How I Passed The NMLS Exam

This Article On How I Passed The NMLS Exam Was Written By Billy Stavridis


According to the NMLS studying procedures and practices all of the following methods are recommended and advised on how to study for the national exam and pass EXCEPT:

A.  Try to take the national exam as soon as you can after your 20/hr online required pre-license course.
B.  Study every night for at least 1-2 hrs undisturbed and uninterrupted.
C.  Practice multiple test exam questions over and over until you get familiar with the style and type of questions and answers.
D.  Study in spurts, over an 8 month period with long gaps in between just enough time to forget the last material you studied and continue this                  practice until you feel ready.

“Those of you who have recently taken the exam will find a little humor in that.” (D) That was how I studied. It’s all explained below.

How I Passed The NMLS Exam: How I Started

Back in late October of 2015 I took the online NMLS 20/hr Pre-license requirement course and was preparing for the national exam. Now let me back up a little bit, I met Gustan Cho, the Area Sales Manager at The Money Store,  back in 2014 and was a former client of his; you see, he helped me get a mortgage loan for a condo that we own in Panama City Beach Florida and It’s been one of the best investments/decisions I’ve made, we go as often as we can and enjoy every minute of it. So one day as I was sitting on my balcony overlooking the beautiful turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, I had an epitaph, I decided right there and then this is were I wanted to come and spend a lot more time. So my quest began, not exactly sure at the time what I was going to do for income but was determined to find a way to change my career and life. Now mind you, not an easy thing to do after being in the automotive industry for over 30 yrs.’ and being in my early 50’s, it looked to be quite challenge ahead. Nevertheless, I was determined.
Now Gustan Cho described me as being “laid back” and not the “Test taking type” his words not mine. Well, if you know anything about me, I’m far from laid back and more the methodical type if anything, but “laid back” I’m not.

How I Passed The NMLS Exam: How I Decided To Start A Career As A Mortgage Loan Officer

So over the course of several months Gustan Cho and I kept in touch, One day in mid-2015 he calls me to supposedly just say “Hi” and asks me if I knew anyone that wanted a career as a mortgage loan officer and that he was hiring. I told him that I personally didn’t know of anyone but that I was looking for a career change and was willing to think about it, look into it and get back to him. (I think he was really calling to recruit me) but I allowed myself to fall into his little game and went along with it. We spoke on and off many times, I did some research about the position and found the line of work to be challenging and rewarding, by October of 2015 I decided this was going to be the career that allows me the flexibility to move around and work from anywhere and still be productive. So I called Gustan Cho and told him I’m in and game on.

How I Passed The NMLS Exam: The Studying Process

So, here’s where got a bit unbalanced for me, after completing the required pre-license 20/hr course in late October of 2015 I began studying the material and planning on taking the exam soon thereafter (within a few weeks or so). In November of 2015 we were informed that a gas leak had developed and was emitting tons and tons of toxic / benzene chemicals in the atmosphere. We could smell it in the air and see residue on our homes and vehicles. So thousands and thousands of people from the “Porter Ranch” California area were evacuated and re-located to apartments/ hotels/ rental homes etc…. what was supposed to be a temporary re-location process and quick fix for the gas company ended up lasting 8 months. As you can imagine, this was completely unexpected and disrupted our daily lives for months. It moved me farther away from work having limited clothing and not being in the comfort of your own home took a toll on us. We also had to go to town hall meetings almost 3-4 times a week simply to receive updates and get the latest info on the status of the leak. At one point we thought we’d never be allowed to return to our homes as the area had become so toxic and contaminated and the leak appeared to have no end In sight This later turned out to be what is now known and classified as the worst natural methane gas leak in U.S. history and became a “state of emergency” for southern California residents of the Porter Ranch area.

How I Passed The NMLS Exam: How My Studying Process Got Interrupted

Not to mention the holidays were approaching Thanksgiving /Christmas/ New Year’s all of which were disrupted. Needless to say, it was a difficult period my momentum, pace and minds set had been completely interrupted and turned upside down. Have you ever had a moment or times in your life were nothing made sense? That’s how I felt. Nothing made sense what so ever. Anyways, I mentioned all this to Gustan Cho from time to time and kept him in the loop but I got the impression he thought I was giving him the “run around” and had lost interest because so much time had gone by since my pre-license course. I kept assuring Gustan Cho that I was not giving up and was still excited and determined to take the exam just not sure when.

How I Passed The NMLS Exam: Studying While Having A Full Time Management Job

Here was my problem, with my fulltime job which demanded every bit of me on a daily basis, our daily lives disrupted living in unfamiliar places, homes, hotels and others ( not to sound excusive) but my study habits were interrupted multiple times over the course of months, when I did hit the books from time to time I felt that I was covering the same material over and over and really not learning the material as I should. I became so frustrated I reached a point in my studies were I lost it, I didn’t know where I was in the process anymore, didn’t know if I had studied enough or not enough as I had no way to gage myself and were I was in the process. I studied and covered several types of NMLS material over time but not in a timely manner where I felt I was retaining anything.

