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How to Become a Mortgage Loan Originator in New York?

August 22, 2023George Barrett

As the real estate market in New York continues to grow, the demand for mortgage loan originators (MLOs) is on the rise. MLOs play a pivotal role in the home buying process, working with clients to guide them through the loan application process and help them secure the financing they need to purchase their dream home. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to become a mortgage loan originator in New York, detailing the education, licensing, and professional requirements necessary for this rewarding career.

Understand the role of a Mortgage Loan Originator

A mortgage loan originator (MLO) is a professional who assists borrowers in obtaining mortgage loans. They act as a liaison between borrowers and lenders, helping clients understand their loan options, collecting and verifying necessary documentation, and managing the loan application process. MLOs are responsible for ensuring that borrowers are well-informed and obtain loans that meet their financial needs and capabilities.

Complete pre-licensing education

Before becoming a licensed MLO in New York, you must complete a pre-licensing education course approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS). This course consists of 20 hours of instruction, including:

  • 3 hours of federal law and regulations

  • 3 hours of ethics, including fraud, consumer protection, and fair lending issues

  • 2 hours of non-traditional mortgage lending

  • 12 hours of electives

Ensure that the course provider is approved by the NMLS to guarantee that your education meets the requirements for licensure.

Pass the NMLS SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator Test

After completing the pre-licensing education, you must pass the NMLS SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator Test. The test is divided into two parts: a National Component with Uniform State Content and a State Component specific to New York.

The National Component consists of 125 questions, and you must achieve a minimum score of 75% to pass. The State Component consists of 45 questions, and you must achieve a minimum score of 75% to pass. Both test components must be passed within 30 days of each other. You can find study materials and sample questions on the NMLS website to help you prepare.

Submit Your Application and Background Checks

Once you have passed the NMLS SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator Test, you can submit your application for licensure through the NMLS website. As part of your application, you will need to:

  • Provide your personal information

  • Answer disclosure questions

  • Authorize a credit report

  • Pay the applicable fees

  • Complete a criminal background check (by submitting fingerprints through an NMLS-approved vendor)

Secure Sponsorship From a Licensed Mortgage Company

To become a licensed MLO in New York, you must be sponsored by a licensed mortgage company. This sponsorship demonstrates that you will be working under the guidance and supervision of an experienced mortgage professional. You should start networking and seeking out potential employers while completing your pre-licensing education and preparing for the test.

Maintain Your License

Once you have obtained your MLO license, you must maintain it through continuing education and license renewal. Each year, you must complete 8 hours of NMLS-approved continuing education, which includes:

  • 3 hours of federal law and regulations

  • 2 hours of ethics, including fraud, consumer protection, and fair lending issues

  • 2 hours of non-traditional mortgage lending

  • 1 hour of electives

Your license must be renewed annually by December 31st, and you must submit your renewal application through the NMLS website.

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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