What Is a Typical Day for Mortgage Loan Originators?
Life as a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) can be equal parts challenging and rewarding. It’s the perfect blend of personal responsibility, limitless earning potential, and helping others acquire the real estate they need to thrive. As a Mortgage Loan Originator, your day-to-day might seem relatively commonplace in terms of the administrative work involved. However, in this role, you play an essential part of the real estate process — directly affecting the lives of others — and the larger financial system as a whole. So, what exactly does a typical day as an MLO look like?
Did You Know?
The titles “Mortgage Loan Officer” and “Mortgage Loan Originator” are often used interchangeably. To learn the slight differences between these roles, check out this blog.
Each MLO has their own unique process to push their business along. Generally speaking, though, a Mortgage Loan Originator’s time will be spent addressing the following aspects of the business on a daily basis:
As is the case with salespeople in many other industries, networking and building relationships are your fuel for success as an MLO. If you’re just starting out, invest your time in networking and marketing yourself as a mortgage professional. Follow up with new contacts regularly, and don’t be shy about putting plenty of networking events on your calendar.
Explaining the Loan Origination Process
As an MLO, you’ll come across clients with all levels of borrowing experience. Some may understand the process very well, while others may be first-time borrowers. Regardless, a significant part of an MLO’s role is to help clients thoroughly understand both the process and the product.
As a result, MLOs are always fielding questions regarding their clients’ needs. Think of the MLO as the client’s guru who makes their real estate goals a reality. For many, it’s one of the largest financial decisions they’ll make in their lives, and first-time homebuyers may have extra anxieties that you can assuage as a consummate professional.
Coordinate the Mortgage Lending Process
As an MLO, you’re responsible for moving your clients through the mortgage lending process from their initial loan application to closing on their dream home. That means you’ll have to get all of the necessary information and paperwork over to your processing assistant, underwriter, or financial institution. While this coordination is expected from the role, the process may look different for each MLO depending on where they are in their career, how many loans they’re juggling at the moment, and their employer’s set procedures.
Responsibilities and Duties of Mortgage Loan Originators
- Put simply, the typical day for a Mortgage Loan Originator consists of blending the following responsibilities and duties:
- Networking with real estate agents and/or REALTORS®
- Marketing to the general public
- Building relationships with clients to bolster referral business or get them to refinance their current loan
- Meeting with clients when necessary
- Coordinating documents (often containing sensitive information like a credit report)
- Following up on leads
- Fielding any questions related to the mortgage process or its status (e.g., loan approval, credit score, down payment, or loan amount)
- Staying up to date with home loan interest rates and trends
- Walking clients through the entire home mortgage loan process from application to underwriting to closing
- Completing yearly Continuing Education to keep their license current
For a truly candid look into the mortgage industry, we recommend finding a mentor or shadowing a Mortgage Loan Originator at your local credit union to get a feel for what your future day-to-day may look like.
Ready to Start Your Career as a Mortgage Loan Originator?
If the tasks above sound right up your alley,working as a Mortgage Loan Originator may be a rewarding and prosperous profession for you. If you are interested in a promising new career as a mortgage professional, all of the requirements you need to get started are listed below:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Hold a high school diploma or GED
- Complete and pass your state’s mortgage Pre-Licensure Education (PE)
- Register with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS)
- Pass the SAFE MLO Test
- Pass a background check
- Apply for employment with a Sponsoring Mortgage Broker
Additionally, some applicants may be required to:
- Have a bachelor’s degree (sometimes required by mortgage companies)
- Have a net worth of at least $50,000 for surety bond (check with your local state regulators)
With the demand for real estate expected to rise in the next decade, the mortgage industry is one of the best verticals for those looking to start a new business and directly benefit from their own hard work.