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13 Steps How To Become A Mortgage Broker In Virginia

( How to Become a Mortgage Broker in Virginia - Mortgage brokers are real estate companies that secure lending opportunities for homebuyers. They build relationships with banks and other lenders to help analyze potential mortgages. To become a mortgage broker in Virginia, you must have a $25,000 deposit, undergo criminal and personal screening, create the necessary accounts, and fill out applications. You may also consider becoming a mortgage lender. Advance your career by passing the required tests, continuing your education, applying for jobs and renewing your license.

How To Become A Mortgage Broker In Virginia

  • Fulfillment of legal requirements

How to Become a Mortgage Broker in Virginia: 13 Steps

1. Create an NMLS account. If you are a broker wishing to engage in mortgage lender (MLO) activity, you must pass the SAFE (Secure and Fair Enforcement) test. The NMLS Resource Center ( contains important information about your mortgage license. On the NMLS Resource Center main page, click "Join NMLS" in the top right corner to get started.

Click "Request account".

Click the "Custom" option.

Enter the security code - a combination of random letters and numbers - and then click "Next".

Finally, enter your personal information - email address, postal address, phone number, date of birth, etc. - and click "Create an individual account".

Be sure to enter your full legal name.

Once done, you will receive two emails to confirm your account creation and issue you a password.

How to Become a Mortgage Broker in Virginia: 13 Steps

2. Pass the background check. The background check assesses your personality and character based on your employment and criminal history. If you've been convicted of criminal misconduct -- including felonies -- in a foreign, military, or domestic court, you may fail the background check. Also, if you have had your mortgage broker license revoked in another state in the past, you probably cannot become a mortgage broker in Virginia.

The background check is initiated by the NMLS when you apply.

How to Become a Mortgage Broker in Virginia: 13 Steps

3. Get connected. A surety bond is a promise by a party (usually an insurance company) to pay the government if you act or behave in a way that violates any law or mortgage broker regulation. Before becoming a mortgage broker in Virginia, your business must be bound by an insurance company or other similar entity.

If you are pledging yourself, you must obtain and complete Form CCB-8814 (

If you are required by your employer, you must obtain and complete Form CCB-8813 (

The deposit amount for a broker license is $25,000.

How to Become a Mortgage Broker in Virginia: 13 Steps

4. Fill out the brokerage application.The form is available online at The broker's license fee is $500. An additional fee of US$37 (in the form of a money order, bank draft, or certified check) payable to the Virginia Treasurer covers your criminal investigation. Mail the form and associated fees to the address on the application. If you also want to be involved in the granting of mortgage loans, you will need the individual form (MU4). This form can be created by either you or your employer (provided you work for a company licensed and registered by the NMLS), but the person creating the form must pay a fee upon submission. When your employer submits the form, you don't have to do anything other than provide the information your employer requests. If you submit alone:

Sign in to your NMLS account. Click the "File" tab.

Click on "Create new tray".

Click "Request new/Update".

Enter your personal information, then click "Confirm and Submit" in the left pane.

The MLO license fee is $180, payable through the NMLS portal.

How to Become a Mortgage Broker in Virginia: 13 Steps

5. Upload the necessary documents. If you do not want to attach paper copies of the documents to your application, you can submit them online. In any event, you must submit current financial report forms ( to your NMLS account online. If you are already employed by a mortgage broker or other financial institution, your employer will provide proof of employment. If you do not submit an employment confirmation form, you may need to submit an application to apply for a business license to work independently.

To upload documents, log into your NMLS account and click on the "Submission" tab.

Click on "Create new tray".

You must also demonstrate that you have completed the required coursework and passed the SAFE test.

Alternatively, you can mail the documents and application to the Bureau of Financial Institutions. A printable application is available at

How to Become a Mortgage Broker in Virginia: 13 Steps

6. Renew your license annually. Once you have established yourself as a broker, you must renew your mortgage broker license between November 1st and December 31st each year. After completing your continuing education courses, submit a renewal application ( Submit the application as soon as possible so that any errors or discrepancies can be corrected before the end of the year.

  • Getting Started with Mortgage Origination

How to Become a Mortgage Broker in Virginia: 13 Steps

7. Complete the required coursework. Before applying to be a Virginia mortgage lender, you must complete at least 20 hours of prelicensing courses, including three hours of federal law, three hours of ethics, and two hours of non-traditional mortgage lending. The other 12 hours of the course are electives.

Courses must be approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS).

How to Become a Mortgage Broker in Virginia: 13 Steps

8. Sign up for the SAFE test. Sign in to your NMLS account, then select the "MLO Testing & Education" tab. From there, click the "Create a new test registration window" button. You can then choose the time and place you want to take your test. Pay the $110 fee.

If you would like to adjust the time and location for your test, you can change this by calling Prometric, the private company administering the test, at least two mornings before the test. You can contact Prometric at 1-877-671-6657.

If you have special accommodations, you can call NMLS Accommodations at 1-877-416-6657 or fill out the Special Accommodations Eligibility Form ( ).

How to Become a Mortgage Broker in Virginia: 13 Steps

9. Prepare for the exam. The Mortgage Loan Originator Testing Guide ( provides a list of sample test questions and answers. The NMLS provides a draft test with a list of useful resources to aid in learning. Take advantage of these resources by studying regularly in a clean, quiet, and well-lit room before taking the test.

How to Become a Mortgage Broker in Virginia: 13 Steps

10. Take the SAFE Mortgage Lender Test. In Virginia it consists of only one part, a national test with federal content. The test consists of 125 questions and lasts 190 minutes. However, the entire appointment takes 225 minutes as it includes a 30-35 minute tutorial and an optional survey.

  • Advancement as a mortgage loan originator

How to Become a Mortgage Broker in Virginia: 13 Steps

11. Get a bachelor's degree. If you wish to work for a mortgage brokerage firm or financial institution, you should pursue a bachelor's degree in business, economics or finance from an institution of your choice, although it is not technically required. Large corporations hire mortgage loan originators (MLOs) who are college or university graduates because the additional knowledge of law, business and financial processes will make them a greater asset to the company.

How to Become a Mortgage Broker in Virginia: 13 Steps

12. Look for a job. Identify lending opportunities in your area. Search both online and offline. Sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and CareerBuilder can help you find an originator job in your area. You can also contact real estate agencies directly to see if they could use your services. Conduct the interview by showing that you are familiar with a mortgage lender's responsibilities and expectations. Show enthusiasm for the industry and the job.

Most mortgage originators in Virginia work for companies to provide home mortgages. Originators rely on commissions, so when learning the business you should choose a location where the real estate market is strong and where competition is not too fierce.

Apply for an entry-level originator position in a company. It's a good idea to work in a company first and later move to a sole proprietorship or self-employment. Individuals who prove successful can work with companies looking for real estate transactions.

How to Become a Mortgage Broker in Virginia: 13 Steps

13. Take part in continuing education courses. Since 2008, the NMLS has required all mortgage lenders nationwide -- including those in Virginia -- to complete eight hours of additional coursework each year before the author's license can be renewed. Continuing education courses must include three hours of federal law, two hours of ethics (including courses related to fraud, consumer protection, and fair lending), two hours of non-traditional mortgage lending, and one hour of compulsory electives.

If you do not complete the continuing education courses, your license will not be renewed.

None of the eight hours may consist of courses you completed in the previous year or contain content shared with another course.

All courses must be NMLS approved.

It can take up to a week for your continuing education achievements to be reported to the NMLS. Don't wait until the last minute to complete your training.

For both regular and continuing education courses, you can take online courses, face-to-face courses, or a combination of these.

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