How to Become a Notary Loan Signing Agent
How to Become a Notary Loan Signing Agent--The Fast Way & The Right Way
When I desperately needed a job I discovered I could become a Notary Loan Signing Agent. This was the answer for me at a difficult time, and it can be the answer for many others who are out of work or underemployed.
A Notary Loan Signing Agent is a Notary who conducts the signing of loan closing papers, notarizing those of the documents requiring notarization. They are often Mobile Notaries, based out of their homes, who are sent to the borrower's home or office with the loan papers. The Notary must know enough about the loan papers to explain what they are without offering any legal or professional advice.
You don't need a degree to become a Notary Public or loan signing agent, and training only takes a few hours. I've told my story below, and included links to all the details you need to get started today.
Photos on this article: Files of Nancy Oram
Notary Loan Signing Agent Comprehensive Certification Course & Reference Manual - Including Over 50 Sample Loan Documents & Final Exam
My course has now been published and is available on Amazon! I wrote this course after training many Notaries to qualify for the higher commissions by becoming loan signing agents. All my training information is in this one manual.
How I became a Signing Agent and Started a New Career
Within nine months I purchased a car and a house.
About six years ago my son-in-law was working for a major lender and told me I ought to become a signing agent. I had no idea what one was. He told me they were paid $150 per signing, which took less than an hour. I was already working from home as a legal transcriber, so it sounded like a good add-on and I listened to him. He told me basically all I needed to do was become a Notary Public and then start notarizing loan packages, and the sooner I did, the sooner I could start making money. I had no idea what a loan package involved.
The first step was to become a Notary for the State of California. That took about three weeks, from signing up for a class (which you can just take online now), to receiving my commission and official stamp. During that time my son-in-law kept asking if I had my commission yet. I kept thinking of all the assignments I would get through him :).
Okay, so now that I was legally authorized to notarize documents, my son-in-law changed jobs and was no longer positioned to give me work. However, soon after that he was at a title company to sign his own closing papers on a house, and he recommended me to the title officer. "Do you need signing agents? My mother-in-law does that." Well, they needed me the next morning. "Thanks, Carlos (I think)!" I had yet to do my first notarization, let alone a loan package. HELP!
"Okay, Carlos, how do I do this?!" He brought over his own papers, and we did pretend signings for about an hour. Next morning I had my first assignment. It took one and one-half hours. If I had known what I was doing, that signing would have taken me twenty minutes.
I'm telling you my own story so you can see how fast you can get started. I had a lot to learn, and fortunately that title officer was willing to check my work for awhile to save us both disaster. Since I had no background whatsoever in the industry, I took a class for signing agents as soon as I could locate one. I also asked lots of questions, and absorbed all I could from people I met in the industry. I was in business!
I don't recommend doing it this way. I made lots of mistakes that other title companies would not have tolerated.
Once I felt confident in what I was doing, I loved it. I did signings at title companies inhouse when they were swamped, and I was sent out to homes and offices for people who wanted to sign at their convenience. I started in October, and in January I was able to buy a car that was better suited to my new mobile business. At the end of May we moved out of our rented duplex and into a new home.
In the last six years I've taught many other Notaries how to do what I do, but through good training from the start.
And while it's true I made much more than I had ever made before, and with just part-time hours, it's also true that there are dips in business that you need to plan for ahead of time by having another source of income, as I do, or by saving from the good months for a rainy day.
The Best Way to Become a Notary Signing Agent
Get Your Training and Confidence From the Start
The best way to become a signing agent is to:
1. Become a Notary Public in your state.
2. Take a course to become a signing agent.
Here are some important facts most people don't know:
Not all states allow Notaries Public to do loan signings. There are a few states where signing agents must be attorneys. Before you start training for this career, make sure it's legal in your state.
You don't have to be a certified loan signing agent to notarize loan documents. You don't even have to be trained, as illustrated by how I started out. But you do have to be a commissioned Notary Public.
It can sound confusing, but think of it this way: Notaries Public are commissioned by their state to notarize documents. They can choose to notarize loan packages. In order to do this, title companies would like you to know what you're doing, so it's good to take a class. When you take a class, you may receive a certificate stating that you have satisfactorily completed the course. Then you are a Notary Public who is also a certified loan signing agent.
Many course vendors would like you to think you MUST take a course, preferably theirs, and that you MUST be certified as well. They usually charge more for a test and certification. In all my years of performing signings, not one title officer has asked for proof of certification, or even if I had taken a course. But they did expect me to know what I was doing, and to do it professionally.
Six years ago the industry was CRAZY BUSY, which is probably why I was able to come in inexperienced and untrained. So what's happened since that time? It slowed down, the signing agents, especially the poor ones, have jumped ship and moved on. The good ones have stayed on with steady assignments and good, loyal clients.
The industry is getting hot again, and there's always room for good Notary Signing Agents. That could be you!
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Photos used with permission are credited in individual modules. Every other photo on this lens resides in original form in my personal collection.