Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) | About the Job

What do MLO's do?

The mortgage loan officer works with a specific group of lenders and connects them with a potential home buyer, acting as the liaison between the two parties.

Here are some of the responsibilities you’ll encounter as a loan officer:

  • Prospect and cultivate new leads by reaching out to people who need a mortgage
  • Meet with potential home buyers and consult them through the loan application process
  • Review and analyze their financial information, including income and credit scores
  • Be knowledgeable about the different types of loan products that are available
  • Assist clients with selecting the mortgage program that best suits their situation
  • Prepare loan documents and walk the applicant through the contract
  • Comply with national and state lending regulations at all times
  • Work with lenders to approve the application and fund the mortgage

This is a client-facing position, meaning you work hand-in-hand with the client to guide them through the entire loan application process. You’ll have to review their financial history and determine if they qualify for a mortgage loan.

An experienced loan officer will be knowledgeable about the different types of loan products and services that are available in the market. This becomes especially important when dealing with applicants who have a lower income, high debt-to-income ratio, or have had financial challenges in the past.

This is a performance and sales driven profession, where selling and customer service skills are important factors for success. Communication skills, both oral and written, also play a critical role. Potential job candidates should be resourceful and tech savvy.

Leads are typically provided by the employer, but you should still develop a strong referral network to truly thrive at this profession.

What's their work schedule look like?

Most mortgage loan officers work full time and have a typical Monday through Friday work schedule. They may spend their time in the office or out in the field to meet with clients.

Because their pay is based primarily on their performance, they may choose to work nights and weekends. Attending networking events, trade shows, and national conferences like the ones held by the National Association of Mortgage Brokers is encouraged to help generate more business.

How much do MLO's make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic, half of all mortgage loan officers were making $64,660 in 2017. The bottom 10% were earning less than $32670 while the top 10% were making more than $135,000.

They are typically paid on a base salary plus commission/bonus structure. Their commission is usually based on the number of loans they originate and the dollar amount funded. Bonuses are used to incentivize people to hit a specific target.

Commission is negotiable, but usually ranges between 1% to 1.5% of the funded amount of the loan.