How to Become a Loan Signing Agent and Earn $100 an Hour Part-Time

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“It’s the best-kept secret in the real estate industry,” said Mark about becoming a loan signing agent.

And I’m inclined to believe him. You can make $100 an hour as a part-time loan signing agent, and the only real requirements are that you:

  • know what you’re doing
  • have a notary license

(A loan signing agent is the person who walks you through the giant stack of forms and contracts you have to sign when you close on a new home loan.)

I was first introduced to this side hustle early last year, when I first sat down with Mark Wills and his business partner Roman Rosario.

That conversation turned into episode 215 of the Side Hustle Show, where the pair walked me through how they built and sold an online course starting with no audience.

At that time, the Loan Signing System course, which he teaches people how to become loan signing agents, was doing around $4k a month. (use promo code sidehustle for 10% off.)

But what we didn’t really cover in that episode was how to become a loan signing agent and what that business is actually like — to the frustration of many listeners. So in response to audience feedback and several listener testimonials, I invited Mark back on the show, along with one of his successful students, Brian Schooley, to dive into the loan signing side hustle.

NOTE: My first interview with Brian aired in June 2018. For the 2020 update, please see “Where Are They Now?” below.

How to Get Started as a Loan Signing Agent

Becoming a loan signing agent was one of the best side hustles Brian Schooley had never heard of. Brian is a father of 5 who works full-time in tire sales, yet he’s bringing in $1500-2000 a month part-time as a loan signing agent.

In need of some extra cash, Brian started working a weekend job, but the long hours and low pay were taking a toll.

Around that time he started listening to The Side Hustle Show and discovered the loan signing side hustle. “It was just something that made sense,” Brian said. “I went on Mark’s website, bought the course [affiliate link; use promo code sidehustle for 10% off], and just went at it, and it’s been awesome.”

What are the Requirements to Become a Loan Signing Agent?

The most important requirements to become a loan signing agent are:

  • Knowledge of the various loan documents borrowers will be signing.
  • Your notary license.
  • Errors and Omissions insurance.
  • Reliable transportation.

If you have a background in real estate, you may already be familiar with the documents and contracts. If not, it might make sense to take a course like Loan Signing System.

Here’s our full Loan Signing System review.

Mark acknowledged like any other skills, you can totally learn what you need to know on your own; he just offers a fast-track training.

how to become a loan signing agent

Other Notary Loan Signing Agent Startup Costs

For his notary license, Brian paid a $69 application fee to the state (California) and took a $40 online course to help him pass the short certification test.

(The vast majority of states don’t require a test.)

Loan signing agents are also required to carry Errors and Omissions insurance, a policy Brian said set him back around $100 for the year.

(Rates vary by state, but you can check with NEXT Insurance to get a free quote.)

The low upfront investment was one of the factors that made this side hustle appealing to Brian, and he made back his investment very quickly.

How to Get Loan Signing Gigs

Loan officers and real estate agents need signing agents to sign off on home loans. Brain said there are two main ways they find their agents:

  1. They call agents they have used before or have been recommended to them.
  2. They use a signing service and find agents by location and send out a text offering them the signing.

Brian’s first signing was through the signing service. He received a text to sign off on a loan application and made his first $50 for an hour of work.

In those cases, the signing service handles the payment, so you receive the money by direct deposit.

What’s the Loan Signing Agent Side Hustle Really Like?

Brain said he got off to a slow start while he was getting his name out there, but hit his goal of $2000 in monthly income only a year after starting.

He still works his full-time job from 7am-4:30pm, so he does all his signings in the evenings and on the weekends. Each gig pays $50-150 and rarely lasts more than an hour.

Brian does have to turn down some signings while he’s working. He offers to do them later in the evening and sometimes the client will accommodate that. (Since most homebuyers are working, most signings are evenings and weekends anyway.)

You do need a reliable car to drive to your appointments, and while most signings are pretty straightforward, you never know who you’re going to meet. Brian described an interesting encounter with a buyer “way out in the desert,” but added it’s just par for the course in any side hustle that deals with the public.

Mark added that a majority of signing agents are women and that buyers have gone through a pretty thorough loan application vetting process.

