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How To Become Mortgage Loan Underwriter

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Loan Underwriters: Salary Career Path Job Outlook Education And More

What’s it like to be a Mortgage Underwriter at U.S. Bank?

Loan underwriters specialize in evaluating whether a client is creditworthy. They collect, verify, and evaluate the clients financial information provided on their loan applications and then use loan underwriting software to produce recommendations.

Education Required
Loan officers typically need a bachelors degree, usually in a field such as business or finance. Because commercial loan officers analyze the finances of businesses applying for credit, they need to understand general business accounting, including how to read financial statements.
Training Required
Once hired, loan officers usually receive some on-the-job training. This may be a combination of formal, company-sponsored training and informal training during the first few months on the job.
Job Outlook

What Does An Entry

An entry-level insurance underwriter works as a trainee or assistant while learning how to assess an insurance application, define risk, determine eligibility, calculate policy premiums, and accept or deny each request for coverage. You perform your duties under the supervision of a senior underwriter.

How To Become A Mortgage Underwriter

Here are a few steps you may want to follow if you wish to become a mortgage underwriter:

  • Obtain a degree. Although you do not need a bachelor’s degree to work as a mortgage underwriter, your chances of gaining employment and earning a good salary will improve if you do. Consider taking coursework in subjects like mathematics, information systems, business, economics, accounting and finance.
  • Get experience. Most mortgage underwriters gain experience in their industry by initially working as loan officers or processors. You could also apply for a position as a mortgage underwriter assistant.
  • Opt for training and certification. The quickest way to advance in your career as a mortgage underwriter is to get training and become certified. The National Association of Mortgage Underwriters offers a boot camp for underwriters and a Certified Mortgage Underwriter qualification.
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    How To Become A Mortgage Loan Underwriter

    There are no educational requirements to become a mortgage loan underwriter, but many financial institutions prefer candidates with a bachelors degree in business administration, finance, or a related field. Pursue an internship or entry-level position, such as a loan processor, at a bank to gain experience in the banking industry. Study how to read credit reports and credit histories. Learn to analyze various risk factors to determine what makes a suitable loan applicant. Work with senior underwriters to master the requirements for loan approval. Cultivate communication skills and ensure your paperwork is always accurate and complete. Once you have several years of underwriting experience, consider taking courses to become a certified mortgage loan underwriter to earn higher level positions. Refer to the National Mortgage Licensure System to check licensing requirements in your state for this position or other positions you may pursue in this field.

    What You Will Do

    How To Become An Underwriter

    As an underwriter you will sit at a computer all day and review loan documentation such as income, assets, credit reports, appraisals, purchase agreements, and more. You will commonly calculate the borrowers income, determine the borrowers assets, review credit reports, examine the appraisal to determine if the value is support, and many other tasks. You will ultimately make decisions on whether to approve or deny mortgage loans based on documentation you review. Most lenders use an automated system which allows you to enter in the data from the loan documentation such as your income calcualation. You will receive an automated response such as approved or ineligible based on what you entered.

    You will likely be expected to underwrite a certain number of loans per week. When it gets busy, you may be required to work overtime. You also may have to routinely speak with loan officers or other mortgage professionals who submitted the loan documentation to you for review. Your day will be consumed by underwriting and possibly taking a decent number of phone calls depending on where you work.

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    How To Become A Loan Processor

    The key to becoming a loan processor is developing a skill set that is diversified and works well in the financial industry. Gaining as much experience as possible through on-the-job training sessions and online financial courses will set you up to be more of an appealing hire. Lets review the steps you should take to become a loan processor:

    Step 1:Earn a high school diploma. This is usually a minimum educational requirement at many loan companies.

    Step 2:Earn a higher-level degree. Its highly recommended to graduate with at least an associate degree in a related subject, like finance, banking or business. This allows you to have the basic concepts of financial management and banking practices down.

    Step 3: Receive your mortgage license. Youll need to take the NMLS Mortgage Education pre-training and pass the Mortgage License National Test to receive your mortgage license. This process will depend on the state that you reside in.

    Step 4: Obtain employment. A loan processor works at places like credit unions, mortgage lenders and banks. From there, youll want to receive on-the-job training. Its recommended to obtain computer software, communication and information processing skills.

    Step 5:Work your way up. The longer you stay in the field, the easier it will be to advance in financial positions.

    The salaries listed below do not represent salary estimates from Rocket Mortgage® and were pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for educational purposes only.

    What Is A Loan Underwriter

    A loan underwriter is responsible for approving or denying loan applications. Its your job to perform a risk assessment on each applicant by evaluating their income, credit history, and assets. You are responsible for ensuring each approved borrower has the financial capability to repay their mortgage or loan. Job duties involve reviewing loan applications, analyzing credit data and financial information, and preparing risk analysis reports. You then communicate your decision directly to the lender to explain exactly how and why you approved the application. You also have a say in the total amount and terms of the loan.

