A loan originator is often employed by mortgage companies or banks. Their main duty is to originate loans via communications with prospective customers, helping interested parties identify which loans they may qualify for and generally offering assistance through the loan application process. A loan originator is in close contact with both the customer and the loan processor/underwriter to ensure all needs are met and that the process runs as smoothly as possible.
Skillset: Loan originators have impeccable customer service skills. The ability to communicate effectively to customers and loan processors/underwriters is also important. Additionally, loan originators must have a thorough understanding of state, federal and local laws pertaining to various types of loans.
Education: While a degree isn't a requirement for a loan originator, there are federal laws requiring licensing (such as the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act.) People looking for a career in mortgage loan origination are federally required to at least take 20 hours of classes and pass the SAFE MLO test.
Career Path: Prospective loan originators should complete all necessary classes and licensing tests before seeking employment. Customer service experience is also helpful.