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Credit Counselors
SOC Code: 13-2071.00

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, advise on credit issues, or provide budget, mortgage, and bankruptcy counseling.

Sample of reported job titles: Assistant Director for Financial Literacy, Certified Consumer Credit and Housing Counselor, Certified Credit Counselor, Certified Personal Finance Counselor, Counseling Program Leader, Counselor, Credit Counselor, Financial Coach, Financial Health Counselor, Financial Wellness Coach

Tasks

  • Assess clients' overall financial situation by reviewing income, assets, debts, expenses, credit reports, or other financial information.
  • Create debt management plans, spending plans, or budgets to assist clients to meet financial goals.
  • Calculate clients' available monthly income to meet debt obligations.
  • 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 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.
  • Interview clients by telephone or in person to gather financial information.
  • Explain general financial topics to clients, such as credit report ratings, bankruptcy laws, consumer protection laws, wage attachments, or collection actions.
  • Advise clients on housing matters, such as housing rental, homeownership, mortgage delinquency, or foreclosure prevention.
  • Prepare written documents to establish contracts with or communicate financial recommendations to clients.
  • Explain services or policies to clients, such as debt management program rules, the 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.
  • Advise clients or respond to inquiries about financial matters in person or via phone, email, Web site, or Internet chat.
  • Refer clients to social service or community resources for needs beyond those of credit or debt counseling.
  • Estimate time for debt repayment given amount of debt, interest rates, and available funds.
  • Negotiate with creditors on behalf of clients to arrange for payment adjustments, interest rate reductions, time extensions, or to set up payment plans.
  • Recommend educational materials or resources to clients on matters such as financial planning, budgeting, or credit.
  • Review changes to financial, family, or employment situations to determine whether changes to existing debt management plans, spending plans, or budgets are needed.
  • Create action plans to assist clients in obtaining permanent housing via rent or mortgage programs.
  • Teach courses or seminars on topics such as budgeting, managing personal finances, or financial literacy.
  • Explain loan information to clients, such as available loan types, eligibility requirements, or loan restrictions.
  • Conduct research to help clients avoid repossessions or foreclosures or remove levies or wage garnishments.
  • 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.

Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software - CoreLogic DebtorTrace; LexisNexis Accurint; Merlin Information Services databases; Microsoft Access
  • Electronic mail software - Email software; Microsoft Outlook
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software - Oracle PeopleSoft ; SAP
  • Financial analysis software - Cooperative Processing Resources DMS Professional Suite; Freddie Mac Loan Prospector; Integrant DebtLogic; Prime Debt Software Credit Repair (see all 7 examples)
  • Information retrieval or search software - LexisNexis
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Network conferencing software - Chat software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Inkjet printers
  • Laser fax machine - Laser facsimile machines
  • Laser printers
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Scientific calculator - Financial calculators
  • Special purpose telephones - Multi-line telephone systems

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Skills

  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Negotiation - Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • 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.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • 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.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • 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).
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.

Interests

  • Interest code: ESC
    • 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.

Work Context

  • Telephone - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Electronic Mail - 94% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 82% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 78% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 76% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 88% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 70% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Letters and Memos - 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 42% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 39% responded “Very important.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 45% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 55% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 45% responded “Important results.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 45% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 33% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Time Pressure - 33% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 45% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
42%Bachelor's degree
19%High school diploma or equivalent
19%Associate's degree

Work Styles

  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • 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.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • 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.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

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.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $21.50 hourly, $44,710 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 38,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Faster than average (10% to 14%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 3,800

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