Credit Counselors

Also called: Accredited Financial Counselor, Branch Credit Counselor, Certified Consumer Credit and Housing Counselor, Certified Credit and Housing Counselor, Certified Credit Consultant

Varies

estimated salary

Credit counselors advise and educate individuals or organizations on acquiring and managing debt. May provide guidance in determining the best type of loan and explaining 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.

  • 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 Context
  • Electronic Mail — 92% responded "Every day".
  • Telephone — 88% responded "Every day".
  • Spend Time Sitting — 76% responded "Continually or almost continually".
  • Contact With Others — 64% responded "Constant contact with others".
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 76% responded "Every day".
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 84% responded "Every day".
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 44% responded "Very important".
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Work Activities
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
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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.
  • Compute debt repayment schedules.
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Knowledge

Customer and Personal Service
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics
  • Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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Skills

Speaking
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
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Abilities

Oral Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
  • The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Inductive Reasoning
  • The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
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Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Persistence
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Cooperation
  • Concern for Others
  • Social Orientation
  • Self Control
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Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Enterprise resource planning ERP software
  • Microsoft Dynamics Hot Technology
  • Oracle PeopleSoft Hot Technology
  • SAP Hot Technology
Data base user interface and query software
  • Microsoft Access Hot Technology
  • CoreLogic DebtorTrace
  • LexisNexis Accurint
  • Merlin Information Services databases
Office suite software
  • Microsoft Office Hot Technology
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Education

Get started on your career:

Job Outlook

New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
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