How Much Do Mortgage Brokers Make?

How Much Do Mortgage Brokers Make
VanEd Real Estate School

Working as a mortgage broker can provide a rewarding career in the financial industry. Depending on your location and level of experience, you could make a good living as a mortgage broker on commission. Mortgage brokers help people secure and close mortgages or home loans. They serve as intermediaries between borrowers and lenders, collaborating with loan officers, underwriters, title companies, and real estate agents.
In this article, we’ll look at how much mortgage brokers make on a loan and how you can get a job as one.

How Much Do Mortgage Brokers Make?

Mortgage brokers in the United States make an average of $92,262 per year, but this figure can vary depending on factors such as experience level and geographic location.

Mortgage brokers make a different type of income than many other professionals. Instead of a standard salary, most mortgage brokers are paid a commission when a loan transaction is completed, based on the following factors:

#1. The commission they earn from a mortgage is determined by the loan’s terms.

Mortgage brokers typically charge a 2.25% commission on each loan, but federal regulations prohibit them from charging more than 3% of the loan amount.

#2. Broker fees are determined by the contract they have with their client.

Brokers can work on behalf of either borrowers or lenders, so their fees are determined by their client agreement. Borrowers typically pay a lower commission than lenders. Lenders typically pay between 0.5% and 2.75% of the total loan amount as compensation to mortgage brokers. Mortgage brokers typically charge an origination fee of less than 3% of the loan amount when borrowers pay the commission.

#3. Commission rates influenced by the housing market

Mortgage brokers frequently base their commission rates on the local housing market.

Those who work in a more competitive housing market, for example, may need to charge lower commission rates in order to position themselves as a better and more affordable option than other mortgage brokers.

What Do Mortgage Brokers Do?

The role of a mortgage broker entails assisting people in obtaining and closing mortgages or home loans, which includes the following responsibilities:

  • Loan options are researched, new mortgage offerings are monitored, and products and rates that meet their client’s needs are found. They frequently have to negotiate interest rates and terms with lenders, as well as confirm loan details with underwriters. Mortgage brokers also check their clients’ credit reports, confirm their reported income and expenses, and work with clients and real estate agents to coordinate loan details and paperwork.
  • Although mortgage brokers can work for themselves, the majority work for mortgage broker firms. They build relationships with lenders and create mortgage packages to offer borrowers as they gain experience. Most seasoned mortgage brokers set fixed compensation rates for each lender.
  • Mortgage brokers must be licensed because they work in a highly regulated financial industry. These professionals, whether self-employed or employed by a firm, are responsible for keeping their license current for the duration of their employment.
  • Mortgage brokers must also maintain strong networks in order to continue receiving business and gaining new clients. Most have relationships with real estate agents, who may refer new clients looking for home loans to them.

How Does One Go About Becoming a Mortgage Broker?

Mortgage brokers are typically expected to have a bachelor’s degree, a current license, and on-the-job training.

Follow these steps to become a mortgage broker:

  1. Get your bachelor’s degree.
  2. Attend a pre-licensure course.
  3. Pass the licensing examination.
  4. Make your resume unique.
  5. Completing on-the-job training is required.
  6. Develop important abilities.
  7. Create a strong network.

#1. Complete a bachelor’s degree

First, enroll in an undergraduate program at a recognized university. Consider majoring in a subject that will teach you the fundamentals of being a mortgage broker, such as finance, economics, or accounting. A major in business or real estate can also help you learn the fundamentals of this industry.

#2. Enroll in a pre-licensure course.

Then, before looking for a job, enroll in the pre-licensure program that all aspiring mortgage brokers must complete. This standard program includes 20 hours of classroom instruction on topics such as mortgage origination, ethical issues for mortgage brokers, and federal and state regulations. The National Mortgage Licensure System is in charge of mortgage broker pre-licensure programs.

#3. Pass the licensing examination

After completing the pre-licensure program, sit for the National Mortgage Licensure System’s licensing exam. The exam is available all year and includes questions for both national and state test takers. To obtain your Mortgage Loan Originator license, you must pass the exam and pass background and credit checks. Check with your state’s licensing board to see if there are any additional requirements for working in your area.

Because you must have a current license to work as a mortgage broker, you must renew it on a regular basis. The majority of MLO licenses are valid for one year.

#4. Make your resume unique.

To apply for mortgage broker positions, you must have a resume that highlights your education, relevant experience, and MLO license. Include relevant coursework and honors on your resume, as well as the date and location of your MLO license.

#5. Obtain on-the-job training.

