Mortgage Continuing Education (CE) Frequently Asked Questions

mortgage continuing education ce frequently asked questions

Now that you have gotten your mortgage lending license you are probably wondering how, when and what is required to maintain your license. Read on to learn about MLO and NMLS continuing eduation requirements to keep your license in good standing.

What are the continuing education requirements for mortgage loan originators?

The SAFE Act mandates that state-licensed mortgage loan originators complete 8 hours of continuing education annually. The 8 hours must include:

  • 3 hours of Federal law and regulations
  • 2 hours of ethics, including instruction on fraud, consumer protection, and fair lending
  • 2 hours related to the nontraditional mortgage marketplace
  • 1 hour of undefined instruction on mortgage origination

Do states have different requirements for mortgage continuing education?

Yes. The majority of states only require the SAFE Act minimum of eight hours of continuing education; however, several states require that licensees complete state-specific law hours. In some cases, the state-specific hours are within the eight hours required, but some states require more than eight hours. For more information, view the state-specific education chart provided by the NMLS.

When should I have all my mortgage continuing education completed?

For most states, the NMLS recommends that all CE is completed by the SMART deadline to ensure all credits are submitted and approved in time for mortgage license renewal on January 1st. Be sure to review your state's CE deadlines.

OnCourse Learning offers a full catalog of continuing education courses.

Can I complete the same course in two successive renewals with OnCourse Learning?

The SAFE Act does not permit licensed MLOs to complete the same course in two successive renewals. Fortunately, OnCourse Learning creates a new courses every year, meaning you'll always get the most up-to-date education and you will never have to worry about whether or not you're meeting the "successive years" rule.

I took more hours than I needed to renew last year. Can I use those to renew this year?

No. Continuing education only counts for the year in which it is taken.

What happens if I don't get my continuing education done on time?

Many states allow for a reinstatement period, typically from January 1 to February 28. During this reinstatement period, you must complete continuing education specifically approved by the NMLS as “Late CE”.

What is "credit banking" and how does it work?

The NMLS requires all completed hours to be "banked" with the NMLS. OnCourse Learning, as your NMLS-approved course provider, will transmit your completion record to the NMLS within seven days after you have finished your coursework and your session has ended. The NMLS charges $1.50 per credit hour to bank your credit hours.

What exactly is an NMLS "unique identifier?"

Each mortgage loan originator registered in the NMLS will be permanently assigned a number that will help electronically track them.

A mortgage loan originator's unique identifier will not change as he or she moves from state to state. In fact, the process of getting your MLO license in additional states is streamlined by just adding the new state's license to the current record.

Do I need an NMLS unique identifier to have my credits banked with the NMLS or to enroll for the SAFE Loan Originator Test?"

Yes. To have your credits banked or to enroll for the SAFE Loan Originator Test, you must have a unique identifier. The NMLS Resource Center makes it easy to get registered and receive your unique identifier.

What is the NMLS, or NMLSR?

NMLS is the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System. Each mortgage loan originator license applicant is required to submit certain information, including fingerprints, personal history, and experience. This information is stored in a national database of mortgage originators, developed and maintained by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the NMLS?

For questions relating to the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System, please contact the NMLS Call Center at (855) 665-7123.

Who do I contact if I have questions about my state’s requirements?

For questions relating to your state’s specific requirements, you may access a list of all state regulators' websites.

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