Loan officers determine if borrowers are eligible for loans. Their educational requirements vary by industry and employer. Some positions require only a high school diploma with company sponsored training, while others require a bachelor's degree. Loan officers must obtain licensing, which includes coursework, a background check and passing an exam.
Loan processors determine whether potential borrowers are qualified to receive loans from banks. These professionals also put together loan programs that are most suitable for the needs of their customers. Educational requirements for this position may consist of a high school diploma with on-the-job training or a bachelor's degree in a related field, depending on the employer.
|Required Education||High school diploma minimum; candidates seeking employment in commercial settings may require a bachelor's degree in a business- or finance-related field|
|Other Requirements||On-the-job training may be required; licensure required for mortgage loan officers|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||8% for all loan officers|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$63,430 for all loan officers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Outlook for Loan Officers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 303,200 loan officers in 2014 (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported that 83% of these professionals were employed in the credit intermediation and related activities industry. Job opportunities for loan officers were expected to increase 8% from 2014-2024. This growth rate is as fast as average compared to other employment sectors.
The Mortgage Bankers Association, which offers certification programs for loan processors, says foreclosures and delinquencies spurred by declining housing prices and recessionary conditions are a big challenge for the industry (www.mortgagebankers.org).
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Loan Processor Career Profile
When a potential borrower applies for a loan, a loan officer reviews the applicant's credit reports, income and available collateral, among other details, to determine if that borrow is eligible for a loan. The loan processor also determines the requisite loan documents, such as financial statements, title reports and lease summaries. After the borrower submits these reports, the loan officer verifies the accuracy and completeness of the documents, which are then reviewed by various officials and committees in the bank before a decision is made.
The median annual wage for loan officers was $63,430 in May 2015, according to the BLS. The bottom ten percent earned $32,870 or less per year, while the top ten percent earned $130,630 or more per year.
Educational Requirements for a Loan Processor
Loan officers must have at least high school diplomas. These professionals typically undergo a combination of on-the-job training and company-sponsored instruction after gaining employment. Loan officers who work in commercial settings are typically required to hold bachelor's degrees in applicable majors, such as business administration, banking, finance, accounting or economics. Students may benefit from taking courses or gaining experience in customer care, credit counseling, loan processing, underwriting and relevant computer software.
Additionally, some community and technical colleges offer certificate programs in loan processing. These programs tend to include courses in mortgage brokerage and loan processing principles.
Licensing Requirements for a Loan Processor
According to the BLS, mortgage loan officers are currently the only professionals in this field required to be licensed. To obtain licensure, candidates must complete 20 hours of coursework and pass background checks before sitting for a written exam. Mortgage loan officers must also renew licensure regularly by earning continuing education credits.
Loan officers can expect job growth about as fast as the job market as a whole. The median salary of a loan officer is about $63,000 and can be as high as $130,000 for the top ten percent of earners.