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How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) in Alabama

Last updated on March 9, 2023

How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) in Alabama

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Planning on becoming a mortgage loan officer in Alabama?

Welcome to your complete 2023 guide!

Here, we’re going to walk you through ALL the steps on how to become a mortgage loan officer (MLO) in Alabama. 

We won’t skip anything, so you know WHAT to do, WHEN to do it, and HOW to do it. 

Let’s begin!

How to Become an MLO in Alabama – the 6 Steps

To become an MLO in Alabama, you need to complete these 6 steps:

  1. Create an NMLS account
  2. Complete an NMLS-approved pre-licensure education (PE)
  3. Pass the SAFE MLO exam
  4. Authorize background checks
  5. Complete your application
  6. Secure employer sponsorship

Here are the details. 

Step #1: Create an NMLS Account

All your MLO licensing procedures are none through NMLS (Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System). 

So it’s no surprise that the first step is to create an account with them. 

To do that, follow these steps:

  • Go to the NMLS login page
  • Click “Request an Account”
  • Select the individual option
  • Follow the online prompts

Once created, you will receive a special ID number, which you need to keep at all times. 

Step #2: Complete an NMLS-Approved Pre-Licensure Education (PE)

For your education, you’re required to complete 20 hours of coursework in Alabama. The topics include the following:

  • 3 hours of Federal Law
  • 3 hours of Ethics
  • 2 hours of Non-Traditional Mortgage Lending
  • 12 hours of General Electives

If you’re unsure where to get your education, here are some approved providers in the state:

For a complete list of approved providers, click here

Step #3: Pass the SAFE MLO Exam

Prometric administers the SAFE MLO exam. 

Here is how to register and schedule for it:

  • Login to your NMLS account
  • Complete a test enrollment window for a SAFE MLO exam
  • Pay the $110 exam fee and accept the Candidate Agreement
  • Go to Prometric and schedule a SAFE MLO appointment
  • Choose to take the exam online or at a testing center
  • Pass the exam with a score of 75% or higher

Step #4: Authorize Background Checks

You will need to pass 2 background checks. These are:

  • Criminal background check
  • Credit report

To authorize a criminal background check, follow these steps:

  • Login to your NMLS account
  • Head to the “Filing” section
  • Click on the “Criminal Background Check” tab
  • Complete the fields and attest to the authorization 
  • You will also need to schedule an appointment to submit your fingerprints

As for your credit report, here’s how to request authorization:

  • Login to your NMLS account
  • Go to the “Filing” section
  • Select “Credit Report Request”
  • Click the “Individual Verification (IDV)” link
  • Review the information
  • Attest and submit when you’re finished 

The criminal background check costs $36.25, while the credit report is $15. 

Step #5: Complete Your Application

To complete your MLO application with NMLS, you need to fill up Form Individual (MU4) in your NMLS account. 

You can click here for instructions on how to fill out the form. 

You also need to pay a licensing fee of $105. 

What’s more, you also need to apply with the Alabama State Banking Department. You simply need to download and fill up this form and send it to the address provided in the form. 

NOTE: You have to submit this form AFTER you complete your NMLS application. This is because the State Banking Department will confirm the information in NMLS. 

Step #6: Secure Your Employer Sponsorship

For the Alabama State Banking Department to approve your application, you need to have employer sponsorship. 

Your application will remain in “pending” status until your employing sponsorship is verified with NMLS. This verification is completed inside the NMLS portal.

Here are the steps:

  • Login to your NMLS account
  • Visit the Form Filing Home screen
  • Click Company Access
  • Add your employer sponsorship details
  • Once the sponsoring employer receives notice of the verification request, they can approve the sponsorship
  • Upon approval, your status will change to “approved” and you are officially licensed


You are now officially a mortgage loan officer in Alabama!

Frequently Asked Questions About Mortgage Loan Officers in Alabama

Before we go, let’s go over some frequently asked questions about MLOs in Alabama. 

What Can I Expect from the SAFE MLO Exam?

The SAFE MLO exam is administered by Prometric. You can choose to take this online or at a testing center. 

The exam fee is $110. 

Now, the exam has a total of 120 questions, although only 115 are scored. You are given 190 minutes (around 3 hours) to complete it. 

The minimum passing score is 75%. 

For more information, check out the MLO Testing Handbook

How Much Do Mortgage Loan Officers Make in Alabama?

MLOs in Alabama make approximately $75,000 per year on average as of November 2021. The 75th percentile of earners makes above $87,000, while the bottom 25th makes under $26,000.

Just under 10% of MLOs make more than $105,000 in Alabama.

Is Alabama a Good State to Work in as a Mortgage Loan Officer?

Established MLOs can make a very good living as an MLO in Alabama. At a commission rate of 1%, MLOs receive an estimated $2,000 payment when working with a house worth at least $200,000.

What are Some of the Notable Alabama 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:

Final Thoughts

And that is how to become a mortgage loan officer (MLO) in Alabama. 

Being an MLO is a promising career path that offers fulfillment, unlimited earning potential, and growth.

So what are you waiting for?

Now that you know EXACTLY what you need to do to become an MLO in Alabama, go ahead and get started right away!

Good luck!

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