Becoming a mortgage loan officer is not as intimidating as it seems.
And when you have the right guide with you, it’ll be even easier to get through all the steps.
This is what we’re here for.
Today, we’ll give you a guide on how to become a mortgage loan officer (MLO) in Nebraska. We’ll detail the steps and important information to get your MLO license.
Moreover, we’ll also answer a few frequently asked questions.
This is your complete guide.
So let’s get to it!
How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer in Nebraska – The 5 Steps to Licensure
To get your MLO license in Nebraska, you must complete these 5 steps:
- Register for an NMLS account
- Complete MLO pre-licensure education
- Pass the SAFE MLO exam
- Apply for your MLO license
- Get sponsorship from an employer
Let’s move on to the details…
Step #1: Register for an NMLS Account
First things first.
You need to be familiar with NMLS or the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System.
This system was created to streamline, centralize, and improve the licensing process for all individuals, companies, and government agencies within the industry.
So you, together with your employer, will be using the NMLS throughout your career.
It’s no wonder, then, that the first thing to do is register an individual account.
When registered, you will get a Unique NMLS Number Identifier. This will be your license number — and you’ll need it for your application and MLO journey.
So list down this number and don’t forget to share it with your future employer. They’ll need to use this at the latter part of the application process.
Step #2: Complete MLO Pre-Licensure Education
The next step is usually what applicants dread.
This is because some assume that finishing the required education will take months or even years.
Luckily in this field, and in Nebraska, you are only required to complete at least 22 hours of MLO pre-licensure education.
This will only take you a few days to go through.
Let’s talk a bit more about the course program.
The 22 hours should include the following:
- 2 hours of Nebraska state-specific content (IMPORTANT!)
- 2 hours of Non-Traditional Mortgage Lending
- 3 hours of Federal Law
- 3 hours of Ethics
- At least 12 hours of general electives that are related
You’ll be happy to know that you can take this course online.
And here are some approved and quality providers you can check out:
Step #3: Pass the SAFE MLO Exam
It’s time to test your understanding and preparedness of the mortgage industry.
The test will be administered by Prometric.
It has a total of 120 questions that should be answered within 190 minutes (3 hours). 5 of the questions won’t be graded since they are test questions for the next exam cycle.
Now, to pass the exam, you need to score 75%. This means answering at least 86 questions correctly.
But what happens if you don’t pass the first time?
You can still take the exam two more times!
However, you can’t retake it as soon as possible. You need to wait 30 days before you can do your second attempt and 180 days for your third attempt.
If you fail all 3, you’ll have to reregister for it.
How to Register and Schedule Your SAFE MLO Test
Before you can sit for the exam, you need to register and schedule for it.
Here are the steps to do that:
- Create a New Test Enrollment Window by heading over to the “MLO Testing and Education” tab.
- Add the “National Test with UST” to your cart.
- Accept the Candidate Test Security and the Confidentiality Agreement.
- Go to the invoice and pay the exam fee of $110.
- Check for the exam confirmation in your email.
- Click the link provided in your email to schedule the exam. OR, you can head straight to Prometric and schedule there.
Here, you can choose whether you want to take the exam online or in person. Just make sure that you follow the instructions for each one.
Step #4: Apply for Your MLO License
It’s time to apply!
For this, you’ll need to fill up the Individual Form MU4 in the NMLS. You can find it in the ‘Filing’ tab > ‘Individual’ sub-menu > ‘New Request/Update.
Now, the form has 7 main parts to it. These are:
- Identifying information
- Employment history
- Disclosure questions
- Criminal Background Check
- Credit Report
- US Citizenship Attestation Form
Let’s go over these sections one by one.
Here, you’ll fill in basic information, such as your Unique Identifier Number, residential address, birth date, status, etc…
You’ll also have to select the state you’re applying from (and any other state you want to work in), and the type of license you’re applying for.
So in your case, this will be Nebraska and a Mortgage Loan Officer or Originator license.
