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Loan officer training typically consists of at least some college-level coursework, licensure, plus training time with a specific financial institution. In some cases, it may be possible to become a loan officer without having a college degree, but going to college offers the best chance of finding a job. Also, while it may not be required, it may be a good idea to get some experience working in a financial institution, even if it does not directly relate to loan work. Further, the loan officer will likely need some form of continuing education training to maintain licensure, when applicable.
After high school, the first step to loan officer training involves getting a degree in a field related to banking, such as economics, finance, business, or a related field. Those who want additional loan officer training while pursuing a degree should try to take advantage of internships in the finance department of a bank or credit union. This could provide valuable experience and give the student contacts that could help later on in the job search process.
Upon graduation, the next step in loan officer training involves becoming licensed, if the individual wishes to work in mortgages. To become licensed, a loan officer must take at least 20 hours of coursework and pass a written examination. Licensure may not be a requirement in all jurisdictions, but changes in federal law in the United States now make it a requirement for those working in the U.S. Even for a person who successfully completes a loan officer training program by passing the written examination, a license may not be granted if the individual has a felony conviction.
Once a loan officer has been licensed, or has found employment, the next step in loan officer training is to become familiar with the way that particular employer operates. Certainly, some of the government reporting requirements will be the same no matter where the individual goes, but there are always some differences. Knowing who to report to and what they expect, for example, will differ from one employer to another. An in-house training period may only last a few weeks, or may take place over a period of months, depending on the company's policies.
After that in-house training, once the licensed individual is free to work as a loan officer, he or she must still take training to keep the license. This continuing education component may vary by jurisdiction, and it is up to the loan officer to become familiar with the rules and regulations in his or her area. Those who want to work in multiple states or jurisdictions should make sure to satisfy the requirements in all areas. It is also possible for the loan officer to receive certifications from groups within the industry for additional credibility.
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