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Mortgage brokers play a significant role in the real estate transaction.
These licensed mortgage loan originators work with multiple lenders — unlike loan officers who only work with one lender — to find the best mortgage loan options for their clients based on the client’s financial and employment information.
Some borrowers may prefer to work with mortgage brokers rather than loan officers in hopes that brokers will help find the best interest rate available or assist with other factors that might impact their ability to get a loan, like a shaky credit history.
Mortgage brokers typically make a 1 percent to 2 percent or more commission from each loan they broker, but a lot of other variables determine how much money they make in a year.
Can you make a lot of money as a mortgage broker?
Mortgage brokers typically make an annual salary higher than the average personal income in the U.S. of $63,214, according to the latest data from World Population Review. Based on 143 salary reports recently received by Indeed, the average base salary for a mortgage broker in the U.S. is $101,997.
- A mortgage broker’s earnings will depend on how much business they do and where they operate because brokers get paid based on a percentage of the mortgage loan they help facilitate.
- Mortgage brokers who can handle several loans at once have the potential to earn more.
- Mortgage brokers who operate in markets where home prices are high will earn more per loan.
Is a mortgage broker a stressful job?
Mortgage brokers, like real estate agents and brokers, help facilitate what is typically the largest asset most people will purchase in their lifetimes. Having that kind of responsibility and dealing with clients who are worried about getting the best deals on their mortgages can be stressful in itself. But add on top of that some of the following factors that can definitely lead to more pressure.
- Constantly changing mortgage rates
- Criteria updates and product withdrawals from lenders
- Working longer hours to meet deadlines and keep clients satisfied
Therefore, someone who is interested in becoming a mortgage broker should be OK with working longer and sometimes irregular hours and adapt to change quickly.
How does one prepare to become a mortgage broker?
An aspiring mortgage broker will need a high school diploma or GED at the bare minimum. Today, most individuals going into the field will also earn a bachelor’s degree in something like finance, economics, accounting or business administration from an accredited university to be more competitive in the job market.
After completing their education, aspiring brokers should seek out entry-level positions at a business in the field, such as a bank or real estate firm to learn more about the industry and start forming connections.
Licensing and exams
Next, aspiring brokers need to enroll in a pre-licensure course (typically a 20-hour course) to learn about mortgage origination, ethical issues and federal and state regulations. After finishing this coursework, brokers must pass national and state versions of a mortgage loan originator exam administered by the National Mortgage Licensure System (NMLS) to obtain their licenses.
To keep their licenses active, mortgage brokers must also complete continuing education courses throughout the year, meeting a certain number of course hours to renew their licenses.
Remaining successful as a mortgage broker, therefore, requires diligence in maintaining licensure status, keeping up with the latest regulations and fostering successful client relationships.
How much do mortgage brokers make?
As mentioned previously, a mortgage broker’s income will vary depending on geographical location, the number of mortgage loans they broker and for what organization they work — whether that is a brokerage firm, bank or an independent contractor.
Base salaries, commissions, and bonuses
Some will earn a base salary plus a commission and/or bonuses for the work they complete.
- According to Indeed, mortgage brokers charge an average commission of 2.25 percent for each loan and earn an average base salary of $101,997. Federal regulations prohibit mortgage brokers from charging more than 3 percent of the total loan amount.
- Other sources report varying salaries, with PayScale reporting an average base salary for mortgage brokers at $64,630 per year with typical bonuses between $2,000 and $50,000 and commissions between $12,000 and $178,000, based on reports from 57 mortgage brokers.
- Glassdoor reported an average salary of $133,650 per year with an estimated additional pay (including bonuses, commission, tips or profit sharing) of $57,820 per year.
Mortgage brokers will often determine their commissions based on their particular housing markets, Indeed noted. If the market is especially heated, they might charge a lower commission so that their rates might seem more competitive compared to those of other brokers in the area.
However, if the market is slower and fewer mortgage brokers are in the area, they might charge more because there is less competition.