If you’re interested in becoming a mortgage loan officer in Pennsylvania, there is a clear path to follow to get your Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 PA.
- Step 1: Request your NMLS account
- Step 2: Receive your personal NMLS ID number
- Step 3: Review all the state-specific licensing requirements for Pennsylvania
- Step 4: Complete national and PA pre-licensing mortgage coursework
- Step 5: Prepare for the national SAFE Test
- Step 6: Pass the national SAFE exam
- Step 7: Complete a background check and get fingerprinted
- Step 8: Submit your mortgage license application to NMLS
- Step 9: Get sponsored by a mortgage company
- Learn more about joining Morty as a mortgage loan originator in PA
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 Pennsylvania 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 officer. The same NMLS ID is used for your license in Pennsylvania and any other states you might consider getting licensed in like Maryland, Ohio and Michigan.
Step 3: Review all the state-specific licensing requirements for Pennsylvania
Check Pennsylvania’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 Pennsylvania. You will want to complete this step for any additional state you’d like to get licensed in.
Step 4: Complete national and PA 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. In Pennsylvania, 3 additional hours of work must be completed that are dedicated to state-specific laws and regulations.
Step 5: Prepare for the national SAFE Test
After you’ve completed your 20 hours pre license education and the additional 3 hours of Pennsylvania 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 in Pennsylvania, or any state in the U.S., you’ll need to pass the NMLS’s SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator Test with a score of 75% or higher. This test is designed to assess your understanding of crucial concepts in mortgage lending. The SAFE exam is 190 minutes long, allowing you ample time to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in various areas of mortgage loan origination. The cost of taking the SAFE exam is $110.
Schedule your SAFE test at your convenience and when you feel prepared. If you do not pass the SAFE exam, you’ll have to wait 30 days to take it again.
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 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 Pennsylvania is: $30 NMLS application fee, $200 state application fee, $22 Pennsylvania State Police criminal history background check 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 credit union or bank, 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 Pennsylvania!
Are you looking for mortgage sponsorship in Pennsylvania?
If you’ve completed the pre-licensing work and passed the SAFE exam to become an mlo in Pennsylvania, 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 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 Pennsylvania, 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: Georgia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio.
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Learn more about joining Morty as a mortgage loan originator in PA
Morty makes it quick and easy to for licensed MLOs to get sponsored and work off our platform. We’re so confident that new MLOs will love working with Morty, we’ll even reimburse you for the fees associated with pre-licensing, exams and applications after you’ve been sponsored and fully onboarded to Morty.