A Comprehensive Guide on Becoming a Mortgage Loan Officer in North Carolina

By Ciprian Morariu Published: July 5, 2024

Mortgage Loan Officer in North Carolina

Exploring the Career of a Mortgage Loan Officer in North Carolina

Do you wish to earn a comfortable six-figure salary without having a bachelor's degree all while enjoying a flexible work schedule? 

If yes, then a career in the mortgage and financing industry might just be what you need to achieve your professional dream. 

Did you know that the average salary for a North Carolina mortgage loan officer is $140K with a potential to earn around $12K in commissions every year? 

Moreover, you can also find remote job opportunities or get workplace flexibility to help you achieve a healthy work-life balance. 

Working as a loan officer in North Carolina can pave the path to a rewarding and exciting professional career. 

As a mortgage loan officer, your core job responsibility will be to assist and guide clients through applying for and obtaining loans for their home-buying needs. 

The demand for skilled MLOs has been growing steadily since the last few years and it is projected that the job market for loan officers is poised to grow by 3 percent in the upcoming decade. 

This means now could be a great time to gear up towards securing a mortgage loan officer’s job. 

However, to start working in the industry, you must obtain your MLO license in North Carolina first. 

If you are curious to learn how to become a mortgage loan officer in NC, and what exactly the steps are to obtain a license, then we have put together this article for you. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover all aspects of becoming a licensed mortgage loan officer.

From basic qualifying criteria to state-specific licensing requirements, you will learn everything you need to pursue this profession with confidence. 

Who is a Mortgage Loan Officer

Before we discuss the MLO license requirements in detail, let us start by giving you an overview of the job profile and responsibilities of a mortgage loan officer. 

Mortgage loan officers are licensed professionals responsible for collecting, evaluating, assessing, and approving loan applications on behalf of individuals and businesses.

As a loan officer, you will work with financial institutions, banks, mortgage, and credit companies to help clients with loan paperwork, documentation, and application process. 

Loan officers liaison between banks and applicants to help eligible clients secure financing for their home ownership goals. 

Every mortgage loan officer must be licensed by the NMLS (Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System) to become legally compliant. 

Job Requirements and Responsibilities

Mortgage loan officers are the first point of contact or intermediary between a lender and a borrower. 

Although your exact job duties and tasks may vary depending on your employer, however, there are many common responsibilities that you will cover as part of your job role. 

Here are some of the key job responsibilities of a mortgage loan officer: 

  • Meeting with potential clients (loan applicants) who are interested in providing 
  • Collect all the required personal and financial information required for submitting a loan application and ensure timely completion of the process. 
  • Assessing the financial history and background including key markers such as income, taxes, credit score, and debt to evaluate the creditworthiness of an applicant.
  • Determining the specific mortgage needs and requirements of applicants while explaining the feasibility and risk factors involved.
  • Assisting clients in filling out loan applications and guiding them through the different loan documentation requirements for submission. 
  • Educating borrowers about the various loan types, terms of the mortgage agreement, payment plans, interest rates, and other additional information related to financing. 
  • Working with the loan committee, underwriters, and management to process and approve the loan applications throughout the process. 
  • Serving as the single point of contact for all communication between lenders and borrowers. Being available to answer queries and resolve doubts of your clients. 
  • Promoting various financial products and cross-selling other relevant and useful services to clients. 
  • Maintaining full compliance with the state and federal laws while adhering to the established standards and code of ethics for mortgage loan officers. 
  • Tracking and updating closing dates, payment deadlines, mortgage contingency dates, and other important timelines.

As you can see, there are many different tasks and specific duties to be performed as a MLO in North Carolina. 

However, to be a successful professional in a competitive industry, you will need to do more than just perform your duties. 

Let’s take a look at some of the essential skills and must-have qualities to advance in your professional career. 

Qualities of a Successful Mortgage Loan Officer

Whenever an individual or a business requires financing for purchasing a home or making a real estate investment, they turn to the services of a loan officer. 

Working as a loan officer in North Carolina requires you to complete multiple duties and navigate your clients through a specific set of steps and actions to facilitate a loan. 

To become successful at what you do, you will need more than just determination and good luck. 

Here are some qualities you should cultivate to become great at your career as a MLO. 

