Mortgage loan consultants are independent contractors who work with borrowers to obtain loans. They have an average annual salary of around $75,000 and their job growth outlook is about as fast as the job market as a whole.
A mortgage loan consultant, also known as a mortgage broker, mortgage loan originator, or loan officer, assists individuals and businesses in need of loans to buy or refinance a house or other real estate property. The minimum requirement to work in this field is licensure, which requires a high school diploma and 20 hours of approved coursework in federal regulations, ethics, and other business and financial subjects.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree required for some positions, plus 20 hours of approved coursework for licensing|
|Licensure & Certification|| Licensure required,
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||8% for all loan officers|
|Average Salary (2015)*||$75,170 for all loan officers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Description for a Mortgage Loan Consultant
Mortgage loan consultants deal with lending institutions, acting on the behalf of potential borrowers to get the best loan for their financial situation. Rather than work directly for a bank like loan officers, these consultants work as independent contractors. They often develop relationships with real estate agents who might then recommend these mortgage loan consultants to their clients when they are ready to apply for a loan. Their annual earnings are often based on commission from the number and type of loans they broker each year.
Mortgage loan consultants perform the same duties as a bank loan officer. These include collecting personal information in a loan application, using it to assess a borrower's credit and financial history and explaining the loan process to the applicants. They often use underwriting software to determine how much an applicant can afford to borrow and be able to pay back. Loan consultants deal with multiple banks in order to broker the best loan amount and interest rate for their clients.
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Like becoming a bank loan officer, becoming a mortgage loan consultant requires only a high school diploma and a license which requires 20 hours of approved coursework. However, mortgage loan consultants who specialize in commercial mortgages often hold a bachelor's degree in economics or finance because they must be able to analyze a business's financial standing.
All mortgage loan officers and consultants must be licensed. Licensing requires 20 hours of coursework, all of which must be approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry. Coursework includes classes on federal mortgaging regulations, nontraditional mortgaging situations and ethics. Candidates must also pass a licensing exam and a criminal background check.
Though certification is not required, becoming a Certified Mortgage Consultant (CMC) demonstrates that a consultant holds the highest level of certification awarded to mortgage brokers by the National Association of Mortgage Brokers. Obtaining the CMC designation requires five years of work experience and 100 qualifying points, which are earned through various combinations of formal and professional education, work experience, professional certifications and leadership activities. Recertification requires an additional 30 hours of continuing education and is required every three years.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
As of May 2015, the average yearly salary of loan officers was $75,170, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said. From 2014-2024, the BLS projected 8% employment growth for these professionals, which was about as fast as the average for all occupations. This prediction is based, in part, on lending activity returning after the recession.
Mortgage loan officers require only a high school diploma, but need a bachelor's degree for some positions or to work on commercial real estate loans. They must be licensed, which usually includes completing coursework, passing a background check, and passing an exam. Certification is available, but not always required.