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Top 11 Loan Analyst Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top loan analyst certifications and the benefits of obtaining them.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Updated 18 min read

Certifications for loan analysts are important because they demonstrate a high level of expertise and knowledge in the field. They demonstrate to employers that the individual has the necessary skills, experience, and education needed to perform well in the job. Additionally, certifications can give loan analysts an edge over other applicants when competing for a job. Certifications provide employers with evidence of an applicant’s commitment to the field, their dedication to excellence, and their ability to stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices. Furthermore, having a certification can open up opportunities for higher pay and better job security.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Loan Analysts and explains how they can help to advance a loan analyst's career.

What are Loan Analyst Certifications?

Loan analyst certification is a type of training and educational program that provides loan analysts with the knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate loan applications and make sound lending decisions. Loan analysts must be able to assess the financial strength of a borrower, analyze credit histories, calculate repayment terms, and determine whether or not a loan is appropriate for a particular borrower. With loan analyst certification, loan analysts can become better equipped to review loans objectively and make informed decisions about which ones should be approved or denied.

The certification process involves completing coursework in topics such as accounting principles, financial statement analysis, credit risk assessment, and other related topics. Upon successful completion of all coursework requirements, individuals may receive their loan analyst certification from an accredited institution or organization. Having this certification can help loan analysts demonstrate their expertise to potential employers or clients, as well as increase their chances of obtaining higher-paying positions in the industry. Additionally, having certifications in specific areas of lending can give an individual an edge over other applicants when it comes to employment opportunities in the field.

Pro Tip: Before pursuing loan analyst certification, make sure to research the requirements for each specific program. Different certifications may have different eligibility requirements, such as a certain number of years of experience or educational background. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the certification you choose is recognized and accepted by potential employers.

Related: What does a Loan Analyst do?

Top 11 Loan Analyst Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Loan Analysts today.

1. Certified Mortgage Loan Originator (CMLO)

A Certified Mortgage Loan Originator (CMLO) is a professional who assists borrowers in obtaining mortgage loans. CMLOs are responsible for helping borrowers understand their options, gathering and submitting documents, and guiding them through the loan approval process.

In order to become a CMLO, one must first obtain a license from the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS). This requires completing an approved pre-licensure education course, passing an exam, and submitting an application to the NMLS. The pre-licensure education course typically takes between 20-30 hours to complete.

The cost of obtaining a CMLO license varies depending on the state in which you live. Generally speaking, it will cost anywhere from $100-$500 to apply for the license. After that, there may be additional fees associated with continuing education courses and annual renewal fees.

Once you have obtained your CMLO license, you can start working as a mortgage loan originator and help borrowers find suitable loan products that meet their needs.

2. Certified Credit Analyst (CCA)

Certified Credit Analyst (CCA) is a professional certification offered by the National Association of Credit Management (NACM). The CCA designation is designed to recognize those who have demonstrated a high level of proficiency in credit management, financial analysis, and related areas. It is intended for individuals who are involved in the credit and finance fields, such as credit analysts, loan officers, and risk managers.

The CCA program consists of two parts: an online course and an exam. The online course covers topics such as financial statement analysis, credit risk assessment, legal aspects of credit management, and more. It takes approximately 10-15 hours to complete the course. After completing the course, candidates must pass a two-hour exam to earn the CCA designation.

To get the CCA designation, you must first register with NACM and pay a fee of $195 USD. Once registered, you can access the online course material and take the exam when you are ready. It typically takes 4-6 weeks to receive your results after taking the exam.

The cost for earning the CCA designation is $195 USD plus any additional fees associated with registering for or taking the exam.

3. Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB)

Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB) is a professional designation awarded by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). It is a voluntary certification program designed to recognize mortgage professionals who demonstrate the highest levels of knowledge, experience and ethical standards in the mortgage banking industry.

The CMB program is open to all mortgage professionals, including loan originators, processors, underwriters, closers, loan officers, branch managers and other related personnel. The program requires applicants to pass an exam that covers topics such as federal regulations, secondary market operations, mortgage origination and servicing.

It typically takes between six months and one year to complete the CMB program. Applicants must first pass a qualifying exam which tests their knowledge of the mortgage banking industry. Once they have passed the exam they must then complete a series of courses that cover topics such as ethics, risk management and compliance.

The cost of obtaining the CMB designation varies depending on where you take your courses and how many credits you need to obtain it. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $1,000-$2,500 for tuition alone. Additionally there are fees associated with taking the exam and applying for certification which can range from $200-$400.

Overall obtaining the CMB designation is an investment in your career that will pay dividends over time as it demonstrates your commitment to excellence in the field of mortgage banking.

4. Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is a professional designation given by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards to individuals who have met certain education, experience, and ethical requirements. CFPs are qualified to provide comprehensive financial planning advice on a wide range of topics including investments, insurance, taxes, retirement planning, and estate planning.

