Mapping Your Future logo

Career Profile: Credit Counselors

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.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 35,300 people employed as credit counselors in the United States. The median annual salary is $47,580. Entry level employees earn approximately $35,240 per year and senior employees earn approximately $75,230 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
35,300
Annual Openings:
3,200
Increase in Openings by 2031:
9%
Annual Salary Range:
$35,240 - $75,230
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree