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Become A Loan Officer

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Working As A Loan Officer

  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • $43,495

    Average Salary

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.

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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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Loan Officer Videos

Life of a Mortgage Loan Officer

A Day in the Life - Loan Officer

Commercial Loan Officer, Career Video from drkit.org

Loan Officer Jobs

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Loan Officer Career Paths

Loan Officer
Sales Consultant Sales Manager Personal Banker
Bank Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive Personal Banker
Banking Center Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Operations Manager Branch Manager
Branch Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Personal Banker Assistant Branch Manager
Business Development Officer
7 Yearsyrs
Service Representative Assistant Branch Manager Business Banker
Business Relationship Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Credit Analyst Credit Manager
Credit And Collection Manager
7 Yearsyrs
General Manager Sales Consultant Internet Sales Manager
Finance And Insurance Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Personal Banker
Finance Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Underwriter Consumer Loan Underwriter
Lending Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Sales Manager Branch Manager
Manager, Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Branch Manager Account Executive Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Director
11 Yearsyrs
General Manager Real Estate Agent Real Estate Broker
Real Estate Management Specialist
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Manager Relationship Manager
Senior Relationship Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Branch Manager General Manager Account Manager
Territory Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Underwriter Senior Underwriter
Underwriting Director
9 Yearsyrs
Underwriter Senior Underwriter
Underwriting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Analyst Assistant Vice President
Vice President & Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Branch Manager Assistant Vice President
Vice President And Portfolio Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Branch Manager Vice President And Manager
Vice President Operation Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Loan Broker 3.8 years
Mortgage Broker 3.8 years
Loan Administrator 3.4 years
Loan Manager 3.2 years
Loan Officer 3.0 years
Loan Originator 2.8 years
Mortgage Banker 2.4 years
Loan Specialist 2.3 years
Loan Consultant 2.2 years
Loan Adviser 1.7 years
Top Careers Before Loan Officer
Teller 6.3%
Manager 5.0%
Owner 3.7%
Cashier 3.1%
Top Careers After Loan Officer
Owner 5.6%
Manager 4.5%
Teller 2.8%

Do you work as a Loan Officer?

Loan Officer Demographics

Gender

Male

53.8%

Female

44.2%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

60.9%

Hispanic or Latino

17.2%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

7.0%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

64.6%

French

6.3%

Portuguese

4.2%

Italian

3.3%

Korean

3.1%

Russian

2.7%

German

2.6%

Arabic

2.2%

Chinese

1.9%

Mandarin

1.4%

Japanese

1.3%

Hindi

1.2%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Polish

0.8%

Turkish

0.7%

Carrier

0.7%

Urdu

0.6%

Cantonese

0.6%

Greek

0.6%

Dari

0.5%
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Loan Officer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

