How to Become a Bank Underwriter

Bank Underwriter Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $70,940
Avg. Pay / hour $34.11
Education 4+ Years
Job Outlook 8%

Your fate in getting approved for a personal, home or auto bank loan lies in the hands of a Bank Underwriter.

Bank Underwriters will determine whether a person has the capacity to pay off the type of loan they are applying for by using several pieces of information about a person’s financial history and activity.

Applicants looking for a bank loan will fill out an application with their personal financial and job history information.

That application gets sent to a Bank Underwriter who will use the entire client’s history in order to grant or decline the bank loan.

People who want to become a Bank Underwriter must have strong analytical skills and attention to detail in order to be able to make decisions regarding a client based on their financial history.

Bank Underwriters must also be reliable and dependable because they work with an applicant’s sensitive information such as social security numbers and date of births which can be used negatively in cases such as identity theft.

Bank Underwriters are an important part of a banking institution because their work attempts to prevent any monetary losses to the lending company.

They do so by evaluating a potential client’s credit risk and basing decisions on it.

Education Requirements to Become a Bank Underwriter

Candidates who want to become a Bank Underwriter must have a combination of continued education, and training in lending compliance as well as knowledge or credit laws in order to find a job in this field.

Crediting laws Bank Underwriters need thorough knowledge of include: Patriot Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Companies seek individuals who have a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree preferably in Finance, Banking, Accounting, Investment or Economics.

Additionally, candidates who seek more education, such as an MBA will have more job opportunities and possibility of growth in the field.

Some skills that a Bank Underwriter needs include: having great communication skills, expertise with financial and balance spreadsheets, ability to understand and analyze personal and business tax returns, familiarity with credit reports and appraisals.

Bank Underwriter Job Description

Candidates who want to become a Bank Underwriter must know how to make decisions based on a potential client’s financial history.

They must look at an applicant’s credit score, employment information, how long a client has been at their job, income, other debt information.

They also look at whether the client has any collateral such as a home or auto to cover the amount of the loan in case of a default.

Bank Underwriters use computer systems to help them determine an applicant’s credit worthiness.

The computer software gives the underwriter a financial score that predicts whether the loan applicant has the means to pay the loan off on time.

They must usually adhere to the results presented by the computer system.

The underwriter bases their decision off that score but also has the means to override it, depending on the financial institution they work for.

If an underwriter is able to override a system decision, they are accepting accountability in case the client defaults on the loan.

The types of loans Bank Underwriters grant or decline include:

  • Mortgages
  • Home Equity loans
  • Autos
  • Small Business Loans
  • Debt consolidation
  • Credit Cards

Bank Underwriters must use their cautious expertise in order to approve and accept any bank loans under their responsibility.

Analyzing a client’s credit risk is important in order to protect their employer financially and prevent any losses.

Bank Underwriter Salary and Career Path

The majority of Bank Underwriters work for financial institutions such as commercial banks, credit unions or saving institutions.

The job outlook for this industry is expected to grow about 10% throughout the next decade which is considered average.

Some sectors in the industry will hire less people due to the advancement of underwriting software that has made it easier to sort through applications quicker.

In addition, the availability of loan applications online will make it easier for clients to bypass loan brokers and officers.

This will ultimately affect the industry in the near future.

However, mortgage and consumer loan officers can expect more job opportunities within the industry.

According to, the national median wage for all loan officers is approximately $55,000 per year.

Bank Underwriters who are employed by a Federal Executive Branch earn the highest wages at approximately $69,000 annually.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$98,200
New Hampshire$93,410
New Jersey$91,790
New Mexico$70,550
New York$107,770
North Carolina$85,100
North Dakota$79,500
Rhode Island$81,770
South Carolina$64,360
South Dakota$74,130
West Virginia$59,640
Puerto Rico$37,520

The top earning state in the field is New York, where the average salary is $107,770.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

New York - $107,770
Nevada - $101,690
District of Columbia - $98,200
Oregon - $96,340
Massachusetts - $95,370
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Loan Officers, OCC Code 13-2072, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a bank underwriter do?

The main goal of a bank underwriter is to help make sure that the bank’s lending risks remain profitable.

Bank underwriters should be real experts in all types of loans available and be able to help the applicant decide what type is the most suitable one for his or her situation.

The responsibilities of a bank underwriter typically include evaluating the creditworthiness of the client; conducting risk assessments; conducting financial analysis in order to determine loan eligibility; going through the agreements to ensure that all federal and state regulations are taken into consideration, and so on.

In a nutshell, bank underwriters are financial professionals who deal with loans.

The experts working in investment banking can be buying and selling bonds for a company’s profit.

How much do bank underwriters make?

On average, a bank underwriter can make a little more than $58.000 per year in the United States.

In case you decide to choose this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $41.000 and $86.000 annually.

The salary would certainly depend on a variety of factors – your education and experience level, the employer, the location, and so on.

An entry-level bank underwriter can earn around $49.000 per year; a specialist with 1-4 years of experience can expect to make about $54.500; those who have been in the industry for 5-9 years make $63.000.

How much does it cost to become a bank underwriter?

You would need to have at least a bachelor’s degree, in order to become a bank underwriter.

To improve job prospects, you would have to consider getting a master’s degree.

A year in a university can cost you anywhere between $8.000 and $30.000 (and more); the cost depends on a variety of factors (bear in mind that the books, supplies, and accommodation expenses are not included).

A master’s degree will cost you over $30.000, in most of the cases.

If you are planning on trading investment products, you would have to acquire a special license (over $245).

In the future, you can also become a Certified Risk Professional ($670).

What is the demand for bank underwriters?

Between 2014 and 2024, the bank underwriter job market is expected to grow by 8%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The growth is just as fast as the average for all occupations in the United States.

There will certainly be a greater need for bank underwriters with the growth of the population and the development of the economy.

How long does it take to become a bank underwriter?

It will take you 4 years to obtain a bachelor’s degree and 1-2 years to get a master’s degree.

You can consider seeking an internship during your last year in university to get that on-job experience.

If you want to be able to trade investment products, you would have to obtain a federal license; in order to be able to take the exams, you would need to have at least 4 months of working experience.

In case you want to become a Certified Risk Professional, you would have to possess at least 4 years of working experience.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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