Message from Deb Bortner
Director of Consumer Services
As Washington begins the process of pulling out of the current economic crisis we at DFI are seeing a gradual increase in license applications across several industry programs. In particular we have already received approximately 1,300 Mortgage Loan Originator applications so far this year. With this increase in applications, we felt that now is a good time to provide tips on how to make the application process as streamlined and cost effective as possible for your new loan originators. While the following is advice specifically for MLO applications, the principles apply to all our license applications.
Please pass along the following to any new applicant:
Submitting a complete application is the best way you can positively affect the processing time for your application.
Review Application Requirements
Set aside adequate time to read the materials related to applying for a license. Read Tips for an Error Free Application and The Loan Originator Application FAQ’s which can be found at:
Plan Your Steps & Timeline
Once you are familiar with the requirements, plan out your personal order and timeline for completing each requirement. Note: Education and testing must be completed before applying for a MLO license. Effective August 2011, an MLO application cannot be submitted unless the individual has education and both tests showing completed on the NMLS.
Study for the Tests
The National and Washington State component tests are challenging. Be sure you are versed in the topics in the content outlines for both component tests. The content outlines are available at:
- Verify Pre-Licensing Education Includes 2 hours in WA Law
This is one of our most common deficiencies, especially for out-of-state applicants. If you complete a “SAFE 20 hour course” or had your education certified, you must take a 2 hours Pre-Licensing Education course which covers WA law.
Don’t Forget the Remaining Steps After You Apply
Once you submit your application, you are NOT done. Unless you used NMLS archived fingerprints to satisfy the criminal background check requirement, you must contact the NMLS approved fingerprint vendor to have your fingerprints taken. The last step is to fax or email your New Application Checklist to DFI. The checklist can be found at:
Both of these steps must be done within 5 business days of submitting the application.
Fax: 360-664-2258 or Email: DCS@dfi.wa.gov
- Work with Your Company
Consulting with your company’s compliance officer is a great way to identify problems and prevent unnecessary setbacks. Most compliance officers have navigated the MLO application process before and can answer your questions allowing us to focus on licensing individuals.
- Please Remember – it’s your record
Many loan originators leave it up to their company to manage their record on the NMLS. Remember that it is your responsibility as a loan originator to keep your record up to date.
Hopefully this information provides a guide to help your new applicants successfully obtain a Washington license. It is our goal to support qualified applicants throughout the application process.
Deb Bortner, Director Consumer Services