How Much Does a Mortgage Loan Officer Make?

Getting licensed as a mortgage loan originator (also called an MLO, or mortgage loan officer) has immense potential, and is much cheaper than many types of professional education. Having a skill for which a license is required makes your skill set unique and in greater demand, which is why doctors and lawyers often have high incomes. However, becoming licensed as an MLO is significantly easier than getting a medical degree. As a licensed MLO, you’re a highly skilled employee with significant pay potential, but you don’t need to spend $500,000 going to seven years of school.

You can find all sorts of information about how much mortgage loan officers make online. Most websites will confidently tell you they know precisely how much MLOs earn across the US, but these estimates are often based on non-representative self-reported salaries. In reality, there is a wide range of salaries and compensation structures for MLOs, so averages are very region-dependent and vary widely between companies. MLOs can make well over $200,000 per year, but they can also have a starting salary of $50,000 per year. There is no way to predict precisely how much you will make. There is immense potential to earn hundreds of thousands, but this will take time; do not lease a Maserati after you pass your MLO NMLS exam. At least, not yet.

A nice part about becoming an MLO is that you can always move up and do better, and your skills will always have value.

To get started as an MLO, you need to sign up in the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS), and take 20 hours of national education and anywhere between 0-4 hours of state-specific education (depending on the state). You’ll then need to pass an exam and a background check.

This career path is challenging, math-oriented, and exciting, and can help you achieve your income goals much more quickly than many other professions!

To start your MLO journey, click here.

The Difference Between Title and Deed

Title and deed are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. To start with, title is a concept, it is not a physical thing. Title is the idea of ownership, the idea of being entitled to something. Many cultures used to transfer title/ownership with spoken words only, or with a handshake. Title was simply a general agreement among people that you were entitled to land or other objects. This has not changed; title still is, in essence, a general agreement among people that a particular thing is owned by a particular individual or group.

What has changed about title over centuries is how it is referenced. Most jurisdictions require title to be referenced in writing. This is where the deed comes in.

In the United States, title must be transferred using written documents, or deeds. A deed is a legal instrument that transfers title. Deeds are carefully tracked and are usually recorded to be sure that they are unique. This uniqueness is essential to a deed; a deed cannot give the same ownership rights in a property to multiple competing people at the same time.

This seems fairly straightforward. However, title as a concept in the United States actually refers to a number of types of ownership. For example, the right to possess, build on, and inhabit a piece of property might be owned by one person, but the mineral rights to any oil, coal, or other valuable minerals from that same piece of property might be owned by another person or entity. In a big city like New York, the air rights to build over a property might be owned by yet another person.

Thus, title to a property involves many types of ownership. These types of ownership are referred to as title rights.

Most properties started out as a collection of title rights that were owned by one person. That is, the owner owned the title right to inhabit the property, as well as the title right to extract oil and minerals from it, and even owned the right to all of the airspace above it. After hundreds of years, multiple people or entities may now own separate title rights to the same piece of property.

As mentioned earlier, the way these title rights are transferred is generally through deeds. Thus, the same property might have one valid deed conveying the mineral rights to one party and another valid deed conveying the right to inhabit and build on the land to another party. Deeds are not title; they are how title is transferred.

To make things more complicated, someone may have most title rights in a property, but not have the deed to the property conveying these rights. This is what happens with a deed of trust. With a deed of trust, a borrower pays a lender over time for the right to own the property, much like a mortgage. However, the actual deed transferring title is in the possession of a trustee, who has the right to transfer the title (sell the property) only if the borrower defaults on their loan. The borrower has equitable title, which in this case means that the borrower may enjoy most of the title rights to the property (may inhabit it, build on it, etc.). However, the legal title rests with the trustee so that the trustee can quickly sell the property if the borrower defaults.

As you can see, title is a concept of ownership that has many different forms. Having title to a property and a deed conveying this title is not as straightforward as it may seem. Many property owners do not clearly understand the wide variety of title rights, and may not realize which ones they have and do not have. For example, owners who do not possess the mineral rights to their land are frequently unaware of this fact.