To become a CFP, an individual must complete a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, complete the CFP Board’s Education Program, pass the CFP Certification Examination, and meet the CFP Board’s Experience Requirements. The entire process typically takes between three to five years to complete.

The cost of becoming a CFP varies depending on the individual's educational background and experience level. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $2,000-$5,000 in course fees and exam costs. Additionally, some states may require additional licensing fees or continuing education credits.

In order to maintain their certification status with the CFP Board of Standards, all CFPs must adhere to a strict code of ethics and take part in ongoing continuing education courses each year.

5. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a professional designation offered by the CFA Institute, a global association of investment professionals. The CFA Program is designed to equip finance professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to make informed investment decisions. It is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious designations in finance and investing.

The CFA Program consists of three levels, each taking an average of 12-18 months to complete. Level I focuses on ethical and professional standards, quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, equity investments, fixed income investments, derivatives instruments, alternative investments and portfolio management. Level II focuses on asset valuation techniques and applications while Level III covers portfolio management techniques and strategies.

To become a CFA charterholder you must meet certain eligibility requirements including having at least four years of qualified work experience in investment decision making or related activities such as portfolio management or security analysis; passing all three levels of the CFA exam; becoming a member of the CFA Institute; agreeing to abide by its Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct; and completing continuing education requirements every two years.

The cost for enrolling in the CFA program varies depending on when you register for each level but typically ranges from $1,000 - $2,500 USD per level. This includes registration fees as well as study materials such as textbooks and practice exams.

6. Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP)

Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) is a designation offered by the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP). It is an industry-recognized certification that demonstrates a mortgage professional’s commitment to providing quality service and knowledge.

To become an AMP, you must have at least two years of experience in the mortgage industry, or have completed the CAAMP National Course in Mortgage Brokering. The course covers topics such as mortgage lending, credit analysis, real estate law, and risk management.

The process to become an AMP takes approximately three months from start to finish. First, you must complete the online application form and submit it with all required documents. Once your application is approved, you will be invited to write the AMP exam. After passing the exam, you will receive your official designation certificate.

The cost of becoming an AMP varies depending on whether or not you choose to take the CAAMP National Course in Mortgage Brokering. If you choose to take this course, it will cost approximately $1,000 plus applicable taxes. If you do not take this course and meet the experience requirements instead, then there is no cost associated with becoming an AMP.

7. Certified Treasury Professional (CTP)

Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) is a professional designation awarded by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP). It is designed to recognize professionals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in treasury management and related areas.

The CTP certification program consists of three parts: an exam, a portfolio review, and continuing education requirements. The exam is composed of multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as cash management, investments, foreign exchange, corporate finance, and risk management.

To get the CTP certification, candidates must pass the exam with a score of at least 70%. Candidates must also submit a portfolio that demonstrates their knowledge and experience in treasury management. Finally, candidates must complete 30 hours of continuing education every three years to maintain their certification status.

The cost of the CTP certification program depends on whether you are an AFP member or not. For AFP members, the cost is $495 for the initial application fee and $395 for each subsequent renewal. For non-members, the cost is $695 for the initial application fee and $595 for each subsequent renewal.

8. Certified Residential Mortgage Specialist (CRMS)

Certified Residential Mortgage Specialist (CRMS) is a professional designation that recognizes individuals with expertise in residential mortgage lending. This certification is granted by the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB). It is designed to help mortgage professionals demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the industry, as well as their commitment to ethical practices.

To obtain the CRMS designation, applicants must meet certain requirements. These include having at least two years of experience in residential mortgage lending and passing an exam administered by NAMB. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and covers topics such as loan origination, loan processing, underwriting, closing procedures, and compliance issues.

The cost for taking the exam varies depending on whether you are a NAMB member or not. For non-members, it costs $395; for members, it costs $295. Once you pass the exam and become certified, you will need to renew your certification every two years by completing continuing education courses related to residential mortgage lending.

The CRMS designation can be beneficial for those looking to advance their career in the mortgage industry or demonstrate their expertise to potential employers. It can also help increase credibility with clients and provide access to additional resources from NAMB.

9. American Bankers Association's National Graduate Lending School (NGLS)

The National Graduate Lending School (NGLS) is a comprehensive educational program offered by the American Bankers Association (ABA). The program provides an in-depth overview of the graduate lending industry, including best practices and strategies for success. It covers topics such as loan origination and underwriting, portfolio management, regulatory compliance, and risk management.

The NGLS consists of four courses: Introduction to Graduate Lending; Graduate Loan Origination; Graduate Loan Underwriting; and Graduate Loan Portfolio Management. Each course takes approximately 8-10 hours to complete. Upon successful completion of all four courses, participants receive a Certificate of Completion from the ABA.

