipline or taking online classes to sharpen your skills.
3. Take the prelicensure class. Find the prelicensure program in your area by visiting the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) at https://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/. This program is a required, specialized 20-hour class that will educate you about local and federal laws pertaining to being a loan originator as well as any ethics information.
4. Study for the NMLS test. Contact some classmates from your prelicensure class to form a study group to prepare for the licensing test. If you prefer to study alone, set aside some time to review your notes from class and make flashcards about key concepts.
- Try different study methods to see what works best for you.
- The NMLS has a test prep handbook available on their website.
5. Take the NMLS test. Register for the NMLS test online and find a test center near you. You may need to pay certain fees depending upon your state. Once you register for the test, you’ll have 180 days to take the test. You’ll need to pass this test in order to be a licensed loan originator.
II. Working as a Loan Originator
1. Search for a job at an established brokerage. Search job engines online such as Monster, CareerBuilder, and your local newspaper for entry-level jobs. Established brokerages have good existing connections with clients and lenders, so by working there you can begin helping clients right away.
2. Complete on-the-job training. Most loan originators get trained in the nuances of their work by their employers. Actively participate in any new-employee training programs or workshops to learn as much as you can about being a broker at work. Ask questions of your coworkers and supervisors if you’re unsure how to interface with clients or have questions about loans.
3. Build connections with clients and lenders. Advance your career whenever possible by networking with lenders and other brokerage professionals. You can attend workshops for brokers, ask your boss to coffee for a professional development meeting, attend broker happy hours, go to client meet-and-greets and more.
- The more connections you make, the larger your network will be when you need to change jobs, ask a professional favor, or negotiate a loan.
4. Take continuing education courses to keep your license current. There are some annual training hours you must complete to keep your broker license up to date in each state. Contact the NMLS to stay current on the latest developments on licensing and lending in your area.
- Keeping your skills fresh will allow you to provide your clients the most up-to-date service.
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