Credit Counselor

Credit counselors advise consumers on debt management and provide education on managing finances. Counselors contact the client’s creditors to negotiate lower monthly payments, fees and interest rates. Debt management plans also help consumers to maintain current accounts with their creditors and develop good credit history. Individuals filing for bankruptcy are required to consult with a credit counselor.

Most credit counselors work for financial institutions or other agencies that assist consumers with housing, employment and credit issues. Some, however, work independently, building their own client base or contracting their services to various agencies.

Credit Counselor Degrees

Many States require credit counselors to be licensed to practice. Licensing programs may require coursework, a written exam, and sometimes a background check. To maintain their licensure, credit counselors may be required to participate in continuing education programs.

Credit Counselor Job Description

Credit counselors advise consumers on debt management, loan requirements, credit issues, bankruptcy and mortgages. They may help individuals to invest in securities or plan for their future. Individuals in this field should have an in-depth understanding of Federal and State regulations governing banking and personal finance. Credit counselors should have experience in performing the following tasks:

  • Developing debt management plans
  • Negotiating with creditors for lower payments, interest rates and fees
  • Providing financial education
  • Analyzing financial data
  • Advising clients on securing loans
  • Recommending financial strategies
  • Demonstrating knowledge of the mortgage industry
  • Maintaining financial records
  • Preparing financial reports and documents
  • Using computer software to generate financial data
  • Advising clients on securities investment and other asset-building strategies

A career in this field can feel rewarding, especially when clients eventually become debt-free and financially stable.

Credit Counselor Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in credit counseling is expected to increase by 10% through 2018. Although the demand for loans and other services is expected to grow, technological software will allow more consumers to apply for loans and other services electronically.

In a May 2008 government report, the average salary for an investment banker was just over $54,500 with the median salary ranging from $39,500 to $77,000. Some credit counselors may work on commission, receiving bonuses in addition to their base salary.

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