You want to pursue a career as a loan officer, congratulations! This high-reward career is perfect if you want to help people achieve their dreams of homeownership in addition to having a stable, flexible job.
But what are the requirements and qualifications of a loan officer and how do you get them?
Educational & Experience Background
To begin your path to becoming a loan officer (also known as a mortgage loan originator) you must first have a good educational background. What is required is that you have at least a high school diploma, but a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, business or other related field is preferred.
It is also preferred that you have a background in banking, sales, or lending as this shows a potential employer that you have the experience necessary. However, this is not required as loan officers can come from all walks of life.
Loan Officer Educational Requirements
Next, you must choose which state you would like to practice in. Each state has its own requirements and educational rules, so be sure to follow these. For example, Missouri requires 20 pre-license education hours total. But the general requirements are:
- 20 hours of pre-license education
- Submit fingerprints and a background check
- Submit a credit report
- Pass the National Component of the S.A.F.E. mortgage test
After you have become a loan officer, you will be required to take up to eight hours of continuing education courses every one to three years. This will keep you up to date on all the latest information and allow you to keep your loan officer license.
Loan Officer Certifications
When you apply to become a mortgage loan officer, you will have to choose what kind of certifications you desire. For example, there are two types of loan officers: Commercial and residential. This means that you will specialize in either commercial or residential properties.
While you do not have to acquire a certification, it is recommended as it will improve your chances of being hired. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and the American Bankers Association (ABA) both offer certification courses for you to attend.