COMPLETE LIST | NMLS Schools in California (MLO)

RankSchool20-hour Pre-licensing Course8-hour Continuing Education
1Affinity Real Estate ServicesOnline, Webinar, Classroom (Bellflower)Online, Classroom (Bellflower)
2Allied SchoolsOnlineOnline
3Mortgage EducatorsOnline, Webinar, Classroom (Walnut Creek, Visalia)Online, Webinar, Classroom (Walnut Creek, Visalia)
4MortgageEducation.comOnlineOnline
5First TuesdayOnline
6Real Estate Trainers, Inc.Classroom (Anaheim)Classroom (Anaheim)
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.

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