Any person desiring to originate mortgage loans in the state of California must obtain a real estate license, either in the real estate salesperson, or real estate broker capacity.

In California, one of the most active states for Mortgage Brokers, there are two separate approaches to becoming a Mortgage Broker, each with its own rules and responsibilities. One is under the California Department of Corporations, based on the California Finance Lenders Law (CFL). The other is under The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) .

Mortgage Brokers licensed under the California Department of Real Estate may perform regular broker and negotiating business with banks, savings & loans, credit unions, and thrift & loans. Mortgage Brokers licensed under the Department of Corporations may only negotiate loans with a lender licensed under the California Finance Lenders Law.

Here is more detailed information on the two approaches you may use to become a Mortgage Broker in California.



All California mortgage licenses are handled through the National Mortgage Licensing System. Prelicensing requirements include approved courses that are 20 or more hours and contain 3 hours of Federal Law, 3 hours of Ethics, 2 hours of Non-traditional Mortgage Lending plus 12 or more hours of electives. This may be in addition to California-required content. Continuing Education Requirements include at least eight hours of NMLS approved instruction.

Licensing under the Mortgage Broker licensed under the California Finance Lenders Law (CFL):

A Mortgage Broker licensed under the California Finance Lenders Law (CFL) of the Department of Corporations, is also referred to as being a Negotiator, or having a Negotiator License. Those holding this license are only authorized to negotiate loans or perform any act as a negotiator in connection with loans that are made by a Licensed Lender under the California Finance Lenders Law. This means the Mortgage Broker may not make any direct loans under this license, nor negotiate or broker loans to banks, savings & loans, thrift & loans, or credit unions.

The licensing fee for NMLS for Loan Originators under the CFL is $169. Other CFL fees apply.  Click on the link in the first sentence of this paragraph for more details about this license.

The license issued under the California Finance Lenders Law may be applied for by individuals, partnerships, LLCs, or corporations. Once issued, the license is not transferable or assignable.

The same application form is used for both CFL Mortgage Brokers and Mortgage Lenders. Applicants must provide a surety Bond in the amount of $25,000.

CFL Mortgage Broker applicants must provide proof of U.S. Citizenship, or else proof of Alien Status. Detailed information of the history of the Mortgage Broker, including a prior ten-year residence and work history, including all names and addresses, is required as part of the application form. 

Licensing under the California Department of Real Estate (DRE):

California does not actually have a separate Mortgage Broker License. When someone obtains a California Real Estate Broker License they are automatically licensed to function as a Mortgage Broker.  This means they can list and sell real estate, and also negotiate loans secured by real estate, whether first mortgages or subordinate mortgages.

The licensing fee for NMLS for Real Estate Broker License (Company - Mortgage Loan Originator License Endorsement) is $200.  Click on the link in the preceding sentence for more details about this license.

The licensing fee for NMLS for Real Estate Salesperson License (Mortgage Loan Originator License Endorsement) is $399.  Click on the link in the preceding sentence for more details about this license.

The licensing fee for NMLS for Real Estate Broker License (Individual - Mortgage Loan Originator License Endorsement) is $399.  Click on the link in the preceding sentence for more details about this license..

If someone is licensed as a Mortgage Broker in a state other than California they still need to obtain a California Real Estate Broker License in order to broker or negotiate even one loan in California. However, it is possible to co-broker a loan with someone who is already licensed in California and share the commission.

Advertising any type of real estate services over the internet in California, including those of a Mortgage Broker, requires a California Real Estate Brokers License. The advertising is considered to be solicitation of a California resident if/when read by a California resident, so all ads must contain a disclaimer stating the ad is not valid in California.

The California Association of Mortgage Brokers (CAMB), is an affiliate of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) . The CAMB actively provides education and legislative support for members, and if you want to become a Mortgage Broker in California, membership in the CAMB is a true asset.

California Mortgage Forms

California Reciprocity States

N/A

(as of 2/23/2010)

California Approved Mortgage Schools Prelicensing and Postlicensing Education

Community Colleges

N/A

Private Schools

Abacus Mortgage Training
McKissock.com
TheMortgageTrainingCenter.com
Training Pro
Last Update:  2/22/2010
This list may not include all approved schools. Please visit the Department of Corporations and  Department of Real Estate websites for the latest list of approved schools.