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How do I become a mortgage broker?

Today’s borrowers are looking for more options and better service, and they can get this by working with an independent mortgage broker. We’ve listed the basic steps below on how to become a mortgage broker, with links to necessary sites.

After becoming a mortgage broker, you’ll want to join us and become a Caliber Business Partner, as we provide everything you need to operate at peak efficiency: technology, resources, analytic-driven insights and genuine relationships with our experienced team members*.  Click here for more information. [link to Join Caliber Wholesale.]

Here’s a summary of the steps involved in becoming a mortgage broker or Mortgage Loan Office (MLO):

  1. Apply for an NMLS account
  2. Complete your NMLS pre-license education
  3. Pass the NMLS mortgage licensing exam
  4. Apply for your mortgage broker license for your state
  5. Complete background checks and pay all fees Associate your NMLS account with your employer, if you have one.

Step 1

Apply for an account with the Nationwide Multi-State Licensing System (NMLS)

The NMLS system is used to process mortgage broker licenses for all 50 states.

You can create an account on their site in just a few minutes:

  • Visit the NMLS online registration portal to request an NMLS account.
  • Select the Individual option.
  • If prompted, complete the security “captcha” and click next.
  • Provide the required information and submit your application.

Step 2

Complete your NMLS pre-license education

You'll need to complete the required 20-hour NMLS S.A.F.E pre-licensing course, along with any additional course work required by your state licensing agencies.

Step 3

Pass the NMLS Mortgage licensing exam

Once you’ve completed your pre-license education, you’ll need to schedule an appointment to take either The National Test Component or The National Test Component with Uniform State Content through your NMLS account. In addition, you will have to satisfy any additional testing required by your state.

Step 4

Apply for your mortgage broker license for your state on the NMLS site

Once you completed the required pre-licensing courses and achieved passing scores on the national and any applicable state required tests, you will be able to apply for your mortgage loan originator license on the NMLS website.

Step 5

Complete background checks and pay all fees 

The SAFE actestablished licensing and registration standards for all Mortgage Loan Originators. In order to receive your MLO certification, you'll need to provide the following information and pay the associated fees:

  • NMLS processing
  • FBI CBS
  • Credit report
  • State application report 

Step 6

Associate your NMLS account with your employer

In order to complete the final step in becoming a fully licensed MLO, your NMLS ID will need to be sponsored by a state licensed employer. Most states offer an “Approved-Inactive” license if you’re not currently employed by a mortgage company or if your employer has not requested sponsorship on your behalf. This will be your temporary license until you get a sponsorship from a mortgage company.

A sponsorship tells the governing agencies that your employer will be supervising your individual license. Once you have an employer sponsorship, you will submit it to your state’s licensing office using your NMLS ID.

Now you’re ready to do business as a mortgage broker and start the process of becoming a Caliber Business Partner. Congratulations!

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