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

Last updated on March 22, 2023

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

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With so many real estate careers out there, it can be hard to find the right requirements for the type of license you need. 

Well, if you want to become a mortgage loan officer in Louisiana, then we have the requirements for you. 

To make it easy to follow, we’ll divide the process into 6 steps. 

Then, we’ll go over each step one by one. 

By the end, you’ll know EXACTLY how to become a mortgage loan officer (MLO) in Louisiana. 

So let’s dive in!

How to Become an MLO in Louisiana – The 6 Steps

Here are the 6 steps to becoming an MLO in Louisiana:

  1. Register an NMLS account
  2. Complete pre-licensure education
  3. Pass the SAFE MLO test
  4. Authorize background checks
  5. Find an employer sponsor 
  6. Submit your MLO application

Okay, let’s go through each step one at a time. 

Step #1: Register an NMLS Account

For all your MLO activities, you’ll need to do it with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS).

So it makes sense that the first step is to register an account with them

Once you do, you’ll be given a unique ID number. You’ll need to keep this to complete the licensing process as well as other license transactions in the future. 

Step #2: Complete Pre-Licensure Education

For your education requirements, you need to go through at least 20 hours of MLO pre-licensure education (PE).

Course topics should include: 

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

You can find a list of approved course providers here

If you want our recommendations, then here are our top 4 providers:

Step #3: Pass the SAFE MLO Test

Once you finish your pre-licensure education, it’s time to take the test. 

But before that, you’ll have to register for it through NMLS. 

From there, you can schedule and take it. 

How to Register for the SAFE MLO Test

  • Go to your NMLS account and click the ‘MLO Testing & Education’ tab.
  • Create a test enrollment window.
  • Select ‘National Test with Uniform State Content’ and ‘SAFE MLO Test’.
  • Accept the Candidate Agreements. 
  • Pay the $110 exam fee. 

How to Schedule Your SAFE MLO Test

If you want to take it online, you can either schedule with NMLS or Prometric. 


  • Go to the ‘MLO Testing & Education’ tab and select ‘Manage Test Appointment’.
  • Fill in your details. 
  • Pick an available date for your schedule. 
  • Submit. 

For Prometric:

  • Select ‘Option 2: Schedule Your Test for Online Proctored Delivery’.
  • Read all the requirements and confirm.
  • Set your appointment date. 

Say you’re not eligible for online testing — don’t worry. 

You can always go to a Prometric test center. And since they have 300 sites throughout the US, you’re sure to find one in Louisiana. 

If so, you can also schedule it through the online scheduler

How to Pass the SAFE MLO Test

The SAFE MLO test has 120 questions (5 pre-test questions and 1150 scored questions). You’ll have to answer everything in 3 hours. 

Here is an idea of the questions per topic:

  • Federal Mortgage-Related Laws – 24%
  • Uniform State Content – 11%
  • General Mortgage Knowledge – 20%
  • Mortgage Loan Origination Activities – 27%
  • Ethics – 18%

This will help you know what to focus on more during your studies. 

To pass, you need a score of 75% or higher. 

Step #4: Authorize Background Checks

There are 2 background checks that you need to authorize — an FBI criminal history background check (CBC) and a credit report check

For your CBC, you need to authorize the check AND submit fingerprints in the NMLS.

If you have acceptable history, the FBI will send a ‘good standing report’ back. 

How to Authorize a Criminal Background Check with NMLS

  • Click the ‘Filing’ tab on your NMLS account.
  • Select Request New/Update and choose Criminal Background Check. 
  • Select submit new prints. 
  • Fill out the demographics section.
  • Save, attest, and submit it. 
  • Pay the CBC fee of $36.25. 

How to Authorize a Credit Report Check with NMLS

  • Click the ‘Filing’ tab on your NMLS account.
  • Select Request A Credit Report. 
  • Look for this icon and turn it on. 
  • Go to the Individual Verification Process (IDV) link and complete it. 
  • Attest and submit it. 
  • Pay the credit report fee of $15. 

Step #5: Find an Employer Sponsor

Next up, you need to find an employer to work for. 

Make sure to take this step seriously. I mean, you don’t want to be stuck in a company that you hate. 

So go around and check all your available options. 

Once you find one, have them submit a sponsorship request to the LA Office of Financial Institutions. Here is a quick guide you can show them on how to do this. 

NOTE: Some companies are exempt from this requirement, including third-party ones. 

Step #6: Submit Your MLO Application

Finally, you can complete your MLO application by submitting Individual Form (MU4).

Here’s how to do that:

  • Go to your NMLS account, then Filing, then Individual, then Request New/Update.
  • Add Louisana as your licensing state and Mortgage Loan Originator as your license type. 
  • Check if the following is submitted:
    • Pre-licensure education verification
    • SAFE MLO test pass verification
    • Fingerprints and acceptable history report from the FBI
    • Acceptable credit report. If not, you might need to upload explanation documents. 
    • Employment sponsorship 
  • Answer all the disclosure questions. If you answer ‘yes’ to any question, do the action or upload the document that is necessary. 
  • Pay the $230 fee. This includes your NMLS initial licensing process AND LA application fee. 

You will also need to send documents outside of the NMLS. 

These are a Surety Bond or Deposit Requirement (only if your employer doesn’t submit an employer affidavit) AND a credit report showing financial responsibility, character, and general fitness (for informational purposes).

For US postal service, send the documents to this address:

Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions 

Non-depository Division 

Residential Mortgage Lending 

P.O. Box 94095 

Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9095

For overnight delivery, use this address instead:

Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions 

Non-depository Division 

Residential Mortgage Lending 

8660 United Plaza Blvd, 2nd Floor 

Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Once all that is done, the LA Office of Financial Institutions will review and approve your application. IMPORTANT! Always check your email for updates. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens if I Fail the SAFE MLO Test?

Don’t worry – you can always go again. 

However, you will have to reschedule and repay the exam fee. 

Also, if your enrollment window closes, you’ll have to register again, too.

Now, if you don’t pass on your first try, you can take another test after 30 days. If still unsuccessful, you can take another test after another 30 days. 

If you fail yet again, then you’ll have to wait 180 days to retake it. 

How Much is a Mortgage Loan Officer License in Louisiana?

Here is a breakdown of all your expenses: 

Pre-Licensure Education:$300-$700
SAFE MLO Test:$110
Criminal Background Check:$36.25
Credit Report:$15
NMLS Initial Processing and Application:$230
OVERALL:$691.25 to $1,091

How Much Do Mortgage Loan Officers Earn in Louisiana?

On average, MLOs in Louisiana earn around $80,000 a year. The top earners can reach up to $311,000 yearly, while the lowest annual salary can reach $26,5000. 


And there you have it — how to become a mortgage loan officer (MLO) in Louisiana. 

The whole process is very straightforward. 

You just need to provide the proper information and documents. 

And when you do, you’ll be issued your mortgage loan officer license. 

So what are you waiting for?

The first step is SUPER easy. 

Go ahead and get started today.

Best of luck!

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