Home / Career Guides / How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer

How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer

Do you have strong analytical skills, pay attention to detail, and accomplish things in a timely manner? If your answer is yes, then you might be the perfect candidate for a mortgage loan officer.  

Mortgage loan officers are essential in the process of buying and selling property. Mortgage loan officers authorize, educate, evaluate and recommend loan applications to clients. For this job, you work alongside a manager to whom you typically report to. You are responsible for guiding the client throughout the loan process and making sure you follow compliance laws and regulations.

The ideal candidate for this role will have good time management skills and interpersonal skills. Mortgage loan officers need to be organized and be detail-oriented as they need to make sure all the paperwork and signatures are in order so that they can determine whether to approve the loan.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is searching for an experienced mortgage loan officer. Our clients and borrowers are what keeps us going. We want to be able to give our clients the best experience for their loans. The mortgage loan officer stays in communication with the clients to make sure they have all they need in order to determine what the best loan process is for them.

Finding solutions as a practical problem solver will help in maintaining customer satisfaction. The licensed mortgage loan officer has the proper skills and knowledge needed to succeed. In this position, you are on the front lines of helping borrowers refinance or purchase their homes. Our mortgage loan officers advocate the most cost-effective models for home loans: greater savings, faster processing, and better tech. If you feel that you are sufficient in these characteristics, then we would love to set up an interview to see if you have what it takes to be our newest mortgage loan officer!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Secure financial documents 
  • Update account information
  • Review loan files/applications
  • Prospecting revenue opportunities and build a pipeline of qualified customers
  • Gather clients financial information like debts, salaries, and assets
  • Build good rapport with clients 
  • Guide the client through the application process 
  • Meeting and following up with potential customers to understand their financial needs
  • Arrange and submit loan applications 
  • Research loans and see which is best for the client 
  • Ensure compliance laws and regulations like privacy laws and local financial rules are being followed
  • Respond to phone calls, emails, and social media requests

Education and experience

  • High school diploma or equivalent 
  • Degree in business or finance
  • 2+ years experience as a mortgage loan officer or relevant work
  • Mortgage loan originator license (MLO)

Required skills and qualifications

  • Knowledge and proficiency in basic sales techniques
  • Excellent customer service skills 
  • Experience with financial software 
  • Strong oral and written communications skills
  • Good time management skills 
  • Ability to adapt well to change with the willingness to maintain a flexible schedule
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office 
  • Team player attitude
  • Knowledge of applicable laws and regulations

Preferred qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business or finance 
  • Completion of computer courses on the loan software 
  • Proven success in a sales or customer service role

Typical work environment

You can find mortgage loan officers working in a variety of places. like credit unions, banks, saving institutions, realty companies, mortgage companies, and other financial institutions. They usually have their own office to meet with clients. When mortgage loan officers are not in their office, they are out meeting with clients at their business or home.

Typical hours

Mortgage loan officers work full-time, with an average of 40 hours per week. There can be times when you can work over 40 hours dealing with meeting with clients outside of regular hours. This job is considered a sedentary job as most of the work is done in the office. 

Available certifications

There are many certifications available for mortgage loan officers, including:

  • Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM). In order to receive this certification, you need to master the following and demonstrate knowledge in time management, financial management, administrative skills, and managed care contracting. 
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA). This certification is popular among mortgage loan officers to prove your financial skills. This certification proves you have the skills needed to succeed and increase your business performance. You’ll need to pass a two-part exam and keep up your education for recertification.
  • Residential Certified Loan Officer (CLO). This is a well-known certification to have as a loan officer and it shows employers that you are fully qualified. Though it’s not required to be certified as a loan officer, it does improve your chances of landing the job.

Career path

In order to become a mortgage loan officer, you need to have a high school diploma and also a degree in business or finance. Many employers do prefer you to have at least a bachelor’s degree and a few years of experience as well.

Most people will start working and providing smaller loans to clients. They may start as a loan officer for a credit card company, for example. Then, they work their way up to larger loans, and with more experience, become a mortgage loan officer. After this, there are opportunities to become a top mortgage executive.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 13-2072

2020 Employment322,100
Projected Employment in 2030326,400
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 1% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift4,300 increase

Mortgage loan officers are expected to increase by 1% of employment between now and 2030. Even though the percentage increase is slower than some jobs due to the ability to now be approved for loans online, loan processors are still in demand, especially right now as the buying market is high. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there is an average of 25,000 job openings projected each year. Some mortgage loan officers are now given the opportunity to work from home remotely, especially if you work for an online mortgage company or financial institution.