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

Last updated on August 18, 2023

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

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You’re here because you want to become a mortgage loan officer in Oregon…

But you don’t know what to do or where to start.

Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. 

Here, we’ll show you to become a mortgage loan officer (MLO) in Oregon.

And since that means getting an MLO license, we’ll walk you through all the steps to get it. 

We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions for more information. 

So are you ready?

Let’s not waste your time and dive right to it!

How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) in Oregon – The 5 Steps to Licensure

To get your MLO license in Oregon, you only need to go through 5 steps. These are:

  1. Get your unique identifier number from NMLS
  2. Complete 20 hours of MLO pre-licensure education
  3. Register and pass the MLO exam
  4. Apply for your MLO license
  5. Affiliate with an employer

Let’s see the details for each step…

Step #1: Get Your Unique Identifier Number from NMLS

NMLS (or Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System) will handle your MLO application, renewal, license status, regulator communication, and everything else. 

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

Yes, this is just like creating any other social media account — so no stress there. 

When you do have an account, though, take note of your unique identifier number. You’ll need this throughout your application and career. 

If you didn’t memorize the number — again, there’s nothing to stress about. 

You can find it in the ‘Composite View’ > ‘View Individual’ tabs in your NMLS account. 

Step #2: Complete 20 Hours of MLO Pre-Licensure Education

You can’t expect to be a great mortgage loan officer without any knowledge. 

The great news is, in Oregon, you only need to complete 20 hours of MLO pre-licensure education (also called PE).

However, there are some requirements that you need to get right. 

First, the PE provider must be approved by the NMLS. 

Otherwise, you will not receive credit for it.

Here are some online provider recommendations:

You can find a full list of approved providers here

Another thing.

The 20 hours should include:

  • 2 hours of Non-Traditional Mortgage Lending
  • 3 hours of Federal Laws and Regulations
  • 3 hours of Ethics
  • 4 hours of Oregon content

Step #3: Register and Pass the MLO Exam

In Oregon, you must pass one of the three MLO exam options:

  • National and Oregon State components of the SAFE test
  • National and Stand-alone UST components of the SAFE test 
  • National Test Component with Uniform State Content 

For the SAFE MLO test, you’ll have to answer 120 questions in a little over 3 hours. 

Just note that 5 questions aren’t scored as these are pilot surveys. 

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

However, before all that, you first need to register for the exam. 

Here is how to do that:

  • Log into your NMLS account 
  • Go to the MLO Testing & Education tab
  • Click ‘Create a New Test Enrollment Window’ and add the SAFE MLO test of your choice to your cart
  • Approve the agreements 
  • Pay the test window fee of $110
  • Head over to the Prometric website (this is the SAFE MLO handler) and schedule an online or in-person appointment

Side note: here are a few things to remember on the day of your exam…

Test CenterOnline Proctored Test
* Don’t be late! Arrive at least 30 minutes before your schedule.
*Bring a valid, government-issued photo ID.
*Bring only the essentials. Calculators will be provided at the venue.
*Relax during the exam and answer as best as you can.
*Prepare your room and computer early.
*Make sure you are alone and put away all prohibited items.
*Let your proctor know if you need to take an unscheduled break.

Step #4: Apply for Your MLO License

You’ll be happy to know that your MLO license application is done in your NMLS account. 

You can complete everything from the comfort of your home. 

Now, to apply, you’ll need to fill out Individual Form MU4. 

To get the form, simply do the following:

  • Go to the ‘Filing’ tab in your NMLS account
  • Click on Individual, then Request New/Update, then continue

From there, you need to fill out everything, including:

  • Personal and license information. 
  • Answer disclosure questions.
  • Provide an explanation and supporting document if you responded ‘yes’ to any of the disclosure questions.
  • Authorize a Criminal Background Check by either ‘Submit New Prints’ or ‘Use Existing Prints’.
  • Go through the Criminal Background Check demographics.
  • Authorize a Credit Report by switching on the Completeness Check icon at the top right corner of the screen.
  • Complete the Identity Verification Process (IDV).
  • Pay the fees.
NMLS Initial Processing$30
Oregon License/Registration$80
Criminal Background Check$36.25
Credit Report$15

One more thing. 

For your Criminal Background Check, if you selected ‘Submit New Prints’, then you need to get fingerprinted. 

Head over to the NMLS Fieldprint, create an account, and schedule for fingerprinting. 

Once that’s done, your prints will be sent to the NMLS for review. 

But if you already have prints on file, you can choose the ‘Use Existing Print’ option and those prints will be the ones reviewed. 

Step #5: Affiliate with an Employer

The last step!

If you already have an employer, simply give them your unique identifier number. 

From there, your employer will request sponsorship for you through their NMLS business account. 

The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (OR DFR) will review the request. 

If accepted, your license will have an ‘Approved-Active’ status. 

Side note: If your employer doesn’t have an Oregon Mortgage Lending License or Oregon Exempt Company Registration on NMLS, you need to email a completed OR MLO checklist to DFR.NDP.Licensing@dcb s.oregon.gov.

Okay, okay. 

What if you don’t yet have an employer?

This is the time to go out and seriously look for one. 

Quick tip: A lot of MLO employers look for candidates that have a Bachelor’s degree in a related field AND have some real estate experience. This isn’t a requirement, but it will help you boost your resume. 

When you do get employed, have your employer request sponsorship for you. 

On your part, you should put your new employment details in the ‘employment history’ section of the Individual Form MU4.  

And, don’t forget, if the company isn’t licensed or exempted from licensure in Oregon, you must email a completed OR MLO checklist. 

That’s it!

If you complete all these 5 steps, you can now practice as an MLO in Oregon. 


Frequently Asked Questions About Mortgage Loan Officers (MLO) in Oregon

Can I Take the MLO Pre-Licensure Education Online in Oregon?

Yes. Many NMLS-approved MLO pre-licensure education providers offer fully online programs that you can complete at your own pace.

Do I Need to be Employed to Work as a Mortgage Loan Officer in Oregon?

Yes. You cannot work independently as an MLO in Oregon. 

This is why part of the application process is finding an employer that will sponsor you. 

How Long Does an MLO License Application Review Take in Oregon?

It will take about two to four weeks. You can track the status of your application via the NMLS. It will show as Pending-Review once it is under review by the OR DFR.

How Much Do MLOs Earn in Oregon?

You’re probably wondering if Oregon is a suitable place to be a mortgage loan officer.

Well, the short answer is yes.

According to Intuit, the average salary of a mortgage loan officer in Oregon is $136,000

Newbies and MLOs with lesser years of work experience usually start earning $40,000 annually. But as they upgrade their skills and build their network, their yearly salary could go as high as $484,000. 


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

Pretty easy, right?

I mean, you only need to fulfill 5 steps — all of which can be done in a matter of time. 

Of course, you need to put in the time, effort, and even investment. 

But if you’re diligent, you’ll soon be an official MLO in the state. 

So what are you waiting for?

Getting started is so easy!

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