To get the NGLS Certificate, students must first register for the program on the ABA website. Once registered, students can access the courses online or download them as PDFs. Students will have 90 days after registration to complete all four courses and receive their certificate.

The cost for participating in the NGLS is $399 for members of ABA or $499 for non-members.

10. American Bankers Association's Consumer Lending School (CLS)

The American Bankers Association's Consumer Lending School (CLS) is a comprehensive training program designed to provide consumer lending professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the consumer lending industry. The CLS curriculum covers topics such as loan origination, underwriting, servicing, and collections. It also provides an overview of the legal and regulatory environment in which consumer lenders operate.

The CLS program consists of three courses that can be taken separately or combined into one complete program. Each course takes approximately 30 hours to complete. The courses are offered online and can be taken at any time and from any location with an internet connection.

To get the CLS certification, you must successfully complete all three courses within 12 months of enrollment. After successful completion of the courses, you will receive a certificate of completion from ABA’s Consumer Lending School.

The cost for the entire CLS program is $1,195 for ABA members and $1,395 for non-members.

11. Financial Risk Manager Certification Program (FRMCP).

The Financial Risk Manager Certification Program (FRMCP) is a professional certification program designed to help financial professionals gain the knowledge and skills needed to manage risk in today’s complex financial markets. The program was developed by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP), an international organization dedicated to promoting best practices in risk management.

The FRMCP consists of two parts: Part I and Part II. Part I covers topics such as financial markets, quantitative analysis, credit risk management, market risk management, operational risk management and derivatives. Part II focuses on portfolio management, enterprise risk management and current issues in the financial industry. The program also includes a series of practice exams that can be taken online or at GARP-approved testing centers worldwide.

The FRMCP typically takes between 6-12 months to complete depending on the individual’s level of dedication and commitment to studying for the exams. To become certified, individuals must pass both Parts I and II with a score of 70% or higher.

The cost of the FRMCP varies based on where you take the exams and how many times you need to retake them if necessary. Generally speaking, it will cost between $1,000-$2,500 USD for both parts combined including exam fees and study materials.

Overall, the FRMCP is an excellent way for financial professionals to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in managing financial risks in today’s global markets.

Do You Really Need a Loan Analyst Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on the individual's goals and career aspirations. If a person is looking to work in the banking or financial services industry, then having a Loan Analyst Certificate may be beneficial. This certificate provides an individual with specialized knowledge and understanding of loan analysis, which can be valuable when working with clients.

Having a Loan Analyst Certificate can also give an individual an edge over other applicants when applying for jobs in the finance sector. The certification shows employers that the applicant has a good understanding of loan analysis and can provide valuable insight into how loans are managed and serviced. It also demonstrates that the applicant has taken the time to acquire additional knowledge in order to become more knowledgeable about the industry.

In addition, having a Loan Analyst Certificate may open up opportunities for career advancement within the finance sector. For example, those who have earned this certification may be eligible for positions such as loan officers or credit analysts at banks or financial institutions. Having this type of certification can help an individual stand out from other applicants and increase their chances of being hired for these types of positions.

Ultimately, whether or not one needs a Loan Analyst Certificate depends on their own individual goals and aspirations within the finance sector. While it is not necessary to have this type of certification in order to succeed in this field, it can certainly help one gain an edge over other applicants when applying for certain positions within the banking and financial services industries.

Related: Loan Analyst Resume Examples

FAQs About Loan Analyst Certifications

Q1. What is a Loan Analyst Certification?

A1. A Loan Analyst Certification is a program that provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate loan applications, analyze creditworthiness, and recommend appropriate financing options for individuals and businesses. It also covers topics such as risk management, portfolio management, financial statement analysis, and more.

Q2. How long does it take to get a Loan Analyst Certification?

A2. The amount of time required to earn a Loan Analyst Certification depends on the individual program. Generally, most certification programs require approximately 18-24 months of study and training in order to complete all requirements for certification.

Q3. What are the prerequisites for obtaining a Loan Analyst Certification?

A3. Prerequisites for obtaining a Loan Analyst Certification may vary depending on the program chosen but generally include some level of post-secondary education or equivalent work experience in finance or banking; strong communication skills; and an understanding of basic accounting principles and concepts.

Q4. What types of jobs can I apply for with a Loan Analyst Certification?

A4. With a Loan Analyst Certification, you will be qualified for jobs such as loan officer, mortgage broker, financial analyst, credit analyst or underwriter in banks, credit unions or other financial institutions. You may also be able to find employment as an independent contractor providing loan analysis services to clients in various industries including real estate, automotive finance and insurance companies.

Q5. Is there any type of continuing education associated with maintaining my Loan Analyst Certification?

A5: Yes, many certification programs require that you complete continuing education courses or exams periodically in order to maintain your certification status up-to-date with current industry practices and standards

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