New Jersey Mortgage Loan Officer Pre-Licensure

How to Get a Mortgage Loan Officer License in New Jersey

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

We’ve compiled the six steps you’ll need to take to enroll in New Jersey 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 New Jersey Loan Officers have as they consider this exciting new career.

How to Become a Loan Officer in New Jersey

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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey, 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
  • 8 hours of General Electives
  • 4 hours of New Jersey-specific defined electives

The New Jersey-specific 4-hr. course is required by the New Jersey state licensing agency, also known as the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.

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

New Jersey 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, New Jersey 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 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 New Jersey 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.

You’ll need to pay $150 for the New Jersey portion of the licensing fee. Additionally, a credit report must be submitted at the time of application for a fee of $15.

6. Secure Your Employer Sponsorship

Your New Jersey 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 New Jersey MLO Fees


Pre-Licensure Education


Criminal Background Check




Credit Report


NMLS Processing Fee


New Jersey Application Fee


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

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

Per NMLS, “This license is required for any natural person who for compensation or gain, or in expectation of compensation or gain, either directly or indirectly takes a residential mortgage loan application, or offers or negotiates terms of a residential mortgage loan. Residential mortgage loans include both first and second mortgage loans on New Jersey property. A Mortgage Loan Originator must be employed by one, and not more than one, licensed New Jersey Residential Mortgage Lender, Correspondent Residential Mortgage Lender, or Residential Mortgage Broker.”

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

How much do New Jersey Mortgage Loan Officers make?

According to ZipRecruiter, New Jersey Mortgage Officers make approximately $72,000 per year on average as of November 2021. The 75th percentile of earners makes above $114,000, while the bottom 25th makes under $35,000. Top earners can earn more than $190,000 in New Jersey.

What is the New Jersey market like for Mortgage Loan Officers?

The New Jersey real estate market is booming, which is great news for MLOs. From the shore to Hoboken, real estate prices in New Jersey have shot up by 18.8% year-to-date and there's no slowing in sight. That means now is the perfect time for mortgage professionals to take advantage of living and working in one of the largest economic centers of the country.

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

It pays to be a Mortgage Loan Officer in New Jersey. The median home cost in New Jersey is $425,000. At a commission rate of 1%, that’s a $4,250 payment for the MLO once the loan is secured. Here are the average home payouts in a few New Jersey locations:

Cherry Hil:

Average Home Price: $348,000

Average Commission: $3,480

Ocean City:

Average Home Price: $790,000

Average Commission: $7,900

Atlantic City:

Average Home Price: $200,000

Average Commission: $2,000

Asbury Park:

Average Home Price: $480,000

Average Commission: $4,800

The "Stone Mansion":

Home Price: $40,000,000

Your Commission: $400,000

All average home price figures were collected from Zillow.

What are some of the notable New Jersey 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:

Today's American Mortgage (Cherry Hill)

The Road Home New Jersey (Trenton)

AMS Mortgage Services (Newark)

Atlantis Mortgage (Atlantic City)

Lakeland Bank (Newton)