“Do I need to take a continuing education class?”

“What’s an 8-hour CE class? Why do I need that?”

“I thought I only needed a pre-licensing class. What’s the CE class all about?”

Questions, like these, flood my inbox at a certain time of the year. The onslaught of questions usually starts around October/November and continues until December.

That’s because between November 1st and December 31st of each year, MLOs (mortgage loan originators) must renew their licenses and one of the conditions for renewal is to take 8 hours of Continuing Education classes.

Sadly, a disturbingly large number of mortgage loan originators don’t know about this until the deadline is looming large and panic starts to set in.

So, this post is designed to eliminate that panic and instead, instill the confidence that comes from knowing everything you need to know about the 8-Hour CE class.

Before I dive deep into everything you need to know about NMLS Continuing Education classes, if you (or someone you know) needs to first get their MLO License, check out our series of posts to help you ace the NMLS exam:

► Why Becoming an MLO is the Best Career Decision

► 5 Unignorable Hacks to Ace the NMLS Exam

► How to Choose the Best Crash Course for Your NMLS Training Needs

Alright… let’s lay out everything you need to know to ensure you take the best continuing education class to renew your MLO license.

The A-Z Guide to NMLS Continuing Education Classes for Mortgage Loan Originators

This guide is broken down into 4 logical, building block sections. We start with the foundation and then keep building on it till you have everything you need to make an informed choice well ahead of the deadline.

Section 1: What is a Continuing Education Class

Section 2: Who Needs to Take an 8-Hour CE Class

Section 3: How to Choose the Best CE Class for Your License Renewal

Section 4: Things to Keep in Mind When Making a Decision

Section 1: What is a Continuing Education Class

A continuing education class is a mandatory requirement for all MLOs who completed their pre-licensing class in previous years.

According to the NMLS, “As a condition for license renewal, an MLO is required to complete at least eight (8) hours of CE in the same year in which he/she is placed in an approved license status by a state agency, with the following exception: – An MLO who has completed his/her pre-licensure education (PE) course requirements in the same year in which the license was approved, is not required to complete CE.

You can take your CE or continuing education class either online or in-person.

Also, according to the NMLS, the CE class course content “…must include 3 hours of Federal law, 2 hours of ethics (which shall include fraud, consumer protection, and fair lending issues), and 2 hours of non-traditional mortgage lending, plus one additional hour of undefined education (referred to as an elective). Number of hours is 3/2/2/1 = 8.”

HOWEVER, you cannot take the SAME CE course, two years in a row.

In addition, you shouldn’t retake your pre-licensing (PE) class unless you’ve been directed to by a State Regulator. So, if you’ve been advised to retake your PE class as a substitute for CE, that’s wrong. 

Finally, here are the deadlines straight from the horse’s NMLS’s mouth:

SMART Deadline: Friday, December 14

At-Risk-to-Miss Renewal Deadline: Friday, December 21

Guaranteed to Miss Renewal Deadline: Monday, December 31

Section 2: Who Needs to Take an 8-Hour CE Class

Now that you know what a CE class is all about, let’s look at who needs to take this class and who can afford to skip it.

The BEST and most reliable way to know this is to log in to NMLS to view your requirements. Your Course Completion Record will indicate whether or not you need to earn CE credits for this year.

Access the NMLS quick-start guide to navigate this easily and quickly.

Section 3: How to Choose the Best CE Class for Your License Renewal

Well, now you know what the Continuing education class is all about and who needs to take it, it’s time for you to decide how to choose the best 8-Hour CE class out there. 

The first thing you need to decide is – LIVE or ONLINE. 

The next thing you need to check is – Credibility of the Course Provider 

The third and final thing you need to pay attention to is – Course Content

At Affinity, we don’t have to defend our record. The facts speak for themselves.

You can read through nearly 200 reviews on Yelp right here. 

Whether you choose us or anyone else, make sure they have plenty of solid testimonials to back their claims.

Not just that, can you get to know the instructors and see their teaching style in action via YouTube videos?

You can do that with us.

Meet the entire Affinity team right here and check out our YouTube channel for hundreds of MLO training videos

In addition, we offer both LIVE 8-Hour CE classes that you can attend in-person as well as ONLINE 8-Hour CE classes you can take from the comfort of your home. 

The content used in both classes is the same.

Section 4: Things to Keep in Mind When Making a Decision

Here’s what you can keep in mind when deciding whether or not a LIVE class is right for you:

Do you learn best in a classroom setting with other students around you? 

Do you need a distraction-free environment

Do you want to study in a short but focused period of time

Do you have the ability to attend an in-person class that would require time off from work? 

Answered “yes” to any of the above?

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