How to Become a Debt Consolidator

Debt consolidators, also known as debt managers, work for non-profit and for-profit firms offering services to people in debt. By communicating with the client and credit companies, the consolidator works as a third party manager to create a financial plan and suggest a loan that will eventually pay off the client's debt. They must also decide a fee for services and arrange payment of those debts. People who work in this industry must understand finance and be excellent communicators. They must also develop sales skills to meet their company's quotas. If you are outgoing, work well under pressure and want to help people get out of debt, then this may be the right field for you. Find out how to become a debt consolidator.


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    Receive your high school diploma or equivalency. Debt consolidation firms may have different educational prerequisites for different jobs. Some customer service jobs will only require the equivalent of a high school education to be a good candidate.
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    Apply for a degree in higher education. Although this is not strictly necessary, you should consider it as a way to ensure success in the debt management field. The following are good educational paths to take.
    • Seek an associate's degree in financial management or business management. This 2-year degree will allow you to learn the basics of risk management, investments, debt and credit and financial law. These programs can include online and night classes if you are currently working.
    • Seek a bachelor's degree in financial management, business administration, economics or finance. These degrees will give you an in-depth background on how to manage a business and finances. A finance or business degree will also give you some sales and customer management skills that will help you to work in the debt consolidation environment.
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    Gain work experience in a sales environment. Working in telesales will introduce you to working with a sales quota, something you will face in the debt consolidation environment. 2 years of sales experience, while in school or right after, is seen as excellent experience, especially if it is in the financial sector.
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    Obtain a debt management license in your state. Inquire whether you are required to obtain a license with your state licensing board or secretary of state. While license requirements will differ from state to state, working as independent debt manager will usually require you to submit an application, undergo a practice and ethics exam and pay a licensing fee.
    • A debt consolidator may not be required to become licensed if you are hired and trained by a company. A debt manager title may fall under the licensing requirements of a financial manager, and thus be more highly policed by your state's licensing agency.
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    Look for jobs at private or non-profit debt consolidation agencies. Look online for customer service, information technology, debt consolidator and debt manager positions. Also, look in your local newspaper or classified boards to find local debt consolidation agencies.
    • Create a resume that you can change and focus for each job application. Resumes and cover letters should be tailored to each job description, since no single debt consolidation job is the same. Applying for several different positions may help you discover the best job for you within the debt consolidation industry.
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    Apply for jobs according to your industry preferences. The following are paths you can take, depending upon your interests:
    • Seek a job with a for-profit debt consolidation company. These companies may offer high commissions for their best consolidators. You will work in a sales environment where you will be required to sell a product to debtors and seek excellent terms from credit card companies. Check that these companies are licensed and accredited before applying. Check their reviews on the Better Business Bureau website to make sure they maintain a high standard of services and ethics.
    • Seek a job with a non-profit debt consolidation company. Most states have non-profit services that help to provide debt consolidation services. In these jobs, you will be mainly working with secured loans, rather than variable loans, and counseling people on changing the way they think about debt and money management. You are likely to work in an environment that values education and counseling over sales quotas. They may offer lower salaries and few sales incentives to their employees.
    • Become a private debt manager. If you are licensed in your state independently, you may choose to market yourself directly to debtors. This path is best taken after 5 to 10 years of experience in financial services or risk management. You can offer personal plans and services that are more in depth than most telephone-based consolidation companies. You may also be able to find a position as an independent worker in a financial services firm.
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    Develop excellent relationships with creditors. The success of a debt consolidator is often measured by the terms they can negotiate when they contact a creditor for a debtor. Working as a third party debt consolidator means that you rely on your customer service and negotiation skills while still retaining relationships.


  • Beware of debt consolidator scams. This industry is filled with scams that take advantage of people who are in debt. Fraudulent companies often take payment from debtors and do not provide services to help get people out of debt. They may let debtors accrue late payments and refuse to submit payments. Vet any employer carefully before accepting a job.

Things You'll Need

  • High school diploma
  • Degree in finance
  • Telesales experience
  • State license
  • Customer service skills
  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Negotiation/sales skills

Article Info

Categories: Credit and Debt | Occupations