Online Mortgage Underwriting Courses and Degree Information

May 31, 2019

Learn about online degree programs with mortgage underwriting courses. Get an overview of the program types, requirements and course descriptions available for this field.

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Essential Information

There are fully online courses in mortgage underwriting, usually found within business, real estate, finance or accounting degree programs, and many are designed to meet continuing education requirements for already-licensed professionals. These courses apply to careers in real estate, banking and finance.

Though there are multiple fields of study with mortgage underwriting courses, associate's degree programs in accounting may allow students to choose a specialization in banking that includes courses in real estate law and lending. In a bachelor's degree program in business with a concentration in finance, students may take courses in mortgage lending and consumer credit. Prior to enrolling in either of these programs, online students need to get access to word processing and spreadsheet software. Below are overviews of a couple of program options at each level.

Associate's Degree in Accounting - Banking Specialization

Students enrolled in this associate's degree program learn the principles of accounting by covering topics such as accounts payable and receivable, taxes and finance. The banking specialization focuses on areas such as law, lending and marketing. Students complement their courses in the major with general education classes. Individuals seeking a degree with mortgage underwriting courses may also find them within real estate or business programs.

Program Information and Requirements

Earning an associate's degree generally takes less than two years when completed online because such programs don't have to conform to a traditional academic calendar. Depending on the college, students follow a course schedule at predetermined intervals usually between four and eight weeks. Schools offering such degrees typically provide an online portal system. The system serves as a virtual campus, providing students with a majority of lecture materials, coursework and peer interaction.

Ideally, a student should own a computer with an up-to-date operating system and a high-speed Internet connection. Accounting relies on spreadsheet software so students may need access to Microsoft Excel. Students should consult with their schools for specific computer and technology requirements before enrolling.

List of Common Accounting Courses

The emphasis of this course is on building a strong foundation in accounting, the law and taxes. Under the banking specialty, students spend considerable time studying the industry and the lending and mortgage processes.

Introduction to Banking

Students get an overview of the world of banking. The class introduces students to concepts such as the history behind banking, loans and modern banking challenges.

Consumer Lending

This course covers loans made through banks. Students learn about the application process and consumer credit, which helps them understand underwriting. The class also talks about laws and regulations governing lending.

Introduction to Mortgage

Students learn all aspects of mortgages from those offered to the individual to those for corporations. The class also focuses heavily on real estate topics such as builders and developers, the law and real estate investment.

Bachelor's Degree in Business - Finance Concentration

A degree in business finance prepares students to enter the corporate world with a strong understanding of banking and its instruments, including mortgages. In baccalaureate business degree programs, students take courses in real estate finance that cover mortgages and mortgage underwriting. Students with associate's degrees may be able to apply earned credits and complete a bachelor's degree in less time. Beyond business degrees, courses in mortgage underwriting tend to fall under programs in accounting or real estate.

Program Information and Requirements

Because many online business degrees don't follow the traditional academic calendar, they can often be completed in less than four years. Students cover lecture materials at their convenience, but generally submit assignments by a designated time and may also have scheduled tests or class discussion times. Most schools offer an online portal through which students can find the latest lecture materials, get their assignments, and communicate with classmates and instructors.

Computer requirements vary by college, so students may want to verify a program's equipment and technical needs in advance. Those enrolled in an online business degree program should ideally have a high-speed Internet connection and a computer capable of running industry-standard word processing and spreadsheet software. Also, the computer should have ample hard-drive and memory to perform assignments.

List of Common Business Courses

Major courses cover accounting, economics and business law. Within the finance concentration, students delve more deeply into the topics of real estate and mortgages.

Real Estate Finance

The course gives students an overview of real estate, including development, construction and financing. Students spend particular time learning about mortgages, including the different types available and the resale market for mortgages.

Lending to Homeowners

Students cover everything from loan application to loan award in this course. They learn about the overall industry, including mortgages and modern lending practices. The course also focuses on evaluating applicant credit history and learning to determine how much credit can be granted.

Understanding Consumer Credit

This course delves into the various elements of consumer credit and its uses for loan processing. Students also gain an understanding of how to determine risk and underwrite a loan.

Career Information for Graduates

An associate's degree that includes coursework in mortgage underwriting can lead to work as an appraiser or assessor of real estate. Growth in the field is expected to increase by 8% between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In May 2015, real estate appraisers and assessors earned a median annual salary of $51,860, according to the BLS (

Students who earn a business degree that emphasizes banking or finance can find jobs as loan officers or real estate brokers. In May 2015, the median annual wage for loan officers was $63,430, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). During the same year, median annual earnings for real estate brokers were $56,860, including commissions ( Also noted by the BLS, jobs for loan officers were expected to grow by 8% from 2014 to 2024. A 2% employment growth is expected for real estate brokers during this same 10-year span.

Continuing Education Information

Appraisers and assessors must be certified or licensed within their state of employment. Individuals interested in further education related to mortgage underwriting may seek a bachelor's degree in a major such as business.

Real estate brokers must be licensed by their respective state, and loan officers now require federal licensure, according to May 2010 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A master's degree can also be earned to further brokers' and loan officers' education and employment opportunities.

At the undergraduate level, the best way to study mortgage underwriting is to enroll in a broader associate's or bachelor's degree program that includes classes in the subject. Because the distance learning format enables students to work at their own pace, they can usually finish degrees more quickly than they would on campus, so they can join the workforce sooner.

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