Loan Officer Career Info
When people fill out loan applications, it's loan officers who are in charge of reading through, evaluating, approving, and recommending those applications for approval. Loan officers might also be responsible for meeting with loan applicants to help them fill out loan applications, going over the different types of loans and financing options, attaching documents such as pay stubs and bank statements to the loan applications, and reaching out to people, businesses, or organizations to see if they need a loan. Given the de facto education requirement, in-person training, and potential requirement for licensure, preparing to become a loan officer online can be somewhat difficult.
|Required Skills||Decision-Making Skills, Eye for Detail, Initiative|
|Job Growth||8% for 2018-2028*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$63,040*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Steps for Becoming a Loan Officer Online
Mortgage loan officers will need to become licensed, and all loan officers will likely need to complete on-the-job training. That said, all of the following steps except for on-the-job training can be completed online.
Step 1: Complete a Bachelor Degree Program
Although relevant experience in fields such as sales, banking, and customer service, can sometimes be used instead of holding a bachelor's degree, completing a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, and business administration can help provide a more solid foundation of knowledge of the industry. Degrees can be completed online from accredited universities and can help you with many of the skills and common tasks involved in working as a loan officer, such as proficiency in mathematics, familiarity with financial statements and methods of financing. In addition, students can complete studies in subject areas such as financial management, strategic financial planning, business statistics, and economics. These degree programs can generally be completed in four years, with expected completion times of 48 months over 8 full-time semesters, although this can vary based on your individual course load and status as either a full-time or part-time student.
Step 2: Apply and Complete On-the-Job Training
Most loan officers will have to undergo some sort of on-the-job training after being extended a job offer, but before they can begin working independently as official loan officers. Applying for a position as a loan officer is, therefore, your next step, with training following soon thereafter. While you're a trainee you might work with an experienced loan officer first hand to gain an up-close look at the processes involved in the career as well as some practical experience yourself. On-the-job training can vary company to company, both in terms of the type of training, and the length of the training program. Some companies will have you engage in a formal training program, while others will have you learn informally while working on the job under varying degrees of supervision and instruction.
Step 3: Prepare for Certification - Mortgage Loan Officers Only
Mortgage loan officers will need to be certified with a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) license. As well as a standard background check, you will also need to complete 20 hours of training, pass a licensure exam, and submit to a credit check. Luckily, there are online training options for those seeking to pass the MLO exam, although the exam will need to be completed in person. These courses will give you instructions not only on materials likely to be covered in the examination but also information that will be relevant to your career ahead as a mortgage loan officer. Some of these courses can even fulfill the 20 hours of coursework requirement.