Top 3 Online MLO NMLS Courses in California

If you want to work in the real estate industry, helping people obtain financing for a house is one of the best ways to do it. You can make as much money as a real estate agent without having to step outside of the office.

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.

Best School for Interactive Learning

Affinity Real Estate Services offers both online, live webinar, and live classes. The classes are taught by founder Artricia Woods. Her passion and charisma will keep you engaged the whole time. However, they currently only have one physical location for live classes in Bellflower, CA, and the slots are frequently sold out, so you have to reserve your spot early. Live classes are great if you want an interactive learning experience, but I think the online format will work just as well for most people. If you want the best of both worlds, you can go with the live webinar option. You get the interactivity of a classroom from the comfort of your home.

They have a perfect 5-star rating on Yelp and scored 4.9 out of 5 points on Facebook reviews. So, chances are that you won’t be disappointed. They also offer interest-free payment plans if you are on a budget for qualifying candidates. Although it is a tad bit higher on the price range, if you want to take the mortgage course and have some fun doing it at the same time, this is the program for you.

Best School with the Lowest Prices

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 usually start at 9 am.

The biggest differentiator that separates Mortgage Educators and Compliance from other mortgage schools is their price. You can get a jaw-dropping 40% off all online pre-license and continuing education courses by clicking on Get 40% Off

Best School for Test Prep

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.

They are actually a subsidiary of the Colibri Group and have recently changed from using their own platform to using Learn Mortgage, another subsidiary that is based in Ohio. The courses are virtually the same. However, the price has gone up a little bit.

One notable change is the exam prep. You can now get access (for an additional cost) to CompuCram to help you study for the national exam. CompuCram Test Preparation kit integrates vocabulary tools, practice testing, and comprehensive simulated exams into an “all-in-one” solution