If you’re interested in becoming a mortgage loan officer in North Carolina, there is a clear path to follow to get your North Carolina MLO license and begin your career in the residential 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.

To be a successful loan officer you’ll need both a comprehensive understanding of the mortgage industry, financial regulations as well as good interpersonal and communication skills. You’ll need to learn the national and North Carolina state-level guidelines and pass an exam to show your mortgage knowledge and expertise.

Let’s dive into our step-by-step guide of how to become a loan officer in NC.

Step 1: Request your NMLS account

Start your journey to become an mlo by requesting an NMLS account through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS), which is also commonly referred to as the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System. If you already have an NMLS account, and are looking to add North Carolina 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 loan officer. The same NMLS ID is used for your license in North Carolina and any other states you might consider getting licensed in like Virginia, Washington D.C. and Delaware.

Step 3: Review all the state-specific licensing requirements for NC

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

Step 4:  Complete the national and NC pre-licensing 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 and financial regulations to ethics and professional conduct. In North Carolina, 4 additional hours of work must be completed that are dedicated to state-specific laws and regulations.

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

Step 5: Prepare for the national SAFE Exam

After you’ve completed your 20 hours pre license education and the additional 4 hours of North Carolina specific 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.

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Step 6: Pass the national SAFE exam

To obtain your MLO license, you’ll need to pass the NMLS’s SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator Test with a score of 75% or higher. This exam is meant to test your understanding of core concepts in mortgage lending. 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

Next, you must complete a criminal background check and get fingerprinted. The background check can be initiated through your NMLS portal. You can also make your appointment to have your fingerprints taken through the NMLS portal. The current cost of both the background check and the fingerprinting is $36.25.

Step 8: Submit your mortgage license application to NMLS

Once you’ve passed your test, done your background checks and submitted a licensing application, you’re ready to submit your North Carolina mortgage license application! To submit your application, head to your NMLS portal to: complete your Individual Form (MU4) and pay your NMLS fees. The cost to submit your mortgage officer license in North Carolina is: the $30 NMLS application fee, a $125 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, 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 North Carolina!

Are you looking for mortgage sponsorship in North Carolina?

If you’ve completed the pre-licensing work and passed the SAFE exam to become an mlo in North Carolina, 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.

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Interested in getting your MLO license in multiple states?

If you’re an existing mortgage loan officer, you may be interested in getting licensed in multiple states to help you grow your business and find new opportunities. To become licensed in states other than North Carolina, you’ll need to fulfill the additional education requirements for each state and submit your license application for each state through NMLS.

Morty is licensed in 45 states and can help you quickly get sponsored in multiple states. To help, we compiled mortgage licensing guides for many states including: MaineRhode Island, and New Jersey.

Joining the Morty platform as an MLO

Morty makes it quick and easy to for licensed MLOs to get sponsored and work off our platform. The Morty Platform is free to join, but if you’re thinking about starting your own mortgage brokerage in North Carolina, 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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