  • Strong knowledge of finance, lending, and mortgage industry and their principles.
  • Solid understanding of the various financial products and services.
  • Analytical bent of mind with a strong hold on crunching numbers.
  • Proven ability to work in a fast-paced, dynamic, and volatile industry.
  • Ability to support customers and show empathy towards customer needs.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with a focus on sales.
  • Strong attention to detail and thoroughness.
  • A bachelor’s or a master’s degree in finance, accounting, or mathematics.

In addition to the above skills and qualities, you must be confident about North Carolina laws and federal guidelines for mortgage loan officers. 

The Career Path of a Mortgage Loan Officer in North Carolina

Current Job Market Scenario

According to employee listings and research reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the upcoming decade, there will be an addition of around 10,000 to 20,000 new jobs for mortgage loan officers in the U.S.

Statistics indicate that the real estate market in North Carolina is going to witness steady demand for housing, thanks to the stable economy and strong job outlook. 

This infers that there will be a rise in the number of people looking to purchase their home and secure a mortgage loan for the same.  

If you are looking for a stable, well-paying, and exciting job, the current as well as the future market scenario is poised nicely for MLOs. 

Expected Salary and Growth Opportunities

As per data gathered from job listings and employee surveys, the median salary of a loan officer in the U.S. is around $65K annually. 

Although the top-paying, highly skilled MLOs can earn $100K and above in a year, even entry-level, beginner professionals can make around $45K annually as loan officers. 

If you are excited to kickstart your new career in the mortgage lending and finance industry, let us walk you through a detailed overview of how to get an NMLS license in North Carolina. 

Steps to Becoming a Mortgage Loan Officer in North Carolina

Acquiring the Necessary Education

According to the NMLS (Nationwide Multistate Licensing System), prospective loan officers in North Carolina must fulfill the mandatory educational requirements. 

First comes the basic minimum educational requirements as per which you must have a high school degree or GED equivalent to become eligible for applying for a MLO license. 

Once you are through, you can proceed to the next step of necessary education. 

In North Carolina, all applicants must complete 24 hours of pre-licensing education from an NMLS-approved education provider. 

The 24 hours of coursework consists of both mandatory as well as elective courses from the standpoint of giving students the required knowledge and skills. The courses are as follows:

  • Federal Law (3 hours)
  • North Carolina Law (4 hours)
  • Ethics (3 hours)
  • Non-Traditional Mortgage Lending (2 hours)
  • General Electives (12 hours)

Completing these courses will help you equip yourself with the knowledge of industry principles, fundamentals, and laws. 

Gaining Relevant Experience

To start working in the mortgage and financing industry, it’s not just enough to obtain a mortgage loan originator license in North Carolina

To work with a financial institution or bank, you must activate your license or else it will remain in pending status only.

To activate your NMLS license, you will have to find an employee sponsorship and gain relevant industry experience. 

Mortgage loan officers need to be licensed with a registered company or financial institution to approve, reject, or suggest mortgage loans and services. 

Since loan officers deal with sensitive financial information and personal records, newly licensed MLOs must gain work experience and submit their employment details. 

Obtaining Your License

After you have completed all the mandatory steps and fulfilled the NMLS licensing requirements for North Carolina, you can submit your licensing application on the NMLS portal. 

To start your career, you will need to obtain a mortgage loan originator license in North Carolina by completing the following steps: 

  • Fulfill the basic eligibility requirements
  • Create your NMLS account on the online registration portal
  • Complete the North Carolina NMLS SAFE pre-licensing education
  • Pass the SAFE MLO test
  • Complete background verification and criminal history check
  • Submit your North Carolina mortgage loan application
  • Get employer sponsorship 

Once you have completed all the above-listed steps successfully, your North Carolina loan officer license will be activated and you will be set to start working in the industry. 

Navigating the NMLS Licensing Process in North Carolina

What is the NMLS?

The NMLS or the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System is the central database and a licensing system for all loan officers, loan advisors, and mortgage loan companies in the U.S.

The purpose of the NMLS system is to organize and maintain a nationwide database using which consumers can easily look up the required information about lenders and loan originators. 

Using the NMLS database, consumers can easily find specific details about license status, experience, criminal record, and employment history.

The NMLS was established by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and it is backed by the Secure and Fair Enforcement of Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act. 

Importance of NMLS License

Getting an NMLS license is mandatory to maintain compliance with state and federal regulations for mortgage loan officers and companies. 

An NMLS license means that an individual or a company has fulfilled the qualifying criteria and has met the standard requirements for working in the mortgage lending industry.