New York Mortgage Loan Officer Pre-Licensure

How to Get a Mortgage Loan Officer License in New York

How to Get Started as a
New York 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 York 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 York Loan Officers have as they consider this exciting new career.

How to Become a Loan Officer in New York

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

The Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) requires:

  • 3 hours of Federal Law
  • 3 hours of Ethics
  • 2 hours of Non-Traditional Mortgage Lending
  • 9 hours of Electives
  • 3 hours of New York-specific education

The New York-specific 3-hr. course is required by the New York state licensing agency, also known as the New York Department of Financial Services.

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?

The SAFE MLO Test is not easy, and NMLS previously released a statement that the first-time pass rate was only 58%. Study smarter by purchasing a comprehensive Exam Prep program to help you feel confident on test day.

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4. Complete State and FBI Criminal Background Checks

New York 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 York 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 cost of the FBI criminal background check is $36.25.

5. Complete the NMLS Application

Now it’s time to submit for official New York 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 $379 for the New York application fee, which covers the $125 investigation fee and the $254 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 York 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 York MLO Fees


Pre-Licensure Education


Criminal Background Check




Credit Report


New York Application Charge


NMLS Initial Processing Fee


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

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

Pursuant to Section 599-b(7) of Article 12-E:

“Mortgage Loan Originator” (“MLO”) means an individual who for compensation or gain or in the expectation of compensation or gain: takes a residential mortgage loan application; or offers or negotiates terms of a residential mortgage loan."

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

How much do New York Mortgage Loan Officers make?

According to ZipRecruiter, New York Mortgage Officers make approximately $82,000 per year on average as of November 2021. The 75th percentile of earners makes above $109,686, while the bottom 25th makes under $38,000. Top earners can earn more than $123,000 in New York.

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

The real estate market in the state of New York is taking off. In fact, the typical home value has jumped 14.6% over the past year. With demand for property sharply rising in New York City and beyond, MLOs have plenty of opportunity to cash in on the real estate industry’s momentum.

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

It pays to be a Mortgage Loan Officer in New York. The median home cost in New York is $367,000. At a commission rate of 1%, that’s a $3,670 payment for the MLO once the loan is secured. Here are the average home payouts in a few New York locations:

New York City:

Average Home Price: $722,000

Average Commission: $7,220


Average Home Price: $247,000

Average Commission: $2,470


Average Home Price: $200,000

Average Commission: $2,000

The Pinnacle Penthouse In NYC:

Price: $79,000,000

Your Commission: $790,000

All average home price figures were collected from Zillow.

What are some of the notable New York 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:

First Meridian Mortgages (New York)

SEFCU Mortgage Services (Albany)

Premium Mortgage Corporation (Buffalo)

Tompkins Lending (Rochester)

SECNY Federal Credit Union (Syracuse)