Licensing requirements for mortgage loan originators vary by state. In most states, mortgage loan originators are required to:

  • Complete a Criminal Background Check (CBC).
  • Authorize a credit report through the NMLS that demonstrates financial responsibility.
  • Fulfill all state and federal education requirements as designated by your state agency.
  • Take and pass the National Component.
  • Surety Bond/Recovery Fund: Every mortgage loan originator must be covered under a surety bond or recovery fund.

NMLS Pre-Licensing Education Requirements:
Mortgage loan originators are required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of NMLS-approved education.

This includes:

3 hours of federal law
3 hours of ethics
2 hours of non-traditional mortgage lending training
12 hours of electives

Some state agencies require additional state-specific education.

NMLS Continuing Education Requirements:
Mortgage loan originators are required to complete a minimum of 8 hours of NMLS-approved mortgage education annually beginning the year they are licensed (unless PE was completed in the same year).

This includes:

3 hours of federal law
2 hours of ethics
2 hours of non-traditional mortgage lending
1 hour of elective education

Some state agencies require additional state-specific education. MLOs are advised that to comply with the SAFE Act’s “successive years” rule, they may not take the same CE course two years in a row.

NMLS Resources:

Professional Standards: Mortgage Education
Professional Standards: Criminal Background Check
Professional Standards: Credit Report
Professional Standards: MLO Testing