Qualifications for Mortgage Brokers
Are you wondering how to become a mortgage broker? Mortgage brokers are professionals who help people find loans to finance their home purchases. Mortgage brokers must have a high school diploma or GED, obtain licensure, and get experience through on-the-job training. Learn more about the path to becoming a mortgage broker below.
How to Become a Mortgage Broker
Mortgage brokers are professionals who work with loans for residential and commercial real estate. They are independent third parties who work with both lending institutions and clients to compare multiple possible mortgages and identify the best rate for a client who is buying a home. Mortgage brokers require a high school education, as well as additional training and a mortgage broker license. It is important to note that mortgage brokers are distinct from mortgage loan officers, who work for banks to approve mortgages. Read below to learn about the steps you'll need to take if you're interested in how to become a mortgage lender.
Steps to Become a Mortgage Broker
What does it take to be a mortgage broker? Read below to learn about the three crucial steps you'll need to take in order to start your career as a mortgage broker.
Step 1: Earn Your High School Diploma or GED
While the loan officer position typically requires a bachelor's degree to meet the education requirements, you'll only need your high school diploma before starting your training for a mortgage broker position. If you don't have your high school diploma or GED, consider taking classes at your local community college or using online resources to study for the GED exam, which can now be taken either online or in person. Once you have this credential, you'll be ready to start your mortgage broker training.
Step 2: Obtain a Mortgage Broker License
In order to meet the qualifications for mortgage broker careers, you'll also need a license. Before you take the licensing exam to earn a mortgage broker certification, you will need to take a course to learn the relevant laws, guidelines, and skills for mortgage brokers. The National Mortgage Licensure System (NMLS) offers 20-hour courses that will prepare you for the licensure exam. The exam is also administered by the NMLS. The NMLS fee to become licensed as a mortgage broker varies by state, but is usually around $1500. Once you pass the exam, you will be ready to take the next step in becoming a mortgage broker: get a job.
Step 3: On-the-Job Training
After you become licensed as a mortgage broker, you'll still need to gain practical experience through on-the-job training. Once you're hired by a brokerage firm, you will likely spend several weeks working alongside an experienced mortgage broker and learning from them. This will help build the skills you need to eventually work independently to find mortgage loans for your clients.
Mortgage Broker Job Requirements
Mortgage brokers are slightly different than mortgage underwriters in that instead of approving people or companies for loans and working for the company lending the money, brokers help find the loans. Brokers typically have access to multiple lenders and will arrange the transactions for their clients.
This job typically requires mortgage brokers to be detail-oriented and solid decision-makers. Brokers must also take initiative to seek out new clients, as many are paid on commission. Other job duties for these professionals may include:
- Contacting potential clients
- Discussing different loan options with clients
- Ensuring loan compliance with current regulations
- Verifying clients' financial information for loans
- Marketing available services
Mortgage Broker Salary and Outlook
According to PayScale.com, mortgage brokers made a median salary of $57,305 as of November 2020. This salary could vary based on factors like commission, location, and experience. Mortgage broker salary is expected to increase with years of work experience, as the website reported that brokers with 10 to 19 years of work experience made a median salary of $75,000.
While they did not report an outlook specifically for mortgage brokers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) did report a job outlook of 3% projected growth for loan officers from 2019 to 2029, which is as fast as average for jobs in the United States. This positive outlook may be due in part to economic growth.