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How to Become a Loan Officer in Illinois

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To become a mortgage loan officer in Illinois, applicants must both complete pre-licensing coursework and pass a loan originator examination. Applicants must also pay certain fees and submit to a criminal background check to receive their license to originate mortgage loans. Once they do all this, Illinois loan officers must also complete six hours of approved mortgage continuing-education classes each year to maintain the active status of their loan-origination license.

Complete 20 hours of pre-licensing education coursework. These courses will explain to you the basics of mortgage lending, including how to fill out the paperwork involved in originating a mortgage loan, the ethics of mortgage lending and a basic rundown of state and national lending laws. You can find a list of approved coursework at the website of the Mortgage Education Foundation.

Schedule and successfully pass the state's loan officer examination. This examination will test your knowledge of the basics of mortgage lending, and should cover topics you studied in your pre-licensing coursework. To find a testing location near you, visit the Illinois testing center page of the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System website.

Complete the criminal background check that Illinois requires of all loan officer applicants. You will submit this background check through the website of Applied Measurement Professionals (see References).

Download the state-specific loan officer form for Illinois from the website of the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (see Resources) and mail the completed form to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Banking -- LO Section at 320 W. Washington St., Springfield, IL 62786. You will also have to send in your application fee of $194 (as of 2010).


Don Rafner has been writing professionally since 1992, with work published in "The Washington Post," "Chicago Tribune," "Phoenix Magazine" and several trade magazines. He is also the managing editor of "Midwest Real Estate News." He specializes in writing about mortgage lending, personal finance, business and real-estate topics. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Illinois.