Where do I apply for a loan originator license?
Oregon uses the Nationwide Mortgage License System (NMLS) as part of company and loan originator licensing. Instructions on how to submit an application for Oregon, or any other state, are available on the NMLS website. NMLS has a resources and support section that may be helpful, particularly for first-time users.
What are the licensing requirements?
An applicant must:
- Submit fingerprints for a FBI background check
- Not have been convicted of a felony within the past seven years or have ever been convicted of a felony that involved an act of fraud, dishonesty, or a breach of trust, or money laundering
- Authorize NMLS to obtain a credit report
- Demonstrate financial responsibility
- Complete 20 hours of pre-licensure education, including fours hours of Oregon specific education
- Pass the national test with uniform state content
- Submit an application through NMLS (MU4 form)
- Have a surety bond or be covered by the company's surety bond using the scale provided for in Oregon law
- Not have had a mortgage license revoked in any state
I work as a loan originator for a licensed mortgage company. Do I need a bond?
If you work for an Oregon-licensed mortgage company, you are covered by the company's surety bond. You do not need to provide an individual bond.
May I work as an MLO for more than one company at a time?
ORS 86A.178(2) prohibits an MLO working for more than one mortgage banker, mortgage broker, or other mortgage lender or independent mortgage agency at the same time.
I've filed my application through NMLS. Do I need to send anything directly to Oregon?
No. When an examiner reviews your application, the examiner will note any missing items through deficiencies and requirements placed on the application. When the examiner places a deficiency or requirement, you will receive an email from NMLS to let you know. You need to log in to NMLS to view the specific deficiency or requirement and related instructions.
Who can answer my questions about loan originator licensing?
Questions regarding screens on NMLS, including matters related to navigating the MU4 form, can be addressed by the NMLS call center at 855-NMLS-123 (855-665-7123).
Questions about the requirements for an Oregon license, such as testing and education, should be directed to the Division of Financial Regulation at 503-378-4140.
I've completed my application. When can I expect to be licensed?
Allow two to four weeks for your application to be reviewed. You will know that your application is being reviewed once your status changes from pending-incomplete to pending-review or another status. In the order received, an examiner will review the application and set any deficiencies in NMLS for missing items or issue the license if the application is complete and satisfactory. You will receive an email from NMLS when the examiner changes your license status.
Is there a certain number of loans a person can originate without a license?
No. A license is required for even one loan.
What happens if the loan originator applies without sponsorship?
In order to have a complete application and be approved for an active license, Oregon requires that the company sponsor the licenses of its loan originators. If a loan originator does not have a company sponsor the license, the loan originator's license will be set to an inactive status once the application is otherwise complete and acceptable.
The loan originator may not originate any loans when the license is in inactive status. Once we have received an acceptable sponsorship request, we will approve the sponsorship and change the status to "active."
How does a company sponsor a loan originator license?
Sponsorship is done in NMLS. First, create a company relationship with the loan originator, then sponsor the license. There is a quick guide with information about how to do that.
Once the loan originator is licensed to originate, if the individual chooses to quit a mortgage company, does the license for the individual expire at anytime or does it stay in effect as long as they maintain the education hours?
If the loan originator quits working for a mortgage company, the loan originator's license will be changed to an inactive status. Once the loan originator begins to work for another company, that company will submit a sponsorship request. Once that request has been accepted, we will change the loan originator's inactive license back to active. A license may remain in the inactive status indefinitely as long as the loan originator renews the license each year and keeps the license up-to-date.
I am the owner and broker of the company. Will I have to have a loan originator license?
If you will originate Oregon loans for the company in addition to your managerial role, then you must have an Oregon loan originator license. This applies whether you are an owner, broker, experienced person, or occupy any other position with the company. If you individually originate loans in Oregon, you must have an Oregon loan originator license. If you do not originate Oregon loans, then you do not have to have the Oregon loan originator license.
Will a branch manager have to have an Oregon loan originator license?
Branch managers are not required to originate loans and are not required to hold loan originator licenses to be a branch manager. However, if the branch manager originates loans in addition to the managerial duties, then the branch manager must have a loan originator license.
Do I need to send in the "jurisdiction specific document" when I apply for my license?
The jurisdiction specific document is also called the mortgage loan originator application checklist. You need to send in this document only if you work for a company that is exempt from mortgage lender (company) licensing, such as a nonprofit or government agency. If you need to send in the form, do so to the address listed on the form, by fax to 503-947-7862, or by email to NMLS.Licensing@oregon.gov.
I received an email from NMLS saying that my application was "pending-deficient" but it didn't tell me what was wrong with it. What do I do?
