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2012 Loan Originator Survey – Demographics

2012 Loan Originator Survey

Survey and Analysis of the Nation’s Mortgage Loan Originators


Sponsored By


Loan originators are the sales people of the mortgage industry. The male-dominated group is the face of home lending for many consumers. Today’s typical originator has spent more than a decade in real estate finance and has a college degree or at least some college education. One state was the home of one-in-five originators surveyed.


LO Survey 2012 Income


Loan Originator Defined
Among their many titles, loan originators are also known as mortgage originators, loan officers and account executives. Lending agents, mortgage brokers and loan salespeople are among other titles bestowed upon the profession.
Originators guide prospective borrowers through a complicated lending process. They help consumers decide on a loan product and a loan term. They advise customers when to lock their rates, and help with the assembly of a multitude of documents. 
While commissions can be hefty, originators only earn those commissions after a loan closes.

Participants in the 2012 Loan Originator Survey were overwhelmingly men, with 76 percent indicating a male gender.

California was the primary state of origination for 21 percent of the respondents, the biggest share of any state.

Florida followed, with an 8 percent share, then 7 percent in Texas, nearly 5 percent in Illinois and more than 4 percent each for Arizona and Maryland.

Prior to the mortgage crisis, low barriers to entry had many originators with little or no mortgage experience selling loan products.

But that’s no longer the case, according to the survey.

Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed indicated that they had at least 10 years’ experience in the mortgage business.


LO Survey 2012 Dodd Frank
More than 43 percent of originators had a four-year college degree, while 35 percent indicated they had “some college.” A masters degree was claimed by 8 percent, and just 1 percent said they had a PhD.

Second Languages
A second language was used for business purposes by 9 percent of the surveyed originators.

While Spanish was the predominant second language used — Chinese, Thai and Yiddish were also among second languages listed.


This report was co-sponsored by

Mortgage Originator Tools
News about pricing, technological and selling tools for loan originators.


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