As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, September 2012.
In today’s mortgage industry, staying abreast of changing regulations and shifting markets is critical. And although continuing education is an important component of any originator’s success, it’s also the law.
Across the country, mortgage brokers and originators are gearing up to fulfill their annual continuing-education credits as required for state-licensed originators by the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (S.A.F.E. Act). Having spent the money to get licensed by the end of 2010, many originators decided to spread out their costs by waiting until the end of last year to fulfill their continuing-education credits. Now, with the year quickly coming to a close once again, many mortgage professionals have yet to draw up a plan for satisfying this requirement.
With a multitude of options available for originators — both online andin-person — here’s what you need to know to maximize your educational efforts.
The National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) administers the process for completing continuing-education requirements, and all courses must be approved by the NMLS to receive credit. That said, there are a variety of ways to meet the continuing-education requirement.
Ideally, training should be as fun as it is valuable — and, thanks to the Internet, industry education has become increasingly flexible, as well. When faced with the choice of pursuing online instruction or live instruction, however, there are several important considerations to bear in mind. Selecting the right course format and topics will ensure that your time and money are well spent.
In trying to determine the benefits of self-paced online education versus in-person classroom education, mortgage brokers and originators first should understand how the NMLS controls their online self-study courses and how these courses function. Here are some of the most significant course-related requirements that may affect the way you conduct and plan for your training:
Courses trigger a mandatory logout after six minutes of inactivity. If and when this occurs, you’ll have to re-enter your password and user ID. It’s a good idea to keep this information on hand, just in case a logout occurs.
A course’s modules are locked together and must be taken in a linear fashion. In other words, you aren’t able to move freely through a course’s content and focus only on the modules that pique your interest.
Programming prevents users from moving through a course’s materialtoo quickly. Breezing through a course simply isn’t an option — and it shouldn’t be.
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