How To Become An Awesome Loan Officer

How To Become An Awesome Loan Officer And Be An Expert

Gustan Cho Associates are mortgage brokers licensed in 48 states

Only a few years ago, if you were able to spell the word mortgage, you could become a Mortgage Loan Officer.

  • Hence, it became a big tent for everyone and anyone who wanted a “job” with the potential of juicy paychecks
  • Many of the good Loan Officers got lost in the shuffle of all the negative things that were happening, such as predatory loans, fraud, and RESPA violations

Becoming a loan officer is similar to opening your own business. If you decide you want your own practice as a doctor, lawyer, and accountant, you need to have your own office and cover your own business expenses. All loan officers at NEXA Mortgage, LLC has the opportunity to become an independent loan officer branch manager with their own P and L which we will explain in later paragraphs. We will go over the various career options we have for you.

Is Becoming a Loan Officer For a Career Worth It?

I have come a long way in a short time. I have been following the blogs at Gustan Cho Associates and its subsidiary sister sites such as Gustan Cho Associates Mortgage Group, Non-QM Mortgage Brokers, Mortgage Lenders For Bad Credit, FHA Bad Credit Lenders, Best VA Mortgage Loans, Jumbo Mortgage Loan Options, and Preferred Mortgage Rates. The wealth of information I learned was priceless over the years.
Becoming a loan officer at Gustan Cho Associates is energizing, learn a lot, never a dull minute, and everyone has the opportunity to make six or even seven figure income. It does take time to get started in the mortgage business as a licensed mortgage loan originator.

Is Taking and Passing The Federal NMLS Exam Becoming a Loan Officer Hard?

All I can tell you about passing the NMLS exam and the pre-licensing course to become a licensed mortgage loan originator is not easy but not impossible. You do have to study and study hard. I am going to give you insight into why I am taking this route. A little background on me, I have been in car sales and auto finance by trade for over 20+ years of experience. I have held numerous management roles along the way.

I have worked for some of the biggest auto dealerships and other small “mom and pop” buy here pay here lots. The goal has always been the same, to challenge myself and give everything 100%. In this article, I will be covering and discussing what made me become a loan officer at Gustan Cho Associates and my due diligence process in making a decision why Gustan Cho Associates Mortgage Group was the employer of choice for my next career move as a licensed NMLS mortgage loan originator.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Mortgage Loan Officer?

How To Become An Awesome Loan Officer

Being an accountant by trade, I know I was probably a big pain given my nonstop emails and calls due to the fact I researched this program, knew the numbers, and how I would get approved for a loan. Once we closed on my loan, Gustan Cho and I got on a 60+ minute phone call where Gus told me he thought I had what it takes to cut it as a mortgage loan officer.

I was a very detailed person who handled client interaction very professionally. I personally had the desire to help people just as Gus had taken care of me. Our conversation always stuck in the back of my mind, but in moving to my new phone and life going 100 mph, it was the 4th quarter of 2015 and nothing had progressed.

Excitement About Becoming a Loan Officer

Becoming a loan officer is more than just inputting borrower’s info into a computer and spitting out a loan, anyone can do this with 800 credit scores and plenty of cash reserves. My focus is just the opposite and that is I want to help people who may have come across some hard times and are back on their feet. These people, just like myself deserved a 2nd chance and I want to take care of them. My feeling is that I have lived through tough times. Join Us

Changes In Mortgage Regulations

Nowadays, the scene has changed quite a bit, the banks have gotten really strict with mortgage lending guidelines and Mortgage Loan Officers are licensed professionals. To become a loan officer you can’t just fall into it anymore, you have to want it. Getting your license is only the first step. Here are a few tips on what to do if you want to succeed as a Loan Officer:

Find a mentor.

  • There are so many mortgage lending guidelines, mortgage regulations
  • It is impossible to learn them from a book
  • Only experience will teach you to teach you what you need to know
  • Since initially, you don’t have the experience, you need someone who does and can help you navigate through the myriad of situations that you will encounter from the start
  • There is no honeymoon period in this business, you are jumping through hoops right out of the gate
  • On the other hand, you shouldn’t be lazy and rely on your mentor to answer all your questions
  • Investigate and do your research before you ask questions that could have been easily answered on your own
  • You don’t want to be seen as taking advantage of your mentor

Never stop increasing your knowledge:

  • Stay on top of mortgage regulation and guideline changes
  • They happen often
  • The more you know, the more efficiently you will be able to do your job

Build relationships:

  • If you have a transaction mentality, you will not survive in this business
  • In order to make it, you have to build relationships with customers, Realtors, attorneys and everyone you come in contact with
  • Word of mouth and referrals are the fuel that will keep your career going
  • If you have to solely depend on new leads (meaning people that did not come to you via a referral) you will run out of steam quickly and so will your pipeline

Admit your mistakes:

  • Due to the level of complexity in any transaction, there is a high probability that you will make a mistake, especially when you are new to the business
  • Hiding under a rock for a few days and hoping that your processor will straighten things out for you will not work
  • The sooner you admit to your mistakes (even if it’s a huge one) the sooner you will be able to take action
  • Customers also appreciate straightforwardness and honesty

Never neglect your pipeline:

  • It’s easy to get caught up when you have a lot of transactions that are closing in a short period of time
  • However, you can’t lose sight of what’s going to happen once those deals have closed
  • If you only have one loan in your pipeline because you have been too busy with your current loan, it will knock the wind right out of your sails
  • Then, you have to start the process all over again in order to build up your pipeline
  • When this happens repeatedly, it takes a huge toll, not only financial but also on your energy levels
  • A Loan Officer will burn out quickly if he does not learn how to maintain a steady pipeline

Stay Organized: You will thank yourself later:

  • For goodness sake!
  • Even if you are a messy person, please keep your files organized
  • I know this from personal experience
  • Having to look for misplaced documents uses up so much of your precious time an energy
  • Find a system that works and stick to it
  • You will thank yourself later

Separate work from personal life:

  • Determine your working hours and try not to deviate
  • When you let work take over your whole life, you will burn out quickly. In order to do well in this business, you have to have the drive
  • It is an absolute must to keep your personal time unencumbered by work duties

Love what you do! 

