Over 70 percent of all homes bought in the United States every year are financed through mortgages. It’s easy to see why. At a time when median home prices are on the rise and the vast majority of American workers are living paycheck to paycheck, not many people have the financial muscle to save up and afford a house.
Mortgage originators help prospective home buyers process home loans. Do you want to pursue this career and help people snap up their dream homes? Here’s how to become a mortgage loan officer.
Get a Relevant Professional Education
Although you can start out in this field with just a high school diploma, things are changing as the industry becomes more competitive. Now employers are looking for people who have a professional academic background.
As such, the first step to becoming a mortgage loan originator is to go to college and pursue at least an associate degree in mortgage banking. Because this program isn’t offered in many institutions, you can also pursue a degree in business or finance, as long as it has mortgage banking classes.
Either way, you should learn about the business of real estate, personal finance, money and financial markets, mortgage lending, and loan origination.
Nurture the Necessary Occupational Skills
Having the right professional education alone isn’t enough to make you a competent loan officer. You need to possess the right skills, too. For example, a mortgage loan officer must have strong analytical skills. You must be able to assess a borrower’s finances and establish whether they meet the company’s approval requirements. You need keen attention to details. If you’re not careful, you can easily miss out on crucial details when reviewing a client’s application paperwork.
You also need good decision-making skills. Approving and rejecting mortgage applications is at the core of your job. You must be able to make sound decisions at all times. And since the job is customer-facing, you need good interpersonal and communication skills to interact with customers well.
Obtain a Mortgage Originator License
All mortgage loan officers need a mortgage originator license. The license is state-issued after the applicant has met licensure requirements. Although these requirements vary from state to state, you’ll typically need to show that you’ve completed the relevant coursework, and ace a licensing exam.
Find Employment as a Mortgage Loan Officer
After getting licensed, you’re free to start hunting for a job. Banks are the primary employers, but you can also find employment in mortgage and real estate companies. Before starting the hunt, be sure to craft a resume and cover letter. Not sure how to do it? Check out these free cover letter templates. You can also find resume templates online.
Start Originating Those Home Loans!
Pursuing a career as a mortgage loan officer can be richly rewarding. The pay is competitive and the job outlook is steady. And now that we’ve fleshed out what it takes to get hired for this position, your task is to take action.
Good luck and keep reading our blog for more tips and insights.