If you want to get your Colorado mortgage loan originator license, there’s a whole lot of information available online about how to do it.

However, for me at least, the steps to take weren’t fine-grained enough, and I had to dig for information to figure out all the little details.

You can do it, too. It took me five weeks from start to finish. If you just lower your shoulder and power through it, you’ll get your Colorado mortgage loan originator license.

For anyone else who wants their Colorado MLO license, here are the exact steps I took to get licensed in March of 2015:

1. Obtain an NMLS number

I went to statemortgageregistry.com and clicked “Request an Account.” Getting the NMLS number was pretty simple, and there was no cost. They issued the number instantly, but, of course, I couldn’t display it publicly until I was properly licensed.

2. Get fingerprinted for the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) and a Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) background check

They say the best fingerprints come from Arapahoe Community College in the campus police office on the second floor. I looked for the “fingerprinting” signs on the campus police office doors.

Once I got there, the staff directed me to the cashier to pay my fees for the fingerprinting and the CBI background check. On my return, a technician fingerprinted me with a cool digital fingerprint scanner.

Afterward, my fingerprints were sent electronically to the CBI for the background check. Drat, now they’ll solve the mystery behind my bagel shop caper from last year.

3. Find a class for the 20 hours of prelicensing education

I asked some people I knew in the business about a good place to go for prelicensing education, and there was a variety of responses. The small consensus was to use proschools.com.

However, I ultimately followed the advice of David Wein, president and founder of Mutual Security Mortgage here in Boulder. I signed up for in-classroom education with MTI.

Don Exley, who was highly recommended by Wein, taught the class, which was 2 1/2 days long in a classroom in Denver. Exley was nice enough to send me an electronic copy of the course educational materials so I could study before the class started. The cost was $359.

4. Procure surety bond and errors and omissions insurance

The surety bond was $188 a year through Brian O’Neal at Allstar Financial Group in Parker. The errors and omissions insurance is $400 per year through Neisen Borth Agency in Englewood. The insurance company for both is Hartford.

5. Confirm with DORA that they received fingerprints and CBI background check results

The police never showed up at my door regarding that bagel shop caper. Whew!

6. Take the 20 hours of prelicensing education

I powered through 2 1/2 consecutive days in the classroom and had a good time learning the intimate details of mortgage origination.

7. Take a class for the Colorado-specific exam

Although DORA does not require any hours of education covering the Colorado-specific exam, it’s a good idea to take a class. I went back to MTI for their Colorado course, which is an online video course that costs $59.

8. Follow the online video course for the Colorado-specific exam

After the course, they recommend taking practice exams until you get a consistent score of 90 percent or better — excellent advice that worked for me.

9. Pay for the national and Colorado exams at the NMLS website

The total cost of the exams is $179.

10. Schedule the national exam

From the NMLS website, I started scheduling my national exam. I was redirected to a Prometric site, where I scheduled a Saturday midmorning exam in Longmont.

The exam took place about a week after I finished the 20-hour prelicensure education course. I decided first to take the national exam.

Then afterward I decided to take the Colorado exam. This scheduling allowed me to focus on one test at a time while the material was still fresh.

11. Take the national exam

I passed it. What a relief. I felt like the rest of the licensing process would be downhill from here.

12. Schedule the Colorado-specific exam

As with the national exam, I scheduled the Colorado exam from the NMLS website. I was redirected to a Prometric site to complete the exam scheduling. I went back to the Prometric facility in Longmont to take this test.

13. Take the Colorado-specific exam

I passed it. I was glad I studied for this test. It’s not something I could have passed without studying.

14. Complete the national MU4 form

This process includes getting fingerprinted at the federal level, getting an FBI background check and having my credit checked.

I could not submit the MU4 until my education and testing were complete, my employer relationship was established and my fingerprints were taken again, this time from a local Fieldprint facility.

15. Get fingerprinted as part of the MU4 application process

I followed the instructions on the NMLS website and scheduled an appointment at a Fieldprint location in Boulder. Getting my fingerprints taken was simple enough. It might seem strange to get fingerprinted twice during this process, but hey, that’s the process.

16. Formally apply for a Colorado mortgage loan originator license

I did the application through the Colorado Division of Real Estate at a psiexams.com website. I had to make sure the Division of Real Estate received the details about my surety bond and errors and omissions insurance.

Just moments after I applied and paid the $108 application fee, my mortgage loan originator license was approved. Wow, talk about fast.

17. Once the license is approved, call the Colorado Division of Real Estate to update NMLS online record with new state-issued license number

Waiting over the weekend for the office to open so I could call them was tough. But I made the call eventually. I asked them to update my NMLS record. It was a brief and pleasant transaction.

Now I’m licensed. NMLS 1235071.

Dave Sims is the founder and CEO of Floify.com, a mortgage borrower portal. Dave is also a licensed mortgage loan originator, NMLS 1235071.

Email Dave Sims.

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