A mortgage loan originator, or MLO, is a mortgage consultant who helps a prospective home buyer get the mortgage they need for a real estate transaction. They work with the borrower from the beginning of the transaction to the end, from the initial consultation and application through approval and the closing process. In the eyes of lenders, the originator is responsible for initiating the loan process. An MLO can be a lending company, mortgage consultant/broker like Vic, or loan officer.