Credit Counselor Career

Job Description: 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.


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Credit Counselor Career

What Credit Counselors do:

  • Advise clients on housing matters, such as housing rental, homeownership, mortgage delinquency, or foreclosure prevention.
  • Advise clients or respond to inquiries about financial matters in person or via phone, email, Web site, or Internet chat.
  • Assess clients' overall financial situations by reviewing income, assets, debts, expenses, credit reports, or other financial information.
  • Calculate clients' available monthly income to meet debt obligations.
  • Create debt management plans, spending plans, or budgets to assist clients to meet financial goals.
  • Estimate time for debt repayment, given amount of debt, interest rates, and available funds.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Recommend educational materials or resources to clients on matters, such as financial planning, budgeting, or credit.
  • 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.
  • Refer clients to social service or community resources for needs beyond those of credit or debt counseling.
  • Conduct research to help clients avoid repossessions or foreclosures or remove levies or wage garnishments.
  • Create action plans to assist clients in obtaining permanent housing via rent or mortgage programs.
  • Explain services or policies to clients, such as debt management program rules, advantages and disadvantages of using services, or creditor concession policies.
  • Maintain or update records of client account activity, including financial transactions, counseling session notes, correspondence, document images, or client inquiries.
  • Review changes to financial, family, or employment situations to determine whether changes to existing debt management plans, spending plans, or budgets are needed.
  • Prepare written documents to establish contracts with or communicate financial recommendations to clients.
  • 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.
  • Negotiate with creditors on behalf of clients to arrange for payment adjustments, interest rate reductions, time extensions, or payment plans.
  • Investigate missing checks, payment histories, held funds, returned checks, or other related issues to resolve client or creditor problems.
  • Disburse funds from client accounts to creditors.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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 for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Holland Code Chart for a Credit Counselor