A mortgage loan officer is a person who helps people finance the purchase of property or other investments by advising them on their financial options and finding sources of money for the transaction. Mortgage loan officers are often also called “mortgage brokers” because they act as intermediaries between borrowers and lenders, but not all mortgage brokers are licensed to offer loans themselves. The best way to become a mortgage loan officer is by working for a bank, savings and loan association, or credit union, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What Does a Mortgage Loan Officer Do?
Mortgage loan officers are solely responsible for lending money on real estate to individuals and businesses. They are typically employed by mortgage brokers, commercial banks, credit unions, or mortgage companies. They frequently work in an office and travel to meet with prospective borrowers.
A mortgage loan officer’s day-to-day responsibilities include the following:
• Creating connections with real estate companies.
• evaluating the creditworthiness of potential borrowers.
• Talking about loan options with potential borrowers.
• ensuring that loan agreement is following state and federal regulations.
• Record-keeping for loan applications and mortgage transactions.
• collaborating with underwriters to assess potential borrower risks.
• Collaborating with appraisers to determine a property’s actual market value.
How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer?
Mortgage loan officers play a critical role in the home buying process, and they are responsible for lending money to individuals and businesses to purchase real estate. To become a mortgage loan officer, you will need a bachelor’s degree in business or finance is an excellent place to start because mortgage loan officers analyze potential borrowers’ finances and credit. During your studies, you will learn some accounting skills, such as reading financial statements.
A bachelor’s degree isn’t always required to work as a mortgage loan officer. Some banks prefer candidates with several years of hands-on banking, customer service, or sales experience who are eager to learn on the job.
To become a fully qualified mortgage loan officer, you must first obtain a mortgage loan originator (MLO) license, regardless of whether you have a bachelor’s degree or work experience. You must complete 20 hours of pre-licensure education and pass the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) exam to obtain your MLO.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer?
Your level of education and experience determines it. If you don’t have an undergraduate degree or any banking experience, you’ll need to spend about four years of study time to get a bachelor’s degree. Suppose you do not want to pursue a bachelor’s degree. In that case, you can work for a financial institution for two to five years, honing your skills, learning about the industry, and building relationships with your network. Even if you have completed your education or have years of work experience, becoming licensed can take several weeks or months. The length of time it takes to get licensed is determined by whether you pass the NMLS exam with a score of 75% or higher.
How Much Do Mortgage Loan Officers Make?
In the United States, the average annual salary for a Mortgage Loan Office is $63,600. Salary will vary depending on location, market conditions, experience, and the company’s size.
Mortgage Loan Officer salaries in various states are classified as follows.
Los Angeles, California $71,350 – $96,550
Washington, DC $72,450 – $98,000
Boston, Massachusetts $71,900 – $97,300
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota $57,300 – N$77,550
New York City, New York $75,700 – $102,400
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania $61,650 – $83,400
Dallas, Texas $60,000 – $81,200
Houston, Texas $59,750 – $80,800
Atlanta, Georgia $57,850 – $78,250
How to Find Mortgage Loan Officer Jobs?
You must pitch yourself to employers with a strong resume and cover letter to increase your hired chances. While you’re at it, make a point of emphasizing the top qualities that employers seek in a mortgage loan officer, such as:
• The ability to decide whether or not to approve a loan based on financial information provided by an applicant.
• Paying close attention to detail and exercising sound judgment.
• Excellent interpersonal and marketing abilities.
• The ability to contact potential borrowers to promote your financial institution.
What Are the Required Skills a Mortgage Loan Officer Must Have?
Mortgage loan officers must have a wide range of skills to perform their job. You should be able to:
• Basic sales techniques are known and practiced.
• Excellent customer service skills Financial software experience Strong oral and written communication skills
• Excellent time management abilities
• The ability to adapt well to change, as well as the willingness to keep a flexible schedule
• Microsoft Office prowess Team player attitude
• Understanding of applicable laws and regulations
What Is the Job Outlook of a Mortgage Loan Officer?
Mortgage loan officers’ employment is expected to grow by 1% between now and 2030. Even though the percentage increase is slower than in some jobs due to the ability to now be approved for loans online, loan processors are still in high demand, especially now that the buying market is hot. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are an estimated 25,000 job openings each year. Some mortgage loan officers are now given the option to work remotely from home, mainly if they work for an online mortgage company or financial institution.
What Are the Best Online Courses to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer?
Mortgage loan officers play a critical role in the home buying process, and as the industry grows, so does the demand for these professionals. If you’re interested in becoming a mortgage loan officer, several online courses can help you get started. These courses provide a comprehensive overview of the mortgage loan process, from application to closing. They also teach you how to assess an applicant’s creditworthiness and make sound decisions about whether or not to approve a loan.
The Following Are Some Online Courses
Create a Mortgage Calculator in Excel by Coursera-
They will learn to create a budget automatically and manually step by step. You will reduce the burden of working with your lender to create an early payoff plan using Microsoft Excel, and it will allow you to create your payment schedule based on your timeline.
By the end of this project, you will have learned how to use a free version of Microsoft Office Excel to create a mortgage payment calculator in an Excel Spreadsheet.
Introduction to Corporate Finance by Coursera-
This course provides:
- A brief overview of finance fundamentals.
- Emphasizing their application to a wide range of real-world situations such as personal finance.
