Do you want to get a mortgage broker or lender license? Do you need to get it NOW? I am frequently asked how long it will take for a mortgage company to get a mortgage broker or lender license. Unfortunately, it depends upon which state you are asking about.
There are the less populous states, which also tend to be the less popular states, such as Iowa, New Hampshire, Arkansas, and Mississippi, where the first review takes less than 3 weeks. If the application is perfect, then you have a license in your hand in less than one month. The other end of the spectrum is New York, which can take 8 to 9 months, and I’ve never seen a perfect application submitted to New York.
Many times, the problem is that the mortgage company is so eager to get that application in to the Banking Department that they do not submit each document that is requested or answer every question. The licensing reviewers will not let you skip a question or leave out one of the required back-up documents, i.e., letter of reference, current financial statement, or official bank or certified checks instead of company checks for the fees. The devil is always in the details. You cannot be too detail-oriented when submitting a license application.
Another issue that slows down the application process is the time of year in which you submit your license application. If the banking department is also in renewal season, you will experience a slower-than-usual timeframe. A few states have licenses that never expire so that is not always an issue. However, most states issue licenses that need to be renewed every year or every two years. Most licensing departments are under-staffed. When renewal season comes around, a reviewer may be pulled from new applications and re-assigned to processing renewal applications. That means a new application sits in a corner for maybe a month until the backlog of renewals has been cleared. Or the banking department will ask you if you want to wait until all new licenses are issued to avoid the need for instant renewal on a license that you’ve held for maybe a month.
If you consult with a company or law firm that specializes in mortgage company licensing and you get an answer to the question “how long will it take” that sounds much shorter than the responses you have been receiving from other companies or law firms, find out why they can give you such a favorable answer. It’s better to know upfront that the process is slow than to gear up and hire loan officers for a license that won’t be in your office for several months, no matter what you have been promised. But sometimes, a law firm has a good relationship with the application reviewers and the reviewers will make sure that the application is sped through the review process.