Mortgage underwriters are real estate professional who review a prospective homeowner's credit history in order to determine if an applicant qualifies for a loan to buy a home. Becoming certified can qualify an aspiring underwriter for entry-level employment, or can help an experienced underwriter earn a promotion. Certifications are offered by organizations such as Campus MBA, a training resource for the real estate industry, and the National Association of Mortgage Professionals, or NAMP.
Candidates for NAMP Purple Processor certification do not need any prior underwriting experience, but they must pass a criminal background check prior to enrolling in the program. Experienced underwriters who want to earn an advanced certification will need a specified amount of prior work experience as a prerequisite for enrollment. At least one year of mortgage industry experience is recommended to those interested in Campus MBA's underwriter program. Advanced certifications are geared towards underwriters with three or more years of experience.
The specific topics covered in a mortgage underwriter certification training course vary depending on whether the class is geared towards aspiring or experienced underwriters. Beginning students learn about underwriting fundamentals, tax returns and credit scoring. In an advanced certification course, the curriculum includes courses in fraud protection, alternative lending products, and consumer privacy protection. Courses are offered online.
NAMP awards certification to students who successfully complete an underwriter training course. Campus MBA permits students to register for a certification exam after completion of an underwriter training course. Campus MBA explains on its website that Level I students receive an achievement certificate, Level II students earn a professional certificate, and Level III students are awarded a certified loan officer credential.
Underwriters who earn the certified loan officer credential from Campus MBA are required to earn five continuing education points every two years to maintain their certification. Acceptable sources of continuing educations credits include taking Campus MBA courses or attending conferences or conventions. Candidates for recertification must submit a reporting form that lists completed credits and a recertification fee.
2016 Salary Information for Loan Officers
Loan officers earned a median annual salary of $63,640 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, loan officers earned a 25th percentile salary of $45,100, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $92,610, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 318,600 people were employed in the U.S. as loan officers.