Category Archives: MLO School Reviews

COMPLETE LIST | NMLS Schools in California (MLO)

PE = Pre-licensing Education
CE = Continuing Education

RankSchoolPECE
1Allied SchoolsOnlineOnline
2Mortgage EducatorsOnline, Webinar, Classroom (Walnut Creek, Visalia)Online, Webinar, Classroom (Walnut Creek, Visalia)
3MortgageEducation.comOnlineOnline
4First TuesdayOnline
5Real Estate Trainers, Inc.Classroom (Anaheim)Classroom (Anaheim)
6Affinity Real Estate ServicesOnline, Classroom (Bellflower)Online, Classroom (Bellflower)
7AAA Mortgage TrainingOnline, Webinar, Classroom (Tustin)Online
8Learn MortgageOnline, WebinarOnline
9LoanOfficerSchool.comOnline, Webinar
10My Mortgage TrainerOnline, WebinarOnline
11OnCourse LearningOnline, WebinarOnline
12Real Estate InstituteOnline, WebinarOnline
13Ameritrain Mortgage InstituteOnline, WebinarOnline
14OnlineEdOnline, WebinarOnline
15AA Real Estate SchoolClassroom (El Monte)Classroom (El Monte)
16Duane Gomer IncClassroom (Mission Viejo)Classroom (Mission Viejo)
17RDH Education ServicesClassroom (Livermore)Classroom (Livermore)
18The C.O.R.E.Classroom (Pasadena)
19Golden Hyde SchoolClassroom (Rosemead)
20GoGo Real EstateClassroom (Diamond Bar)
21Q & A Real Estate InstituteClassroom (Fountain Valley)
22Real Estate Educational ServicesClassroom (Carlsbad)
23The Training AcademyClassroom (Huntington Beach)

Getting Licensed

If you want to originate loans in California, the state requires you to complete 20 hours of Pre-licensing Education (PE) and pass the National Exam. Depending on your situation, you may or may not need the 2-hour DBO course. This will come down to which agency you go through: the Department of Business Oversight or Department of Real Estate. This part confuses a lot of people because it really is confusing. So, don’t feel bad if you need to read this a couple of times. 

Department of Business Oversight (DBO)

If you just want to originate loans and not be involved with buying/selling real estate, you will most likely be working for a mortgage broker that is registered under the DBO, then you will need to take this 2-hour DBO course. Since you only need 20 hours of PE to fulfill California’s requirement, some schools already have this course in their package setup as a 18-hour National PE course + 2-hour DBO course (20 total hours). However, there are a lot of schools (usually based outside of California) that just have the standard 20-hour National PE course. So, that means you have to also take a 2-hour DBO standalone course. If you go with one of these programs, you will be doing 22 total hours.

Why would anyone take more hours than they have to? Some people really want to take the course in a video webinar format because they don’t like studying by reading online. However, most schools with webinars don’t include the 2-hour DBO course and just offer 20 hours of National content. You have to add that on separately as an online course. As a result, you will have to do more hours (22 total hours) and pay extra. This is purely a personal choice.

Department of Real Estate (DRE)

If you originate loans, you also have the option to get a real estate license (if you don’t have one already). This will allow you to earn more money and opens up more opportunites. In fact, if you work for a company that is registered under the DRE, then you will be required to have both the real estate and loan licenses.

However, what happens is that your loan license sits on top of your real estate license, and instead of using the word “license,” California calls it an “endorsement.” Don’t worry about all the semantics though. The requirements are the same. You still need to complete the 20-hour course and pass the National Exam. The DRE doesn’t have any agency-specific course requirement like the DBO does. The DRE allows you to take any approved elective course, so you can just get any approved 20-hour National course.

Top 5 MLO NMLS Course Providers in Texas

If you decided to pursue a career as a Loan Originator, you probably know that you need to obtain a license. Texas has 2 basic requirements to get licensed: you need to complete 23 hours of NMLS-approved courses and pass the National Exam.

There are a lot of schools and options available out there. How do you decide which one to choose?

After spending a lot of time researching into this on my own, I will share what I found so you can determine which one works best for you.

Top MLO NMLS Schools in Texas

 SchoolFormatAvailabilityPrice
1Allied SchoolsOnlineOnce every 2 weeks$
2Mortgage EducatorsOnline, Webinar3x every week$
3Mortgage-Education.comOnlineOnce every week$$$
4Champions School of Real EstateClassroom, WebinarOnce a month$$$
5OnCourse LearningOnlineTwice every week$$

All of the schools listed above are approved by the NMLS to provide these courses. That being said, their course must follow strict guidelines so there will be a lot of similarities. Before we take a deep dive into each school, we should first break down the NMLS course requirements to see what every school will do the same, no matter which one you decide to go with.

