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)