26.8%

Michigan State University

4.9%

Strayer University

4.8%

Liberty University

4.6%

Arizona State University

4.5%

University of North Texas

3.9%

Ashford University

3.9%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.8%

University of Utah

3.7%

University of Houston

3.7%

University of Missouri - Columbia

3.7%

Florida State University

3.7%

Kaplan University

3.7%

San Diego State University

3.6%

University of Kansas

3.5%

University of Alabama

3.5%

Grand Canyon University

3.5%

Towson University

3.4%

Florida International University

3.4%

Pennsylvania State University

3.4%
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Majors

Business

38.1%

Finance

11.2%

Accounting

7.4%

Marketing

4.7%

Management

4.5%

Real Estate

3.5%

Psychology

3.5%

Communication

3.5%

Criminal Justice

3.0%

Economics

2.6%

Education

2.6%

General Studies

2.4%

Political Science

2.3%

Liberal Arts

2.0%

Health Care Administration

1.7%

Computer Science

1.6%

Human Resources Management

1.5%

English

1.3%

Nursing

1.3%

Law

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.7%

Other

29.0%

Masters

11.6%

Associate

9.7%

Certificate

3.9%

Diploma

1.1%

License

1.0%

Doctorate

1.0%
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Loan Officer Videos

Life of a Mortgage Loan Officer

A Day in the Life - Loan Officer

Commercial Loan Officer, Career Video from drkit.org

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Loan Officer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Loan Officers Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC Newport Beach, CA Mar 05, 2013 $165,000
Loan Officers Bank Hapoalim New York, NY Feb 06, 2014 $160,866
Loan Officers Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation New York, NY May 06, 2014 $160,326
Loan Officers Bankasiana Palisades Park, NJ Jun 18, 2012 $119,600
Loan Officers Royal Bank of Canada New York, NY Aug 06, 2012 $110,000
Loan Officers DBS Bank Ltd Los Angeles, CA Jul 19, 2012 $103,127
Loan Officers Leader Bank, National Association Arlington, MA Dec 12, 2013 $101,400
Loan Officer Bank of America Chicago, IL Jan 07, 2011 $96,900
Loan Officers Worldbusiness Capital, Inc. Hartford, CT Feb 03, 2011 $95,000
Loan Officers Summit Mortgage Bankers, Inc. NY May 20, 2013 $94,931
Loan Officer TD Bank, N.A. Beverly, MA Jan 05, 2011 $91,300
Loan Officers Summit Mortgage Bankers, Inc. New York, NY Aug 01, 2012 $89,211
Loan Officers Summit Mortgage Bankers, Inc. New York, NY Jun 01, 2012 $89,211
Loan Officer Great Northern Mortgage Corporation New York, NY Apr 15, 2015 $88,000
Loan Officer Ivy Mortgage Inc. Houston, TX Jun 11, 2015 $63,045
Loan Officer Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company Inc. White Plains, NY Oct 01, 2012 $62,443
Loan Officers Allsource Realty, Inc. Bergenfield, NJ Sep 05, 2013 $62,234
Loan Officers International Bank of Chicago Chicago, IL Sep 10, 2014 $62,213
Loan Officers East West Bank El Monte, CA Sep 21, 2014 $62,004
Loan Officers Wilshire State Bank New York, NY Sep 08, 2011 $61,360
Loan Officers Potomac Mortgage Capital, Inc. Annandale, VA Mar 22, 2012 $59,301
Loan Officer Wilshire Bank Los Angeles, CA Dec 16, 2013 $50,000
Loan Officer Radius Financial Group Inc. Norwell, MA Sep 01, 2013 $50,000
Loan Officer Prospect Mortgage, LLC Irvine, CA Jan 27, 2014 $50,000
Loan Officer Metro City Bank Doraville, GA Sep 16, 2012 $49,000
Loan Officer Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited-New York Bra New York, NY Sep 27, 2011 $48,544
Loan Officer Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited-New York Bra New York, NY Sep 26, 2011 $48,544
Loan Officer Across Nations Pioneers, Inc. Englewood, NJ Jan 03, 2011 $48,544

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Top Skills for A Loan Officer

  1. Loan Applications
  2. Financial Status
  3. Real Estate
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Processed residential loan applications according to company's guidelines for clients.
  • Secured and verified all information provided about their financial status.
  • Networked with Real Estate professionals and participated in community programs for more referral business.
  • Maintained strong business relationships and consistently provided excellent customer service.
  • Originated, processed and warehoused FHA/VA/VHDA/Fixed Rate residential loans.

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Top 10 Best States for Loan Officers

  1. Maryland
  2. Nebraska
  3. Minnesota
  4. Florida
  5. North Dakota
  6. Virginia
  7. Kansas
  8. Ohio
  9. New Jersey
  10. New Hampshire
  • (152 jobs)
  • (34 jobs)
  • (156 jobs)
  • (424 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (158 jobs)
  • (53 jobs)
  • (270 jobs)
  • (202 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)

Top Loan Officer Employers

Jobs From Top Loan Officer Employers

Loan Officer Videos

Life of a Mortgage Loan Officer

A Day in the Life - Loan Officer

Commercial Loan Officer, Career Video from drkit.org

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