A Guide on How to Start As A Mortgage Loan Officer

By Ciprian Morariu Published: April 17, 2024

Start As A Mortgage Loan Officer

So, you are looking for a start in the real estate industry but not sure where to begin or which career path to choose.  

The world of real estate is vast and varied and is a mix of a plethora of paths and jobs. 

Depending on what your interests are and your knowledge and skills, you can opt for a suitable career choice in the industry. 

One of the job options offered by the real estate industry today is working as a mortgage loan officer. It offers high earnings and a great deal of job satisfaction in getting people their dream homes. The average salary of a mortgage loan officer is around $80k annually.  

Do you need any experience in this field to launch your career? No, 70% of loan officer job positions do not require a mandatory degree or education. 

However, to practice in this sector, you must first get a mortgage loan originator license. To do so, a few formalities have to be fulfilled. The most crucial is going through an MLO license course. This course is designed to provide all mortgage industry information and equip aspiring loan offers with the skill sets to launch a career in this field. 

Even though you can study at any state-approved school, prefer to choose an online mortgage originator course as it provides the flexibility to study on the go.       

MLOs provide a variety of services including loan application assistance, documentation, assessing loan credit rates, and evaluating the creditworthiness of a homebuyer. 

Generally, mortgage loan officers work on a commission basis on top of receiving a fixed annual pay. They act as a bridge between borrowers seeking a mortgage loan and lenders sanctioning one. Regardless of whether you are an entry-level mortgage loan officer or a seasoned professional, you must have in-depth knowledge of the prevailing financial markets.  

You should be well versed in the skill of analyzing income statements, understanding interest rates, down payment terms, and mortgage plans. 

Mortgage loan officers guide homebuyers about mortgage loan processing and advise them on the most suitable loan product. 

They also work closely with real estate agents, closing agents, inspectors, and home appraisers.    

The Functioning Of A Mortgage Loan Officer

Given below are the primary functions of a mortgage loan officer.  

1. Helping with loan applications: A loan officer is responsible for the correct filling up of mortgage loan applications by the borrowers. This includes submitting the financial documentation required to secure and obtain financing for their dream home. 

2. Presenting loan programs: A mortgage loan officer informs borrowers of the available loan products and the ones that are most suitable for them. 

3. Complete document verification: As a mortgage loan officer, you must also ensure that the filled-up loan application is correct in all respects. This includes verifying credit scores and reports, taxes paid, criminal background if any, and other relevant financial information.   

4. Compliance with the laws and regulations: As an MLO, you should make sure that every document and paperwork is factually and lawfully correct. 

Adhering to the financial laws and guidelines is essential for every mortgage application to ensure successful and fast approval. 

5. Track deadlines: Loan officers must track the various deadlines and important milestones of the loan process and inform clients of the same.  

Starting Your Career As A Mortgage Loan Officer

What is the Work of Mortgage Loan Officers at the Entry-Level? 

The amount of time required to become a skilled and expert MLO varies from person to person. However, by getting certain specific certifications and education, you can get entry-level mortgage loan officer jobs.   

Benefits of Entry-Level Mortgage Loan Officer Jobs

  1. Earning potential: As an entry-level MLO, you can start earning a decent paycheck averaging about $50K annually.  
  2. No job alienation: You will have complete job satisfaction as you help potential homeowners fulfill their dreams.   
  3. Steady career path: Working as an entry-level mortgage loan officer can offer you a steady and stable career path in the long run. 

Launching Your Career As A Mortgage Loan Officer 

Have you ever wondered what do you need to do to become a mortgage loan officer?   

Step 1: Research the Mortgage Loan Officer Role

The first step to finding your steps through the door of a career is to learn about the career path in detail and what the job demands of you.  

Start by researching the main roles and responsibilities of a mortgage loan officer and details of their daily routine. Know about the functioning of banks and lending institutions and get insights into mortgage loan terms, interest rates, and loan processes.  

Step 2: Fulfill Educational Requirements

How to become a mortgage loan officer with no experience

The first step is to follow the directions of the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) and meet the educational requirements. Next, get a license which requires you to be at least 18 years old and hold a  

relevant bachelor’s degree.

Step 3: Complete a Bachelor’s Degree (optional)

In case you do not plan to obtain a degree, there are alternative ways to improve your odds of securing a job. 

Step 4: Gain Relevant Knowledge and Skills

As a mortgage loan officer, you must know industry laws, regulations, and guidelines and know how to read financial reports and analyze credit history. This requires a strong foundation in finance, statistics, and mathematics.  

Step 5: Complete Mortgage Loan Officer Licensing Requirements

As a part of educational requirements, you can obtain certifications that will help you to secure a job as an entry-level mortgage loan officer job. A few of them are elaborated below.  

  • Mortgage loan processor certification
  • Accredited business accountant
  • General mortgage associate
  • Microsoft Office Specialist

While certifications are not mandatory, they will help you to quickly secure an entry-level job if you do not have a bachelor's degree in finance or accounting. 

Step 6: Gain experience through entry-level jobs

You can start searching for entry-level mortgage loan officer jobs online on job portals and career networking websites. 

Once you land an entry-level job, you can work your way up from there.