Though the concept of title and how it is transferred can be confusing, it is helpful to understand the basic theory behind it. Without this understanding, it is difficult to know what exactly you’re buying when you make what might be the biggest purchase of your life.

Deeded Parking vs. Assigned Parking: What’s the Difference?

In a condominium, the difference between deeded parking and assigned parking is significant. A deeded parking space is primarily under the control of the unit owner, while an assigned parking space is under control of the homeowners’ association. If parking is assigned, this means it is assigned by the homeowners’ association. A homeowners’ association serves the needs of all unit owners, not just one owner. Thus, the association controls the parking space, and can change or sometimes eliminate the space, possibly without the consent of the unit owner. However, if the parking space is deeded, changing the space or eliminating it is extremely difficult.

A deeded parking space is generally referenced in the original condominium declaration that created the condominium organization. Thus, a deeded parking space is generally appurtenant to the unit, which means it is attached to the unit in a legal sense (not necessarily physically attached). Thus, any transfer of ownership of the unit would automatically transfer the parking space to the new unit owner. It is essential to verify that a deeded parking space is in fact referenced in the condominium declaration.

It is important to note that there are ways to change almost anything in a condominium if enough unit owners vote to do so; however, to change a deeded parking space would likely involve an amendment to the original condominium declaration and official recording with the county. This would be a very difficult process.

The owner of a unit with a deeded parking space appurtenant (attached) to it generally does not own the actual land on which the parking space exists. Instead, the owner possesses an exclusive right to use the space for parking. To clarify, most common areas of a condominium are owned by all individual owners as a group; these areas are called general common elements. A deeded parking space falls into a category called limited common elements. Thus, it is part of the common elements, but is limited to use by one owner. The same could be said of a patio that is part of the common elements, but is restricted to use by one or a few owners.

Some deeded parking spaces are actually owned in fee simple by the unit owner. This means that the owner has title to the space, and thus absolute and complete ownership of it. The owner will likely pay property taxes on the parking space itself, separately from the taxes on their condominium. The owner may be able to sell the parking space to whomever they want, separately from the sale of their unit. However, nothing comes without restrictions; the homeowners’ association may limit the sale of a parking space to owners in the same condominium complex for security reasons. Even land owned in fee simple can have restrictions on its use or transfer.

There are many ways to own a parking space, and all condominiums have different rules. However, there are important, essential differences between assigned parking and deeded parking that every buyer and real estate broker should be familiar with. Hopefully this has helped clarify the basic differences between different types of condominium parking spaces!

Get a Mortgage License in Rhode Island

Need a Rhode Island Mortgage Loan Originator license? We got you.

At OnlineEd, we’ve helped thousands get their mortgage licenses, and we’re extremely proud of our new Rhode Island NMLS Course!

Our course is 100% online, takes only four days, comes with instructor support and deluxe exam prep with practice tests, as well as our live exam cram webinar, so you won’t be alone in this process!

All these are standard features of our course, so you don’t have to pay extra!

We also offer a price match guarantee, so you know you’re getting the best deal. 

At OnlineEd, we’ve been educating the real estate industry for over two decades, and we’re excited to share our expertise. Thanks for checking us out!

Portland’s Rental Units Continue to Decline

A study by Wilkerson, Havlik and Rogers reveals that the number of single-family detached rental units in the City of Portland declined from 2,599 units in 2016 to 1,880 in 2020, a loss of 719 units. Here are some more interesting statistics:

  • The number of single-family detached rental units in the City of Portland declined
    from 2,599 units in 2016 to 1,880 in 2020, a loss of 719 units.
    • A 28% reduction in the stock of detached rental housing
    • The share of detached homes that were rental units decreased from 20.5% to 14.5%
    • There are approximately 140,000 rental units in the city
    • 6,300 of them are 3+ bedroom market-rate units (4.5% of the stock of all rental units)
    • Losing 719 units (detached housing) is a 10% reduction of 3+ bedroom rental units
The very detailed study by Wilkerson, Havlik, and Rogers can be found here.

