How to become a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) in 2021

Updated: Aug 2, 2021

If you’ve been thinking about becoming a mortgage loan originator (MLO), this quick article is for you.

In this blog post, I’ll go over the requirements and some more information on the process of becoming an MLO.

Let’s dive right in.

The first requirement is you must be at least 18 years old. If you check this, you can move on to the next step, which is registering with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry - otherwise known as the NMLS.

Once you apply and register with NMLS, you will receive your unique ID number. This ID number grants you access to begin your MLO journey.

What’s next?

You must complete 20 hours of NMLS pre-licensing education, which applies nationwide. Based on your state, you may also have to complete state-specific courses (more on that later). After you complete your pre-licensing course, you’re ready to take the NMLS Mortgage Licensing Exam (or also known as the SAFE MLO test).

Congrats! You passed your licensing exam, what’s next?

Now that you’ve passed your exam, you qualify to apply for your NMLS license and finalize your application! To receive your license, you’ll need to undergo a background check, credit check, and fingerprints.

Lastly, get hired! Remember when I mentioned those state-specific requirements? Well, here’s what I mean. You must first get licensed nationally, and then you may get licensed in different states. For example, Florida (where we’re located) there is a 2 hour elective requirement but in Texas, it is a 3 hour elective. It varies by state so be sure to check those requirements. You’ve officially completed your elective hours and now you can officially put your MLO license with a brokerage. Woot!

Thinking about taking that next step in becoming an MLO? Be sure to follow us @mortgagechicks on Instagram to continue learning about the mortgage industry. We post mortgage and home buying tips every day!

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