Mortgage underwriters assess the amount of risk inherent in lending to a specific borrower based on their financial history, current stability and collateral. Certificate programs are brief programs of study that give students basic knowledge of the mortgage banking industry and the mortgage loan process, as well as finance. Some programs require that students have completed a few prerequisite courses.
Associate degree programs take two years to complete and may be used to prepare for bachelor's degree study or as a free-standing program. Bachelor's degree programs, which require four years of study, may be offered in finance or economical management with an option to specialize in mortgage and banking studies. Associate and bachelor's degree programs combine core coursework with general education. Both programs require that a student has a high school diploma or GED to be considered for admission.
Individuals who work as mortgage loan officers must be licensed in most states. This usually requires completing a certain number of hours of training, passing an examination and a background check.
Certificate of Completion - Mortgage Banking
Mortgage banking certificate programs are designed for people entering the field or looking to expand their working knowledge. Students receive hands-on training in relevant software and industry processes. Some schools require students to complete prerequisite courses prior to entering a certificate program.
Mortgage banking programs teach students to look at property types and values, debt and capital. Students also take class in understanding and analyzing the current market. Typical courses include:
- Loan types
- Mortgage underwriting
- Banking procedures
- Real estate evaluation
- Management and organizational behaviors
Associate Degree in Mortgage Banking
Applicants into a mortgage banking program are either seeking lending careers or need to renew their credentials. An associate program is typically the first step to a bachelor's degree; however, stand-alone programs can be found. Students may be required to pass knowledge assessment exams before gaining admittance into the program.
Classes train students to assess a loan applicant's need and financial situation, as well as to process a loan. Associate courses focus on real estate evaluation and lending processes. Mortgage banking classes include:
- Lending options
- Risks and collateral usage
- Real estate types and financing
- Monetary ethics
Bachelor's Degree in Finance
Mortgage loan management positions can be reached through a bachelor's degree in financial management or economic management. Finance programs develop an understanding of financial markets, monetary assessments and risk management. Students seeking mortgage underwriting careers may be able to concentrate their bachelor's program in mortgage and banking studies.
The curriculum develops analytical and critical thinking skills to assess and handle financial risks. Classes available may include:
- Investment banking
- Personal finance analysis
- Financial risk management
- Economic effects on financial conditions
- Portfolio management
Popular Career Options
The financial field allows for a wide range of financial and banking positions. Graduates may qualify for job titles such as:
- Credit analyzer
- Loan officer
- Mortgage banker
- Mortgage broker
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Mortgage underwriters can find employment in banks, credit unions and other financial institutions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that loan officers, including mortgage underwriters, will have an average growth of 8 percent from 2018-2028 (www.bls.gov). Additionally, the median wages, according to the BLS, were $63,040 in May 2018.
To be trained in the skill of mortgage underwriting, students can enroll in a number of more generalized degree programs in the fields of economics or finance. Certificates are also available.