The email is only to alert you that something has changed, but it will not tell you what you need to do. You must log into NMLS to find the deficiencies.
For information about managing these tasks, review the Navigation Guide.
I have a deficiency in NMLS for the criminal records check, but I provided my fingerprints and authorized the check. What more do I need to do to get that cleared?
The deficiency for Federal Criminal Background Check Required - New license is a deficiency set by NMLS because your criminal record check is still pending with the FBI. The deficiency will automatically clear when the criminal record check is received by the NMLS. The state receives a report each day of the checks that were completed the previous day. You do not need to notify us that the report has been received.
I'm a licensed MLO who wants to change companies. What do I need to do?
To leave one company to go to work as a loan originator for another company, you need to complete several steps. First, you need to terminate your relationship in NMLS with the first company. Then, you need to update your record in NMLS by filing an amended MU4. When amending your MU4, you should check that your identifying information such as telephone number, fax number, and email are correct. You also need to update your employment history to include the date of separation from the old company and a new employment record for the new company, plus make any other changes to information that may have changed since your last filing. The final step is to make sure you give the new company access to your record. NMLS has prepared a Quick Guide with step by step information for this entire process.
I received an email that says there is a deficiency on my license, but the email doesn't tell me what it is. What do I do?
The e-mail will not tell you what the deficiency is. It is simply to alert you that a deficiency has been placed on your license. Do not call our office to ask what the deficiency is. Instead, log in to NMLS to see what the deficiency is. There are instructions on how to do that.
I have a deficiency to respond to another state's denial, suspension, or revocation of my license, but my license is now fully-approved in the other state. Do I still have to respond to the deficiency?
Yes. Unless the other state has provided external notes in NMLS that indicate that the denial, revocation, or suspension were in error, you must provide in NMLS either:
- Written confirmation from the other state that the action was in error
- A letter of explanation regarding the license action and a copy of the letter, order, or other notification from the state regarding the license action
The letter of explanation should explain why the other state took action on your license and your explanation of the events from your point of view. If the other state has provided external notes in NMLS that indicate that the denial, revocation, or suspension was in error, inform the person who placed the deficiency that the matter has been resolved and there are notes in NMLS. That way, we can check, because we do not receive notice when those notes are placed.
How soon should I notify the state of any change of name, address, email, etc.?
Loan originators must notify the division within 30 days following any change to the information contained in the application.
I filed an amendment in NMLS changing my information. Do I need to provide written notice of any change to the state?
Filing an amendment in NMLS is considered the notice of the change to the division. You do not need to send notice outside of NMLS to the division unless we specifically direct you to do so.
Can I find out if my criminal or negative credit history will prevent me from getting a license before I apply for a license?
No. We do not review criminal or credit information in advance of receiving a full application.
If I have filed for bankruptcy will I be denied a license?
It depends. All applications are reviewed for the totality of the circumstances. You will have to disclose that you have filed for bankruptcy. You will be required to provide a written statement explaining the reason that you filed for bankruptcy. You also need to provide a copy of your bankruptcy discharge or full petition with all schedules. If you have filed for bankruptcy more than once, you are more likely to be denied or offered a conditional license.
I have filed for bankruptcy. What do I need to provide?
In addition to answering yes to the disclosure question in NMLS, you must also provide a written statement explaining why you filed for bankruptcy and a copy of your discharge or full petition with all schedules.
I have an unpaid judgment. What do I need to provide?
In addition to answering yes to the disclosure question in NMLS, you must also provide a written statement explaining what the judgment is for and why you did not pay it previously, as well as a copy of the judgment and your current payment plan.
I have an unpaid tax lien. What do I need to provide?
In addition to answering yes to the disclosure question in NMLS, you must also provide a written statement explaining why you were unable to pay your taxes and a copy of the lien and your current payment plan.
What is considered a current payment plan?
A current payment plan is one in which you are actively making payments to satisfy the debt. A plan to pay at some point in the future, such as when you have a job or when a home sells, is not sufficient.
My house has been in foreclosure. What do I need to provide?
When directed to by the division, you must provide a written statement regarding the foreclosure. The statement must include information about the nature of the property, why the property is in foreclosure, and whether the foreclosure process is now complete. If it is not, provide information about your plan with regard to the foreclosure (short sale, modification, deed in lieu, etc.).
I have a felony conviction. What do I need to provide?
If the felony conviction is less than seven years old or is a conviction for a crime involving fraud, dishonesty, breach of trust, or money laundering, you are not eligible to have an Oregon mortgage loan originator license. Do not apply for a license as we will deny the application and will not refund the license fees you pay when you apply.
