Monthly Archives: September 2014

  • What Impact Do NMLS Licensing Requirements Have on Mortgage Education?


    The efforts that mortgage loan originators go through in their Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) licensing and renewal processes are all designed to address industry enrichment and accountability. The processes may have seemed overwhelming in their infancy, but five years of communication, instruction, and outreach has created widely accepted protocols in the minds of state agencies and industry players.

    What does NMLS do?

    Among many other responsibilities, the NMLS oversees the mortgage loan originator education pre-licensing and continuing education programs. They create requirements and functional specifications for all approved education providers to follow. Specifically, they dictate and carry out the federal standards for how and what students are to be taught. This includes elements like:

    • Allowable course delivery formats (online self-paced, online instructor-led, classroom, and classroom equivalent)
    • The minimum and maximum length of time allowed for education programs
    • Review and approval of course content

    The NMLS also serves as an online repository of education completion for mortgage loan originators (MLOs). Education providers report MLO course completion to the NMLS where it is stored and reflected within each unique profile.

    The NMLS works with state agencies, industry experts, and professional service companies to create the national test content outlines and national tests that MLOs must pass for licensure. Mortgage education and testing go hand-in-hand, and the NMLS ensures both of these experiences are aligned with the intent of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) for Mortgage Licensing Act.

    Every year, the NMLS reviews and revises education and testing requirements through functional specification documents for educational providers (like OnCourse Learning, formerly ProSchools). The revisions to the educational requirements are usually made to address any issues or enhancements to the process, which are identified through student surveys, audits, and advances in e-learning capabilities.

  • Guide to the Uniform State Test for Mortgage Loan Originators


    The Uniform State Test (UST) for mortgage loan originators was launched by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) in April 2013. Prior to its launch, mortgage loan originators (MLOs) were required to complete a state-specific exam for every state he/she wished to conduct business in. There were originally 50+ state-specific exams developed by the NMLS and state agencies.

    States now have the option to adopt the UST instead of administering a state-specific exam. The majority of states and US territories have adopted the UST, which tests MLO candidates on high level state-related content applicable to each state.

    The UST is now a required component of the NMLS national test component – increasing the number of test questions from 100 to 125 to account for the additional topic area. Once an MLO passes the National Test with Uniform State Content, he/she will be compliant with testing requirements for all states that have adopted the UST as part of their licensing requirements. A stand-alone UST was available for a period of one year beginning April 1, 2013 and ending on March 31, 2014.

    The National Test Component with Uniform State Content:

    • Includes 125 questions (115 scored)
    • Is to be completed within 190 minutes
    • Costs $110

    It includes the following topic areas:

    • Federal mortgage related laws
    • General mortgage knowledge
    • Mortgage loan origination activities
    • Ethics
    • Uniform State Content

    To see the official test content outline released by the NMLS click here.

    The UST portion of the exam includes topic areas such as:

    • State law and regulation definitions
    • License law and regulation
    • Compliance

    If you are entering the mortgage lending business as a state-licensed loan originator in a state that has adopted the UST, you will be accountable for passing the Uniform State Test as a module within the national test. Once you’ve passed the new, 125-question test, you’ll have met the testing requirements for all states that have adopted the Uniform State Test.

    If you’re getting ready to take the national test and need to prepare, or to get more information about the Uniform State Test, contact OnCourse Learning, formerly ProSchools today to find out how we can make it easy to get the education you need.

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