20-Hr NMLS Course
All courses are NOT created equal! Chip Cummings is a NMLS Safe Act Education 30-year industry veteran who combines knowledge, experience and fun!
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8-Hr Continuing Ed
Looking for a convenient solution to meet you CE requirements? NMLS Test Preparation We have ONLINE 24/7 classes or LIVE in-person NMLS classes! We have updated classes with quality materials and support from industry professionals - who are ALSO NMLS-licensed!
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Online Test Prep!
Get ready for the NMLS exams - right online! Over 1000 actual NMLS Exam Cram test questions fed to you online. National or new UST State NMLS prep exams... This software tool will get you ready - FAST!
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We have just introduced new online NMLS certified CE classes - either online 24/7 or LIVE ! That means you can take your NMLS CE credits whenever you want - based upon YOUR schedule, in simple easy 5-minute segments. Or you can take the entire class at once - it's YOUR choice!


has several NMLS-approved LIVE classroom and LIVE-online Safe Act NMLS-approved training events coming up around the country! Paul Donohue and Chip Cummings are two of the nation's leading mortgage and training experts...


Program Outline

Educational tools and programs are all provided by Abacus Mortgage Training - a leader in mortgage training for over 15 years. Abacus Mortgage Training and Safe Act Training programs are NMLS-approved and eligible for NMLS PE and CE credits, authorization and course provider approval #1400011


The Secure and Fair Enforcement Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE Act) created the NMLS Registry which requires ALL loan originators to register with the NMLS system. This includes all mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers, loan originators employed by banks, credit unions or subsidiaries of banks.

REGISTERED LOAN ORIGINATORS - This classification includes any employee of a national bank or federal depository institution. NMLS requires anyone who originates a residential loan application to acquire a NMLS unique identifier (UI#), and consent to a background (and credit) check.

STATE-LICENSED MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATORS (MLO's) - Any mortgage loan originator who is NOT an employee of a federal depository (bank), is required to obtain an NMLS unique identifier number, obtain a minimum of 20-hours of NMLS-approved pre-licensing (PE) education (unless pre-certified by your state), submit to background checks (including a credit check), and pass the NMLS National Exam, and the NMLS State exam.

Deadlines for Safe Act and NMLS compliance vary by state, and you can check your NMLS testing, training and education requirements by clicking on your state above. SafeAct-Training in conjunction with Abacus Mortgage Training provides a wide variety of NMLS-approved classes, both online and live EACH WEEK for your convenience.

In addition, we also provide NMLS Exam Cram online test preparation tools to allow to to "simulate" the test-taking experience before you take the test! We have had THOUSANDS of students use our Exam Cram products, and in our tracking, have found an almost 96% pass rate on the NMLS exams on the first try! Compare this to the national average of 67% pass rate (according to NMLS statistics as of Q2 2010)!

All of our NMLS-approved instructors are EXPERIENCED INDUSTRY EXPERTS! They have the practical experience and industry knowledge to make sure you receive the right education and NMLS tools for success. We're so confident, that...

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What is the SAFE Act & NMLS?

President Bush signed into law the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Mortgage Licensing Act on July 30, 2008 as a central part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) which created the NMLS system .

Under this act, all non-depository mortgage loan officers in the United States must register in a national database, pass a national exam, pass state exams and accrue a minimum of 20 hours of approved education before engaging in mortgage loan origination activities. Existing loan originators must comply with the minimum standards plus any state specific requirements as the states they originate in demand.

This act sets forth procedures, requirements, education, testing and new standards including mandatory national registration of all depository mortgage loan originators (RMLOs) plus the state licensing of non-depository mortgage loan originators (MLOs), through the creation of a Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry, known as the NMLS. The SAFE Act is regulated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

According to HUD's website, the SAFE Act and NMLS,
"... is designed to enhance consumer protection and reduce fraud by encouraging states to establish minimum standards for the licensing and registration of state-licensed mortgage loan originators and for the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR) to establish and maintain a Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) for the residential mortgage industry..."
To read more, visit HUD's website at: www.hud.gov

The SAFE Act and NMLS requires:

Every Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO), depository and non-depository, in the country must be registered in the NMLS. (Dates vary by state)

Unique Identifier:
A unique identifying number is assigned to each MLO. This number is used for all examinations and all education credit reporting. This is also referred to as an Individual ID Number.