In fact, it’s been such a fun and lucrative experience, Brian’s wife is getting started as a loan signing agent too!

How to Market Yourself and Grow Your Business as a Loan Signing Agent

The easiest way to start getting signings is to add your name to as many signing services as possible. Mark described these directories like “Uber for signing agents” — they connect you with buyers pretty seamlessly.

Brian has also grown his business by developing relationships with “suppliers” in the industry. Those are the loan officers, real estate agents, title agents, escrow officers, and others involved with the closing of home sales.

“Every single one of us knows a real estate agent,” Mark said. Use those contacts to get your name out there.

Downsides to Becoming a Loan Signing Agent

With this being such a lucrative and potentially easy side hustle to get started with, you’re right to wonder what the potential downsides are to being a signing agent.

Is the Market Saturated?

A question that Mark gets asked a lot is about market saturation. There is a fixed amount of loan signings per month, so adding more agents will only reduce the potential income.

Mark says this isn’t really an issue because the industry caters to when customers can meet. Since everyone’s schedule varies, there’s room for more agents to fill those time slots.

A Last-Minute, On-Call Business

Another potential downside is that it’s an on-call business.

Brian might get a text at 4pm asking if he can make a 6pm signing. It can be tough to make plans in advance or have the discipline to turn down $150 for dinner with the family or whatever other evening obligations you have.

Could it Be a Full-Time Business?

I asked Brian if he thought he could take the signing business full-time, and he said yes.

At one point he was tracking all the appointments he couldn’t make because of his day job, and was surprised by the volume of work that’s out there.

Although he had made $1500 the month we recorded this interview, his business has continued to grow. He occasionally sends me updates on his progress like this one at $3500:

loan signing agent income updates

And this one at $6000 in a single month:

loan signing agent income update

Next Steps to Become a Loan Signing Agent

Where Are They Now?

In 2020, the mobile notary business is booming for Brian — to the tune of $10k a month!

What Have You Been Up to Since We Last Spoke?

“I’ve actually taken the business from a part-time thing to my full-time gig,” Brian told me.

Brian continued to put more time into his signing agent business, and there came a point where he was earning more than though his full-time job.

The point where Brain said he really knew it was time to go full-time, was when his loan signing income had doubled his 9-5 income.

Brian said the decision to quit their day job might come easy to some, but for him, it was “scary”. With 3 kids and a house to pay for, he wanted to be sure he was making the right decision.

Looking back, it was one of the best decisions he ever made. Brian is loving life as a full-time notary signing agent.

How Much Are You Making Today?

Brian told me he is averaging $10,000 a month, and his biggest month this year was $14,000!

Did Anything Change on the Marketing Front to Get More Signings?

“For me personally, it was this slow burn of creating relationships with people,” Brian told me.

Most of his business comes from word-of-mouth and referrals. For example, when Brian meets an escrow officer, he’d ask if they have any friends in the industry.

If they do, he’d ask if he can go chat with them and mention they sent him. By doing this, Brain has built his business on direct business.

As a result, he hasn’t relied on a signing service in more than a year. Which means he’s making around twice as much as he doesn’t pay fees for his leads.

How Has the Pandemic Affected Your Business?

“For me, it’s been amazing,” Brian told me.

A lot of notaries chose not to take signings during the pandemic. Brain, on the other hand, decided to go for it and carry on while staying as safe as he could.

As the pool of notaries shrunk, the number of signings also went up as interest rates went down. So, Brian had as much work as he could handle, and he jumped on the opportunity.

It was a little more difficult than before. No more meetings at Starbucks and signing documents over coffee. Brian now accommodates the customer however they feel comfortable.

This has meant signing documents on the back of his truck and on tables in their front yards, but as Brain said, “it’s not worth complaining over.”

Is Signing Transitioning Online?

Brian has heard the buzz around doing more signings online, and it looks like this is the direction the business is going. He’s done some hybrid signings, which means some documents were signed online by the customers before he arrives.

As of now, California is still a “wet signature” state. Which means certain documents have to be signed in person. Brian hopes it stays this way for the foreseeable future as it makes his job a lot more secure.

What Else are You Working on Right Now?