Course Requirements by the NMLS

  • NMLS courses are always “instructor-led.” This means that you will be put in with a group of 10 to 15 other students with a dedicated instructor assigned to you. This could be a live human being teaching the course, or depending on which school you go with, this could be virtual, meaning they will interact with you via messaging or discussion forum. You will not necessarily have to show up at a specific time.
  • The course will have a specific start and end date. Other online programs usually give you the freedom to study whenever you want. However, the NMLS is very particular about the structure of this course. They want to make sure you are actively participating the whole time and keeping pace.
  • There are no shortcuts. In the past, many people were caught trying to cheat through the courses or even go to the extremes of having someone else take it for them. Every NMLS provider must adhere to their regulations to prevent that from happening, such as making students sign in through a biometric password system called BioSig, automatically logging you out if you are idle for too long, and signing an agreement that you agree to abide by NMLS rules.

Now that you have a basic understanding about what you will find no matter which school you attend, here is my review of the best NMLS course providers in Texas to become a Mortgage Loan Originator.

Allied Schools is a subsidiary of the Colibri Group, which has the largest market share in real estate education. By a lot. There’s a certain comfort factor going with the biggest school, because you don’t become that big unless your program actually works and people are successful with it. They have been offering the mortgage program for close to 30 years now, and they provide the course in an online text format similar to reading an online book. I’ve found they have the most liberal scheduling policy (you can study any time during the day), so if you are working full-time or have a busy schedule, this will be the most flexible option for you. There is only one course offered every other week, so you will want to see how that affects your timing.

Website
Packages Start At

Course Availability

www.realestatelicense.com
$348

New classes start every other Wednesday
Can study any time during the day
14-day duration

Mortgage Educators and Compliance also has a very well known mortgage licensing program in Texas. You are able to watch videos when you take their course, which makes it a lot more engaging. However, you can’t just doze off. You will be quizzed and have to complete activities on average every 5 minutes. You are allowed to take breaks during the session. However, it is recommended you try to sit through the whole session since it will require your 100% concentration. They also do have some live webinar options but there is limited availability, and you have to log in at specific times.

Website
Packages Start At

Course Availability

www.mortgageeducators.com
$389

New classes start every Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
Online courses starts at 10 am CT
5-day, 7-day, and 12-day duration (online)

Live Webinars start at 11 am CT
3-day duration (webinar only)

MortgageEducation.com is one of a handful of schools that offer mortgage courses in all 50 states. If you are interested in getting licensed in multiple states in the future, this will be useful since you can get all your courses done at one shop. They are a little higher on the price range, but they offer a very unique schedule to complete the courses. You can complete the courses in as little as 3 days or stretch it out to 5 days. If you are trying to cram this in and get licensed as soon as possible, this will be a great option for you.

Website
Packages Start At

Course Availability

MortgageEducation.com
$379

New classes start every Tuesdays

There are 9 independent sessions held during the week. You need to attend any 6 out of the 9 available sessions to complete the course.

Two sessions are available each day from Tuesday through Friday, and one shorter “cram” session on Saturday

Tuesday through Friday
Session starts at 10 am to 2 pm EST
Session starts at 3 pm to 7 pm EST

Saturday (Cram Session)
Session starts at 12 pm to 3:15 pm EST

You are given the freedom to choose any session, which means if you pick the first 6 sessions, you can finish in 3 days (Tuesday through Thursday).

Champions School of Real Estate is perhaps the best known real estate school in Texas. They offer live classes and webinars that are second to known across their 7 campuses. All of their mortgage pre-licensing courses are 3 days long and start at 8:30 am sharp. Also, they are only offered once a month at each of their campus locations, so if you have a full-time job, it may not work with your schedule. They do offer what they call “Champions Advantage,” which lets you mix and match between live class and webinar. Keep in mind, they do not offer an online program of their own. They are reselling another school’s program.

Website
Packages Start At

Course Availability

www.championsschool.com
$485

Held once a month at each campus
Starts at 8:30 am CT
3-day duration

The OnCourse Learning mortgage program has been around for a while, just under a different name called ProSchools. There is nothing really flashy or gimmicky about the courses. They focus on serious professionals who want to get the courses done in a simple and pain-free way. They have among the widest selection of course availability, so if you have a busy schedule or work full-time, you will probably be able to find something that works nicely with your schedule. 

Website
Packages Start At

Course Availability

www.oncourselearning.com
$385

New courses start every Wednesdays and Fridays
Start time 12 pm CT
14-day

Top 4 MLO NMLS Course Providers in Florida – Mortgage Loan Originator

If you are interested in becoming one of the approximately 37,000 loan originators in Florida, you are getting in at a good time. Florida is experiencing among the strongest growth for loan origination compared to the rest of the country.

