Loan Officer Training Options

Steps To Becoming A Top Performing Loan Officer

Loan Officer TrainingLoan officers typically work for banks and major lending institutions, and are tasked with understanding the needs of loan applicants, finding lending sources and investors, and even assessing the value of collateral that a loan applicant wants to use.

To become a loan officer, there are many training options available, depending on which aspect of the field interests you the most.

At the very minimum, loan officer training programs require a high school degree (or equivalent), advanced coursework in math, economics, business finance, and even job experience working as a teller in a bank. Outside of this, there are colleges (both physical and online) that offer courses specific to becoming a loan officer, as well as loan officer training courses that are tailored to the individual aspects of becoming a loan officer – personal loans, business loans, collateral assessment, etc. In addition to this, positions such as mortgage loan officers are required to be licensed, nationwide.
While one can become a loan officer with a high school diploma or GED, most financial institutions will gravitate toward hiring people with bachelor’s degree. To prospective employers, a bachelor’s degree with high marks in business finance, economics, math, and related course work shows that applicants have a good understanding of how loans work on an individual basis as well as in higher terms, such as business financing, seller carry financing, and all the different variations of loans that exist.
Loan officer training involves many different clients from varied backgrounds who need capital for myriad reasons. This means that loan officers must have a good set of interpersonal skills in order to ascertain exactly what a client want or needs. Most of what a loan officer does requires that they act as liaisons between banks, private lenders, and business owners. This meant that, for the most part, loan officers have to be very good listeners, and able to switch between personalities that are driven by the bottom line, those who are more process-oriented, and people who are seeking funding for the very first time and may have no experience with the world of finance. Loan officer training requires listening, assessing, and being able to bring people together in order to come to a financial agreement.
Most people do not wake up one morning with the epiphany of wanting to become a loan officer. People seeking loan officer training usually have a great interest in personal and commercial financing, or have spent some time working directly with a bank or financial institution. People with positions as bank clerks often transition very easily to becoming loan officers. People who are familiar with accounting, business, or who have an deep interest in the world of finance are prime candidates for loan officer training. During training to become a loan officer, use of specific software and time logged handling finances and sitting in on financial deals all count toward on-the-job training required to become a loan officer.
As stated above, Federal regulations require all mortgage loan officers be licensed. For any other type of loan officer, it is a huge plus to employers if, after loan officer training, one acquires special loan officer certification. Certification after loan officer training is fairly simple. Loan officers in training must complete some course work, and then complete an exam issued or approved by the American Bankers Association (ABA). Most financial institutions advise that, unless you are set on training to become one specific kind of loan officer, you should try to get certified in everything lender business banking, financial management, and anything else to diversify your skill set in order to make yourself more attractive to employers. Having multiple certifications (and the corresponding training) will also help you come up with alternative solutions when you are working with clients and investors who have reached an impasse.
After training, after certification, even after employment – the journey is not over. While many people may rest on their laurels, others strive to keep up with the latest lending regulations, alternative lending methods, and emerging businesses in order to remain relevant to their clients. There are regular workshops and seminars held in both physical locations, as well as online, so that loan officers can stay on top of the latest trends, and gain some helpful tips on how to overcome obstacles that may crop up when dealing with clients, and anything else that might be on the horizon for the aspiring loan officer. Some people even go back to take loan officer training refresher courses to gain a new perspective.

Commercial Loan Training

If you are interested in the world of commercial finance, or if you like bringing people together and get satisfaction knowing you are helping business owners achieve their dreams, then you should consider loan officer training. Covering everything from personal finance management, to commercial loans, home ownership, and everything in between – loan officer training has courses and certifications to help you find the career path that is right for you.

Further Reading