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What is NMLS?

Mortgage licensing and certification

The NMLS is an official system that helps improve consumer protections in the mortgage industry. It helps ensure that when you buy a home, the mortgage professionals involved are trained and licensed to assist you. Learn more about how the NMLS works and how they protect and regulate 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 or lending companies and their loan officers and 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 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 be a nationwide licensing and registration system for mortgage originators. However, it’s important to note that the NMLS does not grant or deny licensure.

What is an NMLS license?

An NMLS license proves a mortgage originator can provide loan advice that meets national and state requirements, is up-to-date on their licenses, and is compliant with industry regulations. Requirements for licensing vary by state and include completion of NMLS and state coursework, passing the SAFE test, passing a criminal history background check, and 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 with an NMLS account. Loan officers that move states or switch companies retain their unique license numbers, ensuring they remain properly licensed.

How does the NMLS benefit you?

The NMLS makes it easier to verify 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 wrong-doers 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 March 2023 by Freedom Mortgage Corporation.

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