Training and Education To Become a Mortgage Loan Officer

Consider taking courses or training programs related to mortgage lending and loan origination. Various online and in-person courses cover the basics of lending, regulations, and industry best practices. You must take the 20-hour NMLS PRE-LICENSING Course offered by an NMLS-approved licensing school. Once you complete the 20-hour NMLS pre-licensing course, you will be eligible to take the national 125-question NMLS exam and score a 75% to pass. You can apply for state licenses once you pass the NMLS national exam. Every state has different requirements. Check the NMLS consumer resource center.

Develop Financial Knowledge

Gain a solid understanding of financial concepts, including interest rates, credit scores, debt-to-income ratios, and loan terms. Clients will rely on your expertise to make informed decisions about their mortgages.


Build a network of contacts in the real estate industry, including real estate agents, appraisers, title companies, and other professionals. Networking can help you generate leads and referrals.

Communication Skills

Develop strong communication skills. As a loan officer, you’ll need to explain complex financial concepts to clients clearly and understandably.

Regulatory Knowledge

Stay updated on the mortgage lending industry’s latest regulations and compliance requirements. This is essential to ensure your practices are ethical and compliant with the law.

Join a Lending Institution

Look for job opportunities at banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, and other residential mortgage institutions. Starting as a loan processor or junior loan officer can provide valuable hands-on experience.

On-the-Job Training

Once hired, expect to undergo on-the-job training to learn the specific processes, software tools, and procedures your employer uses.

Obtain Required Licensing

If your jurisdiction requires licensing, complete the necessary steps to become a licensed loan officer.

Build a Client Base

Over time, work on building relationships with clients. Providing excellent customer service and demonstrating expertise can lead to repeat business and referrals.

Continuous Learning

The mortgage industry is constantly evolving. Stay updated on industry trends, regulations, and market conditions to offer the best advice to your clients.

Ethical Conduct

Always prioritize ethical conduct and transparency in your dealings with clients and other industry professionals. Remember that success as a residential loan officer often comes from industry knowledge, strong interpersonal skills, and a commitment to helping clients achieve their homeownership goals.

Client Interaction

Mortgage loan officers spend a significant amount of time interacting with clients. This involves explaining various mortgage options, helping clients understand the terms and conditions, and guiding them through the application process. Effective communication skills are essential for building trust and ensuring clients feel comfortable with the mortgage process.

Product Knowledge

Mortgage loan officers need to understand various mortgage products and options available to clients deeply. This includes fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable mortgages, FHA loans, and VA loans. They should be able to match clients with the most suitable mortgage products based on their financial situation and needs.

Paperwork and Documentation

The mortgage process involves a substantial amount of paperwork and documentation. Loan officers must help clients gather the necessary documents, such as income verification, credit reports, and property information. Attention to detail is crucial to ensure accuracy and compliance with regulations.

Financial Analysis

Loan officers evaluate clients’ financial situations to determine their eligibility for loans. This involves assessing credit scores, income, debt-to-income ratios, and down payment amounts. They use this information to determine the maximum loan amount clients can afford.

Market Trends

Staying informed about the real estate market and mortgage industry trends is important. Loan officers need to be aware of interest rate fluctuations, housing market conditions, and any changes in lending regulations that could impact their clients.

Networking and Relationship Building

Building a strong network of real estate agents, brokers, and other professionals in the industry can help mortgage loan officers generate leads and referrals. Positive relationships with these partners can lead to a steady stream of potential clients.

Regulatory Compliance

The mortgage industry is heavily regulated to protect consumers. Loan officers must stay up-to-date with federal and state regulations to ensure compliance with their practices. Failure to adhere to regulations can lead to legal and financial consequences.

Commission-Based Compensation

Many mortgage loan officers are paid on commission, meaning their earnings are directly tied to the loans they close. This can provide the opportunity for high earning potential, but it also means income can be inconsistent, especially during slow market periods.

Time Management of Mortgage Loan Officer

Mortgage loan officers often juggle multiple clients and loans simultaneously. Effective time management skills are essential to ensure all clients receive the attention they need and meet deadlines.

Emotional Impact of Mortgage Loan Officer

Helping clients achieve their dreams of homeownership can be gratifying but can also come with challenges. Loan officers may encounter clients who face financial difficulties or experience stress during the mortgage process. Managing client emotions and providing support can be part of the job. In summary, being a mortgage loan officer requires financial expertise, interpersonal skills, attention to detail, and the ability to navigate a complex and ever-changing industry. It can offer the satisfaction of helping people achieve their homeownership goals while requiring diligence, adaptability, and a commitment to ongoing learning. Join Us

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