Mortgage Lender & Broker Licensing Requirements

Licensing Overview

A mortgage lender is an individual or business who for compensation or gain, closes a mortgage loan, advances funds, offers to advance funds, or makes a commitment to advance funds to a borrower on residential real property located in North Carolina.

A mortgage broker is an individual or business who for compensation or gain, either directly or indirectly, accepts or offers to accept an application for a mortgage loan, solicits or offers to solicit a mortgage loan, negotiates the terms or conditions of a mortgage loan, issues mortgage loan commitments or interest rate guarantee agreements to borrowers, whether done through contact by telephone, electronic means, mail, or in person with the borrowers or potential borrowers on residential real property located in North Carolina.

The "North Carolina Secure and Fair Enforcement (S.A.F.E.) Mortgage Licensing Act," as codified in NCGS Chapter 53, Article 19B, requires that any entity engaged in the business of making or brokering residential mortgage loans secured by North Carolina real estate be licensed by the NC Office of the Commissioner of Banks, unless an exemption applies, pursuant to NCGS § 53-244.040(d).

Approved licenses may be viewed by visiting Find Licensees.

Filing Overview, Forms, and Fees

Mortgage lenders and brokers shall submit an application through the NMLS website. An appropriate Surety Bond (see below) must be designated in the application. Please see Forms and Fees for additional information. All fees are posted on the Fee Schedule.

Qualifying Individual

The qualifying individual and each branch manager must have at least three (3) years of residential mortgage lending experience. The qualifying individual may serve as a branch manager for one branch office in addition to any duties at the principal office, but otherwise, a branch manager may manage only one branch office. The qualifying individual is primarily responsible for the operations of the licensee.

Branch Offices

All branch offices that make or broker residential mortgage loans (N.C.G.S. § 53.244.030(30)) secured by North Carolina residential real estate (N.C.G.S. § 53.244.030(31)) must be licensed in North Carolina. Every branch office must have a designated branch manager. All branch office applications as well as amendments (branch manager and address changes, etc.) are submitted through the NMLS website. To close a branch office, a surrender/cancellation must be submitted through NMLS.

Surety Bonds

A licensee is required to have a surety bond as detailed in N.C.G.S. § 53.244.103 (b)(1) and (2). The minimum bond amounts begin at $75,000 for a broker and $150,000 for a lender. Subsequent bonds are adjusted based upon the loan origination volume as of December 31st of each year. Please see Forms and Fees for additional information.

Ceasing Business

See Instructions for Ceasing Business in North Carolina.

Who To Contact

Please see our Contact Us page for contact information.