DID YOU KNOW? Not all Loan Officers are Licensed!
Buying a home? Need a home loan? You call the various banks, brokers, and mortgage lenders shopping for the best deal, thinking this is the correct way to get a mortgage loan. Unfortunately, you’ve only did half of your homework, as the big issue is NOT where you get your mortgage from, but WHO you get your mortgage from. There are major differences in the quality, education, and experience between Loan Officers, and you DON’T want to be working with the wrong person.
Until recently, most Loan Officers got their training simply by being hired, given a desk, a telephone, and the employer saying “Watch and learn from this guy.” There were no schools, no classes, no educational or background requirements. A very small number of Loan Officers would take voluntary classes to be the best they could be (like myself), but this was the exception, not the rule.
As of January 1, 2011, there are two distinct classes of Loan Officer. Those with or without a personal license. Those WITH a personal license must have pre-license education, pass a difficult Federal test, pass a difficult state test for every state they wish to conduct business, criminal background checks, personal credit report checks, and having continuing education every year thereafter. Those without? No requirements at all (yikes!)
Furthermore, those WITH a personal license, YOU CAN LOOKUP ONLINE to verify their license, the company they work for, the company license, what state(s) they are license, any disciplinary action, and where they have worked for at least the past 10-years. The system is called The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS). The NMLS Consumer Access web site is a fully searchable website that allows the public to view information concerning state-licensed companies, branches, and individuals.
Those Loan Officers who have a personal license are required to place their NMLS number on all materials; web sites, brochures, business cards, E-Mail, etc.
Finally, THIS IS A CLEAR REASON why people should follow my other mortgage shopping rule: GOOGLE THE NAME OF YOUR LOAN OFFICER, and check them out in the public NMLS registry. What do you find before allowing them to handle the largest financial transaction of your life!
Be Smart – Get Answers. Your financial future is too important to gamble with than to simply use the guy at the bank, or the person giving you a low quote on some web site!