All states must require a minimum of 20 hours of Prelicensing Education (PE) initially and 8 hours of Continuing Education (CE) annually though some have elected to require more or to specify certain subject matter be taken. These requirements vary by state.

National Test:
In order to do business anywhere, you must pass a 100-question national test. Deadlines for this test vary by state.

State Test:
In order to do business in a state, you must also pass that state's specific test consisting of 45-65 questions. Though not every state has state specific education, every state has a state specific test.

State Education (varies by state):
Though the majority of states require only the minimum SAFE standards, some states have additionally opted to require additional state specific education. More on that later...

LAW: The SAFE Act is the federal law (part of the HERA of 2008)

RULES AND REGULATIONS: CSBS and AARMR created the State Regulatory Registry (SRR) to make the rules of how the system would work.

ACCOUNTABILITY: Financial Industry Regulatory Agency (FINRA) build the database to keep track of it all. The NMLS is that database and the SRR manages it.


Am I Really a MLO?

SAFE establishes the definition of a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) and defines the criteria for who has to be licensed.

    The new definition, in short, includes anyone who takes, or offers to take a mortgage loan application and negotiates or offers to negotiate the terms of that loan for compensation or in the expectation of compensation. Here is the excerpt from the law:


  1. Loan Originator.
    1. In General. The term "loan originator"
      1. means an individual who—
        1. takes a residential mortgage loan application; and
        2. offers or negotiates terms of a residential mortgage loan for compensation or gain;
      2. does not include any individual who is not otherwise described in clause (i) and who performs purely administrative or clerical tasks on behalf of a person who is described in any such clause;
      3. does not include a person or entity that only performs real estate brokerage activities and is licensed or registered in accordance with applicable State law, unless the person or entity is compensated by a lender, a mortgage broker, or other loan originator or by any agent of such lender, mortgage broker, or other loan originator; and
      4. does not include a person or entity solely involved in extensions of credit relating to timeshare plans, as that term is defined in section 101(53D) of title 11, United States Code.
    2. Other Definitions Relating To Loan Originator. For purposes of this subsection, an individual who ‘‘assists a consumer in obtaining or applying to obtain a residential mortgage loan’’ by, among other things, advising on loan terms (including rates, fees, other costs), preparing loan packages, or collecting information on behalf of the consumer with regard to a residential mortgage loan.
    3. Administrative Or Clerical Tasks. The term ‘‘administrative or clerical tasks’’ means the receipt, collection, and distribution of information common for the processing or underwriting of a loan in the mortgage industry and communication with a consumer to obtain information necessary for the processing or underwriting of a residential mortgage loan.
  2. Loan Processor Or Underwriter.
    1. In General. The term ‘‘loan processor or underwriter’’ means an individual who performs clerical or support duties at the direction of and subject to the supervision and instruction of
      1. a State-licensed loan originator; or
      2. a registered loan originator.
    2. Clerical Or Support Duties. For purposes of subparagraph (A), the term ‘‘clerical or support duties’’ may include:
      1. the receipt, collection, distribution, and analysis of information common for the processing or underwriting of a residential mortgage loan; and
      2. communicating with a consumer to obtain the information necessary for the processing or underwriting of a loan, to the extent that such communication does not include offering or negotiating loan rates or terms, or counseling consumers about residential mortgage loan rates or terms.

Certain states have expanded that definition even further by including those who issue mortgage loan commitments or interest rate guarantee agreements to borrowers, whether such acts are done through contact by telephone, by electronic means, by mail, or in person with the borrowers or potential borrowers.

This NMLS definition pulls in many loan processors. Check your specific state laws for details.



In order to renew your license, you must have completed all of your required education in the appropriate topics. Those credit hours are reported to the NMLS by your course provider. Once you are inside your renewal window (November/December) you can log into your NMLS account and complete your renewal.

There are, basically, three steps to renewing:

  1. Attestation - Confirming you are who you say you are and that you have completed all the education required to renew.
  2. Education - Make sure that you have completed a minimum of 8-hours CE NMLS-approved education
  3. Review - Looking over all your details and confirming that your information is up to date and correct.
  4. Renewal - Paying your appropriate renewal fees.

For state specific information on licensing, refer to the NMLS State Licensing Resource Page. As states update their legislation and regulation, this map is updated by the SRR.