If you’re interested in becoming a mortgage loan originator in New Jersey, you’ll need to obtain a mortgage license from the state. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of getting licensed to originate mortgage loans in New Jersey, including the requirements, steps, and costs involved.
1. Understand the Requirements
Before you begin the process of getting a mortgage license in NJ, it’s essential to understand the requirements. The state of New Jersey requires that all mortgage loan originators be licensed by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI). To be eligible for a mortgage loan originator license in New Jersey, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Complete 20 hours of pre-licensing education from a DOBI-approved education provider.
- Pass a written test covering both federal and state mortgage laws and regulations.
- Submit a criminal background check, including fingerprints.
- Have a physical office in New Jersey, or work for a company that has a physical office in New Jersey.
2. Complete Pre-Licensing Education
To meet the pre-licensing education requirement, you must complete a 20-hour course from a DOBI-approved education provider. The course will cover federal and state mortgage laws and regulations, as well as ethical and professional practices. Some education providers offer online courses, while others require classroom attendance. The cost of the course can vary, but you can expect to pay between $300 and $500.
3. Pass the NMLS National Test
Once you’ve completed the pre-licensing education course, you’ll need to pass the National Mortgage Loan Originator Test. The test is administered by the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) and covers both federal and state mortgage laws and regulations. You’ll have 3 hours to complete the test, which consists of 125 multiple-choice questions. To pass, you must correctly answer 75% of the questions. The test fee is $110, and you can take it at an approved testing center.
4. Complete the NMLS Application
After passing the National Mortgage Loan Originator Test, you’ll need to complete the NMLS application. The application will ask for personal information, employment history, and education history. You’ll also need to provide information about any criminal history or financial issues you’ve had. The application fee is $399, and it’s valid for one year.
5. Submit to a Criminal Background Check
As part of the application process, you’ll need to submit a criminal background check, including fingerprints. The fingerprinting process can be completed at an approved location, and the cost is around $70. You’ll also need to provide a credit report, which can be obtained from one of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion).
6. Get Bonded
To obtain a mortgage loan originator license in New Jersey, you must also obtain a surety bond. The bond is required to protect consumers from any financial harm caused by your actions as a mortgage loan originator. The bond amount is based on the volume of loans you originate, and the cost can range from $200 to $2,500.
7. Apply for a License with the NJ DOBI
After completing the previous steps, you’ll need to apply for a mortgage loan originator license with the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. The application fee is $300, and you’ll need to provide information about your education, test scores, employment history, and surety bond. You’ll also need to provide a copy of your credit report and criminal background check.
8. Maintain Your License
Once you’ve obtained your mortgage loan originator license, you’ll need to maintain it by meeting certain requirements. You’ll need to complete eight hours of continuing education each year to stay up to date with any changes in federal or state mortgage laws and regulations. You’ll also need to renew your license each year by paying a renewal fee of $200 and submitting a criminal background check. Failure to meet these requirements can result in the suspension or revocation of your license.
9. Consider Joining a Professional Association
Joining a professional association, such as the New Jersey Mortgage Bankers Association (NJMBA), can provide you with additional resources and support as a mortgage loan originator. These associations often offer networking opportunities, continuing education courses, and access to industry experts. Membership fees can vary, but you can expect to pay between $300 and $500 per year.
Obtaining a mortgage loan originator license in New Jersey can be a challenging process, but it’s necessary if you want to work in this field. By understanding the requirements, completing the necessary education and testing, and submitting the required paperwork and fees, you can obtain your license and begin working as a mortgage loan originator. Remember to maintain your license by completing continuing education and renewing your license each year, and consider joining a professional association to stay up to date with industry trends and best practices.