Complete Guide: Easy Steps on How to Become a Broker in 2023

So you’re wondering on how to become a broker.

We understand the allure of going out on your own and starting your own brokerage.

The average annual pay for a mortgage broker in the United States is $97,838 according to Indeed. Brokers’ principal source of income is commissions on concluded loans.

Commissions can be paid by either the borrower or the lender and range from one to three percent of the loan’s total value (though the latter is prohibited).

To enter the profession of brokering, all that is required is the completion of basic paperwork.

A detailed how-to part is also included on the page.

Becoming a broker, like any other career, would be difficult.

This will be the subject of this article.

This is your definitive guide to become a broker in 2023.

How does it function, and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

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What’s A Broker?

Brokers act as a go-between for homeowners and lenders, negotiating loan terms on their behalf.

How Do You Get A Broker License?

Obtaining a broker’s license necessitates a number of passing grades and experiences.

To become a licensed broker, you must first complete and pass a 20-hour course, be bonded, register your brokerage, and apply to your state of residence (requirements vary by state).

Absolutely, there is a lengthy list of qualifications to meet before obtaining your license. But, the independence of being your own boss, as well as the commissions you’ll receive on jobs, make it worthwhile.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Becoming A Broker?

We have summarized the benefits and disadvantages of entering the brokering industry.


  • There is no need for a degree.
  • Flexible timetable + task management
  • Possibility of earning a significant income


  • It takes a lot of discipline, especially when dealing with numerous clients at once.
  • Brokers must be analytical (added bonus if they can sell!)
  • Living from one commission to the next
  • Later in this essay, we’ll go through the advantages and disadvantages of working in the brokerage profession.

Yet, it has all of the necessary background knowledge. Let’s chat about how to become a broker now!

What Do Brokers Do?

Brokers, as previously defined, are qualified professionals who can represent both the borrower and the lender’s interests.

To assist their clients in obtaining the property of their dreams, they meticulously check their financial histories and match them with the best lenders.

It’s as simple as that!

It is entirely up to the customer whether or not to deal with a broker. They can cut out the intermediaries and negotiate with the lender directly.

Customers, on the other hand, value brokers for their knowledge and experience in locating the best mortgage for their specific circumstances.

This is especially true when high-value consumers require more time to complete their transactions.

Real estate agents can help with everything from filling out paperwork to negotiating the best price.

Consumers can choose from a number of funding options.

Clients’ selections depend on their services, as opposed to dealing with specialist banks.

In contrast to obtaining a loan from a bank, this video summarizes the services offered by a mortgage broker.

Yet, mortgage brokers have gained a reputation in recent years that is not always favorable.

You’re probably already aware of the problem.

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Too many brokers have been preoccupied with themselves and their profit lines.

In such a situation, becoming a mortgage broker may be difficult.

Some brokers are deceptive, and when consumers hear stories like these, they lose faith in the business.

It’s a disaster for both customers and brokers.

A reputable broker will assist consumers in locating the best mortgage plan while earning an honest income.

A Complete Guide on How to Become a Broker

Before representing either a borrower or a lender in a financial transaction, it is best to become certified as a mortgage broker. That necessitates your attendance in class and completion of the assigned assignment.

Is there a yes? In a short period of time, one can complete the prerequisites to become a licensed mortgage broker.

But, some hard work will be required.

You’ll go through the following steps:

1: Determine your state’s requirements.

Obtaining a National Mortgage Licensing System license is the first step toward a career as a broker (NMLS).

It is critical that you spend time understanding the exact licensing requirements in your state, since they may differ based on the sort of mortgage broker license you require.

Check the NMLS license handbook for your state’s requirements.

2: Finish your high school education.

While a bachelor’s degree is frequently required for many mortgage brokers, other states require a high school diploma or equivalent.

A four-year degree is not required to work as a mortgage broker.

All applicants, however, must have a high school diploma. If neither of these apply to you, you must provide proof of a GED score of at least 145.

Although a four-year degree is not required, you will study the ins and outs of the sector as well as some finance, economics, accounting, and business administration.

Recall that a broker’s obligations extend beyond simply connecting borrowers and lenders; they must also manage their own business.

It is critical to have a decent education if you are considering a career in brokerage from an early age.

