Stand Alone Uniform State Test- Time is running out!
The 25 question Stand Alone Uniform State Test is about to expire. As of April 1, 2014 the temporary, shorter stand alone test will no longer be available. Therefore if you want to get licensed in a state that no longer has a state exam requirement you need to get on the ball. The question is should you take it? The best, shorter, easier and cheaper answer is yes.
On April 1, 2013, the Uniform State Test was added to the national component of the SAFE Act exam, making this test now 125 questions long. The SAFE Act was created under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act in 2008. This act requires that all people who are engaging in mortgage loan origination activities for compensation or gain or expectation of compensation or gain, have a mortgage license or be federally registered. If you are not working for a federally regulated institution (ie banks, credit unions, etc), then you must obtain a mortgage loan originator license, in every state you do business.
Up until April 1, 2013, all states required two exams , National Component and State Component, to be taken and passed with a 75% or better. Since that date, 39 states including Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia have chosen to no longer have a separate state exam and to only require the National with UST exam or National Exam and Stand Alone UST exam. The states that have adopted the UST are listed below:
Alabama, Kansas, New Hampshire, Texas, Alaska, Kentucky, New Jersey, Delaware, Louisiana, New Mexico, Utah DFI, District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, Vermont, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Idaho, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, Washington, Florida, South Carolina DCA, Indiana DFI, Montana, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Indiana SOS, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa, Nevada, and Tennessee.
These states agencies may elect to adopt the UST at a future date, but are not now and are not required to do so. Candidates becoming licensed in these states will need to pass an individual state test:
Arizona, Missouri, Arkansas, New York, California, Oklahoma, Ohio, Colorado, Oregon, Connecticut, South Carolina BFI, Florida, South Carolina DCA, Illinois, Utah DRE, Maine, West Virginia, and Minnesota.
You may be asking yourself, “If I took the national exam before April 1, 2013 and want to get licensed in another state that is now participating in the UST, do I have to take the national exam all over again?” The answer is, no, at least for a short period of time. One year after implementation of the UST exam a shorter Stand Alone test is available. However, this option is only in effect until March 31, 2014. However, if you do not take the Stand Alone UST exam by the expiration date, the only way to get a license in a state that is participating in UST will be to take the national exam again. The difference between the old, and now retired, national exam and the new national exam is that it now includes the UST section. The entire exam is 125 questions and you must obtain a 75% score to pass. The results will not affect your current license if you have one, but it will prevent you from getting a license in another state if you fail.
It’s extremely important to understand, simply taking the UST stand alone exam or the national with UST will not allow you to start doing loans in those 39 states. You must go online to the NMLS website click on the state you want to do loans in and meet all of the state’s requirements, pay the fees, submit all the necessary information and get approved by each state before you can do loans in any of the UST states. Again, if you don’t take the Stand Alone Uniform State Test by April 1, 2014 you will have to take the entire new National with UST exam again in order to do loans in any UST state. Also, the company you work for must be licensed in those states in order for you to write loans there.
Some states require additional state specific education, audited financials, state background checks, child support statements, and so on. Simply taking the UST Stand Alone exam or the National with UST included, does not allow you to do loans in the 39 currently participating states. Another important item to realize is that once you do get approved in a state you must pay for and renew each license, in each state, every year.
The next thing people wonder is what’s on the UST exam. The 39 states that will be participating in the new UST rules have agreed to certain Model State Law. Basically this means that these states all agree to the same rules, restrictions, requirements and guidelines. To help you prepare for the Stand Alone UST exam we have created a test prep package that details everything you need to pass this exam. Our Sr Instructor, Sharmen Lane, tested this information and passed the Stand Alone exam with a near perfect score. To obtain the test prep package go to http://shop.loanofficerschool.com/product/nmls-uniform-state-testing-ust-test-prep This test prep package includes:
- A 2 hour recorded webinar
- A 2 hour audio mp3 file
- A study booklet
- Powerpoint slides
- Practice Exam
Only you can answer the question “Should I take the Stand Alone UST exam?” If you think you may want to get licensed in another state within the next five years then the answer is yes. The Stand Alone Exam only costs $33 and is good for five years. If you wait until after April 1, 2014 the Stand Alone option will no longer be available and you will have to pay $110 and take the National 125 question exam. Anyone who remembers how difficult the national exam was should absolutely take the Stand Alone exam while you can.
If you have any questions you are welcome to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.loanofficerschool.com to obtain more information on test prep packages, licensing courses, loan officer and processor training.