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Mortgage Certification and Certificate Program Information

Learn about certificate programs and certification options for mortgage professionals. The following article discusses prerequisites, coursework and employment outlook statistics.

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Essential Information

Mortgage bankers, also known as loan officers, work in the real estate and banking industries. They are good with people and numbers, and they assist borrowers in the purchase of homes and other properties through their knowledge of financing and real estate investment planning. All states require basic training in mortgage fundamentals to become a mortgage banker.

Certificate programs on the subject teach the practice of lending, including terminology and laws. At the end of mortgage certificate programs, attendants will be familiar with the process of applying for and granting loans to potential borrowers. Classes prepare certificate holders to take the necessary examinations to become licensed through their state as professional mortgage loan officers. Additionally, mortgage loan officers can earn voluntary certifications through associations like the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Educational Prerequisites

A bachelor's degree in finance, economics or a related area is usually required to become a certified mortgage banker. Without one, mortgage loan officers need to have an extensive employment history in the banking industry. A certificate program applicant must have, at the very least, a high school diploma or GED.

Program Coursework

Coursework and program length vary by the offering institution, and the programs are often tailored to requirements of the state in which the program is offered. Some programs even offer electives for those who wish to gain credentials in a specific area of the business, such as short sales or auctions.

  • Appraisals
  • Credit reports
  • Lending practices
  • Loan types
  • Mortgage ethics
  • Mortgage calculations
  • Qualified buyers

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The outlook for mortgage bankers is best for those with a college education and experience in the industry, reports the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, (BLS) The BLS expected a 14% job increase in its projections data for the years 2010-2020 for loan officers. The BLS also reported that $59,820 was the median annual salary for loan officers as of May 2012.

Professional Certification and Continuing Education Information

It is necessary to take continuing education courses in mortgage lending to maintain an up-to-date licensure. Those with experience in the field can also pursue voluntary professional certification from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The association offers various levels of certification that depend on the number of years of experience the pursuer has.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics