Credit Counselor


What are Credit Counselors?

credit counselors

Credit Counselors are mandated to give advice on mortgages, investment, retirement and other finance and insurance fields with the aim of helping individuals manage their funds well. Through seminars, social and financial networking, financial advisors will market their services attracting many clients. The following are some of the duties that financial advisors play:

  • They impart knowledge about risks and investment options to their clients.
  • Select the best investment options on behalf of their clients.
  • They also monitor the bank accounts of their clients.
  • They are responsible for recommending the best investment plans to clients after meeting them in person.
  • Financial advisors research about investment opportunities.
Quick Facts
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.
2016 Median Annual Sallary$44,380
Typical Entry-Level EducationBachelor's degree
Typical On-The-Job TrainingModerate-term on-the-job training
Work Experience In A Related OccupationNone
Projected Job Openings 2014 - 202410,500
Employment Change 2014 - 20245,000
Projected Growth 2014 - 202415.5%

Steps to Become a Credit Counselor

With a psychology major, you can venture into any psychology-related career of your choice. There is a wide range of these jobs to choose from, e.g., clinical psychologist, a psychiatrist and even a therapist. The first and most important thing to do is to select your specialty. In case you decide to wish to become a credit counselor, the following will be required of you.

  • Education

    Each finance advisor must be a holder of bachelor degree or any other relevant one. A degree in the following can put a financial advisor in a safer position of being hired: economics, business, finance, and law. It is also advisable to take courses in risk management, estate planning, and investments. Another relevant degree to have can be in psychology.

    It would be a wise decision for credit counselors to advance their education by studying for a master’s degree in business administration or finance. This will put them in a better position of being easily hired.

    Below is degree level percentage distribution for this occupation:

    • Bachelor's Degree: 42%
    • High School Diploma or Equivalent: 19%
    • Associate's Degree: 19%
  • Licenses & Accreditations:

    For personal credit counselors to start offering investment advice or insurance policies, they must be licensed with several permits that vary with products and services they sell. Advisors managing small companies should be authorized by state regulators. On the other hand, Securities & Exchange Commission should register those working in larger films. CFP (Certified Financial Planner) certificate is essential for counselors who have a bachelor’s degree and have worked for at least three years.

Job Outlook


Below are national percentile wage estimates for this occupation in United States.
PERCENTILE 10% 25% 50% 75% 90%
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.
Hourly Wage $14.19 $17.10 $21.34 $27.15 $36.17
Annual Wage $29,510 $35,570 $44,380 $56,470 $75,220

Industries with Highest Levels of Employment in This Occupation:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 7,730 0.26 $23.70 $49,300
Nondepository Credit Intermediation 4,620 0.77 $23.60 $49,100
Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 4,140 0.61 $20.93 $43,530
Junior Colleges 3,140 0.42 $23.63 $49,140
Depository Credit Intermediation 3,010 0.18 $26.40 $54,900

Top Paying Industries for This Occupation:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.
Automobile Dealers 180 0.01 $43.26 $89,980
Other Financial Investment Activities 620 0.14 $35.86 $74,590
State Government (OES Designation) 60 0.00 $32.38 $67,340
Securities and Commodity Contracts Intermediation and Brokerage 40 0.01 $30.30 $63,030
Elementary and Secondary Schools 120 0.00 $28.36 $58,990

States with Highest Employment Level in This Occupation:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.
California 4,310 1.11 $26.11 $54,300
Florida 3,050 1.53 $21.40 $44,510
Texas 2,360 0.83 $24.70 $51,380
Pennsylvania 1,980 1.42 $27.68 $57,570
New York 1,910 0.86 $26.11 $54,310

Top Paying States for This Occupation:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.
Colorado 120 0.20 $33.92 $70,550
District of Columbia 90 0.53 $31.17 $64,830
Massachusetts 1,390 1.65 $30.16 $62,740
New Jersey N/A N/A $29.52 $61,400
Pennsylvania 1,980 1.42 $27.68 $57,570

Key Attributes

Every field has basic requirements for people having different skills, abilities and knowledge. Understanding these requirements will help you find right career path for you. Below are few such key attributes that a Credit Counselor should have.


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  • 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.
  • Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Learning Strategies: Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Persuasion: Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Negotiation: Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Instructing: Teaching others how to do something.
  • Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Systems Evaluation: Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management: Managing one's own time and the time of others.


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  • Clerical: Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics: Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Therapy and Counseling: Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Education and Training: Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


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  • 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.
  • Oral Expression: The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression: The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Fluency of Ideas: The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Problem Sensitivity: The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning: The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning: The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering: The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Mathematical Reasoning: The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Number Facility: The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Selective Attention: The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Near Vision: The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Recognition: The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity: The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What They Do?


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  • Advise clients or respond to inquiries about financial matters in person or via phone, email, Web site, or Internet chat.
  • Assess clients' overall financial situation 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 services or policies to clients, such as debt management program rules, the advantages and disadvantages of using services, or creditor concession policies.
  • Interview clients by telephone or in person to gather financial information.
  • 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 to set up payment plans.
  • Prepare written documents to establish contracts with or communicate financial recommendations to clients.
  • 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.
  • Review changes to financial, family, or employment situations to determine whether changes to existing debt management plans, spending plans, or budgets are needed.
  • Advise clients on housing matters, such as housing rental, homeownership, mortgage delinquency, or foreclosure prevention.
  • 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.
  • Disburse funds from client accounts to creditors.
  • Explain general financial topics to clients, such as credit report ratings, bankruptcy laws, consumer protection laws, wage attachments, or collection actions.
  • Explain loan information to clients, such as available loan types, eligibility requirements, or loan restrictions.
  • Investigate missing checks, payment histories, held funds, returned checks, or other related issues to resolve client or creditor problems.
  • Teach courses or seminars on topics such as budgeting, managing personal finances, or financial literacy.

Work Activities

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  • Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • 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.
  • Analyzing Data or Information: Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Thinking Creatively: Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies: Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • 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.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others: Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • 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.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others: Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others: Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • 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.
  • Training and Teaching Others: Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • 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.
  • Performing Administrative Activities: Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Job Zone

  • Title: Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
  • Education: Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Related Experience: 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.
  • Job Training: Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
  • Job Zone Examples: Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
  • SVP Range: (7.0 to < 8.0)

Find Your State Licensing Requirements

Whether you need to complete an internship or a doctoral degree, licensing requirements may vary from state to state. Click name of state below to find licensing requirement for that particular state.

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