The most basic type of degree program for aspiring loan officers is a bachelor's degree in finance. Such a degree program, combined with relevant work experience at commercial banks, credit unions and other savings institutions, can provide individuals with the training necessary to pursue a position as a loan originator.
An undergraduate degree program in finance teaches an aspiring loan originator the basic concepts of money, credit and economics. Many undergraduate programs allow students to choose a concentration, such as financial analysis, business finance or financial planning and investments. A concentration in banking or insurance is particularly ideal for individuals looking to become loan originators. However, these types of 4-year programs train students for several possible careers in the financial industry, leaving plentiful opportunities for career switches or advancements.
An interest in mathematics and economics is also important. Although some loan originators work their way into their positions from jobs as clerks or bank tellers, the most common and effective way of earning such a position is to attend a 4-year, accredited university program.
Loan Originator Degree Programs
Most courses in an undergraduate program in finance focus on economic models and markets. They are lecture-heavy courses, with virtually no laboratory or hands-on experience necessary. They include topics such as:
- Principles of finance
- Basic investing strategies
- Financial markets
- Real estate loan originator
- Loan processing
Employment Outlook Information
The job growth rate for loan officers is expected to increase 8% between 2014 and 2024, as fast as the average rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Job prospects were expected to improve with the return of more lending following the recession. The average salary for loan officers in 2015 was $75,170 per year, stated the BLS.
Continuing Education and Certification
Continuing education courses are available from various associations for loan originators who want to keep their skills up-to-date and learn about advances in the field. In addition, associations like the Mortgage Bankers Association administer certifications (i.e. Certified Mortgage Banker).
Those interested in a career as a loan originator can complete an undergraduate program in finance which includes mostly lectures. Students will learn about financial planning and investing along with other courses to prepare them in a career as a loan originator.