The Complete South Carolina Mortgage Broker License Guide 2024

Published: Jan 12, 2022

south carolina mortgage broker license


Mortgage professionals in South Carolina have to obtain a state license, so that they can launch their legal operations. If you want to start your business, you need to get a South Carolina mortgage broker license. 

The requirements that you have to fulfill are determined by state authorities. However, the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) handles the actual licensing process.

You can get acquainted with the licensing criteria and the steps you have to take in the sections below.  

Choose a Mortgage License Type

Mortgage brokers in South Carolina can choose between a few different license types. They correspond to the exact activities you want to undertake and include:

  • Mortgage Broker License (company) - soliciting, processing, placing, or negotiating a mortgage loan from a mortgage lender or depository institution, or tablefunding or acting as loan correspondent or bringing borrowers and lenders together to obtain a loan
  • Mortgage Broker Qualified Loan Originator License (individual) - for a natural person that is not an employee of a mortgage broker but works exclusively for a single mortgage broker licensee, engaging in the activities of a mortgage broker  
  • Mortgage Broker Loan Originator License (individual) - for employees of mortgage brokers
  • Mortgage Lender/Servicer License (company) - making or servicing a mortgage loan, or soliciting, processing, placing, or negotiating a mortgage loan
  • Mortgage Loan Originator License (individual) - for any natural person soliciting, negotiating, accepting, or offering to accept applications for mortgage loans

The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) sets the requirements for mortgage brokers and mortgage broker loan originators. For mortgage lenders and mortgage loan originators, the licensing authority is the South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions (BFI). 

You can see the complete list of license types on the NMLS website

Meet the South Carolina Mortgage Broker License Requirements

The criteria that you need to meet to get licensed are rigorous. They are detailed below. 

Business Documents 

Mortgage companies in South Carolina have to register an entity with the Secretary of State. The formation documents are a part of the application process. 

In addition, you have to showcase the following documents:

  • Trade name (if applicable) 
  • Business plan
  • Organizational chart
  • Management chart
  • Resident/Registered Agent information
  • Primary contact employees information
  • Disclosure questions
  • Control Person (MU2) attestation 

Applications for an individual license have to answer the disclosure questions as well. 

Provide a Surety Bond 

Obtaining a South Carolina mortgage broker bond is one of the main requirements that most mortgage professionals have to satisfy. The bond functions as a safety mechanism that protects your customers. 

The bond amount that you have to provide depends on the license type that you want to get: 

  • Mortgage Broker License and Mortgage Broker Qualified Loan Originator License- $25,000
  • Mortgage Lender/Servicer License - $50,000 to $150,000, depending on  the volume of mortgage loans originated/serviced

Getting bonded doesn’t entail covering the whole required amount. Instead, you have to pay only a premium. It constitutes a small percentage of it, which is based on the strength of your personal and business finances. If they are in good shape, you can get rates between 0.5% and 5%.

Want to check the exact cost of your South Carolina mortgage broker bond? Fill in the short form below! 

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Criminal Background Check

For all license types, you have to undergo an FBI criminal background check.

Credit Report and Financial Statements

A credit report authorization is needed for all applicants. Mortgage brokers also have to provide financial statements

Education and State Exams 

For all three types of individual licenses, you have to complete at least 20 hours of NMLS-approved pre-licensure education courses. Then you have to get a passing score on the state tests

Complete the South Carolina Mortgage Broker License Application

south carolina mortgage broker licenseWhen you’ve gathered your full set of paperwork, it’s time to apply with the NMLS. You can submit your application online

To send additional documents to the South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions, you can do so via email at [email protected].

As for the Department, you have to mail them at:

South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs 

P.O. Box 5757 Columbia, SC 29250-5757

License and Registration Fees

You need to pay the relevant licensing fees when you apply:

  • Mortgage Broker License - $850
  • Mortgage Broker Qualified Loan Originator License - $130
  • Mortgage Broker Loan Originator License - $80
  • Mortgage Lender/Servicer License - $1,100
  • Mortgage Loan Originator License - $80

In addition, the credit report fee is $15 per control person. You also have to cover the FBI criminal background check fee, which is $36.25.


Do you have more questions about getting a South Carolina mortgage license and bonding? You can reach us at 877.514.5146.

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