Brian has a podcast called “That Loan Signing Dude”, which he does for fun and to help encourage others getting started.

The next big step for him is to create a signing service. Currently, Brian has to occasionally say no to signings if he’s at a family event or unable to make it for some reason.

He wants to set up a service so he can pass those signings on to someone else to pick up. This way he never has to say no to an escrow agent, and he can also make a commission on the signing.

Any Advice to Share This Time Around?

“Just keep going, everybody,” Brian told me.

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Nick Loper

About the Author

Nick Loper is a side hustle expert who loves helping people earn more money and start businesses they care about. He hosts the award-winning Side Hustle Show, where he's interviewed over 500 successful entrepreneurs, and is the bestselling author of Buy Buttons, The Side Hustle, and $1,000 100 Ways.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, TIME, Newsweek, Business Insider, MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Financial Times, Bankrate, Hubspot, Ahrefs, Shopify, Investopedia, VICE, Vox, Mashable, ChooseFI, Bigger Pockets, The Penny Hoarder, GoBankingRates, and more.

28 thoughts on “How to Become a Loan Signing Agent and Earn $100 an Hour Part-Time”

  1. Is this truly an option in all states? My sister is a real estate agent and she said that the lender and the title agent are the ones that do all of the paperwork. I just want to make sure this is something that there’s actually a market for in Nebraska before I pay money for a course.

  2. Fantasy in some states. Many title companies have in house people to close loans, or use long time trusted freelance people. Your E&O is going to cost a Hell of a lot more than a hundred a year in some states. You are going to be collecting payoff and escrow checks, and be responsible for their delivery on a timely basis to the appropriate recipients. A lot more than just notarizing docs and some closings can take several hours or more. Want pie? Go to a bakery. Not in the sky.

    • Hi Adam!

      Thanks for the comment! I always recommend that my students do their due diligence for their state prior to getting started and I do provide resources such as the link below providing more information on how your state closes loans and what costs are involved:

      Attorney States:
      Bottom Line After Expenses:

      And while you have listed some activities that are required of a signing agent, you have listed a number of exceptions, not the rule. 90% of my signings I personally do take less than an hour… are there some that last 1.5 hours or even more… yes. Because some people want every detail explained. But that’s not always the case. Collecting checks happens, but not often. And delivery on a timely basis is absolutely necessary… yet not sure if that’s necessarily a drawback. The more timely you are, the more signings you’ll get.

      So it’s not pie in the sky… no bakery needed. Just some good old-fashioned hard work and a great education on the subject matter!

      Thanks again for the message Adam!

  3. I dealt personally with one of these loan signers for a loan and it was great. Most loans done online now use these and many of the largest lenders do too. You don’t have to use a local title company to sign at their office anymore. (Ive been a realtor and mortgage broker)

    • Hi Rachel, great comment. And Massachusetts is certainly an attorney state where attorneys handle loan closings. And under certain circumstances, attorneys hire contracted signing agents when needed. And in attorney states, you can also do what are known as out of state signings where the signer resides or is visiting the state but the property is located in a non-attorney state. In that case, a contracted signing agent could be used.

      Here’s a blog with more information on attorney states!

      Thanks for listening and we appreciate the comment!

  4. Definitely sounds interesting, although in some states (like MA) you are required to be an attorney as well, or it’s illegal. So make sure you do your due-diligence first.

    • Hi Sue! Absolutely and thank you for the comment.

      You’re right… do your due diligence, be sure signing agents are used regularly in your state, and always follow your local laws and best practices!

      In the loan signing agent industry, there are attorney states and escrow states. The states that close with an escrow process have significantly more opportunity to make money on the side or full time. Click below to learn more with my blog on signing agents:

      Thanks again and I hope the blog helps add to your comment!

  5. I was living in one city and selling a property located in another city. A loan signer met me at my residence and the whole job was completed in an hour or less. At that time I remember wondering how she got that gig!

    • Great observation Debbie! And she probably got the job by getting a text message asking if she was available! It’s pretty easy!

      Thanks for listening and appreciate the comment!

      ~ Mark

  6. What are the rules in the state of Florida, can I do this gig there without working under someone in real estate or having an attorney’s license?