The Oregon Real Estate Agency

Oregon real estate agency

Canstockphoto by Qingwa


The Oregon Real Estate Agency has the following mission statement: “The mission of the Oregon Real Estate Agency is to provide quality protection for Oregon consumers of real estate, escrow, and land development services, balanced with a professional environment conducive to a healthy real estate market.”

These Laws Give the Oregon Real Estate Agency its Statutory Authority:

Rules Administered by the Agency:

Services are Available to Licensees

Consumers can get Information and File Complaints:

For more information, please visit the Oregon Real Estate Agency.

FREE Course: Current Issues in Washington Real Estate 2022-2023

OnlineEd launches FREE 3-hour required course for Washington real estate licensees: Current Issues in Washington Real Estate

Current Issues in Washington

Free for Washington real estate brokers!


The Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) requires its real estate licensees to successfully complete a law update course for every license renewal to ensure they are current on the issues facing real estate within the state. OnlineEd is an approved Washington education provider under Chapter 18.85 RCW and is currently offering Current Issues in Washington Real Estate 2022-2023 for free.

Course Content

The first chapter of Current Issues in Washington Real Estate is about forms. The Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) has identified several forms causing issues for agents. This chapter emphasizes the purpose, standards of practice, pitfalls, and specific updates affecting the industry. Licensees will review such things as the financing addendum and when to use an additional down payment addendum, understand how to use the escalation addendum, and explain the benefits and disadvantages of an escalation provision for both the buyer and the seller.

The next chapter, Legislative and Legal Updates, is designed to help licensees identify and describe common concepts relating to Washington State residential real estate legislative issues and includes various updates for Washington Landlord-Tenant Law. There is also a reminder of Federal and Washington fair housing protected classes and practices.

The final chapter, Chapter 3, is all about business practices updates and professional standards. Highlights include raising professionalism in real estate transactions and the many responsibilities of managing brokers and branch managers. This chapter concludes with sound advice for best practices when handling multiple offer situations.

How to get the free course

Don’t miss out on this free offer! Washingon licensees with questions about the course, Current Issues in Washington Real Estate, or who would like assistance getting their limited-time free version can visit OnlineEd’s Washington course information page or give their friendly customer staff a ring at 866.519.9597.

Get Your 2022-2023 Law and Rule Required Course For Free

On January 1, 2022, OnlineEd launched its new 2022-2023 Oregon Law and Rule Required Course (LARRC), and you can get it for free here!

House Bill 2703, Oregon Laws 2021, Chapter 161 now requires real estate licensees renewing active licenses or reactivating licenses on or after July 1, 2022, to complete this specific version of LARRC, which includes specific fair housing content to qualify for renewal or reactivation. This means if you already completed LARRC before January 1 of this year, and your renewal is on or after July 1, 2022, you will need to complete the new LARRC that includes the required fair housing component.

Fair Housing Learning Objectives

OnlineEd’s newly-authored course includes all of the Agency’s suggested learning objectives – and there are many:

  • List the federally protected classes.
  • Describe the history of discriminatory practices by regulators and industry professionals related to restricted covenants, redlining, blockbusting, and steering that led to the creation of the Fair Housing Act.
  • Define blockbusting, redlining, steering, implicit bias, and disparate impact.
  • List Oregon’s protected classes and compare them with the federally protected classes.
  • Identify when parties are exempt from the Fair Housing Act.
  • Describe the real estate property types covered in the Fair Housing Act.
  • Explain fair housing advertising guidelines.
  • Relate under what circumstances reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications are necessary to allow persons with disabilities to enjoy their housing
  • Define the laws that govern protections from discrimination against disability at the federal level.
  • Identify prohibited actions involving the sale and rental of housing under the Fair Housing Act.
  • Discuss prohibited actions relating to mortgage lending under the Fair Housing Act
  • Cite contemporary examples of fair housing law violations that make these issues relevant today.
  • Recognize the two categories that fall under sexual harassment, quid pro quo, and hostile
  • Explain the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries (BOLI) as Oregon’s governing agency that reviews complaints, regulates, and assesses civil penalties for fair housing violations.
  • Review the requirement that BOLI and the Oregon Real Estate Agency share complaint information and report findings regarding fair housing violations.
  • Explain how to submit a fair housing complaint

