Loan Counselor: Employment Info & Requirements

Apr 14, 2019

Learn more about the duties of a loan counselor and what skills are required. Read information on the career growth, potential income and education many loan counselors have. Also, discover related careers that may be of interest.

Job Description For a Loan Counselor

A loan counselor works for a financial institution, processing a client's application materials, verifying the information and working with the client to come up with a financial plan. The loan counselor explains the types, rates and terms of loans available, and generates the legal paperwork necessary to complete the loan process. Loan counselors will also answer questions about existing loans and assist struggling clients by rescheduling payments or restructuring loans to help them remain solvent.

Education Bachelor's degree in business or economics
Required Skills Math aptitude, accounting software experience, communication skills, salesperson skills
Median Salary (2018)* $45,180 (credit counselors)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 14% (credit counselors)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Information for Loan Counseling Careers

Banks or credit agencies prefer loan counselors to have at least a bachelor's degree in business or economics and a few years of finance experience. Loan counselors must be well versed in banking practices, as well as federal and state laws regarding lending. Loan counselors may be required to pass state certification exams or meet the requirements of a professional credit association.

Job Skills

Math aptitude and experience with accounting software are required to excel in this field. A loan counselor will need good communication skills in order to effectively negotiate with clients. In many institutions, loan counselors function as salespeople, actively pursuing clients and soliciting business, requiring some aptitude in sales or marketing.

Career and Economic Outlook

Most loan counselors are on salary, but some also receive a commission on business generated. In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) listed the median annual wage for all credit counselors, including loan counselors, as $45,180. Per the BLS, the number of jobs for credit counselors will grow at a rate of 14%, which is faster than the average for all U.S. jobs, from 2016 to 2026.

Alternative Career Options

Other career options within this field include:

Loan Officer

This category encompasses commercial and consumer lending, along with mortgage loans. These workers can approve loans, review loan applications and confirm financial data. Depending on the type of loan officer, a high school diploma or bachelor's degree is required. For all loan officers, the BLS reported an 11% spike in job opportunities between 2016 and 2026. The BLS also listed the median salary for loan officers as $63,040 in 2018.

Personal Financial Advisor

Advisors offer financial consultation to individuals regarding investments, insurances and taxes. A bachelor's degree is typically obtained by advisors; licensure may be necessary for the sale of certain transactions. The BLS noted that a much faster than average employment growth of 15% was predicted for advisors between 2016 and 2026. In 2018, they earned a median income of $88,890 per year.

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