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Loan Officer Careers

If you want to be in charge of whether people are issued loans or not, then becoming a loan officer is a great place to start. Most generally, your day will consist of evaluating, authorize and even recommending approval for people or businesses that have submitted a loan application.

While movies generally paint loan officers in a bad light, these people are just doing their jobs. The majority of the time, the people asking for a loan don't even qualify. For the most part, loan officers work in banks and other financial institutions. And it's recommended that you earn a bachelor's degree. But the majority of your education will come from learning on-the-job. You'll be turning loans down left and right after no time!

What Does a Loan Officer Do

Loan officers evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of loan applications for people and businesses. 

Duties

Loan officers typically do the following:

  • Contact companies or people to ask if they need a loan
  • Meet with loan applicants to gather personal information and answer questions
  • Explain different types of loans and the terms of each one to applicants
  • Obtain, verify, and analyze the applicant’s financial information, such as the credit rating and income level
  • Review loan agreements to ensure that they comply with federal and state regulations
  • Approve loan applications or refer them to management for a decision

Loan officers use a process called underwriting to assess whether applicants qualify for loans. After collecting and verifying all the required financial documents, the loan officer evaluates the information they obtain to determine the applicant’s need for a loan and ability to pay back the loan. Most firms use underwriting software, which produces a recommendation for the loan based on the applicant’s financial status. After the underwriting software produces a recommendation, loan officers review the output of the software and consider any additional information to make a final decision.

The work of loan officers has sizable customer-service and sales components. Loan officers often answer questions and guide customers through the application process. In addition, many loan officers must market the products and services of their lending institution and actively solicit new business. 

The following are common types of loan officers:

Commercial loan officers specialize in loans to businesses, which often use the loans to buy supplies and upgrade or expand operations. Commercial loans frequently are larger and more complicated than other types of loans. Because companies have such complex financial situations and statements, commercial loans usually require human judgment in addition to the analysis by underwriting software. Furthermore, some commercial loans are so large that no single bank will provide the entire amount requested. In such cases, loan officers may have to work with multiple banks to put together a package of loans. 

Consumer loan officers specialize in loans to people. Consumers take out loans for many reasons, such as buying a car or paying college tuition. For some simple consumer loans, the underwriting process is fully automated. However, the loan officer is still needed to guide applicants through the process and to handle cases with unusual circumstances. Some institutions—usually small banks and credit unions—do not use underwriting software and instead rely on loan officers to complete the underwriting process manually.

Mortgage loan officers specialize in loans used to buy real estate (property and buildings), which are called mortgage loans. Mortgage loan officers work on loans for both residential and commercial properties. Often, mortgage loan officers must seek out clients, which requires developing relationships with real estate companies and other sources that can refer prospective applicants. 

Within these three fields, some loan officers specialize in a particular part of the loan process:

Loan collection officers contact borrowers who fail to make their loan payments on time. They work with borrowers to help them find a way to keep paying off the loan. If the borrower continues to miss payments, loan officers start the process of taking away what the borrower used to secure the loan (called “collateral”)—often a home or car—and selling it to repay the loan. 

Loan underwriters specialize in evaluating whether a client is creditworthy. They collect, verify, and evaluate the client’s financial information provided on their loan applications and then use loan underwriting software to produce recommendations.

How To Become a Loan Officer

Most loan officers need a bachelor’s degree and receive on-the-job training. Mortgage loan officers must be licensed.

Education

Loan officers typically need a bachelor’s degree, usually in a field such as business or finance. Because commercial loan officers analyze the finances of businesses applying for credit, they need to understand general business accounting, including how to read financial statements.  

Some loan officers may be able to enter the occupation without a bachelor’s degree if they have related work experience, such as experience in sales, customer service, or banking. 

Training

Once hired, loan officers usually receive some on-the-job training. This may be a combination of formal, company-sponsored training and informal training during the first few months on the job.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Mortgage loan officers must have a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) license. To become licensed, they must complete at least 20 hours of coursework, pass an exam, and submit to background and credit checks. Licenses must be renewed annually, and individual states may have additional requirements.

Several banking associations, including the American Bankers Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association, as well as a number of schools, offer courses, training programs, or certifications for loan officers. Although not required, certification shows dedication and expertise and thus may enhance a candidate’s employment opportunities. 

Important Qualities

Decisionmaking skills. Loan officers must assess an applicant’s financial information and decide whether to award the applicant a loan. 

Detail oriented. Each piece of information on an application can have a major effect on the profitability of a loan, meaning that loan officers must pay attention to detail.

Initiative. Loan officers need to seek out new clients. They often act as salespeople, promoting their lending institution and contacting firms to determine their need for a loan.

