Become a Mortgage Originator

Tamsen Butler
Couple meeting with mortgage originator

There are plenty of methods you can use in order to become a mortgage originator. The amount of training and certifications you may need depends largely on what type of business you will work for and the state you will work in.

How to Become a Mortgage Originator

A mortgage originator assists potential borrowers in the loan application process in addition to getting the application sent through the system and approved. In many instances, once the application is approved the mortgage originator assigns the application to a processor who then handles the next step of gathering necessary paperwork and preparing for the closing process.

While some mortgage originators work solely on commission, many originators work for an hourly wage or a salary through a mortgage lender. In many instances, the highest compensation goes to highly motivated originators working for commission in a booming market.

Banks and Credit Unions

Many loan originators who work within the mortgage section of banks and credit unions are people who have been promoted to the position from another job. Tellers and customer service representatives are sometimes promoted to the position of mortgage originator and fully trained by the bank or credit union, including on-the-job training and any necessary certifications required by the state. If you currently work for a bank or credit union and want to increase your chances of getting promoted to the position of mortgage originator, take these steps:

  • Excel in your current position, demonstrating your ability to handle numerous tasks efficiently.
  • Take advantage of any introductory mortgage training programs offered by your employer.
  • Keep your own finances in order since promotion to this position often involves a credit check.
  • Find out what the educational requirements are for the position within your organization. While some banks and credit unions prefer their loan originators have undergraduate degrees, some organizations do not have this requirement or will offer waivers with certain levels of experience.

Talk with your supervisor or Human Resources representative to find out how you can get on track toward a promotion into a mortgage originator position.

Mortgage Brokers

Mortgage brokers often employ originators to assist them in finding loans for applicants, and some mortgage brokers act as originators themselves. You will encounter a great deal more state regulations and licensing requirements when applying to become a mortgage originator for or as a broker. Mortgage originators for brokers commonly work for commission, and may also find themselves involved in outbound sales. In other words, as a mortgage originator working in a broker capacity you might be expected to seek out applicants instead of waiting for the applicants to come to you.

Here are some tips which may help you land a job as a mortgage originator within a broker's office:

  • Find out the state licensing and training requirements and find out if potential employers assist with the costs associated with the training. If the employers in your area do not assist with training - or if you plan on opening your own mortgage broker business - then get to work fulfilling the state-specific requirements.
  • Demonstrate proficiency for sales. Mortgage originating can be a highly competitive occupation, especially among originators working solely for commission, and you will get the attention of potential employers if you have a track record of selling well.
  • Take a look at the various mortgage originator courses offered online. Keep in mind that not every state requires training programs outside of employer-offered programs, but padding your résumé with educational experience specific to mortgage lending may make you more attractive to potential employers.

Don't consider a job as a mortgage originator within a broker capacity if you do not relish competition and rapid turnaround.

Online Resources

Here is a brief listing of websites offering mortgage originator training programs:

This is merely a brief listing, as there are many other online courses available. You can also use the Internet to search for available jobs for mortgage originators by visiting CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com, or local online job resources.

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Become a Mortgage Originator