While you don’t need any previous real estate experience, you do need to obtain a license. This is a fairly simple process. You just need to complete the 20-hour course and pass the National Exam.

When searching for a school, you will realize there are a lot of options out there. They all say the same things like:

  • “We’re the best!”
  • “Our instructors are the most experienced!”
  • “Your success is guaranteed!”

After doing some research on each school, I found that there were some things every school did the same and some things that were different.

Similarities

Every course provider has to follow strict NMLS guidelines in order to be an accredited school. Here are some examples of the things every school does. If they don’t, that is a major red flag, and you should run!

  • NMLS requires that the 20-hour course is “instructor-led.” This means you are put in a group with an instructor. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to show up at a certain time. It just means the instructor will interact with you in some manner, usually it’s via chat or discussion forum. They are also a great resource to use if you have questions.
  • All 20-hour courses will start and end on specific dates. This is not like other online courses where you get a year of unlimited access to study whenever you want. The NMLS does not like that kind of online format.
  • Your time in the course will be tracked—one way or another. Whether you take an online course or go to a live classroom, you will have to spend 20 actual hours to complete the course. There are no shortcuts.

Differences

I found there are only 3 major factors that will determine which school is the best.

  • Price: Every school has the freedom to set their own price. My only advice here is don’t go with a school just because it’s cheaper. If a school is cheaper, there is usually a reason for it (low quality). This will come and bite you later on. For example, the average pass rate for the National Exam is 58%. If you don’t pass it on your first try, you have to pay the $110 exam fee again and wait another 30 days to re-attempt it.
  • Quality: Every school develops their own courses and content. Since you are trying to launch a new career, my suggestion is to set yourself up for success by choosing the provider that has the best and most reputable program.
  • Course availability: Every school has their own start dates and course schedule. This will vary widely. Some programs are only 2 days long while others can last for 2 weeks. Some schools require you to show up at certain times while others do not. Regardless, they will cover the same 20 hours of content.

Now that you got a quick crash course on what to expect, here is my review of the best NMLS course providers in Florida to start your career as a Mortgage Loan Originator.

Allied Schools is the biggest and most well known real estate school in Florida. You can’t go wrong with their program. They have been the industry leaders for almost 30 years. The course is text-based and offers a lot of flexibility to study whenever you want, so if you have a full-time job or other commitments, this will be the best option for you. The only limitation is they only offer the 20-hour course once every two weeks. However, you get immediate access to over 1,000 online practice test questions, so you can study for the National Exam while you wait for the scheduled start date.

Website
Packages Start At

Course Availability

www.realestatelicense.com
$288

New classes start every other Wednesdays
Can study at any time during the day
14-day duration

Mortgage Educators and Compliance is one of the biggest mortgage schools in the country. They incorporate a video format, which makes it more engaging. However, there are activities and quizzes that you have to complete every 5 minutes, so you will definitely have to be 100% focused the whole time. There is also a live webinar option, which lasts 3 days. However, the webinars are only offered three times per month, and you would need to add-on the 2-hour Florida course (total of 22 hours).

Website
Packages Start At

Course Availibility

www.mortgageeducators.com
$379

New classes start every Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
Start time 11 am ET
5-day, 7-day, and 12-day duration

MortgageEducation.com, based in New York, has the most comprehensive mortgage program in the country. They are one of a few schools that cover all 50 states as well as provide continuing education for after you get licensed. This is really handy, especially if you have your sights set on being licensed in multiple states. Since they cover all the states, you will be able to get all your courses from one school very easily. Their 20-hour course has a very unique format compared to all the other schools. You can finish in as little as 3 days or take up to 5 days. You are required to login at specific times during the day, so if you are working full-time, this may not work with your current schedule.

Website
Packages Start At

Course Availability

www.mortgage-education.com
$348

New classes start every Tuesdays

There are 9 independent sessions held during the week. You need to attend any 6 out of the 9 available sessions to complete the course.

Two sessions are available each day from Tuesday through Friday, and one shorter “cram” session on Saturday

Tuesday through Friday
Session starts at 10 am to 2 pm EST
Session starts at 3 pm to 7 pm EST

Saturday (Cram Session)
Session starts at 12 pm to 3:15 pm EST

You are given the freedom to choose any session, which means if you pick the first 6 sessions, you can finish in 3 days (Tuesday through Thursday).

OnCourse Learning’s mortgage program used to be under ProSchools. They have completely rebranded their courses and are the rising stars in the industry. The courses are text-based, and their instructors are highly knowledgeable with over 20 years of experience. What makes them stand out is their course availability. If you have a full-time job, you will have the best chance at finding something that fits your schedule with their program.