Other Law and Rule Required Course Required Topics

The required topics were developed from changes made to Oregon Revised Statute 696 and Oregon Administrative Rule 863 and input from the board, the Oregon Real Estate Agency staff, and other stakeholders. This year, in addition to the fair housing component, other required topics found in the OnlineEd course include:

  • Advertising rules update
  • House Bill 2550 (Client love letters)
  • House Bill 3113 (Exemptions on rent increase limits for landlords)
  • House Bill 278 (Requirement to delay termination of tenancies for nonpayment for 60 days if tenant provides documentation of application for rental assistance.
  • Senate Bill 291 (New applicant screening charges and written screening criteria rules)

This OnlineEd Oregon real estate continuing education course includes timed video presentations by Jeff Sorg and online reading materials with follow-along audio. No final exam is required for this course. A continuing education course completion certificate for Oregon Real Estate Agency license renewal will be issued after completing the course and its required seat time.

Sign up now to lock in your free course! This course counts for three hours of Oregon continuing education credit for real estate license renewal and will remain available to OnlineEd learners for 730 days after enrollment.


Oregon real estate team advertising rules

Oregon Rules for Real Estate Team Advertising

Oregon real estate team advertising rules


Teams and groups continue to be a popular way for brokers to run their businesses. By working together, brokers can pool their resources to expand their collaborative practice instead of each broker operating individually.  That is, one broker might focus on buyers and another on sellers.  The team can also hire unlicensed assistants to perform tasks that don’t require licensure, such as paperwork, scheduling, and transaction monitoring and follow-up.

However, Oregon has specific rules for real estate team advertising. These rules are found in Oregon Administrative Rule OAR 863-015-0125 (7).

In Oregon, a licensee may use the term “team” or “group” to advertise if:

  • the use of the term does not constitute the unlawful use of a trade name and is not deceptively similar to a name under which any other person is lawfully doing business;
  • the team or group includes at least one active real estate licensee;
  • the licensee members of the team or group are associated with the same principal broker;
  • the licensee member uses the licensee’s licensed name, a common derivative of the licensee’s first name and the licensee’s licensed last name, or an alternative name registered with the Oregon Real Estate Agency and includes the licensee’s license number;
  • the advertising clearly states which individuals are licensees and which are not when non-licensed individuals are named in the advertising; and
  • the advertising complies with all other applicable provisions of ORS Chapter 696 and its implementing rules.

The law requires a real estate team or group to be agents or personnel associated with the same office.  At least one individual in the team or group must be licensed.  If unlicensed members of the team or group are named in the advertising, the ad must clearly state who is licensed and who is not licensed.

“Advertising” and “advertisement” include all forms of real estate-related communication by a licensee that is designed to attract the public to the use of services related to professional real estate activity.

Types of Advertising

The Oregon Real Estate Agency includes these things as “advertising.”

  • Print, including, but not limited to mail, publications, brochures, postcards, business cards, and stationery;
  • Signs, including but not limited to lawn signs, displays, and billboards;
  • Phone, including but not limited to cell phones, text messaging, cold calling, and outgoing voicemail messaging;
  • Broadcast media, including but not limited to radio, television, podcasts, and video; and
  • Electronic media, including but not limited to multiple listing services, websites, email, social media, mobile apps, and other online marketing.

