These licensed mortgage loan originators work with multiple lenders — unlike loan officers who only work with one lender — to find the best mortgage loan options for their clients based on the client’s financial and employment information. Some borrowers may prefer to work with mortgage brokers rather than loan officers in hopes that brokers will help find the best interest rate available or assist with other factors that might impact their ability to get a loan, like a shaky credit history.
An aspiring mortgage broker will need a high school diploma or GED at the bare minimum. Today, most individuals going into the field will also earn a bachelor’s degree in something like finance, economics, accounting or business administration from an accredited university to be more competitive in the job market.
After completing their education, aspiring brokers should seek out entry-level positions at a business in the field, such as a bank or real estate firm to learn more about the industry and start forming connections. Next, aspiring brokers need to enroll in a pre-licensure course (typically a 20-hour course) to learn about mortgage origination, ethical issues and federal and state regulations. After finishing this coursework, brokers must pass national and state versions of a mortgage loan originator exam administered by the National Mortgage Licensure System (NMLS) to obtain their licenses.
To keep their licenses active, mortgage brokers must also complete continuing education courses throughout the year, meeting a certain number of course hours to renew their licenses.
Remaining successful as a mortgage broker, therefore, requires diligence in maintaining licensure status, keeping up with the latest regulations and fostering successful client relationships.
Mortgage brokers, like real estate agents and brokers, help facilitate what is typically the largest asset most people will purchase in their lifetimes. Having that kind of responsibility and dealing with clients who are worried about getting the best deals on their mortgages can be stressful in itself. But add on top of that some of the following factors that can definitely lead to more pressure.
- Constantly changing mortgage rates
- Criteria updates and product withdrawals from lenders
- Working longer hours to meet deadlines and keep clients satisfied
Therefore, someone who is interested in becoming a mortgage broker should be OK with working longer and sometimes irregular hours and adapt to change quickly.