What do you know about your Mortgage Loan Officer?
All Mortgage Loan Officers are required to register with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) & Registry. The Registry assigns each Loan Officer a unique identifier number that stays with them throughout their career. Using this number you can review professional background information for a Loan Officer through the NMLS database prior to doing business with them.
The display of an NMLS number tends to lead most people to believe all Loan Officers are licensed. This is far from the true. Only about 20% of Loan Officers are actually licensed, the rest are simple registered.
Licensed Loan Officers are required to have pre-employment mortgage education, must pass criminal background checks, must pass a difficult Federal Licensing test, must pass a difficult State Licensing test in EACH state they wish to do business, and must complete yearly continuing education requirements.
Simply registered Loan Officers could have been flipping burgers last week, and doing Loans today. While their employer may have some sort of internal hiring and training system, there are no mandatory state or federal licensing requirements, and no educational requirements.
Now I am not saying that simply registered Loan Officers are bad people, but when you are working on the largest financial transaction of the average persons life, who would you prefer? Licensed or unlicensed? Another way to look at it is to assume you are sick. Sure, you can go online to WebMD, self-diagnose your illness, go to the pharmacy, buy a scalpel, and attempt self surgery. Or you can go to the Doctor.
- Simply go to www.NMLSConsumerAccess.org.
- Enter the Loan Officers Name, or their NMLS #
- Click on their name
Scroll to the bottom of the page.
- If it says STATE LICENSES/REGISTRATIONS, then lists one or more States – They ARE A LICENSED Loan Officer
- If it says FEDERAL REGISTRATION, then says Federal Mortgage Loan Originator – They ARE NOT LICENSED.
Licensed or simply registered? I think the choice is clear for smart homeowners.