How I Passed The NMLS Exam: Making A Firm Determination And Setting A Deadline To Take The Test

Finally, in May of 2016 we were allowed to return to our homes and tried to restore some type of normality in our lives. Once settled in I was determined to hit the material hot and heavy and give it a go. I dedicated myself to long undisturbed uninterrupted hours of studying in the evening after work until I felt somewhat ready. Again, not really a hundred percent sure, I came to the conclusion that I had to schedule an exam date and go for it, only then would I know where I stood and how far along I was.

How I Passed The NMLS Exam: D Day

The day finally arrived, I went to the test center my heart beating out of my chest as I sat in my seat going thru the tutorial and waiting for the timed exam to begin. As the test commenced I began to relax a little and settled down as I felt confident with the first several questions, I always read the questions twice and sometimes even a third time to make sure I understood the question well. As those of you who took the exam know it’s very deceiving and designed to confuse easily. When I read a question that I was not familiar with or sure about I quickly answered it to the best of my ability and “marked it for review” and moved on, I wanted to keep the focus positive on what I felt confident with and not let the uncertain ones bring my momentum down. Once I completed all the questions and felt good about them I then went back and reviewed the “marked for review” questions (about 23 of them) I diagnosed / broke down each the question to its simplest form thus ruling out what I knew not to be correct which led me most of the time too two possible answers. Then I broke those down individually and tried to find the best possible answer. After completing all the reviewed questions I still had a little time left on the clock and contemplated on going back and maybe changing some answers again “Nah” I quickly hit the “finish” button. I could feel my heart pounding out of my chest yet once again, what seemed like an eternity for the computer to spit out the results, when it finally did I “froze” I saw the word “Pass” and I froze, I wasn’t sure if I read it right so I read it again and again making sure it was not a trick test question.

How I Passed The NMLS Exam: Advice By Billy Stavridis To Test Takers

The moral of this blog is, as difficult of an exam that it is, if someone like myself with such an unorthodox and highly NOT recommended method of studies and with long gaps in between can find a way to crunch down and do the work, than I believe anyone who applies themselves in a recommended style of studies and time frame always has a shot at it. Never give up, I hope this helps inspire anyone that perhaps given up hopes to consider this, where there is a will there is a way and failing to prepare is preparing to fail, as long as you put in the work (sometimes harder work than others) regardless, you will get the reward. I say this with confidence and from experience, because what once felt unachievable or unattainable to me during my hardship, now feels rewarded after putting the hard work and passing the exam as a result. I feel that if I can do it anyone can do it.

About The Author: Billy Stavridis

This article on ” How I Passed The NMLS Exam ” was written by Billy Stavridis. Billy Stavridis is a writer for Gustan Cho Associates Mortgage and Real Estate Information Center and a staff moderator for Lending Network USA . Billy Stavridis, who is based out of Laguna Nigel, California, is a licensed mortgage loan originator with The Money Store, a national full eagle mortgage banking giant based in Florham Park, New Jersey with a 45 year plus name brand and known for its no lender overlays on their government loans and conventional loan programs and licensed in most of the 50 states. Billy Stavridis is also a real estate investor where he is always aggressively searching for investment properties in Florida as well as California and is a veteran real estate investor. Billy understands the complexities of getting a home loan because he has gone through countless of mortgage loans himself. Billy Stravidis’s home state of California has been hit like an earthquake financially when the Great Recession Of 2008 hit and the recession has affected many of Billy Stravidis’s friends, family, and business associates. Many of Billy Stravidis’s friends went through foreclosures and bankruptcies and gave up becoming homeowners again in California. This motivated Billy Stravidis in pursuing his mortgage loan originator license and getting associated with a national mortgage lender who has very little to no lender overlays. He decided that The Money Store was a perfect fit where he can help those who dreamed of owning a home again make that dream of home ownership a reality. Billy Stravidis is now able to help borrowers who need a home loan and unlike other lenders who tell borrowers that they do not qualify for a home loan because they do not meet the minimum debt to income ratio requirements or credit score requirements, Billy Stavridis will work with them from the minute they contact him and he will guide them and help them in getting them qualified. If you contact Billy, you have contacted not just your mortgage loan officer but a lifelong friend. Billy Stavridis can be reached at 818-219-0265 and Billy’s email address is

The information contained on Gustan Cho Associates website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by The Gustan Cho Team @ Gustan Cho Associates or its affiliates. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and/or guest writers of Gustan Cho Associates Mortgage & Real Estate Information Resource Center website and do not reflect the policy of Gustan Cho Associates Lenders Network, its officers, subsidiaries, parent, or affiliates.

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