Things to remember about team advertising


Advertising Points to Remember

  • Identify yourself as a real estate license;
  • Be truthful and don’t design ads to be misleading or deceitful;
  • Advertise property only with the written permission of the property owner or their authorized agent;
  • Don’t state or imply that you are a principal broker or responsible for operating the registered business if you are a real estate broker ;
  • Don’t state or imply that you are responsible for operating the registered business if you are a principal broker but not the authorized licensee for the registered business name;
  • Don’t state or imply a qualification or level of expertise other than you currently maintain;
  • Use your licensed name, a common derivative of your first name (such as Jeff instead of Jeffrey) and your licensed last name, or an alternative name registered with the Agency and your real estate license number;
  • Include the registered business name of your company, so it is easily noticeable; and
  • Comply with all fair housing laws.

Oregon’s rule requiring the principal broker to approve all advertising was in many ways not workable and is no longer applicable. As a result, brokers are now responsible for making sure their advertising complies with the rules. However, brokerages can set company policies for advertising to help their licensees stay out of trouble.

It is important to remember that anytime you promote yourself as a real estate professional, mention a listing, or even congratulate a new homeowner on social media, you are engaged in some form of advertising, and the rules must be followed.



Get a Washington real estate license

Get a Washington Real Estate License With Online Courses

To get a Washington real estate license, you must apply with the Washington Department of Licensing and be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED, pass the OnlineEd 60-hour real estate fundamentals course, pass the OnlineEd 30-hour real estate practices course, pass a Washington state licensing examination, and pass a background check.  Anyone who acts on behalf of a real estate firm to perform real estate brokerage services under the supervision of a managing broker needs a real estate license.

Study for your real estate license anywhere an internet connection is available

© Can Stock Photo / LightFieldStudios

You can immediately shop for state-required pre-license education and start learning about real estate. With OnlineEd courses, you can literally start todayApplicants will need to register at PSI’s Portals page after starting but before completing their education. Follow the registration instructions on the site. It will only take a few minutes. This registration begins your education record with the state of Washington. It is NOT a real estate license application. You will apply for a license after your education and testing are complete.

To be approved to offer courses, OnlineEd and its instructors completed Washington’s rigorous licensing process. All real estate courses and our state-of-the-art delivery systems were also reviewed and approved.

The Courses

© Can Stock Photo / pruden

Approved by the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) to meet the educational requirement to obtain an entry-level Washington real estate broker license, the OnlineEd course package is delivered online. It includes instructor availability to answer questions about course content and concepts. This special Washington real estate broker pre-license training course package includes online courses, instructor support, state licensing exam prep course, and course completion certificates.

Washington Real Estate Fundamentals

Washington Real Estate Fundamentals is the first course. It is a required 60-hour course and instructs students on the basic fundamentals of real estate. Topics include real property descriptions, titles, estates, contract law, real estate financing, federal and state laws, and real estate architectural design.

Washington Real Estate Practices

© Can Stock Photo/ProImageContent

The second course, Washington Real Estate Practices, is the required follow-up course to Fundamentals. It’s a 30-hour course that discusses agency relationship types, how to work with buyers and sellers, and describes a real estate transaction from the offer to closing escrow.

You must pass both the state and national exams within 6 months of each other or retake both exams. Approvals are good until your education expires, 2 years from the date you complete the oldest exam. You must apply for your license within 1 year of passing the exams.

Washington Pre-License Exam Prep

OnlineEd online Washington real estate courses

© Can Stock Photo / LightFieldStudios

Washington Pre-License Exam Prep isn’t a required course, but it is the third part of the course package. Exam Prep is a cram course intended to help students retain information learned from the online courses to assist in passing the state licensing exam. Each chapter lists important topics to remember and includes study tests covering national and Washington-specific topics. This exam prep course also includes a practice licensing exam of 130 questions with a time limit of 3.5 hours to simulate the actual state broker licensing exam.

Learn More or Enroll Online

The courses are delivered online through a web browser but also include downloadable PDF and ePub versions. For study away from the computer and learning reinforcement, softbound, printed textbooks are also available for a modest additional cost.

Click here to learn more about the OnlineEd Washington real estate broker pre-license courses.

Click here to learn more about licensing through the Washington Department of Licensing.