Interpersonal skills. Because loan officers work with people, they must be able to guide customers through the application process and answer their questions.

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Average Salary
$48,625
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
28,951
Job Openings

Loan Officer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Loan Officer

Top Careers After Loan Officer

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Average Salary for a Loan Officer

Loan Officers in America make an average salary of $48,625 per year or $23 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $73,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $32,000 per year.
Average Salary
$48,625

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Boston, MA
Salary Range45k - 84k$62k$62,157
Stratford, CT
Salary Range44k - 84k$62k$61,654
New York, NY
Salary Range44k - 84k$61k$61,066
Arlington, VA
Salary Range44k - 82k$60k$60,255
Milwaukee, WI
Salary Range43k - 80k$59k$59,307
Jersey City, NJ
Salary Range42k - 81k$59k$59,006
$31k
$84k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Loan Officer
Loan Officer
Jtpostmaster
Jtpostmaster
03/30/2021
03/30/2021
$100,00003/30/2021
$100,000
Mortgage Loan Officer
Mortgage Loan Officer
Jtpostmaster
Jtpostmaster
03/30/2021
03/30/2021
$50,65103/30/2021
$50,651
Loan Officer
Loan Officer
Advantagefirst Lending
Advantagefirst Lending
03/28/2021
03/28/2021
$100,00003/28/2021
$100,000
Mortgage Loan Officer
Mortgage Loan Officer
Hoosier Hills Credit Union
Hoosier Hills Credit Union
03/27/2021
03/27/2021
$50,65103/27/2021
$50,651
Loan Officer
Richmond American Homes
Richmond American Homes
03/26/2021
03/26/2021
$25,62503/26/2021
$25,625
See More Recent Salaries

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Loan Officer Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Loan Officer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Loan Officer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Loan Officer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Loan Officer Demographics

Gender

male

52.5 %

female

43.7 %

unknown

3.8 %

Ethnicity

White

68.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

14.7 %

Black or African American

8.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.6 %

French

6.0 %

Portuguese

3.8 %
See More Demographics

Loan Officer Education

Majors

Business
37.0 %
Finance
10.6 %

Degrees

Bachelors

50.9 %

Certificate

17.3 %

Associate

13.8 %

Top Colleges for Loan Officers

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

5. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,308
Enrollment
6,819

6. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

7. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,880
Enrollment
4,177

8. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

9. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,625
Enrollment
17,407

10. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339
See More Education Info
Job type you want
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Loan Officer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.0% of loan officers listed loan portfolio on their resume, but soft skills such as detail oriented and initiative are important as well.

  • Loan Portfolio, 17.0%
  • Customer Service, 12.4%
  • New Clients, 7.8%
  • Financial Statements, 7.2%
  • Financial Goals, 5.2%
  • Other Skills, 50.4%
  • See All Loan Officer Skills

Best States For a Loan Officer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a loan officer. The best states for people in this position are Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and New Hampshire. Loan officers make the most in Massachusetts with an average salary of $62,328. Whereas in Connecticut and New York, they would average $61,574 and $60,944, respectively. While loan officers would only make an average of $59,268 in New Hampshire, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Iowa

Total Loan Officer Jobs:
476
Highest 10% Earn:
$101,000
Location Quotient:
1.29
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Wisconsin

Total Loan Officer Jobs:
660
Highest 10% Earn:
$104,000
Location Quotient:
1.17
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Massachusetts

Total Loan Officer Jobs:
1,011
Highest 10% Earn:
$110,000
Location Quotient:
1.08
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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How Do Loan Officer Rate Their Jobs?

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4.0

Loans OfficerOctober 2019

4.0

Zippia Official LogoLoans OfficerOctober 2019

What do you like the most about working as Loan Officer?

when a person being assisted to obtain a loan to uplift their lives Show More

What do you NOT like?

when more loans are deliquent Show More

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Top Loan Officer Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ loan officers and discovered their number of loan officer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Bank of America was the best, especially with an average salary of $87,279. Wells Fargo follows up with an average salary of $87,089, and then comes JPMorgan Chase with an average of $104,133. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a loan officer. The employers include Ocwen Financial, Freedom Mortgage, and Quicken Loans

1. Bank of America
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$87,279
Loan Officers Hired: 
1,337+
2. Wells Fargo
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$87,089
Loan Officers Hired: 
971+
3. JPMorgan Chase
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$104,133
Loan Officers Hired: 
431+
4. U.S. Bank
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$81,135
Loan Officers Hired: 
308+
5. The PNC Financial Services Group
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$83,828
Loan Officers Hired: 
298+
6. SunTrust Banks
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$85,745
Loan Officers Hired: 
195+

Loan Officer Videos

Updated October 2, 2020