How to Become a Mortgage Broker

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Mortgage brokers serve as intermediaries between buyers of real estate and institutions that offer mortgage loans. They research the mortgage market to identify lenders with the best interest rates and advise buyers accordingly. An academic background in mortgage banking, and strong analytical and negotiation skills are useful to get started in a career as a mortgage broker.

Enhance Your Knowledge

Aspiring mortgage brokers need a blend of real estate and banking knowledge to competently perform the tasks that come along with the job. Various colleges, such as the North Lake College in Dallas, offer an associate degree in mortgage banking, which gives students a solid foundation in the field. Individuals with an associate degree in sales or marketing and some relevant work experience can also enter the profession.

Master the Skills

Exceptional negotiation, communication and customer service skills are central to the competence of mortgage brokers. They must offer efficient services to their clients; counsel them on choosing the right home loan; and negotiate the best mortgage rates with lenders. Aspiring mortgage brokers should have strong analytical skills to assess clients' financial documents and draw an accurate picture of their financial status. Other important qualities for mortgage brokers include good math, organizational and interpersonal skills, and a high level of attention to detail.

Get Licensed

Mortgage brokers must hold a state-specific license to practice. Although many states require licensees to apply through the National Mortgage Licensing System, others – such as Hawaii and California -- have in-state agencies that issue licenses. The rules for obtaining a license vary by state. However, applicants generally need to pay a fee, and pass a criminal background check and a licensing examination. To demonstrate their competence to clients and employers, aspiring mortgage brokers can obtain certifications offered by the National Association of Mortgage Professionals.

Find a Job

Mortgage brokers often work for financial institutions that offer mortgage services, such as commercial investment banks and credit unions; independent brokerage firms; or financial consulting firms. Brokers who gain vast work experience and earn an advanced qualification, such as bachelor’s degree in business administration, can become mortgage managers. Others can establish their own mortgage brokerage firms.