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Certification - FAQ

1. Do I have to be a NAMB member to be certified?

No. Both members and non-members of NAMB can apply for the certification examinations. Joining NAMB has many benefits for mortgage professionals. Visit www.namb.org for more information on the values of membership.

2. Why should I get certified?

Achieving certification has many benefits professionally and personally including the opportunity to achieve a higher level of professionalism and demonstrate your commitment to a superior level of service to the borrower; distinguish yourself from the competition, and build confidence in your competence and knowledge. Download the candidate handbook for a detailed list of benefits of certification by clicking HERE

3. What resources do I get from being certified?

Certified mortgage professionals receive these benefits from NAMB for being certified:

• Certificate and lapel pin recognizing you as certified

• Authority to use the GMA®, CRMS®, CMC®, CVLS, or CCS credential and logo on letterhead, business cards, and all forms of address

• Access to self-marketing materials including a welcome kit with tools to help differentiate yourself in the market

• Priority listing on “Find-a-Broker” search engine • Opportunity for industry recognition via print and online media communications

• Automatic subscription to “Cert Alert,” NAMB’s electronic newsletter for certificants and an opportunity to be featured as the “Certificant in the Spotlight”

• Automatic Silver Medallion status including discounts to NAMB conferences and events

• Special recognition at the NAMB national convention

• Listing on banner for Certified Professionals displayed at NAMB events

4. How can I prepare for the examination(s)?

The candidate handbooks for the GMA®, CRMS®, and CMC® examinations include test specifications, sample questions, study guides, and a reference list. Download them at www.namb.org (click on the Certification tab). You may also want to take educational courses offered through NAMB or your individual states’ education department to review for the exam(s).

5. What credentials does NAMB offer and which is right for me?

NAMB provides three credentials including the General Mortgage Associate (GMA)®, Certified Residential Mortgage Specialist (CRMS)®, and Certified Mortgage Consultant (CMC)®. The General Mortgage Associate (GMA)® is designed for newer mortgage brokers and loan officers. The Certified Residential Mortgage Specialist (CRMS)® program is designed for more experienced mortgage brokers with at least two years of experience. The Certified Mortgage Consultant (CMC)® is designed for experienced professionals with at least five years in the industry.

6. When should I start thinking about certification?

Mortgage professionals should start thinking about certification right away. Certification is an avenue for professional growth and a way for employers to recognize and promote loan officers and mortgage professionals.

7. Why should consumers look for certified brokers?

Certified brokers are educated, ethical, and involved. They have voluntarily demonstrated their commitment to higher professional standards in the industry and shown their dedication to the consumer by obtaining advanced education to provide quality service.

8. Does NAMB offer any group discounts?

NAMB offers a 20/20 discount. You will receive a 20% discount when you apply as a group of 20 for any NAMB Certification Examination.

9. Do certified Brokers earn more?

According to a recently released survey conducted for NAMB by Thomson Prometric, mortgage professionals who are certified by NAMB make significantly more than others in the industry. The survey, based upon responses by 1,286 industry members, revealed that the mean average salary for mortgage professionals without certification was $103,507, while a Certified Mortgage Consultant (CMC)® credential earned $161,877. The mean average salary for a Certified Residential Mortgage Specialist (CRMS)® was $124,287.

10. What is the job outlook for mortgage brokers?

According to the U.S. Labor Department, the outlook for loan officers can expect average employment growth. Job opportunities will be best for people with a college education and related experience.

11. How does NAMB verify that its certification program(s) are fair, accurate, and represents current standards of knowledge and practice?

The GMA®, CRMS®, and CMC® certification exams are the result of a multi-step process that includes a job analysis (a survey of mortgage industry experts to evaluate their level of knowledge and skills necessary for competent performance), exam development (using the job analysis findings to create exam questions), re-validation (reviews of the content of each exam to ensure that questions remain relevant as the profession evolves), and performance and fairness reviews (all questions are reviewed extensively by subject-matter experts and testing experts). NAMB is an active member of the National Organization for Competency Assurance, the trade association for the professional certification industry.

12. How can I get involved as a volunteer leader for NAMB?

NAMB is always looking for volunteer leaders who are experienced and passionate mortgage brokers to contribute their expertise and knowledge. To find out more information about volunteering, email certification@namb.org.

13. How many mortgage professionals does NAMB certify?

Approximately 1,000 mortgage professionals hold a NAMB credential.

14. What are the eligibility requirements to take the exam?

The GMA® is an entry-level examination and no experience or qualifying points are required. The CRMS® requires at least two years of experience in the industry and 50 qualifying points. The CMC® requires at least five years of experience and 100 qualifying points. Qualifying points are accumulated through the combination of work experience, related experience, mortgage-related education, formal education, other designations, industry leadership and participation. Visit Eligibility Requirements web-page for more information about qualifying points and eligibility requirements.

15. How are the exams delivered?

All of NAMB’s examinations are computer-based and delivered through our testing partner, Kryterion. Kryterion (www.drakekryterion.com) has more than 200 test sites nationwide.

16. How do I apply for the exam?

You can apply for the GMA® examination on our Web site at the GMA web page. You can also download the candidate handbooks for all three exams with detailed information on the application and registration procedures for the exams at www.namb.org (click on the Certification tab).

