How to Become a Mortgage Broker
Mortgage brokers, or mortgage loan officers, work with loans for residential and commercial real estate. To become a mortgage broker, students generally need to obtain an undergraduate degree, training in the field, and a license. Find out more about each of these steps below.
Most kinds of loan officers, including mortgage loan officers, need at least a bachelor's degree. While there is no specific mortgage broker school, students typically pursue a bachelor's degree in subjects like finance, business, or real estate. These programs may be offered as Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS), or Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degrees.
Students can take many different online business administration courses, and many business and finance degree programs offer fully online formats. Usually, these programs require around 120 credits and include general education courses, as well as courses in business. Students who pursue a degree such as a BBA in Real Estate to gain real estate experience may take courses that examine real estate topics in finance, investment, and legal principles.
Most loan officers need some on-the-job training once they are hired. Some of this training may be company-sponsored, while the rest may be more informal. Usually, new hires are learning company-specific rules and policies, as well as how to use specific underwriting software during this training period.
Mortgage Broker License
Mortgage brokers must obtain a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) license to work. This license requires brokers to take an exam after finishing 20 hours of coursework offered through the American Bankers Association or the Mortgage Bankers Association. Brokers must also pass background and credit checks and renew their licenses each year. Some states may have additional requirements.
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 $57,509 as of September 2019. 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 $72,456.
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 8% for loan officers from 2018 to 2028. This positive outlook may be due in part to economic growth.