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How to Become a Mortgage Loan Processor

Every day, hundreds of thousands of home loans are requested. This process can be confusing and daunting, but luckily there are experts that can provide some guidance during this stressful time.

Mortgage loan processors are responsible for interviewing candidates, managing and compiling the applicant data, providing suitable mortgage options for candidates, and inevitably approving or denying the loan. After appropriate verification and adjustment of the details, these processors send the information to the underwriting department for the next step of the process.

If you’re looking to become a mortgage loan processor, you’ll want to have a sharp skill for number-heavy tasks, like finance. Possessing good written and verbal communication skills with customers and colleagues is a large part of this position. Finally, having a strong analytical mindset, good organizational skills, and attention to detail will go a long way in landing you a position.

Sample job description

The primary purpose of this role is to provide detailed guidance and advice in order to fulfill all loan qualification requirements in a compliant manner. You need to be able to provide exceptional member service through ongoing communication to members and business partners. You will be responsible for evaluating and validating all information provided to you by the client on the residential loan application and communicating to members any additional requirements. If you’re extremely organized and dedicated to helping others.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Guides the borrower through the buying process
  • Administer loan applications
  • Assemble loan documents
  • Review all loans and registrations for completeness and accuracy
  • Provide and collect financial documents for underwriters
  • Act as clients’ main point of contact throughout the entire mortgage process 
  • Determine the initial potential for qualification by evaluating credit history, income levels, and assets
  • Meet the deadlines required for loan application
  • Correct any errors in applications
  • Check clients checking and savings accounts, monthly bills, and debts i.e. student loans and car loans

Education and experience

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Associates degree in finance, banking, or business 
  • Completion of the National Mortgage Licensing Program (NMLS)
  • 1 year or more of experience

Required skills and qualifications

  • Basic knowledge of underwriting terminology
  • Meticulous attention to detail and accuracy
  • Experience working on loan origination/processing software, like Point, ProDeal, Encompass
  • Strong analytical and time management skills
  • Ability to accurately and efficiently process and record a large volume of data

Preferred qualifications

  • FHA Direct Endorsement preferred
  • Bachelor’s degree in finance, banking, or business
  • Bilingual

Typical work environment

You can find mortgage loan processors working in brokerage firms, banks, realty companies, mortgage companies, and financial institutions. They usually have their own office or cubicle to meet with clients. Their work environment is fast-paced, and they typically work close in distance to a loan officer and an underwriter. 

Typical hours

Loan processors work the regular business hours 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. Saturdays are contingent upon the client’s schedule and ability to meet during the week. 

Available certifications

To stand out from the rest of the applicants, many mortgage loan processors will obtain certifications. Here are some to consider:

  • Certified Mortgage Processor. This certification may be required by some companies. To obtain this, you’ll need to pass four separate loan classes and pass a 30-question exam. You’ll also need to abide by the set rules and NAMP code of conduct.
  • Certified Master Loan Processor. This certificate can advance your mortgage processing career and is considered professional development training. This includes 7 online training classes and a timed online proctored exam. Once you pass, you will renew this certification every year by taking continuing education courses.

Career path

The career path to becoming a mortgage loan processor begins by having a high school diploma or equivalent. An associate’s degree or bachelor’s is highly encouraged and may be required by some companies. Most places will offer job training but you still need to have years of experience in a related field. Those who are wanting to become a mortgage loan processor will often work on smaller loans and be a loan officer first at a smaller financial institution. As they gain experience, they can level up to mortgage loan processors, underwriters, and more.

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 processors are expected to stay the same or at least increase by 1% of employment between now and 2030. This field is not growing as quickly as others simply due to technological advances. Many loan processors are being replaced due to online loan applications which do not require a person to look over them. Many people input their information online, which is then checked and validated by computers, and an algorithm decides whether or not they are approved. However, many people still enjoy the in-person experience when securing a loan as large as a mortgage. Because of this, and due to the high demand in the market currently, mortgage loan processors will still be needed over the next decade.