Mortgage Career

Licensing Requirements for Mortgage Loan Originators: How to Get an NMLS SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) License

As a mortgage loan originator, you usually have two jobs; one is to persuade people that their lending reputation is the perfect borrowing option and the second is to assist people in navigating the closing table. At first, they are salespersons and second, a chaperon for loan approval. Start studying for your MLO test at SAFE MLO Exam.

Licensing Requirements for Mortgage Loan Originators

All applicants for the Mortgage Loan Originator License are required and must accomplish the following steps:

  • Obtain a Unique ID number coming from NMLS (free of charge)
  • Complete a 20-hour SAFE Comprehensive Course
  • Pass the SAFE Act Test
    • National Test
  • Submit a License Application along with:
    • Application fee
    • Mortgage Guarantee Trust Fund fee
    • Credit Report
    • Background Check
    • NMLS Processing Fee

All of these four steps are elaborated below in order for you to fully understand the licensing process.

Step by Step Guide to MLO Licensing

Step 1: Obtain a Unique ID number coming from NMLS

Create an account with the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS).  You can complete this within a few minutes. Once you have already created your own account, the NMLS will notify you via email about your Unique ID number.

Step 2: Complete a 20-hour SAFE Comprehensive Course

You are required to take a 20-hour SAFE Comprehensive Course for the pre-licensure education for MLO’s as this is mandated by the SAFE Act of 2008. Classes are available throughout the United States.

Step 3: Pass the SAFE Act Test

You need to take and pass the SAFE Act Test, which includes the UST (Uniform State Test). It is recommended that you take this test within 10 days after you have finished your 20-hour pre-licensure course. If you will get a score of 75% and up, you have to pass the test.

Step 4: Application

This step must be completed after you have attended the 20-hour pre-licensure course and passed the national exam.

  • Submit your application: the Uniform Individual Mortgage Registration/License & Consent Form or the “MU4 Application” on the NMLS site.
  • Fees: You will pay the $20 non-refundable Mortgage Guarantee Trust Fund fee, $195 non-refundable application fee, and $60 NMLS processing fee.
  • Credit Report: You need to provide NMLS with authorization to obtain your credit report, along with your submission of the MU4 Application. This costs $15.
  • Criminal Background Check and Fingerprints: You will be required to get your fingerprints scanned at any NMLS-authorized fingerprint vendors for your FBI criminal background check that is needed in your MU4 application.

Step 5: Check the Status of Your Application

  • Criminal Background Check Status

While in the process of your license approval, you can check the status of your existing CBC request or you can retrieve the copy of the CBC certificate.

  • Application Status

Check the status of your application and review if there are any deficiencies noted by the state regulator. This will notify you if there are missing information that you need to be issued of the licensing decision. When the status is updated, you will be receiving an email advising of status changes.

Visit SAFE MLO Exam to begin studying to pass your Mortgage Test.