Idaho Mortgage Loan Officer Pre-Licensure

How to Get a Mortgage Loan Officer License in Idaho

How to Get Started as a
Idaho Mortgage Loan Officer | Requirements to Become an MLO Through NMLS

We’ve compiled the six steps you’ll need to take to enroll in Idaho Pre-Licensure Education (PE) and start your new career as a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO). We’ve also answered some of the most common questions that prospective Idaho Loan Officers have as they consider this exciting new career.

How to Become a Loan Officer in Idaho

1. Request an NMLS Account

Before beginning the educational component of licensing, prospective Loan Officers must create an NMLS (Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry) account on the State Mortgage Registry website. NMLS is a national database in which all Idaho MLOs must register. After creating their account, applicants receive a personal NMLS number that will be maintained for the duration of their time working as a Loan Officer.

2. Complete NMLS-Approved Pre-Licensure Education

In Idaho, you’re required to complete 20 hours of coursework in order to meet the education requirements. The courses include the following:

  • 3 hours of Federal Law
  • 3 hours of Ethics
  • 2 hours of Non-Traditional Mortgage Lending
  • 10 hours of General Electives
  • 2 hours of Idaho-specific defined electives

The Idaho-specific 2-hr. course is required by the Idaho state licensing agency, also known as the Idaho Department of Finance.

3. Pass the SAFE Mortgage Loan Officer Test

The SAFE MLO Test can be scheduled by visiting the NMLS website. Applicants use their existing account number to schedule the exam. The exam has 115 scored questions, and test takers must answer at least 75% correctly. It costs $110 to take, and students are given 3 hours and 10 minutes to complete the test. You can learn more by reviewing the MLO Testing Handbook.

Did You Know?

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4. Complete State and FBI Criminal Background Checks

Idaho applicants will need to login into their NMLS account and head to the Filing section. From there, click on the Criminal Background Check tab. You will authorize a Federal Criminal Background Check by completing the fields and clicking Attest.

Then, Idaho applicants must schedule an appointment to submit their fingerprints. In the portal, users will click on the Composite View button then select Criminal Background Requests. In this module, you can schedule your fingerprinting appointment by clicking the “Fieldprint” button.

The Idaho application fee is $200. Upon licensure, there will be an additional registration fee of $100. The total cost of the state and FBI criminal background check is $36.25

5. Complete the NMLS Application

Now it’s time to submit for official Idaho licensure through NMLS. Applicants will apply through the NMLS licensing portal. Applicants are advised to review the MLO New Application checklist beforehand in order to ensure they’re ready to apply.

6. Secure Your Employer Sponsorship

Your Idaho Loan Officer License will remain in pending status until your employing sponsorship is verified with NMLS. This verification is completed inside of the NMLS portal. Users will visit the Form Filing Home screen, then click Company Access. They’re then prompted to add their employer sponsorship by submitting employment details. Once the sponsoring employer receives notice of the verification request, they can approve the sponsorship. Upon approval, applicants are officially licensed.

Summary of Idaho MLO Fees


Pre-Licensure education


Federal criminal background check




Credit Report


Idaho Application Fee


NMLS Processing Fee


What Else Is There to Know About Becoming a Mortgage Loan Officer in Idaho?

What is the definition of a Mortgage Loan Officer in the state of Idaho?

The explanation below from the Idaho Department of Finance is important for prospective Mortgage Loan Officers to understand:

This license is required of any natural person conducting residential mortgage loan origination, residential mortgage loan modification, independent contractor mortgage loan processing, or independent contractor mortgage loan underwriting activities in Idaho on behalf of a Mortgage Broker, mortgage lender, regulated lender, or exempt entity from locations licensed to conduct activity in Idaho.

Note: The titles “Mortgage Loan Officer” and “Mortgage Loan Originator” are often used interchangeably, including in the summary above.

How much do Idaho Mortgage Loan Officers make?

According to ZipRecruiter, Idaho Mortgage Loan Officers make approximately $75,000 per year on average as of October 2021. The 75th percentile of earners makes above $91,000, while the bottom 25th makes under $32,000. Top earners can earn more than $110,000 in Idaho.

What is the Idaho market like for Mortgage Loan Officers?

With a low tax burden, plenty of room to spread out, and boundless natural beauty, Idaho is a popular destination for homebuyers. In just one year in Boise, home values in the state jumped 34%, making it one of the hottest markets in the country. As more and more people leave large coastal cities, you can bet Idaho is on their radar — which is great news for MLOs looking to find a steady flow of business.

Is Idaho a good state to work in as a Mortgage Loan Officer?

As the average Idaho home costs $436,000, it pays to be a Mortgage Loan Officer in the Gem State. At a commission rate of 1%, that’s a $4,360 payment for the MLO once the loan is secured. Here are the average home payouts in a few Idaho locations:


Average Home Price: $523,000

Average Commission: $5,230

Twin Falls:

Average Home Price: $318,460

Average Commission: $3,184

Idaho Falls:

Average Home Price: $313,000

Average Commission: $3,130

Coeur d'Alene:

Average Home Price: $535,000

Average Commission: $5,350

The Lake Coeur d’Alene Mansion

Average Home Price: $27,500,000

Average Commission: $275,000

All average home price figures were collected from Zillow.

What are some of the notable Idaho mortgage loan companies?

If you’re looking to get in contact with mortgage loan companies to ask about the profession, services, or employment opportunities, you can contact any of the following local businesses:

Mortgage Solutions Financial (Boise)

Twin Falls Mortgage Center (Stateless Place)

Nexus Mortgage Lending (Idaho Falls)

Evergreen Home Loans (Coeur d'Alene)

American Pacific Mortgage (Pocatello)