How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer in New York

July 6, 2023George Barrett

A mortgage loan officer (MLO) is a professional who specializes in helping prospective homeowners secure loans to purchase or refinance properties. In New York, one of the most dynamic real estate markets in the world, becoming an MLO can be a rewarding and lucrative career path. In this article, we will tell you about the important steps to becoming a mortgage loan officer in the state of New York.

Understand the role of a mortgage loan officer

A mortgage loan officer is responsible for guiding borrowers through the loan application process, evaluating their creditworthiness, and recommending the most suitable mortgage products. Key responsibilities include:

  • Building relationships with clients and real estate agents

  • Assessing clients' financial situations and creditworthiness

  • Explaining different loan products and options

  • Guiding clients through the loan application process

  • Ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations

Complete The Required Education

Before becoming an MLO in New York, you must complete at least 20 hours of pre-licensure education (PE) approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS). The coursework must cover federal law, ethics, mortgage loan origination, and New York-specific content.

Pass The NMLS National And State Examinations

After completing the required education, you must pass the National SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator Test and the New York State-Specific Test. The national test consists of 125 multiple-choice questions, while the state-specific test contains 45 questions. Both exams assess your knowledge of mortgage lending laws, regulations, and best practices.

Obtain a Surety Bond

New York state law requires mortgage loan officers to obtain a surety bond to protect consumers from financial losses due to unethical or illegal actions by the MLO. The bond amount varies depending on the type and volume of loans originated. Contact a surety bond provider to determine the required bond amount and purchase the bond.

Apply for a New York Mortgage Loan Originator license

Once you have completed the education, passed the exams, and obtained a surety bond, you can apply for a Mortgage Loan Originator license through the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). The application process includes:

  • Submitting an application via the NMLS website

  • Paying applicable fees, including the licensing fee and NMLS processing fee

  • Submitting your fingerprints for a criminal background check

  • Providing proof of pre-licensure education and exam scores

  • Submitting evidence of the required surety bond

Maintain Your License

After obtaining your license, you must complete 8 hours of continuing education (CE) annually to maintain your MLO license. The CE must be NMLS-approved and cover relevant topics, such as federal laws, ethics, and mortgage loan origination.

Develop Your Skills And Network

To succeed as an MLO in New York, it's essential to continuously develop your skills and expand your professional network. Attend industry conferences and workshops, join local mortgage and real estate associations, and stay current with changes in laws and regulations. Building strong relationships with real estate agents, financial institutions, and other industry professionals will help you generate more leads and grow your business.


Becoming a mortgage loan officer in New York requires dedication, a strong understanding of the mortgage industry, and a commitment to providing excellent service to clients. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can embark on a rewarding career helping individuals and families secure the financing they need to purchase or refinance their dream homes.

George is the visionary behind NY Real Estate Trend. With over 20 years of experience in the real estate industry, he has a deep understanding of the New York market and a passion for helping others navigate it.
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