If you want to become a mortgage loan officer or originator in Georgia, then you might feel overwhelmed with all the requirements and steps.
What should I do first?
What happens after that?
How do I apply?
We’re here to answer all that and more.
In this guide on how to become a mortgage loan officer (MLO) in Georgia, we’re going to walk you through all the steps. We won’t skip anything.
So let’s get started!
How to Become an MLO in Georgia – The 6 Steps
Becoming an MLO is a lot easier than you might think.
You won’t need to take any 4-year graduate course. You don’t even need to take out thousands of dollars worth of student loans.
Just follow these 6 steps, and you’ll be all set:
- Set up your NMLS account
- Enroll in an MLO pre-licensure education
- Pass the SAFE MLO exam
- Get background checks
- Obtain employer sponsorship
- Complete your NMLS application
Let’s walk you through these steps.
Step #1: Set Up Your NMLS Account
All your MLO activities will take place in the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS). This is why the very first step is to create an account with them.
Once you have an account, you will be given a personal NMLS number. You will use and maintain this number throughout your MLO career. So make sure to keep it.
Step #2: Enroll in an MLO Pre-Licensure Education
The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance (DBF) requires all aspiring MLOs to complete at least 20 hours of pre-licensure education (PE).
This should include:
- 3 hours of Federal Law
- 3 hours of Ethics
- 2 hours of Non-Traditional Mortgage Lending Training
- 12 hours of electives
Not only that, the courses should be recognized and approved by NMLS.
If you’re looking for some recommendations, then check out our top 3 PE providers:
Or, you can check out the full list of approved providers here.
Step #3: Pass the SAFE MLO Exam
Once you complete your education requirements, you can take the SAFE MLO exam.
This is conducted by Prometric.
But before you can schedule for that, you first need to register for it through your NMLS account.
There, you need to create an MLO exam test enrollment window, pay the $110 exam fee, and accept the agreements.
After that, you can schedule your SAFE MLO exam with Prometric.
The SAFE MLO exam is comprised of 120 questions — 75% of which should be answered correctly for test-takers to pass.
For more details on the SAFE MLO exam, check out the MLO Testing Handbook.
Step #4: Get Background Checks
NOTE: The following steps can be done in no particular order. It can even all be done at the same time.
There are 2 background checks that you need to submit. These are:
- Criminal background check
- Credit report
But first, you need to authorize these background checks in the NMLS.
To authorize a criminal background check, simply:
- Go to the NMLS’ Filing tab and choose Individual in the submenu.
- Click the Request New/Update option.
- Authorize a criminal background check (CBC).
- Complete the application.
- Pay the $36.25 CBC fee.
From there, you must schedule an appointment for fingerprinting with fieldprint.
Now, to authorize a credit report, follow these steps:
- Click the Filing tab and choose Individual in the submenu.
- Click the Request New/Update option.
- Authorize credit report.
- Go to the Identity Verification (IDV) link and complete the steps.
- Click attest and submit.
- Pay the $15 credit report fee.
Step #5: Obtain Employer Sponsorship
Employer sponsorship is the person or company that you’ll work for.
Now, in Georgia, this has to be a licensed or registered GA mortgage broker or lender with the required surety bond coverage.
Remember, don’t rush this step. You need to look for one that fits your needs and preferences.
And once you find the perfect match, have them verify sponsorship with you.
- Log into your NMLS account.
- Visit the “Form Filing Homescreen”.
- Click “Company Access”.
- Fill in your employer sponsorship details.
- Your employer will then receive a notification for verification. All they have to do is to confirm.
Step #6: Complete Your NMLS Application
To complete your application, you’ll need to submit these items to the NMLS:
- Completed Individual Form (MU4) (this is found in your account)
- Completed Georgia Mortgage Loan Originator Applicant Affidavit (you can find the form here)
Before submitting the Individual Form (MU4), you need to make sure that you:
- Have a PE certificate of completion
- Passed the SAFE MLO exam
- Passed the criminal background check and credit report
- Answer the disclosure questions – and do any action or provide any document that is necessary
- Credit report explanations, proof of financial responsibility, and/or proof of child support (if necessary)
- Verify a company sponsorship
- Pay the fees (check the table below).
|NMLS initial processing fee:||$30|
|GA application and license fee:||$200|
As for the Georgia Mortgage Loan Originator Applicant Affidavit, you need to upload this in the NMLS under ‘Document Type – Legal Name/Status Documentation. You must also provide all the necessary documents asked for in the affidavit.
And that’s it — you’re done!
All there’s left to do is wait for your MLO license certificate to arrive via mail.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Mortgage Loan Officer in Georgia
Okay, so we’ve gone over ALL the steps to becoming an MLO in Georgia.
Now, we’re going to share a few frequently asked questions to help you along the way.
How Long is the SAFE MLO Exam?
The whole appointment will take around 3 hours and 30 minutes. However, you’re only given 3 hours to answer all the questions.
Is It Hard to Become an MLO in Georgia?
No, you only need to complete 6 steps. And it doesn’t even require a 4-year education or huge investments.
That said, you will need to put in the time and effort to get your MLO license in Georgia.
How Much is an MLO License in Georgia?
Let’s break down all the expenses for an MLO license in Georgia:
- Pre-licensure education: around $300-$700
- SAFE MLO exam: $110
- Criminal background check: $36.25
- Credit report: $15
- NMLS initial processing fee: $30
- GA application and license fee: $200
In total, you’ll spend around $900 to $1,000.
How Much Do Mortgage Loan Officers In Georgia Make?
On average, MLOs in Georgia make around $67,000 annually. With the highest-paid MLOs earning around $120,00.
What Do Mortgage Loan Officers Typically Do?
Once you become a licensed mortgage loan officer, your daily tasks will typically be comprised of:
- Reviewing loan applications
- Coordinating with realtors, insurance agents, etc.
- Making lots of sales calls
- Helping your clients process loans and retrieve conditions
And that is how to become a mortgage loan officer (MLO) in Georgia.
Again, it isn’t as complicated as you might think — there are only 6 steps to complete.
Plus, you already know EXACTLY what to do. This makes the journey so much easier.
However, you will need to put in all your time and effort if you want to succeed.
So good luck!