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Top 11 Mortgage Loan Processor Certifications

This article provides an overview of the most popular and widely recognized mortgage loan processor certifications available.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for a mortgage loan processor in the job market because they demonstrate that the individual has a comprehensive knowledge of the industry and is capable of performing their job with accuracy and efficiency. Certifications provide proof that the loan processor has completed educational requirements and passed tests, which can make them more attractive to employers. They also help to establish credibility and trustworthiness, as well as providing assurance that the processor is knowledgeable about all aspects of mortgage loan processing. Finally, certifications provide evidence that the individual is up-to-date on current regulations, laws, and best practices related to mortgage lending.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the different certifications available for Mortgage Loan Processors and how they can benefit a mortgage loan processor's career.

What are Mortgage Loan Processor Certifications?

Mortgage loan processor certification is a credential that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and understanding of the mortgage loan processing process. This certification can help individuals who are interested in working as a mortgage loan processor or those already in the field by providing them with greater credibility and recognition for their expertise. It also serves to ensure that certified professionals maintain the highest level of competency in their profession, so employers can be confident that they are hiring qualified individuals.

In order to obtain mortgage loan processor certification, individuals must meet certain criteria, such as having at least two years of experience in the field, passing a comprehensive examination, and completing continuing education courses. By obtaining this certification, applicants demonstrate to potential employers their knowledge and commitment to staying up-to-date on all industry regulations and standards. In addition, it provides employers with assurance that certified professionals have received additional training and are knowledgeable about all aspects of the mortgage loan processing process.

Overall, obtaining mortgage loan processor certification can provide numerous benefits to individuals seeking employment in this field by demonstrating their competency and dedication to excellence. It also serves as a sign of trustworthiness for employers when it comes to making important decisions regarding mortgage loans.

Pro Tip: For those looking to become a mortgage loan processor, be sure to research and obtain the necessary certifications that are required by your state or local jurisdiction. This will ensure that you have the knowledge and experience needed to properly process mortgage loans and protect both lenders and borrowers.

Related: What does a Mortgage Loan Processor do?

Top 11 Mortgage Loan Processor Certifications

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

1. Certified Mortgage Loan Processor (CMLP)

Certified Mortgage Loan Processor (CMLP) is a professional designation that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the mortgage loan processing field. The CMLP designation indicates that an individual has met certain educational, experience and ethical requirements, as well as demonstrated a commitment to continuing education in the mortgage industry.

It typically takes about 3-4 months to complete the certification process. To become certified, you must first meet the eligibility requirements which include having at least two years of experience in mortgage loan processing or related fields, and completing an approved course of study. After meeting these requirements, you will need to pass the CMLP exam administered by the National Association of Mortgage Processors (NAMP).

The cost for certification varies depending on how you choose to pursue it. You can take online courses or attend live seminars offered by NAMP or other organizations. Costs range from $200 - $1,000 depending on your chosen method of study and whether or not you need additional materials such as textbooks or practice exams.

Once you have passed the exam and received your certification, it is valid for three years before needing to be renewed. Renewal requires completion of continuing education courses and/or attending industry events and conferences.

2. Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB)

Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB) is a professional designation awarded by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of professional excellence in the mortgage banking industry. The CMB designation is one of the most respected and sought-after credentials in the mortgage banking field.

To become a CMB, an individual must meet certain requirements, including having at least five years of experience in the mortgage banking industry, passing an exam administered by the MBA, and completing continuing education requirements.

The exam consists of multiple choice questions covering topics such as mortgage origination, loan servicing, secondary market activities, legal compliance and other related areas. The exam typically takes about three hours to complete.

The cost for taking the CMB exam varies depending on whether you are an MBA member or non-member. For members, it costs $250 for first time applicants and $150 for those who have previously taken the exam. For non-members, it costs $400 for first time applicants and $200 for those who have previously taken the exam.

Once you pass the exam and fulfill all other requirements, you will be granted your CMB designation from the MBA. This credential can help you stand out in a competitive job market and demonstrate to employers that you possess a high level of knowledge and expertise in mortgage banking.

3. Certified Residential Mortgage Professional (CRMP)

Certified Residential Mortgage Professional (CRMP) is a designation that recognizes mortgage professionals who have demonstrated the highest level of knowledge and experience in residential mortgage lending. This certification is granted by the National Association of Mortgage Professionals (NAMP).

To become a CRMP, an individual must complete a series of educational courses and pass an exam. The courses cover topics such as loan origination, underwriting, servicing, compliance, and ethics. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and covers all aspects of residential mortgage lending.

The process to obtain the CRMP designation typically takes about six months to complete. However, this timeline may vary depending on the individual’s prior experience and knowledge in the field.

The cost to obtain the CRMP designation varies depending on whether you are a member of NAMP or not. For non-members, there is an application fee of $200 plus course fees which can range from $500-$1000 depending on how many courses are required for your particular situation. For members, there is only an application fee of $100 plus course fees which can range from $400-$800 depending on how many courses are required for your particular situation.

