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

Last updated on April 21, 2023

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

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So you want to become a mortgage loan officer in Missouri…

Allow us to help.


We won’t do any of the steps for you. 

Instead, we’ll make it much easier by detailing the steps on how to become a mortgage loan officer (MLO) in Missouri. 

We won’t skip the details. 

Plus, we’ll answer some commonly asked questions.

Are you ready to begin?

Let’s go!

How to Become an MLO in Missouri – The 5 Steps to Licensure

Here are the steps to become a mortgage loan officer in Missouri:

  • Request an NMLS account 
  • Take pre-licensure education (PE)
  • Pass the SAFE MLO test
  • Complete the Individual Form (MU4)
  • Associate your NMLS account with an employer

Here are the details… 

Step 1. Request an NMLS Account

To begin, you simply need to request an NMLS account. 

Don’t worry – it’s just like creating an account for any media platform. 

This should be your first step because, once you have an account, you will be given a unique ID number. 

This will be your official ID number, and you’ll need it throughout your application, as well as your MLO career. 

So make sure to keep it. 

Step 2. Take Pre-Licensure Education (PE)

In Missouri, the required PE is only 20 hours. 

Plus, the program should include: 

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

The great news is that you can take this online. 

The even better news is that you have great options for approved providers, such as:

Get a full list of approved providers (both in-person and online) here

Step 3. Pass the SAFE MLO Test

For your licensing exam, you will need to register and schedule it. 

Here’s how:

  • Log in to your NMLS account.
  • Head over to the MLO Testing and Education tab. 
  • Click the “Create New Test Enrollment Window” on the submenu.
  • Choose your desired test enrollment window – in this case, the National Test Component with Uniform State Content > Safe MLO Test
  • Add the window to your cart. 
  • View the Candidate Agreement. This contains rules of conduct and privacy. Disregarding the Candidate Agreement can forfeit your chances to take the exam.
  • Pay the invoice of $110 for the exam. 
  • Go back to the Testing and Education tab and click ‘Manage Test Appointment’ to set a schedule. 
  • You can also set a schedule by heading over to Prometric’s online scheduler portal. Make sure you read their candidate agreement and testing rules.  

On your scheduled appointment, you’ll be given 3 hours to answer 120 questions.

Only 115 will be graded, as the other 5 are just pilot surveys. 

To pass, you need a minimum score of 75%. 

Step 4. Complete the Individual Form (MU4)

Now it’s time to fill out your application form. 

As you might expect, this is done on your NMLS account. 

Here is a checklist of everything you’ll need to submit:

  • Fill out all the necessary information
  • Criminal background check
  • Credit report
  • Answer disclosure questions – if you answer ‘yes’ to any question, you need to do the proper orders or provide the proper documents. 
  • Have a company sponsorship
  • Provide employment history
  • Pay all the fees:
  • NMLS initial processing fee – $30
  • MO license/registration fee – $50
  • Credit report fee – $15
  • Background check fee – $36.25
  • TOTAL – $131.25

Let’s get into the details about some of these.

How to Begin Your Individual Form (MU4)

  • On your NMLS account, go to the ‘Filing’ tab, then the ‘Individual’ submenu, and then ‘Request New/Update’.
  • Select ‘Add’ and find Missorui in the map or dropdown.
  • Check the Missouri Mortgage Loan Originator License.
  • Fill out the informational details and click ‘Save’.

From there, you can start submitting the checklist requirements above. 

How to Authorize a Background Check

  • On the ‘Filing’ tab, select the Individual submenu, then Request New/Update, and then ‘Criminal Background Check’. 
  • Choose to submit new prints. 
  • Go over to Fieldprint and schedule your fingerprinting. 
  • Fill out the demographics.
  • Pay the background check fee of $36.25.
  • Once your prints are uploaded, the background check will begin. 

How to Authorize a Credit Report

  • On the ‘Filing’ tab, select the Individual submenu, then Request New/Update, and then ‘Credit Report Request’. 
  • You will see a Completeness Check icon. Turn it on to authorize the check. 
  • Click the Individual Verification link and go through the Identity Verification Process (IDV)
  • Pay the credit report fee of $15.

Step 5. Associate Your NMLS Account with an Employer

The last step before securing your MLO license is the verification of your employer.

At this time, you can go and look for a company to work with —- usually a banking institution. 

If you want a better chance to go in with a high company, you may need a Bachelor’s degree in finance, business, accounting, or any related field. 

But don’t fret – you can find other employers that are willing to take you without any of that. 

Once you’re hired, have your employer request sponsorship through NMLS. 

The Missouri Division of Finance will review the request and accept or decline it. 

If accepted, you will become an officially licensed mortgage loan officer in the state. 


Just note that the division doesn’t issue paper MLO licenses. 

If declined, you can contact the division at (573) 751-4243 or send an email to becky.litfin@dof.mo.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions About MLOs in Missouri

What Happens if I Fail the SAFE MLO Test?

For one test enrollment window, you are given 3 tries. 

So if you fail on your first one, don’t worry – you have 2 more goes at it.  

If you fail all 3 attempts, you will need to make a new test enrollment window. And this means you’ll have to pay for it again. 

Also, you can’t make a new window until after 180 days have passed on your 3rd failed attempt. 

What is the Best Degree for a Mortgage Loan Officer?

As we mentioned, you have more chances of getting hired by a high institute if you have a Bachelor’s degree. 

But what is the best degree to take?

Here is a list:

  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Business
  • Banking
  • Real Estate

How Much Do MLOs Earn in Missouri?

According to Salary.com, MLOs in Missouri earn an average annual salary of $50,700 as of March 2023. 

This average can range anywhere between $43,9000 a year to $56,410 a year. 

Your salary will depend on your employer, workload, experience, area of service, commission, bonuses, etc. 

But to be sure, all MLOs in the state earn a decent amount. 

Are You Ready to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) in Missouri?

Those were the steps to becoming an MLO in Missouri. 

Okay, you might want to consider getting a Bachelor’s degree for better opportunities. 

However, that isn’t required to get your MLO license. 

You only need to complete the 5 simple steps that we listed down here. 

So go ahead and get started!

Best of luck!

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