Although mortgage brokers do not necessarily need to complete any educational requirements, some employers prefer mortgage broker candidates to have either an associate degree or certificate in mortgage banking. However, other employers prefer to provide applicants with on-the-job training at company-sponsored training sessions. Applicants need excellent typing and computer skills, and sales experience is preferred. Certificate programs usually last one semester while associate degrees last two years. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED.
Undergraduate Certificate in Mortgage Banking
An undergraduate mortgage banking certificate is available from community colleges and can take as little as one semester to complete. Students study loan underwriting, loan closing, and quality control of loans. After completing the course, students may be able transfer credits earned into an associate degree program in mortgage banking.
Associate Degree in Mortgage Banking
An associate degree in mortgage banking generally requires two years of study. In addition to learning how to start, process, and manage mortgages and loans, students develop strong communication, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. Students also learn about the principles of real estate, mathematics, economics, and loan underwriting.
Popular Career Options
Many companies seek out applicants with some mortgage banking experience, even though it is not a requirement. Graduates of associate degree programs might have work experience obtained through internships at financial institutions. Entry-level mortgage broker positions are available to those who have a high school diploma or equivalent, and provide intensive hands-on training. Applicants learn how to process loan requests and communicate with borrowers and lenders.
Licensure & Certification
Mortgage brokers are regulated by state and federal regulations. Each state has its own specific mortgage licensing laws, rules, and regulations. States differ on continuing education hours, if brokers need to work in a physical office and if brokers can issue second mortgages.
The National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) issues three separate professional certifications for different levels of experience. Currently, all but four states are members of the NAMB. To become certified, applicants must pass a computer-based examination and in two of the three programs possess the enough qualifying points. Once applicants receive certification, in order to maintain it, they must complete at least 30 course hours of mortgage-based continuing education classes every three years.
A GMA certification is geared towards entry-level loan officers and mortgage brokers and requires no previous work experience. The examination consists of more than 100 multiple-choice questions covering seven subjects. In order to pass the examination, applicants must answer at least 68% of the questions correctly.
The CRMS certification is designated for mortgage brokers who have two or more years of experience in the mortgage industry. Applicants also need at least 50 qualifying points before they can take the examination. The CRMS examination contains around 125 multiple choice questions covering six subjects, and applicants must correctly answer 75% for certification.
CMC certification is the highest designation for mortgage brokers, and they need at least five years of experience in the field and 100 qualifying points. Two hundred multiple-choice questions covers six subject areas, and applicants must answer 75% of the questions correctly to pass.
Professional and state-run organizations offer single-day or multi-day workshops where applicants can learn about licensing updates, tips on filling out applications, and how to attract more clients. Annual weekend conferences are also offered and address such topics as federal law updates and professional ethics. Additionally, some conferences include continuing education classes brokers need for re-certification purposes.
After graduating from an associate degree program in mortgage banking, applicants can pursue further education by transferring to a 4-year undergraduate program in business administration, finance or economics. They can also complete continuing education courses and open up their own brokerage or move up the corporate ladder to become a mortgage banker and eventually a lender.
There are both certificate programs and associate degrees available to prepare those interested in becoming mortgage brokers. Certification requirements very according to state.