4. National Association of Mortgage Processors (NAMP)

The National Association of Mortgage Processors (NAMP) is a professional organization that provides training and certification for mortgage loan processors. NAMP is the only national organization dedicated to the professional development of mortgage loan processors.

It takes approximately 8-10 weeks to get certified by NAMP. To get certified, you must first complete an online application and pay a non-refundable fee of $100. Once your application has been approved, you will receive a link to take the NAMP Certification Exam. After passing the exam, you will be awarded with your NAMP Certification and be able to use the designation “Certified Mortgage Processor” or “CMP” after your name.

In addition to certification, NAMP also provides continuing education opportunities through webinars and online courses as well as networking events and conferences throughout the year.

5. American Bankers Association (ABA)

The American Bankers Association (ABA) is a national trade association that represents banks of all sizes and charters, including community banks, regional banks, and large money center institutions. It was founded in 1875 and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. The ABA provides resources for its members on topics such as banking regulation, compliance, risk management, technology, financial literacy, and more.

It takes approximately one to two weeks to receive an ABA number after completing the application process. To apply for an ABA number, you must submit a completed application form along with a copy of your bank's charter or license from the state regulator. You will also need to provide proof of identity such as a driver's license or passport.

The cost to obtain an ABA number varies depending on the size of your bank and the type of services you are requesting. Generally speaking, the cost ranges from $50-$100 per year for basic services such as check routing numbers and wire transfers. Additional fees may apply if you require additional services such as direct deposits or automated clearinghouse transactions.

6. Certified Loan Processor (CLP)

A Certified Loan Processor (CLP) is a professional certification that verifies an individual’s knowledge and expertise in the loan processing field. It is designed to provide employers with assurance that the certified individual has the necessary skills to accurately process loans in accordance with current industry standards.

The CLP exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as loan origination, underwriting, closing, post-closing, and secondary market activities. The exam is administered by the National Association of Mortgage Processors (NAMP).

It typically takes between four and eight weeks to complete the CLP program depending on how much time you are able to dedicate to studying for the exam. During this time you will need to complete online coursework, review study materials provided by NAMP, and take practice tests. You will also need to register for and take the CLP exam at a designated testing center.

The cost of getting your CLP certification varies depending on what type of package you purchase from NAMP. A basic package costs $399 and includes access to online coursework and study materials as well as one attempt at taking the CLP exam. Additional attempts at taking the exam can be purchased separately for $99 each.

7. Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is an independent, self-regulatory organization that oversees the activities of broker-dealers and their associated personnel in the United States. FINRA was created in 2007 following the merger of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) and the New York Stock Exchange’s Member Regulation group.

FINRA is responsible for regulating the activities of more than 4,200 brokerage firms and approximately 635,000 registered representatives. The organization helps to ensure fair and honest markets by enforcing rules and regulations related to trading, sales practices, investor protection, market integrity and financial responsibility.

It typically takes two to three months to become a FINRA member. To become a member, a firm must submit an application to FINRA containing information about its business operations, capital structure, ownership structure and other relevant information. The application must also include evidence that the firm has met certain requirements such as having adequate capital resources and qualified personnel. Once FINRA receives the application, it will review it for completeness before granting membership.

The cost of becoming a FINRA member varies depending on the size of your firm. Generally speaking, smaller firms pay less than larger firms due to lower fees associated with their size. For example, small firms may pay $1,500 or less while large firms may pay up to $20,000 or more in annual fees.

8. Fannie Mae Certification Program

Fannie Mae Certification Program is a program designed to help lenders and mortgage servicers meet the requirements of Fannie Mae’s Selling Guide. The program is intended to ensure that lenders and mortgage servicers are knowledgeable about Fannie Mae’s policies and procedures, have the ability to comply with them, and can deliver quality customer service.

The certification process generally takes 4-6 weeks from start to finish. It involves completing an online application, providing supporting documentation, and taking an online assessment.

To get certified by Fannie Mae, lenders must first complete the online application form on the Fannie Mae website. They must then provide supporting documents such as financial statements, tax returns, business licenses, etc., which will be reviewed by Fannie Mae for eligibility. Once approved, lenders must take an online assessment that covers topics such as loan origination processes, underwriting guidelines, servicing standards, and more.

The cost for certification varies depending on the size of the lender or mortgage servicer. For small companies (less than $100 million in assets), there is a one-time fee of $3,000; for medium-sized companies (between $100 million and $500 million in assets), there is a one-time fee of $5,000; and for large companies (more than $500 million in assets), there is a one-time fee of $7,500.

9. Freddie Mac Certification Program

The Freddie Mac Certification Program is a comprehensive training and certification program designed to ensure that mortgage professionals have the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the needs of Freddie Mac customers. The program provides a structured learning experience that enables participants to gain an understanding of Freddie Mac’s policies, guidelines, products, and services.

The program consists of two parts: a self-study course and an online assessment. The self-study course is designed to provide participants with an in-depth understanding of Freddie Mac’s products, guidelines, and services. Participants must complete the self-study course before taking the online assessment.

