How to Become a Loan Officer in California

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A loan officer is also known as a mortgage loan originator in California. In California, you are required to be licensed through the state to become a loan officer or mortgage loan originator. A loan officer is someone who works with mortgage borrowers to find them a lender for their home loan.

Prepare to take the California mortgage loan originator exam by taking courses. As of March 2010, the SAFE Act in California requires all those applying for a license to complete 20 hours of pre-license education. You must complete your courses through a National Mortgage Licensing System-approved provider.

Take the state licensing exam to become a loan officer. The exam consists of a written test that you must pass before obtaining your license.

Get fingerprinted and obtain a background check. The SAFE Act also requires applicants to submit a set of fingerprints and obtain a background check through the National Mortgage Licensing System.

Obtain a sales license through the state of California. The sales license is obtained through the California Department of Corporations. You can apply for the license through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System website.

Find a loan officer job in California. You can find loan officer jobs through online searches or the local newspaper. You can also walk into mortgage and real estate businesses to inquire about open positions.


A loan officer in California must renew his license every year by December 31st.