How to Become a DE Certified Underwriter

Many underwriters are finding that markets demand is making DE certification a necessity and want to know how to become a DE-certified underwriter. DE-certification is considered the gold standard in underwriting certifications making those with certification more likely to get jobs. At one time, direct endorsement (DE) certified underwriters were approved by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA provided training and certification of all underwriters who were qualified to review and certify mortgage loan documents which were to be submitted to FHA for approval. This is no longer the case, however, and certification for DE-certified underwriters is done by lenders. Therefore, becoming a Direct Endorsement Certified Underwriter can be a fairly lengthy process.


  1. Image titled Become a DE Certified Underwriter Step 1
    Take as many DE related courses as possible.
    • Keep in mind that the courses will not guarantee certification and that training schools that offer them are not accredited by HUD as they do not have specific accreditation requirements. Therefore, training schools cannot promise that an underwriter is guaranteed DE-certification.
  2. Image titled Become a DE Certified Underwriter Step 2
    Apply for positions with lenders who are eligible for HUD approved direct endorsement underwriting.
    • The lender may require you to test for an underwriting position, and you may have to provide copies of any certificates you received from the DE Certification courses you have taken. Because HUD does request that the underwriter have fifteen to twenty test cases before being recommended for direct endorsement certification, it could take some time before you move onto the next step.
  3. Image titled Become a DE Certified Underwriter Step 3
    Request an endorsement from the lender for DE-certification.
    • The lender will submit the information to HUD through the Computerized Homes Underwriting Management System (CHUMS) using the Lender Access System (CLAS).
    • CHUMS checks the underwriter against the Credit Alert Interactive Voice Response System (CAIVRS) file. Once approved, CLAS sends an Underwriter Update Report with the underwriters CHUMS identification number to the lender, and the underwriter is officially certified.


  • Underwriters who already have valid CHUMS identification or work for an FHA approved lender do not have to re-register in order to underwrite FHA mortgages.


  • It cannot be stressed enough that mortgage training schools cannot guarantee DE-certification after students finish their courses. Because each lender determines what criteria qualify someone as a direct endorsement certified underwriter and then nominates them for certification, the requirements can be subjective depending on the letter. Before signing up for training, discuss with lenders what they may require in order to nominate you for DE-certification.
  • Some lenders are requiring written tests to confirm that the potential employee will be qualified for direct endorsement certification. Therefore, training is important to be sure you have the knowledge necessary to pass such tests and can be certified once you are hired.

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