If you’d like to become a loan officer in Alabama, there is a clear path to follow to get your Alabama MLO license and begin your career in the mortgage industry. The term mortgage loan originator (MLO), licensed mortgage loan officer are frequently used interchangeably and both reflect the important job of helping home buyers find and secure the right home loan for them.

As a successful loan officer you’ll need both a comprehensive understanding of the mortgage industry and financial regulations as well as good interpersonal and communication skills. To get your mortgage loan originator license you will first learn the national and Alabama state-level lending guidelines and then pass an exam to show your mortgage knowledge.

Let’s dive into our step-by-step guide of how to become an AL loan officer.

Step 1: Request your NMLS account

Start your journey to become an mlo by visiting the NMLS to request an account. NMLS stands for the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Register or the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System. If you already have an NMLS account, and are looking to add Alabama to your mortgage license, skip to step #3.

Step 2: Receive your personal NMLS ID number

Once you’ve registered with the NMLS, you’ll receive an individual NMLS ID number to use throughout your career as a mortgage loan originator. The same NMLS ID is used for your license in Alabama and any other states you might consider getting licensed in like Georgia, Tennessee or Florida.

Step 3: Review the Alabama state licensing requirements

Check Alabama state-specific licensing requirements through Alabama MLO license requirements on NMLS’s Resource Center. Here, you’ll find the additional steps required to obtain your MLO license in Alabama. You will want to complete this step for any additional state you’d like to get licensed in.

Step 4:  Complete the national and state pre-licensing mortgage coursework

Complete the required 20 hours of pre-licensing coursework. Pre-licensing classes for becoming a mortgage loan officer cover a range of topics from mortgage industry fundamentals to ethics and professional conduct.

Morty recommends Oncourse Learning as a pre-licensing coursework provider. If you’d like other recommendations, reach out through our Platform Loan Officer program.

Step 5: Prepare for the national SAFE Test

After you’ve completed your 20 hours pre license education, it’s time to study for your SAFE exam. First you’ll want to purchase your SAFE test prep materials and practice tests to begin studying and getting ready for the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) exam. This exam was instituted by Congress as part of the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act, known as the SAFE Act, of 2008. For loan officers joining the Morty platform, Morty covers the costs of test prep materials, a $100 value.

Step 6: Pass the national SAFE exam to become a licensed loan officer

To get your MLO license, you’ll need to pass the NMLS’s SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator Test with a score of 75% or higher. To reiterate, this exam is meant to test your understanding of core concepts in mortgage lending before you begin working with customers and recommending loan products. The SAFE exam is 190 minutes long, and costs $110. 

Schedule your test at your convenience and when you feel prepared. If you don’t pass the exam on your first attempt, you’ll have to wait 30 days before retaking the SAFE exam. 

Step 7: Complete a background check and get fingerprinted

As a prospective mlo, you must complete a criminal background check. The background check can be initiated through your NMLS portal. You must also make an appointment to have your fingerprints taken, which can also be arranged through the NMLS portal. The current cost of both the background check and the fingerprinting is $36.25.

Step 8: Complete and Submit your MU4 to NMLS

Once you’ve passed your test and done your background checks, you’re ready to file your Individual (MU4) Form. Head to your NMLS portal to file your Individual (MU4) Form and pay your NMLS fees. The cost to file your mortgage loan officer license in Alabama is: $30 NMLS application fee, $75 state application fee and a $15 credit report fee.

Step 9: Get sponsored by a mortgage company

After finding and being hired by a mortgage originator, that’s either a mortgage broker like Morty or a mortgage lender like a bank or credit union, you can initiate the sponsorship process by submitting the company’s credentials to the NMLS for verification. As soon as NMLS gives final approval — congrats, you officially have your mortgage loan originator license in Alabama!

Are you looking for mortgage sponsorship in Alabama?

If you’ve completed the pre-licensing work and passed the SAFE exam to become an mlo in California, the next thing to consider is what mortgage company will to sponsor your license.

We’d love for you to be sponsored by Morty! Morty is a technology-enabled online licensed mortgage broker. Morty offers loan officers, and their clients, a better, more seamless mortgage experience through our lender marketplace, competitive pricing, affordability tools, underwriting technology, along with the built-in support from our processing and fulfillment teams.

Interested in how to get your MLO license in multiple states?

Are you interested in getting your loan officer license in multiple states? To become licensed in states other than Alabama, you’ll need to fulfill the additional education requirements for each state and file your Individual (MU4) Form for each state through NMLS.

Morty is licensed in 45 states and can help you quickly get sponsored in multiple states. To get started, we put together mortgage licensing guides for many states including: New MexicoNorth Carolina, and Arkansas.

Learn about joining the Morty platform.

Morty makes it quick and easy to for licensed MLOs to get sponsored and work off our platform. Take a look at our Platform Business Tiers. These tiers are specifically designed to give you the independence to start or scale your mortgage brand with the resources, infrastructure and technology you need to be profitable in today’s mortgage industry.

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