    • Hi there! I have a number of successful signing agents in Florida!

      As a notary signing agent, you’re an independent contractor so you don’t work under anyone… you work for yourself! And you can get started with just a notary commission!

      Be sure to click the links in the Side Hustle Nation post above to learn more!

  7. Just curious if this is viable in areas that use e-sign docs. My wife is a Realtor and everything she does is with e-signature. Would this be more for the actual closing docs with the title company?

  8. What are the odds of success in rural, small population areas? This seems like a great program but is it worth pursuing if there is not enough population to support this side hustle? I live in a city of 11,000 and there are approximately 150,000 people within 30 miles. Is this a big enough population base to consider following through with? Thanks.

  9. Hello. I am a notary, and completed a loan signing agent course online as well. How do I find/apply/submit my name to signing agencies?

    • Join and Facebook group Notary Reviews. We provide members to our website with a genuine list of hiring companies who have been reviewed and rated by nsas.

      Not affiliated with LSS.

  10. I’ve taken the course and was disappointed. I’ve in this business for 12 years and decided to take his course in May of 2018 to see if his marketing techniques could provide me something new…it was a one page list of a bunch of links. The course is overly priced and includes videos that are free on YouTube. Course also taught what a notary signing agent does not due, and could get them into legal trouble. He refunded my money after I gave it a review on my fb group. Notary2pro, Bill Soroka and Laura Biewer, better alternatives, and price is right for your budget.

  11. You forgot to mention the time spent faxing docs back. Also cost of laser printers, toner ink, paper, and broadband internet.

    • Take it from a finance professional. All tax write offs in the end. Also, in order to make the most one should get a basic printer. Sounds cheesy but smart printers do more but ink is around $60 a pack and won’t work if one color is out. Basic printers ink cost $20 and if it runs out just shake it and you’ll get about 5-6 extra pages printed. Faxing takes seconds. For low priced material become a rewards member. You’ll get tons of coupons. Good luck friend!

  12. I’m in CA and have worked for a lender for years. I’m looking to make this my main job so I can go to school. How does a notary get signed up with title companies?

  13. I’m pretty interested into getting into this as a side hustle. What are the requirements like for the state of Idaho if I were to start this side hustle, particularly in the Boise, ID area?

  14. Hi Brian!

    I live in Texas and just completed my training course (through NNA) and am about to take my test this wknd. That said, I am so nervous about getting started, even though I have been a notary for more than 2 years now. Any advice for a nervous beginner to possibly calm my nerves? Anything would be appreciated!

  15. Any suggestions for those of us in NYS (also an Attorney State)?
    I’ve been a NYS notary for decades and a NNA member, but wonder if it is worth it in NY? Never seen any NYS specific info.
    Thank you kindly.

  16. Was good 5, 10 years ago, but with all the promotion (such as this website & LSS), there are more & more buying into this every single day. Meaning the field is oversaturated and when that happens, the hiring parties realize they can keep offering less & less to the notary because there are more every day trying to, at least, recoup their investment. This, while the notary’s hard costs are going up (gas, paper, toner are major costs). And, increasing interest rates mean less refinancing going forward.
    More people looking for a piece of a smaller pie doesn’t bode well for this ‘side hustle’. Which is not done at your convenience, but the customers.

  17. This is the second time I’ve become interested in this side gig. Seeing it on Side Hustle Nation again renewed my curiosity thinking that things must have changed for the better since I first encountered the concept a few years ago now. So, I checked it out again. Nothing has changed. Perhaps you could add to your information on Loan Signing Agent as a legitimate side hustle that many state laws prohibit it as presented. A list of prohibited states would also be very helpful saving folks like myself much time and trouble. Please see the fruits of my research update below:

    In South Carolina, notary signing agents cannot handle a real estate or mortgage loan closing without a lawyer being present. The South Carolina Supreme Court has made it clear that only attorneys can conduct all real estate and mortgage transactions, including mortgage refinancing.
    5 days ago
    Notary Signing Agent South Carolina – StateRequirement

    Yes, notary signing agents are legal in North Carolina, but they can only perform loan signings under the supervision of an attorney.


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