How Do I Become a Mortgage Originator?

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  • Written By: K. Kinsella
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2019
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Loan officers who are responsible for submitting applications for consumer loans and for actively seeking out prospective consumer borrowers are called mortgage originators. To become a mortgage originator requires at least a high school diploma, and some financial firms require lenders to have obtained some kind of college degree. Lenders have to have a good understanding of credit management and underwriting so anyone wishing to become a mortgage originator must first undergo formal credit training. Additionally, laws in some nations require lenders to pass a licensing or certification class.

A mortgage originator must have the ability to explain how interest calculations and payment structures are arranged on long-term home loan products. Consequently, some financial firms require anyone who wishes to become a mortgage originator to have a college degree in finance, accounting or a related field. College courses exist in some countries that are specifically designed to train people for a career in mortgage lending.


Financial firms often employ in-house trainers who administer credit training classes for newly hired mortgage originators. These classes focus on teaching new lenders how to use financial equations such as the Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratio to determine whether prospective borrowers can afford to take out loans. Many countries have national consumer credit bureaus that gather information about the past borrowing habits and payment histories of consumers. Anyone wishing to become a mortgage originator must attend training classes in which credit reports are explained. Aside from formal classes, mortgage originators normally undergo on-the-job training which usually involves taking loan applications under the direction of an established lender.

In some countries, mortgage lenders have be registered with a local or national governmental agency. The registration process typically involves the mortgage lender passing a test after which successful applicants or their employers must pay a licensing or certification fee. In many instances, mortgage lenders have to take continuing education classes at regular intervals. These classes test the lender's knowledge of new lending laws and widely available mortgage products. Lenders who fail to complete the classes stand to lose their mortgage lending licences.

Many nations have regulations in place that control the sale and marketing of certain kinds of home loan products such as reverse mortgages and other types of negative amortization loans. Anyone wishing to become a mortgage originator must attend certification classes before they can solicit sales of these products. Since demand for unconventional products is often less than for standard home loans, some financial firms only allow experienced loan officers to sell these products so newly hired lenders do not have to obtain this certification.


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