Credit Counselors

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$47,320 Median Wage (2022)
2,400 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
5.40% Projected growth (2022-2032)

Advise and educate individuals or organizations on acquiring and managing debt. May provide guidance in determining the best type of loan and explain loan requirements or restrictions. May help develop debt management plans or student financial aid packages. May advise on credit issues, or provide budget, mortgage, bankruptcy, or student financial aid counseling.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
  • A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
  • Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Bachelor's Degree

Related Work Experience: Over 1 year, up to and including 2 years

On-Site or In-Plant Training: Over 1 month, up to and including 3 months

On-the-Job Training: Over 6 months, up to and including 1 year

Detailed Work Activities

  • Correspond with customers to answer questions or resolve complaints.
  • Advise others on financial matters.
  • Assess financial status of clients.
  • Compute debt repayment schedules.
  • Develop financial plans for clients.
  • Explain regulations, policies, or procedures.
  • Interview clients to gather financial information.
  • Prepare financial documents.
  • Negotiate agreements to resolve disputes.
  • Prepare contracts or other transaction documents.
  • Educate clients on financial planning topics.
  • Recommend investments to clients.
  • Refer clients to community or social service programs.
  • Disburse funds from clients accounts to creditors.
  • Interpret financial information for others.
  • Examine financial records.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Calculate clients' available monthly income to meet debt obligations.
  • Explain services or policies to clients, such as debt management program rules, advantages and disadvantages of using services, or creditor concession policies.
  • Create debt management plans, spending plans, or budgets to assist clients to meet financial goals.
  • Prioritize client debt repayment to avoid dire consequences, such as bankruptcy or foreclosure or to reduce overall costs, such as by paying high-interest or short-term loans first.
  • Assess clients' overall financial situations by reviewing income, assets, debts, expenses, credit reports, or other financial information.
  • Recommend strategies for clients to meet their financial goals, such as borrowing money through loans or loan programs, declaring bankruptcy, making budget adjustments, or enrolling in debt management plans.
  • Explain general financial topics to clients, such as credit report ratings, bankruptcy laws, consumer protection laws, wage attachments, or collection actions.
  • Interview clients by telephone or in person to gather financial information.
  • Estimate time for debt repayment, given amount of debt, interest rates, and available funds.
  • Prepare written documents to establish contracts with or communicate financial recommendations to clients.
  • Maintain or update records of client account activity, including financial transactions, counseling session notes, correspondence, document images, or client inquiries.
  • Negotiate with creditors on behalf of clients to arrange for payment adjustments, interest rate reductions, time extensions, or payment plans.
  • Advise clients on housing matters, such as housing rental, homeownership, mortgage delinquency, or foreclosure prevention.
  • Create action plans to assist clients in obtaining permanent housing via rent or mortgage programs.
  • Advise clients or respond to inquiries about financial matters in person or via phone, email, Web site, or Internet chat.
  • Review changes to financial, family, or employment situations to determine whether changes to existing debt management plans, spending plans, or budgets are needed.
  • Recommend educational materials or resources to clients on matters, such as financial planning, budgeting, or credit.
  • Refer clients to social service or community resources for needs beyond those of credit or debt counseling.
  • Explain loan information to clients, such as available loan types, eligibility requirements, or loan restrictions.
  • Teach courses or seminars on topics, such as budgeting, management of personal finances, or financial literacy.
  • Conduct research to help clients avoid repossessions or foreclosures or remove levies or wage garnishments.
  • Disburse funds from client accounts to creditors.
  • Investigate missing checks, payment histories, held funds, returned checks, or other related issues to resolve client or creditor problems.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.