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    What Is An Underwriter

    An underwriter assesses the risks of mortgage, life, auto, and health insurance applicants to determine eligibility, coverage rates, and the amount of coverage available. Underwriters often work for insurance companies, and they communicate frequently with insurance agents.

    Many underwriters also work for banks or other financial institutions to assess the risks of mortgage or loan applications and the outlooks of stocks. After they research and evaluate the potential risks, underwriters decide whether to accept, modify, or reject each application. Underwriters help businesses decide whether an action is too risky, set premiums, and make sure that the decision-making process is fair and unbiased for everyone. Some of the most common responsibilities for an underwriter include:

    • Collecting and reviewing the information needed to calculate risks accurately
    • Using insurance underwriting software to evaluate risks and analyze complex statistical data
    • Negotiating contract terms with clients
    • Creating a report about the final risk assessment for supervisors

    Earn A Bachelor’s Degree

    What Exactly Does An Underwriter Do With Your Mortgage?

    Many banks or financial institutions require you to have a bachelor’s degree to work as an underwriter. You can pursue this career with a degree in business administration or finance. A degree that shows you have strong skills in mathematics and data analytics can be a powerful addition to your resume when applying for underwriter positions.

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    One: Get An Education

    To become a mortgage underwriter, one must be sufficiently educated. The person must have a degree such as a bachelors degree in finance or business. Although it is not essential to have a university degree to practice the profession, companies value candidates with this type of specialization.

    It is also valid to have a course, to have passed a program or to have basic studies in finance or any career related to the subject.

    Proper career training is the first step to becoming a mortgage underwriter in Texas. A candidate with a background in financial management, financial statement analysis and financial markets is an excellent choice to begin this path.

    How To Be A Mortgage Underwriter

    wikiHow is a wiki, similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 9 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 189,274 times.Learn more…

    A mortgage underwriter works with mortgage bankers and loan processors to determine whether or not a borrower’s home loan application will be approved and under what repayment terms. The underwriter determines whether a borrower is an acceptable risk based established guidelines and criteria regarding his credit use and history, capacity to repay the loan, and the collateral securing the loan. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an eight percent growth between 2012 and 2022 in the employment category of loan officers, which includes mortgage underwriters.XTrustworthy SourceUS Bureau of Labor StatisticsU.S. government agency that collects and reports labor-related informationGo to source This is about average growth for all occupations, even though the housing market in the United States saw a dramatic downturn in the 2000s. Learning how to become a mortgage underwriter can help you start your path toward this lucrative and stable career.

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    What Kind Of A License Do You Need To Be An Underwriter


    Mortgage underwriters work with borrowers and lenders to determine if loans are approved. This role handles a lot of paperwork and, in most cases, deals with plenty of pressure as the closing dates approach. The experts at Indeed explain that while getting a bachelors degree or a mortgage underwriter license is not mandated by law, having both will increase your chances of getting a good job and a competitive salary. Gaining the skills in a classroom before starting on-the-job learning can help you increase productivity reduce your error rates make quicker, confident decisions and improve your overall quality of work.


    While receiving a mortgage underwriting license may not be mandated by law for prospective underwriters, getting one can help your job prospects. Consider getting certifications from NAMU, Fannie Mae or other educators.

    What Skills Do You Need To Be A Mortgage Underwriter

    We are so happy to help people become homeowners. Did you know that ...

    In order to succeed at this level, when working with both management positions and positions more junior, a variety of skills are required. A strong grasp of the following skills is needed to perform this role: Mortgage Loans, Lending Regulatory Compliance, Real Estate Appraisal Review. You would need to be proficient in the following: Underwriting & Rating Software. Although there may be many skills for success in this role, some companies may be willing to provide on the job training if you excel in other areas.

    Underwrite and approve mortgage applications by reviewing credit bureau, title commitment & financial statements.

    Perform full review of mortgage loans in accordance with underwriting guidelines to ensure secondary market and investor salability.

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    Automated Vs Manual Mortgage Underwriting

    Automated underwriting has recently increased because of the relative accuracy with which it claims to assess risk. Automated underwriting, as the name suggests, mainly uses software to assess the existing level of risk. Using the inputs from the loan application is used to issue a provisional underwriting decision. The software can be used to automatically update and approve the loan application. However, there might be instances where the application is referred to as a manual underwriter. In the case where the automated mortgage underwriter is unable to conclusively comment on the existing risk profile, the role of the mortgage underwriter considerably increases.

