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How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) in New Jersey

Last updated on May 2, 2023

How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) in New Jersey

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So you want to become a mortgage loan officer in New Jersey…

…But you don’t know where to begin?

Don’t fret – we’re here to give you all the requirements on how to become a mortgage loan officer (MLO) in New Jersey. 

And as we go over the requirements, we’ll give you some tips and tricks for an extra boost. 

What’s more, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about MLOs in the state. 

So let’s jump right in!

NOTE: Don’t be confused — mortgage loan officers and mortgage loan originators are the same. 

How to Become an MLO in New Jersey – The 5 Steps to Licensure

Here are the steps to becoming an MLO in New Jersey:

  1. Get your NMLS identifier
  2. Complete the pre-licensure education requirements
  3. Pass the SAFE MLO test
  4. Submit Individual Form (MU4)
  5. Find employment 

Let’s get into the details. 

Step #1: Get Your NMLS Identifier

First, what is an NMLS identifier?

This is a unique set of numbers assigned to a licensee. It helps the regulators keep track of the licensee’s registration status, employment history, qualifications, contact information, and even legal issues.

Once you are fully licensed, the NMLS identifier will be your license ID. 

Now, to get one, you’ll need to create an account with NMLS (or Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System).

Here is how to do that: 

  1. Go to NMLS and request an account. 
  2. Select the ‘Individual’ option.
  3. Fill out the application form accurately. 
  4. Once you submit the form, you will receive your NMLS number through email. 
  5. Verify your account with the temporary credentials you will receive in your inbox, and update your password once you sign in. 

This step only takes a few minutes. 

Step #2: Complete the Pre-Licensure Education Requirements

After that, you can now enroll in a pre-licensure education (also called PE). 

In New Jersey, the education requirement is to complete at least:

  • 3 hours of Federal Law
  • 3 hours of Ethics
  • 2 hours of Non-Traditional Mortgage Lending
  • 12 hours of electives
  • 4 hours of New Jersey-specific PE courses

So that’s a total minimum of 24 hours. 

To help you with this requirement, here is a list of the 4 best approved, online providers:

And here is a complete list of all approved providers. 

Step #3: Pass the SAFE MLO Test

It’s exam time!

Now, before you can sit for the test, you’ll first have to register for it through the NMLS. 

Here are the steps: 

  1. Log in to NMLS and go to the MLO Testing and Education tab.
  2. Create a ‘Test Enrollment Window’ and add the ‘SAFE Test’ to your cart. 
  3. Read the Candidate Agreements and accept them. 
  4. Check out and pay the $110 fee.
  5. Return to the MLO Testing and Education tab menu and select Manage Test Appointments.
  6. Set your SAFE MLO test schedule
  7. If you want to take the test at a facility, you can schedule the test with Prometric

NOTE: To be eligible for Online Proctored Delivery, you must meet the system requirements specified on the Prometric website.

How do you pass the test?

You’ll need to answer 120 multiple-choice questions (although only 115 items are graded). You’ll be given roughly 3 hours to complete it. 

To pass, you need a score of at least 75%. 

Step #4: Submit Individual Form (MU4)

It’s finally time to apply for a mortgage loan officer license.

Surprise, surprise!

You’ll have to do this through the NMLS again. 

Here is how to fill out and submit the application form:

  1. Go to the NMLS portal and sign in.
  2. In the Filing tab, choose Individual and click Request New/Update.
  3. Follow the online prompts. Make sure to provide everything that is asked for (if it applies to you).
  4. Answer all disclosure questions. If you answer ‘yes’ to any, you need to provide an explanation. 
  5. Confirm a Federal Criminal Background Check request, choose to submit new prints, and complete the demographic section. 
  6. Turn on the Completeness Check icon on the top right corner to authorize a credit report. For this, you also need to click the ‘Identification Verification (IDV)’ link and complete it. 
  7. Submit your application.
  8. Pay the fees through a credit/debit card:
    1. NMLS initial processing fee – $30
    2. NJ license and application fee – $150
    3. Credit report – $15
    4. Federal Criminal Background Check – $36.25
  9. Head over to Fieldprint and create an account to schedule your fingerprinting. They will be the ones to upload your fingerprints to the NMLS. 

Besides that, you’ll also have to submit some documents outside of the NMLS. 

These are:

Mail both documents to the New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance. 

Here is the address for U.S Postal Service:

New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance 

Licensing Services Bureau, Banking 

P.O. Box 473 

Trenton, NJ 08625

And here is the address for Overnight Delivery:

New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance 

Licensing Services Bureau, Banking 

20 West State Street, 8th Floor 

Trenton, NJ 08608

NOTE: These documents must be submitted within 5 business days of your electronic application submission in NMLS. 

Step #5: Find Employment

You’re almost there!

This time around, you have to go out and look for employment. 

Remember, even though you already submitted your application, it will not be approved until you can find an employer. 

What are some great ways to get hired by good companies?

The number one is a Bachelor’s degree in real estate, mortgage, or any other related topics. 

Another great thing for your resume is to have some sort of real estate experience. Maybe you already worked as a real estate agent or a mortgage assistant. 

All this will help bring your name up. 

But of course, you don’t need all that — just for better positions. 

And when you do find employment?

Have your employer request sponsorship for you. 

The NJ Department of Banking & Insurance will review it. 

If satisfied, they will accept the sponsorship and your application will be approved — and you’ll receive your MLO license. 


Frequently Asked Questions About Mortgage Loan Officers (MLOs) in New Jersey

Can I Work Independently as a Mortgage Loan Officer in New Jersey?

No. As specified in Step 5 above, one of the requirements to become a mortgage loan officer in New Jersey is employer sponsorship. You must affiliate your license with, say, a banking institution and the like, to practice as an MLO.

What Happens if I Fail the SAFE MLO Test

Your test enrollment window is valid for 180 days. 

With this, you’re given 3 free attempts. 

If you fail to pass your 3 attempts, or once 180 days have passed and you still didn’t complete the test, you’ll have to do it again. 

You’ll have to create a new test enrollment window and pay the $110 fee. 

How Much Do Mortgage Loan Officers Make in New Jersey?

According to ZipRecruiter, an MLO in New Jersey makes an average of $45,482 a year. That equates to $22 an hour. 

The recorded low for MLOs in the state is $18,566 a year, while the highest salary goes all the way to $104,556 a year. 

Of course, the salary will highly depend on your employer, experience, bonuses, workload, and a lot more. 


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

Yes, the requirements are very straightforward. 

If you just follow these steps, then you’ll soon be on your way to getting your MLO license. 

So what are you waiting for?

It’s so easy to get started — all you need to do is make an account. 

Good luck!

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