The path to become an FHA underwriter is not clear-cut. Achieving this position can be somewhat difficult, despite the increased popularity and demand for U.S. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. While training is essential, so is experience and the ability to obtain sponsorship or recommendation from an employer.
Experienced mortgage professionals stand a better chance in the quest to become an FHA underwriter. The optimal situation is to be currently employed with a reputable lender or mortgage servicing company and have at least three years of related experience. Federal Housing Administration standards require this experience to be recent and full-time. Those wishing to become an FHA underwriter should also have direct experience with the review of consumer credit reports and property appraisals.
Loan underwriters without specific knowledge related to FHA mortgages need to put themselves through training classes. Since FHA mortgages are approved under a different set of borrower qualifications and have special provisions, training exists to acquaint underwriters with the FHA's policies. Completion of the training does not guarantee that an individual will become an FHA underwriter. It simply means that he or she is certified as possessing the required knowledge to do so.
Training is available from schools that specialize in mortgage underwriting. Many of the courses are delivered in an online, self-study format. Courses cover the principles related to loan origination, the closing process, FHA compliance policies and loan processing. The FHA also maintains a list of education providers that interested individuals might want to consult prior to selection.
It is important to note that the Federal Housing Administration does not currently have an official approval process in place. Employers or potential employers are responsible for nominating underwriters to the FHA. Ultimately, it is the employer's responsibility to make sure that any employee who wishes to become an FHA underwriter meets the required qualifications. An underwriter who is nominated is required to be employed full-time with the lender who is making the recommendation.
If an individual truly wishes to pursue a career as an FHA underwriter, it is vital that a good relationship be established with an employer first. Proving yourself by exhibiting solid job performance in a conventional underwriting role may be necessary. Once FHA training is obtained, it is up to you to demonstrate that you are familiar enough with the knowledge to execute it properly. If an employer does not feel that an employee is capable of handling the duties associated with being an FHA underwriter, a nomination may not be submitted.