- Corporate decision-making.
- Financial intermediation.
Time value of money, risk-return tradeoff, cost of capital, interest rates, retirement savings, mortgage financing, auto leasing, capital budgeting, asset valuation, discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis, net present value, internal rate of return, hurdle rate, payback period are some of the key concepts and applications.
Global Financial Markets and Instruments by Coursera-
You’ll begin by learning about the role of financial markets and financial assets in a healthy economy. From there, you’ll learn about the various financial instruments available in major asset classes, as well as their characteristics and valuations. You’ll look at how financial markets work in practice, focusing on how and where securities are traded and how different market types differ in practice. You will also learn the fundamentals of algorithmic trading, dark pools, margin buying, and short selling.
Introduction to Finance and Accounting Specialization by Coursera-
This specialization introduces corporate finance and accounting, focusing on their application to a wide range of real-world situations such as personal finance, corporate decision-making, financial intermediation, and how accounting standards and managerial incentives influence the financial reporting process.
Advanced Mortgage Loan Processor: Essential Skills Training by Udemy-
This course progresses from theory to practice. You will learn how to quickly and easily calculate the income of salaried and self-employed borrowers using practice questions taught by the instructor. In an exercise format, you’ll also go over standard calculations you’ll see daily. These realistic exercises will teach you how to calculate the debt-to-income ratio, loan-to-value, cash to close, and borrower’s middle credit score when you only have two or one credit score and how to calculate all of these in a single loan scenario.
Mastering the Pre-qualification Process of a Mortgage Loan by Udemy-
This comprehensive course will teach you how to pre-qualify borrowers for all types of loans. These lectures are intended for anyone involved in the world of finance, particularly mortgages. They cover everything from pre-qualifying a borrower for an FHA loan to running a loan through DU or LP and obtaining an “approved/eligible” status if you work as a real estate agent, processor, mortgage loan originator, underwriter, banker, or similar position.
Pre-Underwrite a Mortgage With DU & LP by Udemy-
This course teaches you how to pre-underwrite a loan before the underwriter reviews it. If you work as a loan processor, originator, or underwriter, you will use this critical skill on every single loan. You’ll learn what DU and LP are and how they affect the loan process as a whole. You’ll also learn to think like an underwriter by better interpreting the messages and numbers returned by Desktop Underwriter and Loan Product Advisor. You will be able to save and close more loans.
Understanding Mortgages and Home Equity by Alison-
This free online course on mortgages and home equity will cover the critical relationship between mortgages and home equity. Your mortgage payments pay off your bank debt, whereas your home equity is the amount of your home that you own. This course will teach you how to calculate home equity by taking the appraised value of your home and subtracting the balance remaining on your mortgage.
Financial Freedom: A Beginner’s Guide by Alison-
This free online financial freedom course will teach you how to get and stay on top of your finances. Nothing is more stressful than a bad financial situation. In this course, you’ll learn how to create and stick to priorities and goals that will help you manage your finances, how to avoid common financial mistakes and misunderstandings, and how to save for a more secure future.
How to Take Control of Your Finances by Alison-
In this free online course, You’ll Learn how to break free from living paycheck to paycheck, how to clarify your life goals, feel confident about your financial situation, and how to take complete control of your finances and live a happy, fun-filled life while also enjoying financial freedom. When you finish this course, you will understand how to avoid debt, organize your finances, and make wise investments for the future.
What are the Top Colleges to Pursue a Degree as a Mortgage Loan Officer?
Although there are a few degree colleges in mortgage banking, most aspiring mortgage brokers or bankers earn related degrees in finance or accounting. Here are some of the top colleges to pursue a degree in this field:
University of South Florida
The University of South Florida is a public university, and it has a total of 38,579 undergraduate students (fall 2020). The University of South Florida has ranked #103 in National Universities in the Best Colleges 2022 edition. The College offers this field as a bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral degree.
University of Minnesota- Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota—Twin Cities is a public university. The University of Minnesota—Twin Cities is ranked #68 in National Universities in the Best Colleges 2022 edition. It charges $15,253 for in-state tuition and fees and $33,843 for out-of-state tuition and fees. The College offers Bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral degrees in this field.
The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is a public university established in 1883. It has a total of 40,048 undergraduate students (fall 2020). In-state students’ tuition and fees are $11,448; tuition and fees for out-of-state students are $40,032. The College offers Bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.
Michigan State University
Michigan State University is a public university that was established in 1855. It has a total of 38,491 undergraduate students enrolled (fall 2020). The College offers Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. degrees.
University of Florida
The University of Florida is a public university established in 1853, and it is an academic calendar based on semesters. The University of Florida has ranked #28 in National Universities in the Best Colleges 2022 edition. Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. degrees were available at the College.
Ohio State University
Ohio State University—Columbus is a public university established in 1870. It has a total of 46,984 undergraduate students enrolled (fall 2020). It charges $11,936 in tuition and fees for in-state students and $35,019 for out-of-state students. The College provided Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. degrees.
Mortgage loan officers play a vital role in the home buying process, and they work with customers to help them find and secure mortgages and manage their finances throughout the life of the loan. The colleges highlighted above offer degree programs in mortgage loan officers to prepare you for a successful career in this field. If you want to work as a mortgage loan officer, this is an excellent career path to take.