start portlet menu bar

Web Content Viewer

end portlet menu bar

What is the NMLS?

Mortgage licensing and certification

The NMLS is a centralized database used by regulatory agencies to maintain and track state licensing programs. It is designed to help protect borrowers by ensuring that individuals and businesses are properly licensed in their jurisdiction. Learn more about how the NMLS works and how it protects and regulates individuals and companies.

What does NMLS stand for?

NMLS stands for the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System. It registers license information for mortgage loan originators (MLO), including both mortgage and lending companies, along with their loan officers and loan advisors. MLOs work with underwriters to qualify borrowers for their home loans. The NMLS allows you to search for loan officers and lenders to confirm that their licenses are registered and meet industry requirements.

What is the purpose of the NMLS?

The purpose of the NMLS is to promote accountability within the mortgage industry and improve communication between consumers and companies through information sharing. The NMLS is backed by the SAFE Act (Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008), which requires there to be a nationwide licensing and registration system for mortgage originators. However, it’s important to note that the NMLS does not grant nor deny licensure.

What is an NMLS license?

An NMLS license means the individual or company has met the necessary federal or state requirements to originate loans and is up to date with all requirements that apply to the licenses in which the individual or company hold. The requirements for licensing vary by state and include completion of the NMLS and state coursework, passing the SAFE test, passing a criminal history background check, as well as a credit check. It, typically, also includes proof of continued education in the years following initial licensure.

What is an NMLS number?

An NMLS license comes with a number, permanently attached to each company, branch, or individual who has an NMLS account. Loan officers who move states or switch companies retain their unique license numbers, ensuring that they remain properly licensed.

How does the NMLS benefit you?

The NMLS makes it easier to verify that a mortgage originator is licensed to help you buy a home or refinance in your state. Having a national registry for originators means that it’s easier to hold wrongdoers accountable and protect consumers from fraud. In addition to using the NMLS database, you can view Freedom Mortgage’s licensure, by state, here.

Last reviewed and updated February 2024 by Freedom Mortgage.

What is a mortgage loan originator?

Learn how mortgage origination works

What is a mortgage broker?

Learn how you could get assistance shopping for a mortgage

What are Fair Lending Laws & Regulations?

How fair lending laws help protect homebuyers and homeowners