Website
Packages Start At

Course Availability

www.oncourselearning.com
$349

New courses start every Wednesdays and Fridays
Start time at 1 pm ET
14-day

Top 4 MLO NMLS Courses in California (Mortgage Loan Originator)

  • Do you want to work in the real estate industry?
  • Are you interested in helping people get the financing they need to buy their dream house?

You will need to obtain a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) license (or what they call an endorsement if you have a real estate license) by completing the 20-hour course required by California and passing the National Exam.

If you are like me, you did a quick Google search to find an NMLS-approved course provider and can’t decide on which school to choose. There are so many of them!

This Is What I Discovered

There are certain things that every school will do the same. There are mandatory requirements set by the NMLS, so there is no way around it. Here are just a few examples:

  • When you login to your account, you have to go through an annoying biometric password system called BioSig-ID.
  • If you take an online course, you will have to spend a minimum number of hours logged in online. If you are idle for too long, it will automatically log you out. There are no shortcuts.
  • Every course has to be “instructor-led” that starts and ends on a specific date. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a live person has to teach the class. It just means that you will be put in a group (or what they call a cohort) and has an instructor assigned to you. The instructor will check in with you and try to interact with you on assignments. This is usually done via messaging or discussion forum.

What Makes A School Different From The Rest?

Although every approved NMLS course provider has to abide by certain regulations, what sets a school apart from the others is their price, quality, and course availability.

  • Price: My only advice here is don’t go with a school just because it’s cheaper. If a school is cheaper, there is usually a reason for it (low quality). This will come and bite you later on. For example, the average pass rate for the National Exam is 58%. If you don’t pass it on your first try, you have to pay the $110 exam fee again and wait another 30 days to re-attempt it.
  • Quality: Every school develops their own courses and content. You are trying to launch a new career. My suggestion is to set yourself up for success by choosing the provider that has the best and most reputable program.
  • Course availability: Every school has their own start dates and course schedule. This will vary widely. Some programs are only 2 days long while others can last for 2 weeks. Some schools require you to show up at certain times while others do not. Regardless, they will cover the same 20 hours of content.

Now that you know the basic similarities and differences between each school, let’s take a look at the best NMLS course providers in California to launch your career as a Mortgage Loan Originator.

Allied Schools is the biggest and most well known real estate school in California. You can’t go wrong with their program. They have been the industry leaders for almost 30 years. The format is text-based, and the courses offer a lot of flexibility, so if you have a full-time job or other commitments, this will be a great option for you.  This is my top pick since their program covers both the DRE and DBO requirements, so you won’t have to ever worry about it later if you switch to a company that requires it. 

If you also need to get your real estate license, they are the only school that offers both programs. You can save a ton of money by going with the Dual Licensing package (Mortgage + Real Estate license).

Website
Packages start at

Course Availability

www.realestatelicense.com
$288

New classes start every Wednesdays
Can start any time on Wednesday
14-day duration

Mortgage Educators and Compliance also has a solid mortgage program. They incorporate a video format, which makes it more engaging. However, there are activities and quizzes that you have to complete every 5 minutes, so you will definitely have to be 100% focused the whole time. They offer classes in person, but only in select locations (California and Utah) a few times a month. There is also a live webinar option, which lasts 3 days. However, the webinars are only offered three times per month and starts at 9 am.

Website
Packages start at

Course Availability

www.mortgageeducators.com
$349

New classes start every Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
Start time 8 am PT
5-day, 7-day, and 12-day duration

OnCourse Learning’s mortgage program used to be called ProSchools. They have completely rebranded their courses and have the widest availability, offering courses that start every day of the week. They have a nice webinar course where you can watch the instructor and ask questions on the spot. Or, if you prefer the regular online format, they have that too. Their instructors are highly knowledgeable with over 20 years of experience.

Note: if you take the webinar and need to fulfill the DBO requirement, you will also need to sign up for the 2-hour online DBO course.

Website
Packages start at

Course Availability

www.oncourselearning.com
$349

Webinars start every Mondays
Start time at 7 am PT
3-day duration

Online courses start every Tuesdays and Thursdays
Start time at 10 am PT
7-day duration

Online courses start every Wednesdays and Fridays
Start time at 10 am PT
14-day duration

Affinity Real Estate Services offers both online and live classes. Where they really shine is with their live classes, which is led by founder Artricia Woods. Her passion and charisma will keep you engaged the whole time. However, they currently only have one location in Bellflower, CA, and the slots are frequently sold out, so you have to reserve your spot early. It is also going to be more expensive than the online format, but if you can make it out there, you won’t be disappointed. They have a perfect 5-star rating on Yelp. They also offer interest-free payment plans if you are on a budget.

Website
Packages start at


Course Availability

www.mlotrainingacademy.com
$530 (online)
$550 (live class)

New classes start every Mondays and some Fridays
5-day or 10-day (online)
2-day (live class)