How to Become a Loan Officer in Virginia
Looking for a reliable set of steps on how to become a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) in Virginia? You’ve just found it!
In this section, we cover loan officer pre-licensing, examination, and employment requirements. In just 10 minutes, you’ll know the most vital points you need to in order to acquire your MLO license in Virginia.
While this information might seem overwhelming, don’t be anxious. With, hard work, discipline, and diligence, you should be able to handle any hiccups along the way.
And remember, the fruits of your labor will be very sweet. The loan officer industry is ripe with opportunity. You could waltz into a six-figure position even in the first few years!
Ready to embark on a fulfilling career in mortgage? Let’s get started!
Step 1: Create An NMLS Account
This is something you can do right now. The first step to obtaining your MLO license in Virginia is to create an account on the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) website.
You will be assigned a unique NMLS identification number that will be synchronized with any future education and employment opportunities under your MLO license.
Step 2: Complete Your Pre-Licensing Education
The NMLS oversees loan officer licenses in Virginia just as it does with all other states.
To obtain your loan officer license, you’ll have to complete 20 hours of pre-licensure coursework from an NMLS-approved school in Virginia. Unlike other states, Virginia does not require state-specific coursework.
Your 20-hour coursework will cover vital aspects of the industry such as federal mortgage law, fair lending practices and procedures, mortgage fraud, and more.
We recommend putting in an added 10 to 20 hours of study to master the concepts of mortgage law.
And remember, simply memorizing the material is not enough. Even if you have a good grasp of Acts like TILA, RESPA, or HMDA, you must have a situational understanding of how mortgage regulations play out as those will be a majority of questions on the test.
Step 3: Take and Pass the NMLS Test
Hard work produces the best outcome. Once you’ve done your prep, it’s time to take the NMLS test (also known as the SAFE exam). This is presented in multiple-choice format and, to pass, you’ll need a score of 75% or higher.
You can book your test at a center closest to you through your NMLS account. You will also be charged a $110 fee to schedule your test.
The test is provided by Prometric. We suggest looking up more info on how to prepare for the test day. The NMLS exam has a 54% first-time passing rate, which deters a lot of candidates.
Make sure to put in the right amount of prep time above the mandatory coursework, and you could pass on your very first try!
Step 4: Complete a Background Check
You’re almost there!
Once you’ve passed the test, you have to submit an application for a Virginia MLO license through your NMLS account. The state could take 8 to 12 weeks to process your application. In some cases, your employer may be willing to fill out the application on your behalf.
At this stage, you’ll also complete a few formalities like a criminal background check and submit a fingerprint and credit report via your NMLS account. This step shouldn’t take longer than a week or two.
Step 5: Acquire Sponsorship Via a Recognized Employer
It’s time to begin your loan officer career in Virginia. Congrats!
To seal the deal, you’ll have to obtain sponsorship from a licensed NMLS employer. This ensures that your loan officer activities are being supervised by the state.
You’re on your way to becoming a successful loan officer in Virginia. Even if you have a few hiccups along the way, don’t be discouraged!
Keep your head down and work hard, and you should be able to get through all of these steps – education, examination, and employment – without any problems.
Remember, the more work you put in, the greater the chances of success the first time around. Be sure to put in at least 10 to 20 hours of extra prep work over what is mandatory.
And with that, we wish you the very best of luck in your mortgage career!