Exploring the Different Career Opportunities for Mortgage Loan Originators

Becoming a successful mortgage loan originator means much more than securing a sponsor and getting licensed.  Finding the appropriate mortgage origination career path is a crucial component to establishing and defining one’s mortgage industry profession.  Considering the number of MLOs currently trying to scratch and claw their way into success, approaching your new career from a targeted perspective significantly reduces trial and error.   Oh sure!  You’ll still have a lot of learning to undergo.  But having a specialized perspective and strategy, from the start, will help to streamline your path to success.

What educational requirements exist for mortgage loan originators?

Aside from successfully completing all required pre-licensing education and passing the national MLO licensing exam, there are no other educational prerequisites required of aspiring mortgage professionals.  Mortgage professionals must simply be 18 years or older, able to pass the relevant background checks, and have a natural aptitude for finance, customer service, and sales.  Having said this, although there are certainly mortgage brokers and lenders willing to take a chance on anyone showing potential, many prospective employers require previous experience or educational accomplishments.  It always boils down to the specific needs, wants, and requirements of the hiring company.

How can you build a great MLO career?

Successful MLOs regularly share how exceptional social skills are crucial to becoming a prosperous mortgage loan originator.  Superior sales skills also help to propel the new MLO forward in his or her endeavors.  Although people often possess a natural aptitude for sales, sales skills can absolutely be learned and honed.  There are courses and training curriculums available to help aspiring and new sales professionals achieve their desired success.  In fact, AxSellerated Development offers new loan originator mentoring as well as sales, customer service, and communication training.  Visit www.nmlstraining.com today to learn more.

One primary theme to successful sales that I will share here is to never sell simply for the sake of selling or with nothing in mind aside from that commission.  The overall purpose of selling has to be for the customer’s benefit.  Build trust, understand the customer’s needs and wants, and cater to those needs and wants.  Always do what’s in the customer’s best interests even if that means not consummating that particular sale.  Karma is real.  And it returns in both good and bad ways!  Additional skills needed for MLO originator success are the ability to effectively communicate, analyze, problem-solve, and a thorough attention to detail.

Career path ideas for the aspiring MLO

With minimal prerequisites, the new MLO can start working as soon as he or she completes the pre-licensing education, passes the NMLS exam, and secures his or her state MLO license.  Banks and other depository institutions don’t even require that.  Some aspiring mortgage professionals opt to secure entry-level positions as loan processors or loan originator assistants and work their way into the originations arena after accumulating critical experience.

Once hired, specialized focus in areas such as credit repair, underwriting, wealth building, and credit analysis may also prove helpful.  Some professionals even opt to pursue dual licensure – simultaneously becoming a mortgage loan originator as well as a Realtor (each state defines dual capacity allowances and prohibitions differently so be certain to research the laws of the state(s) in which you will ultimately practice before embarking down the pathway of dual licensure).

The most popular career paths for MLOs

  • Some people start as an MLO which can lead to becoming an account executive followed by account or branch manager and eventually a sales director.
  • Another sought-after career path is the underwriting manager. From a loan officer you can become an underwriter and then an underwriter manager.
  • Mortgage lenders also employ auditors, accountants, investor relations personnel, escrow and other servicing personnel and experience as an MLO can lead to any or all of these opportunities.

There are many career opportunities for mortgage loan originators.  As with any career path, your entry only has to be a starting point.  Becoming an MLO can present exceptional opportunities that can lead to a very rewarding and fulfilling career.

MLO job outlook

The MLO industry is constantly growing.  There is and always will be a regular demand for high quality, properly-trained, and talented MLOs – especially when interest rates fall and housing demand rises.  People will always be buying homes.  And they will always need the money to finance those homes.  Mortgage lenders and brokerages realize this and are, therefore, always seeking out new talent.  The MLO position can lead to a lifelong, fulfilling, and rewarding career.  It can also act as a gateway to a different opportunity.  An opportunity that you never otherwise envisioned.

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