How to Become a Loan Officer in New Jersey

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Loan officers, otherwise known as mortgage loan originators, write mortgage contracts and negotiate lending terms with buyers. Since this position requires advanced knowledge of banking practices and the law, New Jersey has rigorous training requirements for mortgage loan originators. If you are detail oriented, good at bargaining and desire to help people achieve their real estate dreams, then a career as a mortgage loan originator may be right for you.

Complete 20 hours of courses approved by The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS). The Federal Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (SAFE Act), offers certification classes for mortgage loan originators in federal loan laws and regulation, ethics and fair lending practices and the four required classes relating to New Jersey lending laws and practices.

Pass the national and state portions of the SAFE test. The tests are administered by NMLS. While the national SAFE test covers federal lending laws and regulations, the state portion covers the lending practices of New Jersey.

Pass a criminal background and fingerprint test administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). According to the NMLS website, applicants must schedule a fingerprint test with an approved NMLS vendor.

Pass the New Jersey criminal background check administered by the State Police. According to New Jersey law, if the applicant has been convicted of fraud, a breach of trust, or money laundering or any felony that required a year in prison, licensure can't be granted..

Authorize the NMLS to obtain a credit report. According to New Jersey law, persons with outstanding liens or judgments, with the exception of medical debts, foreclosure or a history of delinquent accounts, are deemed not fit or of good character and will not be granted licensure.


Background, fingerprint checks and registration fees for test are not covered by the employer. Fees can easily exceed $500.