Loan agent? Mortgage broker? Loan processor? What’s the difference?

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Also How do I become one? What are the qualification? Do I need to have a degree or license or certificate? I am in California.

  1. Reply
    lois d
    April 29, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    yes you will need those license and certificates.

  2. Reply
    H I
    April 29, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Load agent: Is the party lending you the money
    Mortgage broker: Is the party searching for the best loan for
    for you.
    Loan Processor: Is the party in charge of the load going though.

  3. Reply
    real estate girl
    April 29, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    There are differences between brokers, agents and processors. Liability and responsibility is the main difference. So depending on which you will do, will depend on whether you will need a license. Go to the Dept. of Real Estate web site and you will be able to get info on it. That web address is: Also, talk to a reputable Mortgage broker in your local area. They should be able to give you some advice.

  4. Reply
    jessica m
    April 30, 2011 at 12:09 am

    A loan agent works under a broker. A processor is basically doing all the paperwork and organization of the loan. When you work for a loan brokerage you have access to many different banks’ loan programs. You pull your clients credit 1 time as opposed to your client going to different banks them selves getting there credit pulled numerous times. In California you are supposed to be licensed by the “DRE” (Department of Real Estate). You have to complete a course in Real Estate Priciples before you can take the licensing exam. There are plenty of schools out there that can provide you with the course. I used Kaplan. Log on to the “DRE” website and Kaplan schools for complete info and good luck!

  5. Reply
    Kim F
    April 30, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Well, there is Loan Agent (AKA Account Exceutive, Loan Specialist) and Loan Officer. The first is an unlicensed person who originates mortgage quotes and passes them off to the Loan Officer. The Loan Officer then takes the info, and gives quotes, and collects necessary paperwork from the borrower. The Loan Officer is basically the front-man. The Mortgage broker is the one the Loan Officer hangs his license under. You HAVE to hang your license with someone, whether it be Countrywide (but they are a direct lender), WaMu (direct lender), Century 21 (Realtors), any of them. The broker is the person who intermediates all of it, and has the approvals with several lenders to shop borrowers packages around to. If they are not approved with a specific lender, then they have to obtain a broker approval packet from the lender. The Loan Processor is the person who gets the complete file and actually submits it to the lender for approval. The processor will inform the Loan Officer of what else is needed from the borrower, according to what the lender’s underwriter tells him. The underwriter is the person who examines the entire file and decides what conditions, if any, must be met to approve the loan for the borrower. If you want to either be a Loan Officer or Broker, you must first take the DRE test. But, you can’t become a broker without, I believe 2 years or something like that of being a Loan Officer, and the test is harder and requires more education. To be a Loan Officer, you will need to take your principals course, first. This is an open book test, and you find a place to give you the book, wait 3 weeks, then take your test. Then, after you pass your principles course, you are eligible to take the State Test. Go to and there you will find a list of approved classes, and how to apply for your state exam. Remember, 70% of people who take the State test will not pass the 1st time, 50% won’t pass the 2nd, and 30% won’t pass the 3rd time they take the test. The reason is because they try to catch you off guard and doubt your answer by re-wording the same question repeatedly. I passed the 1st time with no courses by studying material I received from a fellow Loan Officer over a 3 day weekend. The best way to study is to repeat the question and only the correct answer to yourself 3 times. Even with taking courses, most people don’t pass the first time. After you do pass, you will need to find a broker to hang your license with. You will need to have Live Scan done on your fingerprints to have background check run on you by the FBI. The fees and everything will be listed on the website, and in the packet you receive after you take your test. In CA, there is mandatory ongoing education requirement for new licensees, stating that you must complete all of the required courses before you can be fully licensed without condition. Best of luck to you

  6. Reply
    April 30, 2011 at 1:29 am

    The state quaification for LOAN AGENT Educational Req. to IS THE SAME AS REAL ESTATE SALES AGENT( take the real estate principle class either online, community college or other schools, take the state exam and you will become a real estate agent/loan agent. YOu have to be 18, and ur background must be clear to qualify for the license.)
    Mortgage broker requirement is, 8 classes(r.e. principle, r.e. practice, property management, r.e. appraisal, r.e. economics,, business law, and mortgage brokering). These classes are mandatory to qualify for the exam. YOU SHOUL HAVE A BACHELORS DEGREE TO AVOID HAVING WORK EXP. If you do not have a bach. degree, you must work as a realtor/loan agent for 2 years full time plus the 8 classes to qualify for the state exam. If you have an AA degree, you must complete the 8 courses plus a proof of one year full time experience as real estate sales license holder.
    LOAN PROCESSOR does not require any educational background unless you are working for a firm that requires you to have it.
    Mortgage broker is the boss, Loan Agent is the sales associate, and Loan processor is the clerk. The broker can be a loan agent, and a processor at the same time, but a loan agent can not be the broker. LOAN AGENT does represent the agency/broker, and has to be working under a broker. The processor can not be the agent unless he/she is the broker. LOAN AGENT AND PROCESSOR MUST WORK UNDER A BROKER.
    If you are working for a large corp. such as BOA, OR any other bank, you do not have to have license at all to be working as a loan agent, unless the bank requires you to have one.
    Loan agent is usually on commission only position, so its easy to get a loan agent job. Apply to any local loan office, or talk to me about it, i am a real estate broker/mortgage broker.
    Processing positions are pretty slow now days, chances are you might not find one, but to have a processing job, please call or go to the nearest loan/mtg office.

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