How To Become A Mortgage Broker
Considering any new career is a massive step and, as such, should not be undertaken without the
essential detailed research. As with most industry sectors, there are a number of traps to avoid when
considering a career in the financial services sector and, having asked how to become a mortgage
broker myself almost 20 years ago, I know how long and painful the learning curve can be without the
guidance of an experienced mentor. Looking back, I would have given a great deal for the opportunity
to learn from the mistakes of others rather than to have to learn the hard way. In fact, it is these
very challenges that cause many new brokers to throw in the towel when they realize they have nobody
to turn to unless they are able to write big cheques.
So, how can we make a success of such a career change?
Quite simply - take advice from someone who knows! In this article I will be looking at CeMAP® training, since this is the first and critical step on your journey to becoming a successful mortgage
broker. After all, if the foundations are weak, even the tallest buildings can be easily toppled.
Why might you want to take advice from me?
As one who achieved success both as a financial adviser and as a mortgage broker, I would be the first
to tell the aspiring new mortgage professional that, despite what others will tell you, the path to
success is rarely described as easy by those in the business, and that is certainly my opinion. The
tragedy is that, although I would never describe it as an easy journey, it really need not be as
difficult as it was for me and as it is for the vast majority of other new starters.
Having held directorships within multiple national mortgage brokerages, the largest of which gave me
responsibility for the development of over 2,500 brokers located throughout all the regions of the UK,
my greatest success has come from inducting and developing people who wanted to know how to become a
mortgage broker, and I would be surprised if there is anyone out there who has developed more mortgage
brokers from the very first seed of hope all the way through to their first year with six figure
When I say developed from the first 'seed', this is because the vast majority of these individuals had
no mortgage or financial experience whatsoever when they first came to me. Neither did they have any
sales experience, which I believe is a positive rather than a negative factor because, despite holding
the title of Sales Development Director, I don't believe the mortgage broker's role is a sales
role and I coach people in a way that reflects this belief. I'll explain why and how at a later stage.
What can you expect to earn as a mortgage broker?
Now, don't get carried away with the earlier reference to six figure earnings; this is not an
overnight goal and, in fact, most people choose not to drive themselves to such dizzy heights,
settling rather in a comfort zone way below that level. However, I have helped many good listeners to
reach that level within their first 5 years in the business.
In any event, whether your goal is to earn £30K, £60K or £90K per annum, to work in a bank or as an
independent broker, it all begins with the foundation knowledge. To become a professional in almost
any field other than sport, we need to pass some level of academic qualification and the mortgage
professional is no different. The industry-preferred qualification is the Certificate in Mortgage
Advice & Practice (CeMAP®), and anyone wanting to give mortgage advice in the UK must pass this (or
an equivalent) qualification before doing so.
What is CeMAP®?
The CeMAP® qualification is set by the Financial Services Skills Council (FSSC) and is accredited by
the Qualifications & Curriculum Authority (QCA) and administered by the Institute of Financial
Services (LIBF). Once qualified, you can use the initials 'CeMAP®' after your name on your business
cards and on any other stationery.
Ok so far? So, the CeMAP® qualification is the seed from which a new career as a mortgage broker is
developed. At the time CeMAP® was first introduced, back in the late 1990s, I was the Sales Development
Director of the large brokerage mentioned earlier. Imagine the task! Over 2,500 independent mortgage
brokers to be trained and guided through CeMAP®. This was my first introduction to CeMAP® Training and
such a mammoth task as training 2,500 brokers required a logical, methodical solution. In brief, I
developed a CeMAP® distance learning solution which, when combined with classroom style training, gave
us the desired results with maximum efficiency.
CeMAP® training is still a significant part of our overall task in the development cycle of new
mortgage brokers and we continue to provide a combination of classroom training and distance learning
materials to achieve success in this important early stage. Our distance learning materials employ
online video, computer-based revision texts and over 4,500 exam questions built-in to our unique
self-developed software package.
What does CeMAP® cover?
The CeMAP® qualification comprises three separate modules, as follows:
We cover these three modules in two 5-day courses, the first of which prepares you fully for CeMAP1®,
while the second prepares you for CeMAP2® and CeMAP3®. In a later article, I will go into more detail
about the topics included within each of the three modules.
- CeMAP1® - UK Financial Regulation
- CeMAP2® - Mortgages
- CeMAP3® - Assessment of Mortgage Advice Knowledge
If you are considering a new career and want to know how to become a mortgage broker, whether employed
or self-employed, whether tied or independent, whether part-time or full-time, take a look at our
website and ask for advice from someone who has already made the journey with many others.
When you've done that, we can tell you all about Phase 2, which deals with how to achieve Competent
By the way, when doing your research, be sure to watch out for the sharks! I'll happily give you some
ideas on what to look out for.
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