If the felony conviction is more than seven years old and is not a conviction for a crime involving fraud, dishonesty, breach of trust, or money laundering, in addition to answering yes to the disclosure question in NMLS, you must also provide through NMLS a written explanation of the circumstances surrounding the conviction, plus a copy of the court records or a letter from the court indicating that the records are no longer available.
I have a misdemeanor conviction. What do I need to provide?
If the misdemeanor involves any of the following:
- Financial services or a financial services-related business
- False statements or omissions
- Theft or wrongful taking of property
In addition to answering yes to the disclosure question in NMLS, you must also provide through NMLS a written explanation of the circumstances surrounding the conviction, as well as a copy of the court records or a letter from the court indicating that the records are no longer available.
If the misdemeanor does not involve these items, then you do not need to provide anything.
I had another state take action on my license. What do I need to provide?
In addition to answering yes to the appropriate disclosure questions in NMLS, you must also provide through NMLS a written explanation of the circumstances, as well as a copy of the letter, order or other notification of the action by the other state regulator.
I had my fingerprints taken before; do I need to do them again?
Maybe. If your fingerprints were taken by the NMLS-approved vendor and were used for a previous criminal record check, the prints are archived in NMLS and may be used for up to three years. You may elect to use the archived prints. If you do not select this option, you will be directed to give new prints. If you have not had your fingerpints taken by the NMLS-approved vendor, they were not usable, or they have expired in NMLS, you need to have your fingerprints taken again. There is information about this process in the Resource Center.
Is there any way to use a criminal record check for more than one state?
If you time it right. In order for your criminal record check for another state to work for Oregon as well, you need to authorize the criminal records checks and give your fingerprints at the same time. For instance, you authorize the criminal records check for Oregon and Washington at the same time. Then, when the report is returned, it can be used for both the states. The key is how you time the authorization. The authorization must be valid for both states before the criminal record check is returned. If you authorize the check for Washington, the report is provided to Washington and then you authorize a criminal record check for Oregon, it is too late for Oregon to use the report that has already been returned.
My employer pulled my credit before hiring me. Do you have to pull it again?
Yes. You will have to authorize NMLS to pull your credit report and make it available to the states where you apply for a license.
Will the credit report pull affect my score?
It is supposed to be a "soft" pull that will not affect your score.
Is there a minimum credit score to get a license?
What is "financial responsibility"? How is that decided?
Oregon will review the disclosure question on the application and, later, the credit report to determine that the applicant has demonstrated financial responsibility. We will look for any bankruptcy or pattern of bankruptcies, a foreclosure within the past three years, any unpaid judgments, tax or other government liens, or a pattern of paying creditors late.
If your application or credit report indicates one of these items, we will contact you via NMLS and ask you to provide more information. If the item is in error, such as it wasn't yours, we will ask you to provide information documenting that. If the item is truly yours, we will ask you to provide an explanation of how it came about and what you have done about it. We will then review that information to determine whether the matter truly demonstrated a lack of responsibility. For instance, issues arising due to medical concerns will not be the basis of denial.
Is my application information safe?
Yes. NMLS employs security measures to protect sensitive data. Only authorized people at the division have access to the information. Employees hired by the division are required to undergo background checks.
What pre-licensure education is required?
Every applicant must complete 20 hours of NMLS-approved pre-licensure education, including four hours of Oregon-specific pre-licensure education. You can find approved courses.
What pre-licensure education is required for the full license?
Every applicant must complete 20 hours of NMLS-approved pre-licensure education. Each applicant must have at least four Oregon-specific hours of pre-licensure education. You can find approved courses.
What tests do I have to take to get an Oregon loan originator license?
Oregon currently requires the National Test with Uniform State Content. We will also accept if you previously passed the National Test and either received a passing score on the Oregon component or had your Oregon testing requirement certified.
What if I fail the test?
You must wait 30 days to take the test again. If you fail the test four times, you will be required to wait six months before taking the test again.
Are there any education requirements after I get my license?
Yes. You must take 10 hours of NMLS-approved continuing education, including two hours of Oregon-specific continuing education before renewal each year. However, you are not required to complete continuing education in the year that you completed your pre-licensure education. We encourage you to complete your continuing education requirements before the renewal period in November each year. You will not receive a renewed license if you have not completed your continuing education for that calendar year.
Can I take my continuing education early? For instance, can I take education for both this year and next year right now?
No. Continuing education must be taken between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 each year. There is no carryover of credits. While continuing education must be taken by Dec. 31, we encourage you to take your continuing education before the opening of the renewal period on Nov. 1.
Do I have to take any specific class for the additional two hours that Oregon requires?
No. You may take any class that NMLS approves for Oregon credit.