With an MLO license, you can begin your career as an entry-level mortgage broker. When you first start, you may be required to complete a training program. Most mortgage broker training programs are designed to teach new hires about internal processes and workflows and last a few weeks.

#6. Develop important skills.

Take advantage of every opportunity to develop the skills required to succeed as a mortgage broker as you gain experience. To build relationships with lenders and real estate agents, for example, you must have excellent interpersonal skills, as well as strong decision-making abilities.

Continuing education classes can help you learn technical skills and new mortgage rules throughout your career. To renew your license as a mortgage broker, you must complete a certain number of course hours each year.

#7. Establish a strong network.

You should also take advantage of every opportunity to develop strong relationships with real estate agents so that you can continue to get clients on a regular basis. Attending networking events in your area will allow you to meet real estate agents.

What to Ask a Mortgage Broker

Before proceeding with a mortgage broker, ask the following key questions:

#1. How much do you charge, and who foots the bill?

The lender usually pays the mortgage broker, but the borrower can also pay. Broker fees can appear on the loan estimate or closing disclosure in a variety of ways, so make sure you understand this ahead of time to avoid surprises at closing.

#2. Which lenders do you use?

Most mortgage brokers work with a number of lenders, and not all brokers work with the same lenders. If you’re looking for a VA loan and the broker doesn’t work with VA lenders, that broker is probably not the best fit for you.

#3. What is your level of experience?

As a general rule, go with a mortgage broker who has been in the business for at least three years. If you’re looking for a specific type of loan, find out how much experience the broker has with that type of loan.

#4. Are you authorized to conduct business in my state?

You can use the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry to see if a mortgage broker is licensed. If your broker has a website, it should include their NMLS registration number. It’s also common in brokers’ email signatures.

#5. Do you have any recommendations?

If possible, you should have found your mortgage broker through a recommendation from a friend, relative, or coworker, but if not, you should check references. Request the names and contact information of several recent clients, and then inquire about their interactions with the broker. Would they work with that broker again? Was the information in the loan estimate correct? Were there any difficulties in closing the loan?

#6. How do you deal with rate locks?

A rate lock guarantees you the interest rate you’ve been quoted for a set period of time, regardless of whether rates rise or fall. A typical rate lock is for 30 or 60 days. If your lender allows it, you can include a “float down,” which guarantees you a lower rate if interest rates fall during the lock period. Request a loan commitment or preapproval letter from the lender through your broker. It should include the interest rate and points, the date the rate was locked, and the expiration date of the lock.

How do mortgage brokers get clients?

The only effective way to acquire new clients is to network, network, network. A mortgage lender can easily obtain new leads and clients by utilizing social networking and basic client management.

How Do You Save Money on Mortgage Broker Fees?

Getting multiple mortgage quotes, whether you use a broker or not, is likely to result in actual savings. Borrowers save an average of $3,000 over the life of the loan by getting at least five quotes from lenders, according to a 2018 Freddie Mac report.

So, for borrowers who don’t have the time or ability to independently research loan options, obtaining a range of estimates from a mortgage broker can help offset the broker’s fees. However, if a broker’s commission exceeds $3,000, you should consider switching to someone with a different fee structure.

For example, a broker who charges a 2% interest rate on a $250,000 loan would receive $5,000, whereas a broker who charges a 1% interest rate would only receive $2,500. Of course, this is just an average, and each case is unique, but calling around to multiple brokers could mean that you keep more of your savings from finding the right loan. Borrowers may also choose to avoid using a broker entirely.

Many online resources allow home buyers to do their own loan research and avoid paying mortgage broker fees. Mortgages are not one-size-fits-all, and a borrower’s situation can help narrow their options. Some lenders, for example, specialize in working with first-time home buyers, whereas borrowers with a small down payment may want to compare lenders that offer FHA loans.

Whether you use a mortgage broker or work directly with a lender, each option has advantages and disadvantages. You can determine whether or not working with a mortgage broker is right for you by evaluating your own needs as a borrower.

In conclusion

Mortgage brokers do not make loans themselves, but rather act as go-betweens for lenders and borrowers. Mortgage brokers work with multiple lenders, as opposed to loan officers, who are employed by a single lender. They typically earn more than loan officers, though this varies depending on location and years of experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly does a mortgage broker do?

Mortgage brokers conduct loan research and negotiate with lenders on their client’s behalf. A broker can also obtain the buyer’s credit reports, confirm their income and expenses, and handle all loan paperwork.

Is it better to work with a mortgage broker or bank?

While a mortgage broker can provide more options and streamline the mortgage process, working directly with a bank gives you more control and lowers your costs.


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