Mortgage bankers help people apply for mortgages to buy homes or commercial properties. Some mortgage bankers recruit clients. Others help people decide what type of mortgage to get and help them fill out loan applications. Some evaluate applications to decide if a prospective borrower is a good lending risk. This can involve checking credit scores and verifying employment. No matter what the specific role of the particular mortgage banker is, some common skills and traits are required.
Get the required education. Most banks will only hire mortgage bankers who have a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, economics or a related field. The math skills learned in these educational programs are essential to becoming a mortgage banker. In some cases, employers prefer to hire candidates with an MBA, or a master's degree in business administration.
Become licensed if necessary. Some states require mortgage bankers who offer mortgages to customers to become licensed. A license is most likely to be required if you work at a mortgage bank or brokerage firm. In some jurisdictions, it may be possible to work in a credit union without a specific license. Licensing may involve taking a state exam and attending continuing education programs on industry-specific topics.
Become certified. While certification is not required to become a mortgage banker, it increases the likelihood of being hired at a bank or other mortgage-granting institution. You can become certified by the Mortgage Bankers Association, which offers three certification programs: residential, commercial and a master's program. Experience in the mortgage industry may be required, and you may have to take an exam to become certified. The Bank Administration Institute, the American Banker’s Association and other professional organizations may offer their own certification programs.
Learn other skills to become an asset to your employer. Employers look for mortgage bankers who understand how to use computers and who can apply computer software to evaluate mortgage applicants. Employers may also look for employees who have good customer service or sales skills, since mortgage bankers have to interact with clients.
More stringent predatory lending laws may make it more difficult to become certified to work in the mortgage industry.