In previous years the states regulated the mortgage industry. In 2011 the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) is in place under the federal government. A requirement to maintain a NMLS license is 8 hours per year of continuing education (CE).
Options for CE are classroom or an online course. I got an offer for a discount price of $ 99.95 from "Kaplan Real Estate Education" and determined to do that. Having done CE courses for insurance and mortgage licensing for the last five years with no problems, it seemed like a good option. The Kaplan NMLS CE course is divided into multiple sections. You view the material for a section and then take a take a 10 question quiz. You must get 100% on the quiz to move to the next section. If you get 90% or less you do it over until you get 100%. This is very irritating. Then when you finally get to the end of the eight hour course (more if you spend a lot of time on the quizzes) there is a 25 question final exam. Kaplan gives you two chances to get 75% or better on the exam. Some of the questions are worded in a different way from the material presented. Other questions ask for statistical historical information that has no educational value. OK, I am making excuses for flunking the exam twice! The first time in five years I have had any problem with a CE exam. When I called to complain the Kaplan supervisor said I should pay again, do another 8 hours of CE class, and then they would let me try their stupid test two more times …. with no certainty of getting a CE certificate. When I asked about a refund I was told that they do not give refunds.
A couple days later a representative called from Proschools to see if I wanted to do their CE course. The rep said they had a satisfaction guarantee. She also said that students rarely had a problem with the exam, and that they allowed allowed attempts if needed. Preschools offered a discount that made the cost around $ 100 and I decided to give it a try. The material seemed to be geared a little more towards useful information rather than arcane historical data. Proschools has a quiz after each section but there was usually only two to four questions. This made it much easier to get 100% on the quiz. The quiz offered a choice of a practice or "final" mode. You have to do the "final" quiz, even if you get 100% on the practice mode that has the same questions. It is best to skip the practice and go straight to the "final" quiz. You get multiple opportunities for the final quiz if needed. Then came the dreaded final exam. The government requires the course provider to require 70% or better to pass. (Why does Kaplan require 75%? So more people will flunk and have to repeat their course?) I was short on time and rushed through the exam in about five minutes. I got 24 of 25 correct for 96%. See, IR smart !!
From my experience this year I would suggest Proschools if you want an online course. Ask if they are offering any discounts and they will give you the code to use for that, if it is available. Of course the quality of the course is far more important than a small difference in the cost.