Offering mortgage clients life insurance coverage is a smart business strategy for mortgage brokers. Two separate licenses are required to be both mortgage and life insurance brokers in San Francisco, California. Mortgage brokers receive licensing from the California Department of Real Estate while life insurance licensing falls under the authority of the California Department of Insurance. Both credentials require passing state-administered exams before mortgage and life insurance services can be offered. Ways in becoming a Mortgage and Life Insurance Broker: Mortgage Broker License 1 Elect between two ways to become a mortgage broker. The first requires obtaining a real estate license which allows a person to originate and negotiate loans with lenders. The second method is a license under the California Finance Lenders law that allows for the negotiation between two licensed lenders. Under this option, you are unable to originate loans. 2 Work for a company that provides you a sponsorship–state-approved lenders and corporate brokers qualify. Request your company to sponsor you by filing out the online forms at Nationwide Licensing System under “Create Sponsorship.” 3 Obtain the appropriate application through the Department of Real Estate which includes Form MU4 for the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) and California Finance Lenders (CFL) designations. Fill out these forms and pay the appropriate fees. The CFL fee is usually less because it is a more restrictive license. Department of Corporations NMLS Licensing Unit 320 West 4th Street, Suite 750 Los Angeles, CA 90013 mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org 4 Register for the 20 hours of pre-licensing classes that include federal law, ethics and non-traditional mortgage lending. 5 Take and pass the exam for desired licenses. Passing requirements state that you must obtain at least a 70 percent or higher. 6 Obtain a $25,000 surety bond and present proof to the Department of Real Estate. This may be provided by your employer. Life Insurance Broker License 1 Confirm that your employer is registered with the California Department of Insurance. Request the paperwork for life broker application or obtain it from the Department of Insurance. 2 Submit your fingerprints to the Department of Insurance through a state-registered fingerprinting provider. Many notary public stations and private mail box providers offer this service. Local sheriff’s offices and police stations may provide this service for a small fee as well. You must file fingerprints prior to submitting your application. 3 Apply for an “Application for Written Consent” should you have any felony convictions. The form explains in detail any convictions and requests a letter from the Commissioner allowing you to practice as an insurance broker. 4 Complete the 20 hours of pre-licensing coursework on ethics, insurance theories and sales practices. Complete coursework in a physical class or via online providers. Employers or the Department of Insurance can provide you with approved providers near your home or office in San Francisco. 5 File your application online at California’s Dept. of Insurance website. Go to the “Fast Licensing Application Service is Here” (FLASH) tab. Pay fees for both the license and the exam. Once you have completed the application, schedule the exam which must be passed with a 70 percent or greater.
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