3 Finish pre-licensing training

Before you can receive your mortgage broker’s license and start making money, you’ll need to put in the time and effort for a 20-hour training course.

If you require assistance, there are various NMLS-approved real estate schools to choose from.

The vast majority of these resources are available online, making it possible to study whenever and wherever you want.

We recommend the following three institutions for mortgage pre-licensing:

  • The CE Shop; This is one of the top online colleges for pre-licensing education, which is required in most states.
  • On Course Learning; they can give learning materials in textual or interactive formats.
  • Associated Schools; Offers state-required courses as well as test preparation.

If you’re seeking for a specific institution, you can also look through NMLS’ list of approved course providers.

The following are some of the common topics addressed in the 20-hour course:

  • Federal legislation (3 hours)
  • Concerns about fraud, consumer protection, and equitable lending (3 hours)
  • Mortgage lending that is not conventional (2 hours)
  • Electives (12 hours)

But, as previously stated, state standards may differ. As a result, these classes may occasionally include additional state-specific legislation.

4 Take and pass the NMLS examination.

After completing the NMLS’s required 20 hours of pre-licensing study, you are able to take the exam, also known as the SAFE test.

Take care not to miss out on this opportunity!

There were many first-time exam failures among prospective mortgage brokers. In actuality, just 55% of exam takers pass on their first try, and only 43% pass on their second.

As a result, purchasing a SAFE MLO Test mortgage exam preparation kit is highly suggested. It will properly prepare you for the SAFE MLO examination because it contains practice questions that are at or above the level of complexity of the actual exam.

The test will give you 190 minutes to answer 125 multiple-choice questions. To pass, you must score at least 75% on this.

The following subjects will be covered in the exam:

  • Federal mortgage-related legislation (23%)
  • (23%) general mortgage knowledge
  • Mortgage loan origination (25%) activities
  • (16%) Ethical considerations
  • (13%) uniform state content

When you believe you are ready for war (i.e., to take the test), register for it and pay the fees.

The exam can be scheduled up to 180 days in advance.

Following that, you will be able to check the status of your exam results for at least 72 hours after taking it.

Assume you fail the test. You have 30 days to prepare for a new attempt.

If you are still unsuccessful after that, you must wait another 180 days before trying again.

The number of students that pass may appear low, but if you study hard and use all of the tools available to you, you will pass with flying colors.

5 Get your mortgage broker license.

This stipulation is required.

A mortgage broker bond is required before obtaining full licensure as a mortgage broker.

If a mortgage broker violates state rules and regulations, the bond provides further customer protection.

If you break the law, your consumers may demand recompense for any losses they suffer as a result of your mistake. Bond amounts vary by state and can range from $1,000 to $100,000.

A strong personal credit score is required to qualify for a mortgage broker bond. Your bond premiums, or the yearly amount you must pay, will also be greatly influenced by this.

The bond premium could range from 0.75% to 3% of the bond’s face value.

6 Register your mortgage brokerage

Brokers may choose to work alone or as part of an established brokerage.

If you choose to have your mortgage broker firm licensed, the requirements for registration vary by state, just as the requirements for acquiring a license do.

There are certain exceptions, but in most circumstances, you’ll be required to supply information such as your company’s name and address, organizational structure, and an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in order to file taxes.

There are three alternative organizational structures for a brokerage, and determining which one is appropriate for your company is critical.

  • Sole proprietorship: This is the simplest type of business to establish, allowing you to handle your firm entirely. The assets and liabilities of a sole proprietorship are the same as the owner’s finances. You’d be in charge of the company’s debts and commitments.
  • Partnership: Do you have at least two other people on your side? Having that option brings up the possibility of collaboration. Ideal for partners who wish to test the waters before committing to a full-fledged company structure.
  • Limited liability company (LLC): By incorporating an LLC, you can protect your personal assets from corporate obligations and lawsuits. An LLC can keep your assets from being confiscated in the event of a corporate bankruptcy. Although LLCs are subject to less limitations, many countries still impose some. If a member joins or leaves the business, most states require you to dissolve the LLC and form a new one.

7 Submit your mortgage broker application

Once you have completed the requisite pre-licensing education, passed the exam, registered your brokerage, and gotten your mortgage broker bond certificate, your application will be complete.

To process your application, additional company information is required.

