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Arizona Mortgage Broker License: Step-by-Step Guide

In the state of Arizona, mortgage brokers and mortgage bankers are required to obtain a license at the state level. The licenses are regulated and supervised by the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions (AZDFI).

The license application process for mortgage companies and mortgage loan originators is handled by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS). This allows companies and individuals to apply, update or renew a license online (for all participating states).

Types of Mortgage Licenses in Arizona

Arizona has three major license types: Company, Branch, and Individual. Each license category depends on the work you wish to perform and is generally subdivided into three different licenses: Mortgage Banker, Mortgage Broker, and Mortgage Loan Originator.

In this guide, we’ll cover the most common license types only. You can review the full list on the NMLS website.

Most Common Company Licenses

  • Mortgage Banker License - permits making and issuing commitments, and the servicing of mortgage loans. Mortgage bankers can originate and service residential and commercial loans.
  • Mortgage Broker License - allows finding, comparing, and negotiating offers for mortgage loans on properties within the state. Mortgage brokers can broker both commercial and residential loans.

Note: In order to obtain a license within the Company category, you must have a place of business (office) within Arizona.

Individual Licenses

  • Mortgage Loan Originator License - allows individuals to take residential mortgage loan applications, offer, or negotiate mortgage loans, and/or negotiate with lenders to change existing mortgage loan agreements.

Note: A Mortgage Loan Originator license is only available to individuals.

Arizona State Requirements

All license applications must be submitted via NMLS. Note that all licenses are issued for a period of one year and must be renewed before the end of each calendar year (December 31st). Further information regarding license requirements can be found on the Arizona NMLS page.

You can contact AZDFI Licensing Division at 602-771-2800 or at [email protected] for questions regarding Loan Originator Licenses, and [email protected] for all other license types. The Department is located at 2910 North 44th Street, Suite 310, Phoenix, AZ, 85018 with opening hours from 8am till 5pm from Monday through Friday.

For assistance with your NMLS account,  contact the NMLS call center at 1-855-665-7123. For questions regarding the Mortgage Loan Originator education requirements you can use the contact form provided on the website.

Education and Exams

Passing an exam is obligatory for some, but not all license types. In the state of Arizona, you must complete a course and pass a test in order to obtain a Mortgage Broker License and Mortgage Loan Originator License.

Exams for Company Licenses

  • Mortgage Broker - To obtain your Mortgage Broker License, you are required to complete a 24-hour state-approved pre-license course and pass a mortgage broker test. To register for the test you will need to provide a copy of your “Certificate of Completion” stating that you have successfully completed the pre-license course. You must pass the test no more than a year before being granted your license.

A list of AZDFI-approved pre-license course providers as well as the test registration form can be found on the AZDFI website.

Note: You can only take the test twice in one year.

Exams for Individual Licenses

  • Mortgage Loan Originator License - All MLO license applicants are required to complete a 20-hour NMLS-approved pre-license course as well as a mortgage loan originator license exam.

The pre-license education includes federal law, ethics, mortgage products, state laws and regulations. A list of approved course providers, as well as further information, can be accessed on the NMLS website.

The mortgage loan originator exam is administered by Prometric and it consists of national and state-specific components. You can enroll and pay the examination fee through NMLS. Scheduling a test date can be done via NMLS or by contacting Prometric at 877-671-6657. You must pass the license exam no more than a year prior to being granted your license. Each applicant is allowed three attempts to pass the exam.

Note: There must be at least 30 days between each attempt. If you fail the exam three times, you have to wait an additional six months before re-taking the test again.

The MLO Testing Handbook provides further information regarding the exam and can be found on the NMLS testing page.

AZ Mortgage Broker Bonds

Bonds for Company Licenses

  • Mortgage Broker - If the applicant will be using only institutional investors, the bond must be in the amount of $10,000. If the applicant will be using private investors as well, they must furnish a $15,000 surety bond.
  • Mortgage Banker - Depending on the total assets of the applicant, plus their unpaid loans at the end of the year, the bond may range from $25,000 to $100,000. The bond will be deposited with the Superintendent.

Bonds for Individual Licenses

  • Mortgage Loan Originator - Applicants are not required to obtain a bond. They may either have their employer provide a surety bond in the amount of $200,000, or pay a $100 yearly fee (paid upon obtaining and renewing their license, if required by the state). This fee goes to the Arizona mortgage recovery fund.

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Licensing Fees

Fees for Company Licenses

  • Mortgage Banker License & Commercial Mortgage Banker License

The fees are non-refundable and must be submitted via NMLS.

  • $1,500 application fee
  • $100 NMLS processing fee
  • $36.26 background check (if required)
  • Mortgage Broker License & Commercial Mortgage Broker License

The fees are non-refundable and must be submitted via NMLS.

  • $800 application fee
  • $100 NMLS processing fee
  • $36.26 background check (if required)

Test fee:

  • $50 Mortgage Broker Test fee - money check made payable to Arizona Department of Financial Institutions. Mail or bring the check to 2910 North 44th Street, Suite 310, Phoenix, AZ 85018.

Fees for Individual Licenses

  • Mortgage Loan Originator License
  • $350 application fee (non-refundable)
  • $30 processing fee
  • $15 credit report
  • $36.26 background check
  • $100 recovery fund (may be waived if the applicant’s employer provides a $200,000 bond - see Bond Section above for more details)

Licensing fee (made payable only after the application has been approved and you have received an invoice via NMLS):

  • $150 if the license is issued in January, February or March
  • $112.50 if issued in April, May or June
  • $75 if issued in July, August or September
  • $37.50 if issued in October, November or December

Test fee:

The fee is non-refundable and must be submitted via NMLS.

  • $110 National Test Component
  • $69 State Test Component

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