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.