Should You Become A Mortgage Broker?

If you've always been interested in the finance industry and real estate, you may be investigating some of the career options that may allow you to work in both fields. One of the most profitable ways you can straddle the worlds of real estate and the lending industry is by seeking certification as a licensed mortgage broker, helping potential homeowners line up financing for their dream home. Read on to learn more about what you'll need to do to become a mortgage broker, as well as the type of pay and benefits you may be able to expect. 

What education and professional certifications will you need to become a mortgage broker?

Each state sets its own licensing standards and requirements for mortgage brokers. However, regardless of which state in which you intend to work, you'll be required to have at least a high school diploma (or equivalency) and an additional 20 hours of more specific training. If you have a college degree, you may be able to substitute some of your college credits for this training, allowing you to complete the process more quickly.

After you've completed your training, you'll take a licensing examination through the National Mortgage Licensure System (NMLS). Passing this examination will qualify you to work as a mortgage broker in your specific state, and you may be able to obtain dual licensure in a neighboring state by paying an additional administrative fee. 

In order to be hired as a mortgage broker, you'll usually need to secure a bond from the state. This is similar to malpractice insurance in that it will help compensate individuals harmed by any negligence or malfeasance you may commit in your broker duties, and can help protect you against a personal lawsuit arising from such circumstances.

What type of salary can you expect as a mortgage broker?

Although there are outliers on both sides of the spectrum, most mortgage brokers should end up earning between $60,000 and $90,000 per year. Because mortgage brokers usually earn the bulk of their yearly income through commissions, their pay largely depends upon the number of mortgage loans they originate each year (including first loans and refinances). 

Independent mortgage brokers can take advantage of a number of self-employment deductions, or even work from home, while mortgage lenders employed by a larger firm will usually receive other benefits (including health insurance, a 401(k) match, or other employment perks). 

With the flexibility of this profession combined with a higher-than-average salary range, becoming a mortgage broker can provide a great opportunity for someone who may not want to commit to a 4-year degree but still enjoy a fruitful career.