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.

Sample of reported job titles: Accredited Financial Counselor, Certified Consumer Credit and Housing Counselor, Certified Credit and Housing Counselor, Certified Credit Consultant, Certified Credit Counselor, Credit Counselor, Financial Health Counselor, Housing Counselor, Personal Finance Counselor

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • 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.

back to top

Technology Skills

Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.
In demand
In Demand skills are frequently included in employer job postings for this occupation.

back to top

Occupational Requirements

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.
  • Working 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.
  • Communicating with People Outside the 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.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • 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.
  • Providing 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.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

back to top

Work Context

back to top

Experience Requirements

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 real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, conservation scientists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range
2-4 years of preparation (7.0 to < 8.0)

back to top

Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

back to top

Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • 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.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • 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.

back to top

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.
  • Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
  • 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.
  • Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

back to top

Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 40%
     
    responded: Bachelor’s degree required
  • 36%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 12%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required

back to top

Worker Characteristics

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.
  • 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).
  • 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 that there is a problem.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • 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).
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • 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).
  • 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.

back to top

Interests

Interest code: ESC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

back to top

Work Values

  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

back to top

Work Styles

  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

back to top

Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$22.87 hourly, $47,580 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2021)
35,300 employees
Projected growth (2021-2031)
Faster than average (8% to 10%)
Projected job openings (2021-2031)
3,200
State trends
Top industries (2021)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

back to top

More Information

back to top

Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

back to top