Mortgage Loan Officer Jobs and Training

If you’ve ever bought a home, you’ve most likely encountered a mortgage loan officer.

These are the people who help home-seekers and prospective business owners to get the loans they need to buy a house or to expand their business.

So how do they do it and just what is it that these officers do?

This will of course depend and vary based on your own financial situation and the company that your loan officer works for, but we’ll give you a brief rundown of what to expect in this field.

As a mortgage loan officer, it will be your job to assist clients, or borrowers, in taking out a loan to pay for a home or property. While there are several types of loan officers, a mortgage loan officer only handles real estate and property loans.

Mortgage loan officers usually work for a lending firm or a bank. When a client comes to them, loan officers will gather personal and financial information on the client that can be submitted to lenders. The officers will also determine what types of loans a client is most likely to qualify for — this guidance is especially crucial for people with a bad credit history — as well as explain the requirements of each loan.

In a sense, loan officers walk their clients through everything from the application process of a loan to answering questions about different loans and credit options.

Once their clients submit their application, it’s up to the loan officer to verify and analyze information. The intent for the loan officer is to determine how creditworthy or likely the client is to make payments on their loans.

Oddly enough, while loan officers do everything in their power to help clients meet the restrictions of the loans they apply for, it’s actually the loan officers who decide, along with their managers, whether the client will be approved for the loan.

Things to know about being a Mortgage Loan Officer:

  1. The work environment for mortgage loan officers often requires lots of traveling because officers have to visit the offices or homes of clients. The officers tend to work away from their desks, and rely on telecommuting or using laptops and cell phones to connect with their clients and bosses.
  2. The standard workweek for mortgage loan officers is 40 hours, however your workload will be dependant on the number of loans that need to be processed.
  3. The median salary of mortgage loan officers was $51,760 in May 2006.

Training and Education

To be a mortgage loan officer, you need a bachelor’s degree and it helps to have majored in related fields like finance, economics or math. You can advance, however, to a mortgage loan officer position even if you don’t have a bachelor’s. Doing so will most likely require you to start at entry-level positions in a similar field and then climb the ladder. A background in sales or banking will also make you attractive to employers.

Mortgage loan officers working in banks or credit unions are not required to get any federal licensure or training, however it will vary by each state on what is required.

Some other qualifications include good people skills, ability to work well with others and job motivation.

Often mortgage loan officers attend events outside of normal 9 to 5 work hours in order to represent or promote their employer and services.

Mortgage Loan Officer Job Outlook

Careers in this field are in high demand, after the industry took a dip in 2007. In recent months, the number of job postings seeking mortgage loan officers has increased and the federal government predicts that by 2016 there will be roughly 43,000 more jobs in this field than there are now, bringing the total to 415,000.