    Even in the cases where automated mortgage underwriting renders a definite answer, manual underwriting is still carried out in order to further reconcile if the assessment derived by the automated software is consistent with the documentation that had been submitted by the applicant.

    Job Outlook For Mortgage Underwriters

    Statisticians at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics combine mortgage underwriters into the category of loan officers. This category also includes people who approve loans for credit unions, commercial banks and other financial institutions. They show an average yearly salary of $63,960. There were 322,100 loan officers employed on the books in 2020, and experts predict there will be approximately 25,000 job openings each year on average until 2030.

    To become a mortgage underwriter, you can obtain a bachelors degree in subjects such as finance, accounting, economics, business, mathematics or information systems. While still in school or upon graduating, you can get some industry experience by working as a loan processor or a loan officer. Becoming certified can help advance your career, and you can pursue this while working. The state you plan to work in may have some requirements, though, so it is good to look into this before accepting a new position.

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    Loan Processor Vs Loan Officer

    A mortgage loan officer and a mortgage processor are often confused for the same position. However, its important to understand that they hold separate responsibilities in the loan application process. A mortgage loan officer is a licensed mortgage expert who helps navigate the borrower through the loan application process.

    The loan officer will recommend the type of mortgage loan program that fits the borrowers financial needs. Once the borrower decides on the loan terms, type and size, the information goes to the mortgage processor, who then files the paperwork.

    Basically, a mortgage processor acts as the go-between between the loan officer and the underwriter.

    These three key positions work together when pushing a mortgage loan request through, each with a unique set of responsibilities.

    What Does A Mortgage Underwriter Do

    How long does it take to become an underwriter?

    A Mortgage Underwriter underwrites mortgage loan applications and evaluates loans in order to maximize organizational profit and minimize risk or loss. Monitors property appraisal process. Being a Mortgage Underwriter assesses risks to determine approval status. May require a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, Mortgage Underwriter typically reports to a supervisor or manager. The Mortgage Underwriter gains exposure to some of the complex tasks within the job function. Occasionally directed in several aspects of the work. To be a Mortgage Underwriter typically requires 2 to 4 years of related experience.

    A mortgage underwriter works for a bank or other mortgage lender.

    They are responsible for determining the eligibility of a borrower for a mortgage loan based on the lenders guidelines.

    An underwriter will review documentation like bank statements, pay stubs, appraisals, and credit reports to determine the creditworthiness of a borrower.

    Based on this review, the underwriter may approve the loan, deny the loan because it does not meet the lenders guidelines, or ask for additional documentation for further review.

    Lets take a closer look at some key information that an underwriter might review for a loan decision.

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    How Do You Become A Va Mortgage Underwriter

    If you want to specialize in working with veterans, you can become a VA mortgage underwriter. It will require at least three years of experience in pre-underwriting, underwriting, or loan processing. You will also need the most recent year of that experience to have something to do with the underwriting decision for VA loans.

    These Are The Skills You Need To Become A Mortgage Underwriter

    As in any job, the worker needs to have specific skills, both soft and hard, to become an efficient employee. Some of these characteristics can be learned during college or work experience, while others are an innate part of the individuals personality.

    Here are some of the skills you should have:

    • Analytical skills: The daily work requires the ability to analyze and understand financial data.
    • Mathematical knowledge: Being a career related to numbers, accounts and statistics, the candidate needs to have certain numerical skills.
    • Detail-orientation: This is one of the essential characteristics. The mortgage underwriter must be extremely focused and detail-oriented in all their work.
    • Organized: Someone who cannot manage their work does not have much hope for their career. Orderliness is one of the points that add up the most within the trade.
    • Communication skills: The job requires the candidate to be constantly conversing with clients, loan officers and others therefore, it is essential that they know how to communicate assertively.

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    The Bottom Line: Mortgage Loan Processors Help You Reach Closing Day

    Just like underwriters and loan officers, mortgage processors are a crucial part of the mortgage process. Working with a mortgage processor can help you get everything in order for underwriting and keep your application on course for closing.

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    Common Skills Needed To Become A Mortgage Underwriter

    How To Learn Mortgage Underwriting

    When you want to become a mortgage underwriter, you want to have the right skillset. Some skills can be learned, while others you will likely already have. Some of the common skills include:

    • Analytical Skills Your job will include analyzing financial data, which means you need good analytical skills.
    • Mathematical Skills Good math skills are necessary for those working with financial data.
    • Attention to Detail A mortgage application can be 100 pages or more. You will need to review this and pay attention to the accuracy of every detail.
    • Organizational Skills You might need to work on many applications on the same day. This requires good organizational skills.
    • Communication Skills You will also need to work with loan officers and others when approving and rejecting applications. This means you have to be able to explain why in good detail.

    Many of these skills will become sharper as you go through training to become a mortgage underwriter.

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