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Michigan Mortgage Broker License: Step-by-Step Guide

In the state of Michigan, all companies and individuals engaged in the residential mortgage loan business must be licensed at the state level. The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is responsible for regulating and supervising the mortgage licenses.

The license application process is handled by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS). The system allows mortgage companies and individual loan originators to apply and update their licenses online.

Types of Mortgage Licenses in Michigan

Michigan has two major license type categories: Company and Individual. Each license type depends on the work you will perform.

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

Most Common Company Licenses

  • 1st Mortgage Broker and Lender License - allows companies and sole proprietorships to make and broker 1st mortgage loans for MI residential properties.
  • 1st Mortgage Broker License - allows companies and sole proprietorships to act as agents for people in an attempt to obtain 1st mortgage loans. Licensees may also act as agents for people who make 1st mortgage loans for MI residential properties.
  • 1st Mortgage Broker, Lender, and Servicer License - allows companies and sole proprietorships to make, broker, and service 1st mortgage loans for MI residential properties.
  • 2nd Mortgage Broker and Lender License - permits companies and sole proprietorships to make and broker subordinate residential mortgage loans for properties within the state.
  • 2nd Mortgage Broker License - permits companies and sole proprietorships to act as agents for people in an attempt to obtain subordinate residential mortgage loans, or for people who make subordinate residential mortgage loans in MI.
  • 2nd Mortgage Broker Registration - allows companies and sole proprietorships to act as agents for borrowers in an attempt to obtain subordinate lien mortgage loans, or for people who make subordinate lien mortgage loans. The registration is required of FHLMC/FNMA/GNMA sellers/servicers and/or depository financial institutions. For further information, as well as the complete description, you may visit the NMLS website.
  • 2nd Mortgage Broker, Lender, and Servicer License - permits companies and sole proprietorships to make, broker, and service subordinate residential mortgage loans on MI properties.
  • 2nd Mortgage Broker, Lender, and Servicer Registration - allows the same scope of work as the 2nd Mortgage Broker, Lender, and Servicer License. The registration is required of companies or sole proprietorships, who have been approved as a 1st mortgage broker, lender, and servicer license or registration. For further information, as well as the complete description, you may visit the NMLS website.

Most Common Individual Licenses

  • Mortgage Loan Originator - allows individuals to take mortgage loan applications and offer or negotiate the terms of the loan (for MI residential properties). Applicants cannot be employees of depository financial institutions.

Michigan State Requirements

All license applications are to be submitted online via NMLS. Please note that some agency-specific requirements, such as the original surety bond, must be sent directly to Michigan DIFS. You may mail your documents to one of the following addresses:

  • For U.S. Postal Service: Department of Insurance and Financial Services, Consumer Finance Section, P.O. Box 30220, Lansing, MI 48909-7720.
  • For overnight delivery: Department of Insurance and Financial Services, Consumer Finance Section, 530 W. Allegan St., 7th Floor, Lansing, MI 48933.

For questions regarding the license requirements, please contact the Consumer Finance Section at (877) 999-6442 or at [email protected].

For questions regarding NMLS, please get in touch with their call center at (855) 665-7123.

Education and Exams

Passing an exam is obligatory for some, but not all licenses. To obtain a Michigan Mortgage Loan Originator license you need to complete a course and pass an exam.

Exams for Individual Licenses

  • Mortgage Loan Originator License - MLO license applicants are required to complete an NMLS-approved course and pass an MLO-specific exam.

    The pre-license course needs to be at least 20 hours and must include 2 hours of Michigan-specific content. You can find additional information regarding the course, as well as a list of approved providers, on the NMLS education page.

    After completing the education course, you may enroll for the MLO exam via NMLS. You can schedule an examination date via NMLS or by getting in touch with the exam administrator Prometric at (877) 671-6657.

    For more information on how to prepare and take the mortgage loan originator exam, you may visit the NMLS testing page.

MI Mortgage Broker Bonds

Note: It is your responsibility to mail the original, signed surety bond to MI Department of Financial and Insurance Services.

Bonds for Company Licenses

  • 1st Mortgage Broker and Lender License - All applicants are required to mail a $25,000 surety bond to DIFS.
  • 1st Mortgage Broker License - If applicants will receive funds from prospective borrowers before closing a mortgage loan, they are required to submit a $25,000 surety bond. If no such funds will be received, applicants shall submit an exemption declaration.
  • 1st Mortgage Broker, Lender, and Servicer License Applicants for this license are required to submit a surety bond in the amount of $125,000.
  • 2nd Mortgage Broker and Lender License - All applicants must provide a surety bond in the amount of $25,000.
  • 2nd Mortgage Broker License - Applicants are required to furnish a $25,000 surety bond if they will be receiving funds from prospective borrowers before closing mortgage loans. If applicants will not receive such funds, they shall provide an exemption declaration.
  • 2nd Mortgage Broker Registration - If the registrants will be receiving funds from prospective borrowers prior to closing a mortgage loan, they must furnish a surety bond or letter of credit. The amount of the bond must be at least $25,000.
  • 2nd Mortgage Broker, Lender, and Servicer License - Applicants must provide a surety bond in the amount of $125,000.
  • 2nd Mortgage Broker, Lender, and Servicer Registration - Applicants for this registration are required to submit a $125,000 surety bond.

Bonds for Individual Licenses

  • Mortgage Loan Originator License - Applicants are required to provide either an individual or a company surety bond.

    The amount of the individual surety bond is determined as follows:

    • $10,000 surety bond if applying for the MLO license for the first time.
    • $10,000 surety bond if the applicant is currently licensed as a loan originator who did not close any mortgage loans in the previous 12 months, or if the total amount of closed mortgage loans (in the previous 12 months) is less than 12,000,000.
    • $25,000 surety bond if the total amount of closed mortgage loans in the previous year is between $12,000,000 - $24,000,000.
    • $50,000 surety bond if the total amount of closed mortgage loans in the previous year exceeds $24,000,000.

    The amount of the company surety bond is determined by the amount of mortgage loans closed or modified in the previous calendar year by the sponsoring company (employer):

    • $50,000 surety bond if the total amount of closed/modified mortgage loans is less than $12,000,000.
    • $150,000 surety bond if the total amount of closed/modified mortgage loans is between $12,000,000 - $24,000,000.
    • $250,000 surety bond if the total amount of closed/modified mortgage loans exceeds $24,000,000.

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Licensing Fees

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

Fees for Company Licenses

  • 1st Mortgage Broker and Lender License
    • $1,300 total license costs (including NMLS processing fee).
  • 1st Mortgage Broker License
    • $1,050 total license costs (including NMLS processing fee).
  • 1st Mortgage Broker, Lender and Servicer License
    • $1,550 total license fee (including NMLS processing fee).
  • 2nd Mortgage Broker and Lender License
    • $1,300 total license costs (including NMLS processing fee).
  • 2nd Mortgage Broker License
    • $1,050 total license costs (including NMLS processing fee).
  • 2nd Mortgage Broker Registration
    • $600 total license costs (including NMLS processing fee) .
  • 2nd Mortgage Broker, Lender, and Servicer License
    • $1,550 total license fee (including NMLS processing fee).
  • 2nd Mortgage Broker, Lender, and Servicer Registration
    • $1,100 total license costs (including NMLS processing fee).

Fees for Individual Licenses

  • Mortgage Loan Originator License
    • $250 MI license fee.
    • $30 NMLS processing fee.
    • $15 credit report fee.
    • $36.25 background check.
    • $100 exam fee.

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