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Become A Mortgage Originator

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Working As A Mortgage Originator

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

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • $63,430

    Average Salary

What Does A Mortgage Originator 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 Mortgage Originator

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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Mortgage Originator jobs

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Mortgage Originator Career Paths

Mortgage Originator
Mortgage Underwriter Lending Services Manager Loan Officer
Branch Manager/Loan Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Finance Advisor Operations Manager Branch Manager
Branch Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Business Developer Business Development Officer Assistant Vice President
Credit Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Home Mortgage Consultant Account Manager Sales Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Underwriter Business Analyst Product Manager
District Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Mortgage Processor Underwriter Assistant Vice President
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Underwriter Auditor Finance Manager
General Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Mortgage Underwriter Analyst Underwriter
Lending Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Mortgage Specialist Specialist Account Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Business Developer Business Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Director
10 Yearsyrs
Home Mortgage Consultant Loan Consultant Account Executive
National Sales Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Senior Account Manager Account Executive
Regional Accounts Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Manager Regional Sales Manager
Regional Sales Director
10 Yearsyrs
Mortgage Banker Mortgage Consultant Sales Consultant
Regional Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Finance Advisor Relationship Manager
Senior Relationship Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive
Senior Sales Executive
9 Yearsyrs
Office Manager General Manager Account Manager
Territory Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Mortgage Specialist Mortgage Consultant Sales Consultant
Territory Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Mortgage Processor Mortgage Underwriter Senior Underwriter
Underwriting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Mortgage Banker Underwriter Assistant Vice President
Vice President & Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Mortgage Broker 3.7 years
Loan Broker 3.6 years
Loan Officer 3.0 years
Loan Originator 2.8 years
Lender 2.7 years
Mortgage Banker 2.4 years
Loan Consultant 2.3 years
Mortgage Counselor 2.3 years
Mortgage Analyst 1.9 years
Mortgage Assistant 1.8 years
Top Employers Before
Loan Officer 12.3%
Manager 5.0%
Owner 4.3%
Teller 2.8%
Top Employers After
Loan Officer 11.4%
Owner 6.4%
Manager 3.5%

Mortgage Originator Demographics

Gender

Male

53.8%

Female

43.9%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

82.6%

Hispanic or Latino

9.6%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

1.4%

Black or African American

0.4%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.2%

Portuguese

8.7%

French

8.7%

Japanese

4.3%

Hindi

4.3%

Dakota

4.3%

Italian

4.3%
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Mortgage Originator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

19.6%

George Mason University

7.2%

New York University

6.2%

University of Texas at San Antonio

5.2%

Pennsylvania State University

5.2%

University of Connecticut

5.2%

Northeastern University

5.2%

Syracuse University

4.1%

Appalachian State University

4.1%

Saint Louis University-

4.1%

Dutchess Community College

4.1%

Western Michigan University

4.1%

Greenville Technical College

4.1%

University of South Florida

3.1%

American Institute of Baking

3.1%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.1%

Ferris State University

3.1%

Michigan State University

3.1%

Auburn University

3.1%

The Academy

3.1%
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Majors

Business

36.5%

Finance

14.1%

Accounting

6.8%

Marketing

5.9%

Management

4.1%

Real Estate

3.9%

Education

2.9%

Psychology

2.5%

General Sales

2.5%

Human Resources Management

2.3%

Economics

2.1%

Political Science

2.1%

Liberal Arts

2.1%

Law

2.1%

Communication

2.0%

Criminal Justice

2.0%

Nursing

1.6%

History

1.6%

Computer Science

1.4%

Insurance

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.8%

Other

26.8%

Masters

13.9%

Associate

10.3%

Certificate

2.7%

Doctorate

1.9%

Diploma

1.7%

License

1.0%
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Job type you want
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Internship
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Top Skills for A Mortgage Originator

FinancialStatusRealEstateProfessionalsLoanApplicationsFHACustomerServiceResidentialMortgageLoansLoanProcessLoanProgramsCreditReportsRealEstateAgentsMortgageProductsAppraisalsMortgageApplicationsFannieMAEMortgageOriginationPortfolioLoanOfficersLoanProductsLoanOriginationLoanDocuments

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Top Mortgage Originator Skills

  1. Financial Status
  2. Real Estate Professionals
  3. Loan Applications
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Analyzed applicants' financial status, credit and property evaluation to determine feasibility of granting loan.
  • Approve loans within specified limits, and refer loan applications outside those limits to management for approval.
  • Used FHA, VA to reconcile loans to refinance.
  • Create and implement new customer service systems to ensure that each client receives the customer service they deserve.
  • Mortgage Originator responsible for originating residential mortgage loans for the secondary market.

Top Mortgage Originator Employers

Mortgage Originator Videos

Life of a Mortgage Loan Officer

A Day in the Life - Loan Officer

Mortgage Jobs - Mortgage Bankers, Brokers & Loan Officers

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