Wisconsin Mortgage Loan Officer Pre-Licensure

How to Get a Mortgage Loan Officer License in Wisconsin

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

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

How to Become a Loan Officer in Wisconsin

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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin, 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
  • 12 hours of General Electives

These are course requirements as indicated by State of Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

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

Wisconsin 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, Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 $250 for the Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin MLO Fees


Pre-Licensure Education


Criminal Background Check




Credit Report


NMLS Processing Fee


Wisconsin Application Fee


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

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

The summary below is taken from Chapter 224 of the Wisconsin State Legislature:

“Mortgage Loan Originator" means an individual who, for compensation or gain or in the expectation of compensation or gain, does any of the following:
(c) Takes a residential mortgage loan application.
(d) 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 summary above.

How much do Wisconsin Mortgage Loan Officers make?

According to ZipRecruiter, Wisconsin Mortgage Officers make approximately $70,000 per year on average as of November 2021. The 75th percentile of earners makes above $111,000, while the bottom 25th makes under $35,000. Top earners can earn more than $186,000 in Wisconsin.

What is the Wisconsin market like for Mortgage Loan Officers?

Thanks to low interest rates, relatively affordable housing, and the state's economic momentum, the real estate market in Wisconsin is hot. Just last year, home prices in Wisconsin have jumped by a healthy 15.2% with no sign of slowing down. As a result, Wisconsin is perfect for an MLO looking for a steady flow of housing demand and rising price points.

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

It pays to be a Mortgage Loan Officer in Wisconsin. The median home cost in Wisconsin is $239,000. At a commission rate of 1%, that’s a $2,390 payment for the MLO once the loan is secured. Here are the average home payouts in a few Wisconsin locations:


Average Home Price: $168,000

Average Commission: $1,680


Average Home Price: $338,000

Average Commission: $3,380

Green Bay:

Average Home Price: $184,000

Average Commission: $1,840

The Lake Geneva Mansion

Home Price: $20,750,000

Your Commission: $207,500

All average home price figures were collected from Zillow.

What are some of the notable Wisconsin 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:

Milwaukee Mortgage Lenders (Milwaukee)

UW Credit Union (Madison)

Green Bay Mortgage Lender (Green Bay)

Wisconsin Mortgage Corporation (Racine)