You will most likely supply information such as your company’s name, address, website, registered agents, and so on.

You must also submit a criminal background check. For a detailed explanation and copies of the application forms you must submit, go to the NMLS website.

After completing and signing all of the forms, all that remains is to send them to the state and await a response.

When the state has reviewed and accepted your application, your license will be mailed to you.

8 Increase your brokerage training.

Obtaining a driver’s license is not the end of the learning process. Your annual renewal as a mortgage broker with the NMLS is required.

To keep your NMLS license, you must complete 8 hours of continuing education each year (CE).

The training will bring you up to speed on the most recent industry norms and standards.

The ideal option is to continue your education at the same recognized online university where you completed your initial license requirements.

Yet, if you want to learn more about your options as a mortgage broker,

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here are some choices for continuing education:

  • Online education: Lessons that are brief, basic, and text-based
  • Ice Mortgage Technologies: A 12-month membership is required to get course updates.
  • Mortgage Educators and Compliance: Several styles of lessons (in-person and online classes)

Advantages: Why Do People Need Brokers?

We will go over the advantages and disadvantages of working in the mortgage brokerage industry.

Before you commit to this career path, let’s talk about the realities of the market from the perspectives of both clients and brokers.

1. Mortgage brokers conserve energy.

It’s simple because of you. That is the perfect situation from the client’s perspective.

They may educate you of everything you need to know, then sit back and relax while you search a lender on their behalf.

Because mortgage brokers will have numerous contacts, this should be a quick process if you are an experienced broker.

Due to onerous repayment obligations, the services of a mortgage broker may potentially save clients from bankruptcy.

A good mortgage broker can protect you from predatory lenders.

A broker may assist people save time and effort, and their job also allows them to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Mortgage brokers have the wonderful ability to establish their own hours and do anything they want in between customer visits.

2. Mortgage brokers already have contacts.

A broker’s job demands them to network, therefore they have many contacts all over the world.

They can use these networks to their advantage if they ever need to assist a borrower in finding a lender.

Not all brokers can obtain money from all lenders.

If a borrower went it alone and already had a preferred lender in mind, they may only be able to work with them if they go through a broker.

3. Mortgage brokers are well-versed in their field.

Your ability to attract and retain clients is dependent on your competence.

As a result, brokers must keep on the cutting edge.

It’s more than just a set of connections. Self-sufficient borrowers may discover that finding a willing lender is more difficult than they anticipated.

The overall amount of costs they will have to pay may surprise them.

Using a broker, on the other hand, may decrease or even eliminate these charges.

If the mortgage broker is skilled, the borrower can save several thousand dollars.

Another financial benefit is the pay a mortgage broker might earn.

Mortgage brokers typically receive a 3% commission on each deal closed. Assume you closed a $500,000 sale and earned a $150,000 commission.

Disadvantages: What Should People Know About Brokers?

After considering the advantages of dealing with a mortgage broker, we may discuss the disadvantages.

1. There are payments to be made.

Sadly, the expense of utilizing a broker exceeds their earnings.

Brokers, lenders, the application procedure, loan origination, appraisal, and so on all have fees that customers must pay.

Remember how we stated a skilled broker may get these reduced or perhaps thrown in for free?

If not, these one-time fees could pile up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

2. Mortgage brokers may not have the best interests of their clients in mind.

After all the chit-chat, business is business.

Brokers make money from two sources: the lenders they bring in and the commissions they charge their customers.

Most people choose for mortgages that will boost their income.

They are only interested in making as much money as possible, even if it means taking advantage of the customer.

3. Inexperienced brokers will set you back a lot of money.

Brokers are sought after by clients because to their knowledge and network.

But, new brokers entering the market may require additional contacts to provide their customers with the competitive advantage they seek.

Brokers like that will only help their clients save money while ultimately costing them more than they would have paid on their own.

Brokers are expected to be outstanding analysts and salespeople despite their lack of experience in these areas.

If you are bad with statistics and dislike talking to people, this is not the job for you.

The good news is that you can develop the necessary abilities to succeed in the role.


A mortgage broker’s job is straightforward. It is not even necessary to have a university degree.

But, you would have to put in a lot of effort, particularly in compiling the state criteria.

The work is enjoyable once you’re out there connecting buyers and lenders and helping folks discover the right mortgage for them.

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