How to Become a Loan Officer in 8 Steps

Becoming a loan officer is a great way to help people achieve their financial dreams while also earning a good living. But how do you become a loan officer? Here are 8 steps to get you started.

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A loan officer is a professional who helps people secure financing for various purposes. The job duties of a loan officer include assessing the creditworthiness of individuals and businesses, approving or recommending approval of loan applications, and helping customers choose the best loans for their needs.

Loan officers typically work in banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. Some loan officers are employed by large companies to work in-house to provide financing to employees and customers. There are also many self-employed loan officers who work with multiple lenders and act as intermediaries between borrowers and lenders.

Becoming a loan officer requires at least a high school diploma, although many employers prefer candidates with some postsecondary education, such as an associate degree or certification in finance, banking, or business administration. Loan officers must also be able to pass a background check and meet state licensing requirements.

What Does a Loan Officer Do?

A loan officer is a professional who facilitates the issuance of loans by working with both borrowers and lending institutions. Loan officers typically work in banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. They are responsible for assessing loan applications, monitoring loan portfolios, and ensuring that loans are repaid on time.

Loan officers must have strong communication and interpersonal skills to build relationships with clients and financial institutions. They must also be able to understand complex financial information and make sound decisions about issuing loans.

If you are interested in becoming a loan officer, follow the steps below:

1. Earn a bachelor’s degree. Loan officers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, accounting, or business administration. Coursework in math and computers is also beneficial.

2. Complete an internship. Many loan officers complete internships with banks or other financial institutions while they are completing their undergraduate studies. Internships provide hands-on experience that can be beneficial when applying for jobs after graduation.

3. Obtain a job with a bank or other financial institution. Many loan officers start their careers as tellers or customer service representatives and then move into positions as loan officers after completing on-the-job training programs.

4. Become licensed or certified as a mortgage loan originator (MLO). In some states, loan officers must obtain a license or certification to work as an MLO. The requirements for licensure or certification vary by state but typically include passing an exam and completing background checks.

5. Join a professional association such as the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) or the National Association of Mortgage Professionals (NAMP). Membership in professional organizations can provide networking opportunities, access to industry news and information, and Continuing Education Units (CEUs) required for license renewal in some states . Additionally, many employers prefer to hire candidates who are members of professional organizations such as the MBA or NAMP . MBA membership includes access to job postings , while NAMP membership provides access to industry resources such as mortgage rates . Both organizations offer discounts on events and products . events , products , industry resources job postings mortgage rates CEUs NAMP MBA MBA NAMP continuing education units state

Steps to Becoming a Loan Officer

Although loan officers require a significant amount of training and education, the career path is relatively straightforward. The most common route to becoming a loan officer is to complete a four-year degree in business or a related field, although some positions may be available to those with only a two-year degree. Loan officers typically complete on-the-job training lasting a few months. Some loan officers may become certified. The steps to becoming a loan officer are as follows:

Step 1: Research the Loan Officer Profession

Loan officers typically work for banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies. They help individuals and businesses secure funding by evaluating their credit history and finance requesting documents. As a loan officer, you will need to be able to explain different types of loans and help your clients choose the best option for their needs.

To become a loan officer, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration, or a related field. However, some employers may prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in finance. You will also need to obtain licensing from your state. After completing your education and licensing requirements, you will need to gain experience in the field by working as a loan officer or in a related position such as a financial analyst.

A degree in finance or a related field is essential for becoming a loan officer. Many employers prefer to hire candidates who have at least a bachelor’s degree, although some loan officers may be able to get by with an associate’s degree. Relevant coursework for aspiring loan officers includes classes in business, economics, accounting, and mathematics. Candidates who have earned a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a master’s degree in finance (MFin) may have an advantage over other job applicants.

Step 3: Complete an Internship

An internship is not required to become a loan officer, but it can be beneficial. It can give you the opportunity to learn about the job and shadow experienced professionals. You may also be able to get your foot in the door of your desired company and potentially land a job after completing your internship.

If you choose to do an internship, make sure it is with a reputable company in the industry. There are many scammers posing as loan officers, so you want to make sure you are working with a legitimate business. You can ask your school’s career center for recommendations or look for postings on websites like

Step 4: Join a Professional Organization

Joining a professional organization is not required to become a loan officer, but it can offer many benefits. These organizations provide networking opportunities, educational resources and access to job postings. Many also offer discounts on liability insurance and other benefits. The National Association of Mortgage Bankers (NAMB) is the largest professional organization for loan officers.

Step 5: Obtain Certification

Although certification is not required to become a loan officer, some employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed the voluntary certification process. To obtain certification, loan officers must pass an exam administered by the National Association of Mortgage Bankers (NAMB) or the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBAA). Certification demonstrates to employers a loan officer’s commitment to professional development and ethics.

Step 6: Consider Becoming Licensed

In order to enhance your employability, consider becoming a licensed loan officer. In order to become licensed, you will need to pass an exam administered by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry. The benefit of becoming licensed is that you will be able to work for any bank or other financial institution in the United States. The cost of the exam is $375, and you will need to complete 20 hours of pre-licensing education.

Step 7: Find a Job

The best way to find a job as a loan officer is to network with people you know. Talk to family and friends, and let them know you’re looking for a job in the industry. If you have any connections to the financial industry, reach out to them as well. You can also search online job boards, such as or Another option is to looked for open positions at banks or credit unions in your area.

Step 8: Advance Your Career

Now that you’ve completed your schooling and taken the necessary steps to become licensed, it’s time to start your career as a loan officer. You can work for a bank, credit union, mortgage company, or even start your own business.

Once you have a few years of experience under your belt, you may want to consider advancing your career by becoming a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers are able to work with multiple lenders and can offer their clients a wider range of loan products.

Becoming a mortgage broker requires passing an additional exam and meeting additional education requirements, but it can be a great way to earn more money and help more people get approved for home loans.


In conclusion, becoming a loan officer is a great way to enter the financial industry and make a difference in people’s lives. It’s a challenging career that comes with great responsibility, but it can be extremely rewarding. If you’re up for the challenge, follow the steps outlined in this guide to become a loan officer.

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