How to Become a Credit Counselor in 4 Steps

Counseling

The first thing debtors want to do when they decide to get out of debt is to seek professional help from someone who not only has financial understanding about money management, but who can also listen and empathize. A credit counselor is exactly that person.

There are three main reasons why you should consider becoming a credit counselor:

  • Many people are drowning in debt, you therefore will always have a job to do.
  • Credit counseling allows you to help people while developing in the financial sector.
  • There’s scope for growth within your industry or the mainstream financial sector.

As a credit counselor, you will be required:

  • To assess a debtor’s financial status and recommend steps to get out of debt.
  • To educate debtors on money management practices.
  • Based on your analysis, you can recommend a suitable debt management plan.

Below are steps that you need to take to become a credit counselor:

1. Get a relevant university degree

Debtors will come to you with various financial problems, some of which will be complex. You will need to know how to read balance sheets and other relevant financial documents and reports. If you don’t have a financial background, you will find yourself incapable of accomplishing your role.

To be an effective credit counselor, you will need to have a sound understanding of accounting or finance. A degree in any of these two fields is a good place for you to start.

2. Get some counseling training

Counselor

In addition to dealing with the financial analysis side of your job, you will have to handle the emotional side.

The fact that your clients have come to you means that they do not know how to get out of debt without your help. They will be relying on you fully to help them.

Receiving training as a counselor helps you to hone traits that will improve your capacity to come up with solutions customized to each debtor. Empathy, listening, patience are some of the traits that you will learn.

Check if your university is offering certification in counseling and combine that with your financial studies.

3. Get more specialized certifications

It helps to get more advanced certification, as it will help you be more marketable with more debt settlement companies. It is possible to get certificates for debt settlement that are more specialized. The more equipped you are to solve problems in specialized areas, the more valuable you will be to your employer.

You should also get negotiation certification. Debt settlement is a prolonged process that involves a lot of back and forth negotiations. If you have specialized negotiations skills, you will get the best deal for your clients.

Once you get certification from an accredited body, you will become a member of that body. Find out about other relevant organizations that you could join as these make you more credible.

4. Apply to debt settlement companies

You can apply to quite a number of debt settlement companies and kick start your career as a credit counselor. You can read reviews about some of these companies on TopTenReviews.com and apply to the ones that suit your goals.