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How to Prepare for the Loan Officer Exam

Updated on January 21, 2012

The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) producers the mortgage and loan officer exam for use by agencies in issuing state licenses. It is a challenging test, so individuals who need a license should learn how to study for their loan officer exam.

Click on "State Licensing" on the NMLS website to find out the state licensing requirements for loan officers and other mortgage professional individuals and companies. Not all mortgage-related lending personnel must get a state license. It all depends on the particular requirements of the state in which you are living. For example, sole proprietors who originate mortgage loans generally need to take the loan officer test. But mere employees of a lending institution may not need to take a licensing test for loan officers.

If you have to get licensed, then you generally must take the SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator Test (Safe MLO Test). This is just another name for the loan officer exam, as it pertains specifically to mortgage loans instead of pure money loans. Check with your individual state for any licensing requirements and loan officer exams for non-mortgage loans.

You should start to prepare for this loan officer exam by looking at the content outlines. You will generally be taking the national component of the MLO test and a component pertaining to your individual state. Thus, two test takers are not actually taking the same complete test unless they just happen to be from the same state.

Look at the exam content outlines that are applicable to your loan-officer licensing requirements. You will see the percentage of items on the SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator Test for each individual topic. This will guide your study and review for the loan officer test but will not prepare you in and of itself. You are going to have to refer to the exam references to thoroughly prepare for this difficult mortgage licensing exam.

Thankfully, the outlines contain references you can use to study. Look up those references (many can be found for free online) and use them together with the exam content outlines to gain the substantive knowledge needed to pass your mortgage-loan-officer exam.


Resources:

Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System: State Licensing

NMLS: SAFE MLO Exam Content Outlines

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