Top 3 Online MLO NMLS Course Providers in Florida in 2023

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.


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.


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.

Best School for Interactive Learning 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.

They just spent a great deal of time (and money) to take their program to the next level. The 20-hour pre-license course is offered in full video now, and there are live instructors to help you along the way. The best part is that you have the flexibility to start any time and finish any time (up to 14 days). This means if you are in a rush to get licensed, you can start right now and complete the course in as little as 3 days. Or, if you already have a full-time job or busy schedule, you can take more time and work on it on nights and weekends as needed. also just came out with brand new exam prep to help you study for the National Exam. While other schools only offer multiple-choice practice tests to help you prepare, now offers an optional video course, in addition to practice tests, designed specifically for the National Exam. This video course is pre-recorded, so you can watch it any time. It covers what to expect on the exam, how you should be studying for the exam, and smart test taking tips.

Approved Course Provider NMLS #: 1400051

Best School for Knowledge Seekers

If you are not in a rush to get licensed and want to study the hardest you possibly can to pass the exam, then The CE Shop is the mortgage school for you. The CE Shop has been helping thousands of students successfully obtain their real estate license for the past 17 years and have recently started offering mortgage courses as well. 
All the courses at The CE Shop are 100% online-based, which means you read an eTextbook and complete online tests. However, there is a good amount of visual graphics and short video clips interspersed throughout the course to keep you engaged. With this program, you can sign up and start whenever you are ready. You can also move at your own pace, but even if you finish it quickly, they don’t release your certificates until 13 days after your start date.
The thing that really separates The CE Shop from other programs is how rigorous the courses are. There are no shortcuts with this program. In fact, you have to take a quick quiz about the course before taking the actual course. What all this translates into is that you will truly be able to master the material and pass the exams with flying colors. If you are up for a good challenge, then this would be a great fit for you. 

Approved Course Provider NMLS #: 1405076

Best School for Structured Learning

OnCourse Learning is a subsidiary of the parent company Colibri Group, which also owns Gold Coast Schools and Colibri Real Estate. They are the biggest online real estate school in the country and have a robust mortgage program to help Floridians get licensed. 

You have two main options to choose from to complete the pre-licensing courses: live webinar or pre-recorded video. What makes OnCourse Learning different is that they already have the lesson plan setup for you. Once you enroll into the course, there is a fixed, day-to-day schedule that will guide you through the course. If you choose the live webinar option, this is scheduled down to the hour. If you like the flexibility of studying at home but want a more structured learning environment for you to follow, this program will work great for you.

When you are ready to take the National Exam, OnCourse Learning has their proprietary prep course called Prep xL. This comprehensive package contains over 1,200 questions, 8 simulated practice exams, and over 800 interactive flashcards. You can create custom plans tailored to your progress, where you are given more questions on weak areas and fewer questions on topics you’ve already mastered. It is compatible on desktop, mobile and tablets. 

Approved Course Provider NMLS #: 1400013

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