Sometimes, people applying for an MLO license already work in the mortgage industry. So this is the place where they input their employment details, including the business address.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be a mortgage company. You should list down all your employment history.
If you aren’t employed, then you have to state that. If you are still studying, then there is a section for schooling as well.
The disclosure questions are used to review your background. These require Yes or No answers.
If you answer Yes to any question, you’ll have to explain and (if necessary) upload proof of documentation in the Disclosure Explanations section.
Criminal Background Check
The CBC has 2 steps.
In the Individual Form MU4, all you need to do is authorize a background check. Do this by choosing either “Submit New Prints” or “Use Existing Prints”.
If you already have prints on file, then you can use existing prints and the NMLS will submit it right away.
But if you don’t, then you need to submit new prints.
To do that, head over to the NMLS Fieldprint website, create an account, and schedule your fingerprinting.
When done, your prints will be uploaded for review.
NOTE: It’s best to schedule your fingerprinting AFTER you submit the Individual Form MU4. This is so you don’t have to exit the page.
Besides the CBC, you also need to authorize a credit report in the Individual Form MU4.
For this, you need to turn on the Completeness Check icon found at the top right corner. Then, click the Identity Verification Process link and fill it out.
This report is crucial for the regulator to evaluate if you have demonstrated financial responsibility and good character, especially since you will be closely working on your clients’ mortgages.
The last part of the Individual Form MU4 is the payments.
Here is the cost breakdown:
- NMLS initial processing fee – $30
- Nebraska application fee – $150
- CBC fee – $36.25
- Credit Report fee – $15
- TOTAL – $231.25
After that, you can submit the form.
US Citizenship Attestation Form
This isn’t part of the Individual Form MU4.
However, in Nebraska, you need to provide proof of US citizenship or lawful presence.
So to do that, download the US Citizenship Attestation Form and fill it out. Head over to the document upload section in your NMLS account and upload the completed form.
Step #5: Get Sponsorship from an Employer
Even if your application is approved, you will still be under an “inactive” status. This means you can’t practice as an MLO just yet.
You need a company to sponsor you.
If you’re already working in the mortgage industry, then have your employer request sponsorship for you through the NMLS.
If not, then it’s time to go out and look for employment!
NOTE: A good way to improve your resume is to have a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as finance. It’s also a big PLUS to have some real estate experience. These aren’t requirements, though.
When you get hired, let your employer request sponsorship.
When the request is sent, the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance will review it.
If accepted, your license status will change from “inactive” to “active”.
If declined, you can check the NE DBF’s criteria and work towards that.
And that’s it.
That’s how to become a mortgage loan officer (MLO) in Nebraska.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mortgage Loan Officers in Nebraska
How Much is an MLO License in Nebraska?
Throughout your MLO application, you’ll have to spend $591.25, more or less.
Here is the breakdown:
- Pre-Licensure Education: $200 – $500
- SAFE MLO Exam: $110
- NMLS Processing Fee: $30
- Nebraska Application Fee: $150
- Criminal Background Check: $36.25
- Credit Report Preparation: $15
How Much Do MLOs Earn in Nebraska?
The average salary of MLOs in Nebraska is around $76,000 yearly. Depending on your performance, company, and tenure, it can go as high as $134,000.
What Are the Top Nebraska Mortgage Companies I Should Check for Applications?
The following are the most notable mortgage companies in the state:
- Mutual of Omaha Mortgage (Omaha)
- Riverbank Finance (Lincoln)
- NebraskaLand Bank (Kearney)
- Equitable Bank (North Platte)
- Castle & Cooke Mortgage (Scottsbluff)
Of course, still do your own research on which company suits you and your preferences!
That wasn’t so bad, right?
It’ll only take you a couple of months (or even weeks) to complete all 5 steps.
So now that you know how to become a mortgage loan officer (MLO) in Nebraska — what are you waiting for?
Step #1 is as simple as creating an account.
Best of luck!