The online assessment tests participants’ knowledge of Freddie Mac’s products, guidelines, and services. It consists of multiple choice questions that cover topics such as loan origination processes, underwriting criteria, loan servicing requirements, foreclosure procedures, loss mitigation options, and more. To pass the assessment, participants must answer at least 80% of the questions correctly.

The cost for the Freddie Mac Certification Program varies depending on the type of participant (e.g., lender or servicer). For lenders or servicers who are not already registered with Freddie Mac as a customer or partner organization, there is a one-time fee of $500 to register for the program. This fee covers both the self-study course and online assessment components.

It typically takes about four weeks to complete the entire certification process from start to finish (including registration).

10. VA Loan Processing Certification Program

The VA Loan Processing Certification Program is a comprehensive program designed to provide loan processors with the knowledge and skills needed to process VA loans. The program is offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is designed to help loan processors become proficient in processing VA loans.

The program consists of two parts: an online course and an exam. The online course takes approximately 8-10 hours to complete, depending on the student’s prior knowledge of the subject matter. It covers topics such as VA loan eligibility, credit underwriting, loan closing procedures, and more. Upon successful completion of the course, students are eligible to take the exam which consists of 50 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within 1 hour and 30 minutes.

In order to get certified as a VA Loan Processor, applicants must pass both the online course and exam with a score of 80% or higher on each section. Once certification has been obtained, it is valid for two years from the date of issue and can be renewed by completing additional continuing education courses every two years.

The cost for certification varies depending on whether you are taking the online course or attending an in-person training session. The online course costs $199 while in-person sessions range from $299-$399 depending on location and instructor availability.

11. US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a federal agency that works to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD's mission is to increase homeownership, support community development, and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination.

HUD provides resources and assistance to state and local governments, public housing agencies, non-profit organizations, faith-based organizations, financial institutions, developers, landlords and tenants in order to help provide safe, decent and affordable housing opportunities for all Americans.

To get assistance from HUD you must first contact your local HUD office or the national office. Depending on the type of assistance you are seeking it may take a few days or weeks to get an answer.

There is no cost associated with getting assistance from HUD as they do not charge any fees for their services.

Do You Really Need a Mortgage Loan Processor Certificate?

A mortgage loan processor certificate is an important piece of certification to have if you are working in the finance industry. It shows that you have a thorough understanding of the mortgage process and have the skills necessary to help facilitate the process. Having this certificate can help you stand out from other applicants and make it easier for employers to trust that you are knowledgeable about mortgages and can handle the job.

When deciding whether or not to pursue a mortgage loan processor certificate, there are several factors to consider. First, your experience in the finance industry should be taken into account. If you already have a background in banking or accounting, then obtaining a mortgage loan processor certificate may not be necessary. However, if you are completely new to this field, then obtaining such a certification could give you an edge over other applicants who lack comparable knowledge and experience.

Another factor to take into account is the cost associated with obtaining a mortgage loan processor certificate. Depending on where you choose to obtain your certification, costs can range from hundreds of dollars up to thousands of dollars for more comprehensive programs. In addition, there may be additional expenses such as travel costs or registration fees associated with taking classes or attending seminars required for some certifications. Therefore, it’s important to weigh these costs against the potential benefits of having such a certification before making any decisions about pursuing it.

Finally, it’s important to consider how much time and effort will be required for obtaining a mortgage loan processor certificate. Depending on where and how you pursue one, this could involve taking classes or completing online courses as well as studying independently in order to pass exams related to mortgages and banking practices. For those with full-time jobs or other commitments, finding the time and energy needed for such pursuits can be difficult but ultimately rewarding if it leads them towards achieving their goals in their career path.

In conclusion, whether or not someone needs a mortgage loan processor certificate depends on their individual circumstances and goals within the finance industry. While having such certification is certainly beneficial, there are also significant costs associated with pursuing one which should be taken into account before making any decisions about whether or not it is right for them

Related: Mortgage Loan Processor Resume Examples

FAQs About Mortgage Loan Processor Certifications

1. What are the requirements for becoming a mortgage loan processor certification?

Answer: Requirements vary by state, but most states require applicants to have at least two years of experience in the mortgage industry, a high school diploma or GED, and completion of an accredited mortgage loan processing course or certification program.

2. Is there an exam I need to take to get certified?

Answer: Yes, you must pass an exam administered by a third-party organization such as the National Association of Mortgage Processors (NAMP) in order to receive your certification.

3. How long does it take to become certified?

Answer: The time frame varies depending on individual circumstances, but typically it takes anywhere from three months up to one year to complete all of the necessary steps and obtain your certification.

4. How much does a mortgage loan processor certification cost?

Answer: Costs vary depending on which certifying organization you choose and whether you opt for online or in-person classes but can range from $500-$2000.

5. What is the difference between a mortgage loan processor certification and a mortgage originator license?

Answer: A mortgage loan processor certification indicates that you have obtained specialized training in loan processing while a mortgage originator license is required by many states in order to originate loans independently and is issued by the state's financial regulator.