17. How are the exams scored?

Because these exams don’t measure “academic excellence” but rather competency, they are scored as either pass or fail. To pass the GMA exam, you must answer at least 68% of the exam questions correctly. To pass the CRMS® and CMC® exam, you must answer at least 75% of the exam questions correctly.

18. When will I receive my scores?

Once you have submitted your exam, you will immediately receive a pass/fail notification on the computer screen.

19. When can I start using my credential?

As soon as you pass the exam, you can start to use the credential with your name.

20. How much do the exams cost?

A summary of the application and registration fees are below.

GMA® CRMS® CMC® Applications – NAMB Member $200  Non-member $350

21. How do I re-schedule my exam date?

To cancel or re-schedule your exam, you must contact the NAMB Certification Department at least 72 business hours before your exam date. Changes made with less than 72 hours notice will be assessed an additional fee. Exam appointments can be re-scheduled by contacting 703-342-5900 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (ET).

22. How is certification different from the Lending Integrity Seal of Approval?

NAMB’s Lending Integrity Seal of Approval (www.lendingintegrity.org) is an important first step to helping consumers identify mortgage brokers that meet industry standards. Certification, through one of NAMB’s credentialing programs, should come next because it enhances their knowledge and ensures their competence.

23. What are qualifying points?

Qualifying points are accumulated through the combination of work experience, related experience, mortgage-related education, formal education, other designations, industry leadership and participation. They are required for the CRMS® and CMC® examinations. Visit the Eligibility Requirements web page for more information on qualifying points.

24. Does NAMB conduct a background check?

NAMB reserves the right to perform a criminal history check on all applicants. Note: by submitting an application, you are authorizing NAMB access to your confidential information including employment, academic, and criminal records. This authorization is in effect until permission is revoked in writing. Mail, e-mail, or fax your written request to revoke this permission to NAMB’s certification department.

25. How do I maintain my credential?

NAMB’s credentials are valid for three years. You may re-certify for the next three years by submitting—during the last year of your certification period—a completed re-certification application, re-certification fee of $150 for members and $250 for non-members, and documentation of successfully completing the required 30 hours of mortgage-related continuing education. Visit https://www.namb.org/recertification.php for more information regarding re-certification.

26. How much does re-certification cost?

The re-certification fees are $150 for members and $250 for nonmembers.

27. Does NAMB have practice questions I can review?

The GMA®, CRMS®, and CMC® candidate handbooks include sample questions and answers for the individual exams. Download the candidate handbooks at www.namb.org (click on the Certification tab).

28. I have a disability. What process should I follow to ensure my needs are met?

If you are unable to take the exam in person because of a disability, you may request a reasonable accommodation by contacting the test center. Please be sure to include all supporting documentation, including a letter from a licensed medical professional who is currently providing you treatment. If you are learning disabled, please also submit a diagnosis of the disability corroborated by psychological testing. NAMB will grant reasonable accommodations on a case-by-case basis to ensure that all candidates have the same opportunities to be tested.

29. If I fail the exam, when can I re-take it?

A candidate who fails the GMA®, CRMS®, or CMC® exam may retake it one more time. Candidates must wait at least one month before being eligible to retake the exam and must take the exam within the one year exam eligibility period. If you should fail the exam twice, you may reapply after waiting a mandatory one-year waiting period.

30. What is the difference between a professional certification program and a certificate program?

While a certificate program is usually considered a training program, a certification or credentialing program verifies a broker or loan officer has demonstrated their competence in a profession.

31. Will taking a certification examination qualify me to be a mortgage broker in a given state?

The GMA®, CRMS®, and CMC® programs are geared towards professional development. While taking and passing these exams demonstrates your knowledge of the mortgage broker industry, it does not allow you to operate in a given state. To find the licensing requirements for a given state, please contact your State Association or state regulatory agency.

32. When does NAMB offer the certification exams?

Through NAMB's partnership with Kryterion, the GMA®, CRMS®, and CMC® exams are offered Monday through Friday during normally business hours and some testing on Saturdays as well. Kryterion has more than 200 test sites nationwide.

33. Do only NAMB Education Courses count for the application/re-certification?

No. As long as the educational course you have taken deals with mortgage industry related issues it will count towards your application and re-certification.

34. What is considered as mortgage-related education?

Learning situation which has a course outline significantly focused on issues which directly impact or involve the mortgage industry, has a qualified instructor, uses appropriate methods of instruction, and evaluates comprehension of materials presented through a written test or evaluation of in-class participation. Also, mortgage-related seminars, and workshops taken within the five-year period preceding the date of the application are acceptable educational activities.

35. Can continuing education (CE’s) courses for my licensure count towards education points?

Yes. CE credits earned for licensure can count towards education points for eligibility. Additionally, CE credits towards real estate requirements count as well.

36. Where can I obtain more education points for eligibility?

Education points can be obtained by taking a course through NAMB’s Education Department or through your state association’s education department. Also courses taken and approved for licensure can be used towards eligibility.

37. How do I apply for the CRMS® and CMC® exams?

Applying for certification is easy. Check www.namb.org for more detailed information (click on the certification tab). 1. Review information in the Applicant Handbook 2. Download and submit the application with the appropriate documentation and application fee 3. Receive status of eligibility and registration notification 4. Register and schedule the exam 5. Study for the exam 6. Pass the test