A mortgage broker essentially acts as a counselor or a contractor who helps clients on taking an informed decision regarding mortgage loans, such as analyzing the loan product, providing guidance on different loan availability, required loan qualifications, interest, and terms & conditions, and informing about different lenders, and most feasible loan option.
If the financial and banking world fascinates you, if you love playing with numbers, and have a problem identifying and solving instincts, this career is perfect for you.
However, a lot goes into becoming a certified mortgage broker, right from gaining the right education through training to earning the license.
This blog is curated for those who want to know how to become a mortgage broker.
Mortgage Broker Job Description
A mortgage broker or mortgage loan officer is not someone who loans money to customers. But, he is the mediator between the lender and the customer. Additionally, mortgage brokers are different from real estate agents, as well as mortgage underwriters. The real estate agent helps clients buy and sell properties. The mortgage underwriter works for the lender company and approves loans for individuals and firms. But the mortgage broker helps clients find the best loan options to buy residential and commercial properties.
Real estate agents and mortgage underwriters need not be concerned about customers’ financial capabilities, while mortgage loan officers work on the client’s financial skills and provide the best solutions by keeping the client’s best interest in view.
As a broker, you will have access to several loan providers and financial institutions to arrange a loan transaction for your customers.
Few essential qualifications that mortgage loan officers must have to excel in the field are:
- Bachelor’s degree in a related field
- Detail orientation skill
- Problem-solving and decision making skills
- Communication skills
- Negotiation skills
- Marketing and advertising skills (required for individual professionals)
Typical Job Duties of Mortgage Broker
- Connect with potential clients
- Network with loan providers
- Verify and evaluate the client’s financial data
- Counsel clients, discuss loan options with them and guide them in making profitable decisions
- Ensure clients comply with current loan regulations
- Be aware of the latest trends and market condition of the real estate and financial industry
How Much Mortgage Loan Officers Make
The mortgage broker salary varies based on several factors, including the state, the location, the commission rate, the type of property, and experience. By helping clients make informed decisions in choosing the right lender and loan type, you can make a lot of money as a mortgage broker.
The average salary range of mortgage brokers falls between USD 29,362 and USD 197,489 annually in the US.
Mortgage brokers can work independently or with broking firms. If you choose to be an independent/freelance loan officer, you can probably earn commissions derived from the final loan amount.
How to Become a Mortgage Broker
To become a qualified mortgage broker, you must earn a basic bachelor’s degree, undergo training in mortgage broking, and apply for licensure.
Educational Requirements for Mortgage Loan Officers
It would be best if you gained a basic bachelor’s degree. It is the bare minimum for license qualification. You can pursue a bachelor’s study in related subjects, such as finance, business management, law, and real estate. You can also earn your degree online. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in some other subject, you can pursue a training course in business or finance and gain eligibility for this career.
A few good degree programs that you can consider are Bachelor in Business Administration, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Arts in real estate, finance, investment, and law.
You can also study a masters’ degree to broaden your career pathway and earn a higher income, even as an entry-level candidate.
Gain Suitable Training
Since all mortgage brokers must be licensed, a mortgage loan officer training, along with on-the-job experience, is mandatory for licensure.
You can choose to intern with a reputed mortgage broking firm instead of working as an employee and get the right kind of exposure and practical knowledge of the career. During the training period, you will learn to use different software tools for underwriting mortgages and get acquainted with the terms, rules, and policies relating to the industry.
Obtain Mortgage Broker License
To get the license, you must complete a pre-licensure 20-hour program. The classes will cover topics like federal and state law, mortgage financial regulation, loan ethics, loan officers’ role, and more. While the National Mortgage Licensure System regulates the short pre-licensure course syllabuses, the American Bankers Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association offer the 20-hour long training.
You have to pass the SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator License test to obtain the license. Although this is a national test, some states also require mortgage loan officers to fulfill additional requirements for licensure. Look up the website of the National Mortgage Licensure System(1) to understand the application process and qualifications needed for the examination.
You will be granted a renewable license after passing the examination. To continue practicing the profession, you must pass a background check, a credit check, and renew the license every year.
[Also Read: Know How to Become an Insurance Broker]
How to Grow Your Career as a Mortgage Broker
For an independent mortgage broker, the success of the career entirely depends upon your networking capabilities with clients and financial institutions. Our quick advice would be to start the career by working with reputed brokerage firms having an established clientele starting as an individual firm.
To keep your license active, just like lawyers and doctors, you must also continue education and fulfill certain hours of documented practice per year.