Helping people find a mortgage for their dream homes is a fulfilling job.
Not to mention, it’s a very lucrative career.
If you’re interested, then we’re here to tell you how to become a mortgage loan officer (MLO) in Connecticut.
We’ll walk you through all the steps to lessen the hassle.
And with this complete and updated guide, you can fulfill all the requirements in no time.
So let’s get started!
NOTE: You will often see the words mortgage loan officers and mortgage loan originators. Don’t get confused — it’s the same thing.
How to Become an MLO in Connecticut – The 7 Steps to Get Started
To become an MLO in Connecticut, you need to complete these 7 steps:
- Meet the basic application requirements
- Register for an NMLS account
- Complete pre-licensure education (PE)
- Pass the SAFE test or MLO exam
- Authorize background checks
- Apply for your MLO license
- Find a sponsoring company
Let’s walk you through all the steps.
Step #1: Meet the Basic Application Requirements
Before you apply for an MLO license, you need to meet the basic application requirements listed below:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Should have at least a high school diploma or GED
If you fulfill those 2 basic requirements, you can get started on the process.
Step #2: Register for an NMLS Account
All your MLO license activities will be done through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS).
So the first thing you need to do is to create an individual account through their website.
Take note of the NMLS ID number you’ll receive as this is your personal MLO number moving forward.
Step #3: Complete Pre-Licensure Education (PE)
With any real estate career, you first need to undergo education.
For MLOs in Connecticut, that means 20 hours of general MLO pre-licensure education (PE) AND 1 hour of CT DOB Defined Elective (as required by the Connecticut Department of Banking).
What’s more, the 20-hour program should consist of the following:
- 3 hours of Federal Law
- 3 hours of Ethics
- 2 hours of Non-Traditional Mortgage Lending
- 12 hours of General Electives
Don’t know where to get your education?
Here are our top recommendations:
And here you can find a full list of NMLS-approved providers.
NOTE: In Connecticut, your PE will expire after 3 years of not having an MLO license. Though this is enough time, it’s best to not delay the whole process for too long — or else you’ll have to retake the courses.
Step #4: Pass the SAFE Test or the MLO Exam
It’s time to put your knowledge to the test.
The SAFE test or MLO exam is a 120-item, multiple-choice exam that should be completed in 190 minutes (3 hours) — though the total appointment will take around 225 minutes (more than 3 and half hours).
You need a score of at least 75% to pass.
As for what topics are covered, here is a breakdown:
- Federal mortgage laws – 23%
- General mortgage knowledge – 23%
- Mortgage loan origination activities – 25%
- Ethics – 16%
- Uniform state content – 13%
Now, the MLO exam is administered by Prometric.
But before you can schedule with them, you will have to register for the exam through NMLS.
Here are the steps:
- Go to your NMLS account
- Fill up a test enrollment window for your MLO exam
- Pay the exam fee. This costs $110.
- Accept the Candidate Test Security and Confidential Agreement (Candidate Agreement)
- Go to the Prometric website and schedule an online or in-person exam.
NOTE: For online exams, your laptop or desktop should meet the system requirements.
After you take the exam, you have to wait 72 hours to get your results on the NMLS website.
Step #5: Authorize Background Checks
Before we continue, you should know that the remaining steps can all be done at the same time — not necessarily in the order we put them.
Okay, back to it.
As part of the requirements, you need to authorize a criminal background check, as well as a credit report check.
For your criminal background check, follow these steps:
- Go to the Criminal Background Check page and read the instructions.
- In your NMLS account, go to the Filing tab and choose Individual in the submenu.
- Click the Request New/Update option to authorize a criminal background check.
- Complete the application and click Attest at the end.
- Pay the CBC fee of $36.25 for Live Scan or $46.25 for Paper Card Capture.
- Go to fieldprint and create an account.
- Schedule a fingerprint assessment.
- Get fingerprinted.
To authorize a credit report check, you have to:
- Go to the Credit Report page and read the instructions.
- Log in to your NMLS account.
- Click the Filing tab and choose Individual in the submenu.
- Click the Request New/Update option for a credit report request.
- Complete the request and click the “Identity Verification (IDV” link.
- Click attest and submit.
- Pay the credit report fee of $15.
NOTE: If you have a derogatory credit account, you need to submit a credit report explanation with supporting documents.
Step #6: Apply for Your MLO License
Another requirement is to fill out and submit the Individual Form (MU4) found on the NMLS website.
IMPORTANT! You need to submit this form within 60 days of applying.
In the form, you will have to:
- Submit the following documents:
- Credit report and letter of explanation (if applicable)
- Criminal background check results
- Government IDs showing your legal name and status (this can be a driver’s license, marriage certificate, passport, etc)
- SAFE test or MLO exam passing score
- Pre-licensure education certificate of completion
- Answer the disclosure questions — and submit applicable orders or documents if you answer “yes” to any of these.
- Pay the fees:
- CT license fee – $300
- NMLS initial processing fee – $30
NOTE: The Connecticut Department of Banking does not issue paper licenses for MLOs.
Step #7: Find a Sponsoring Company
All MLOs in Connecticut need to work for a CT-licensed mortgage lender, mortgage correspondent lender, mortgage broker, or exempt registrant.
This will be your sponsoring company.
If you find one before submitting your application, the company may offer to pay for the credit report fee.
And with a sponsoring company, you can start working as an MLO once you get fully licensed.
You did it — you completed all the required steps on how to become a mortgage loan officer (MLO) in Connecticut!
Frequently Asked Questions about Mortgage Loan Officers in Connecticut
You probably still have some questions.
Well, let’s answer them.
What Can I Expect from the MLO Exam in Connecticut?
The MLO exam is administered by Prometric.
You have to answer 120 questions in 3 hours. However, know that only 115 questions are scored, while the other 5 are just pre-test questions.
To pass, you need a score of 75% or higher.
To make sure you make the most out of the exam, here are some tips we’ve gathered from previous exam takers.
- Read up on the Rules of Conduct before you start. Remember, the instructors are strict.
- Be sure to answer every question — every answer counts.
- You can go back on the questions you’re not sure about. So if you need to skip some numbers, go ahead! Just remember to get back to them once you’re done answering the questions you’re sure of.
- Click the “Confirm and Review” button instead of the “Confirm” button. This will allow you to go back to your answers after hitting the “Next” button.
- Don’t utilize additional gadgets or electronics while taking the exam. This might be a cause of distraction and reprimand from the instructors.
What Happens if I Fail My MLO Exam in Connecticut?
You can always try again.
But you will have to register and schedule again — and yes, that includes repaying the $110 exam fee.
If you took the exam 3 times and still failed, then you’ll have to wait 180 days before you can schedule another test.
Who Is Required to Get an MLO License in Connecticut?
Anyone who takes a residential mortgage loan application or offers or negotiates terms of a residential mortgage loan to earn compensation or gain something.
This is if you do it for an individual or a company.
How Much Do MLOs Earn in Connecticut?
Now for the question that you’ve all been waiting for.
On average, a mortgage loan officer can earn around $101,500 a year. The salaries can go as low as $41,000/year to as high as $326,500/year.
Of course, the salaries will depend on your company, your skills, your experience, bonuses, tips, and so much more.
And that is how to become a mortgage loan officer (MLO) in Connecticut.
Yes, each step requires time and effort — and sometimes even investment.
But if you follow this complete guide, you’ll soon be on your way to being licensed.
So what are you waiting for?
You can get started today!