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What is the Best Way to Become a Debt Counselor? – James

“Dear Steve,

I’m currently studying to become a certified financial planner.

Steve, I first of all want to say thank you for your work helping people find out ways to overcome debt. You truly are making a difference.

My question is, what do you recommend doing or studying in order to incorporate debt counseling in to my financial planning practice?

Sadly I think debt counseling is not directly put forward in the financial planning field (as the subject deals with insurance, retirement planning, investments, estate planning, and tax planning). Furthermore, some of the accreditation processes to becoming a debt counselor are not clearly defined. It just seems like this industry is still in an infancy phase.

Other than reading the many informative articles on your website, what routes do you recommend taking to help more people overcome their debt issues?

Thanks!

James”

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The Answer

Dear James,

The field of debt help and debt relief is a surprisingly tough field to get a good education to help people. Most training classes in credit counseling, debt settlement, and other solutions is mostly focused on qualifying and closing people into the solution.

As a CFP in training you have a good grasp on the math of debt. I would suggest you participate as much as possible in answering questions here on this site. You’ll learn a lot by doing so and I am happy to help point considerations out as you answer questions. Consider it an internship.

Outside of that the one area your training is lacking in is the emotional underlying issues that surround debt. I would suggest you consider training from Karen McCall and the Financial Recovery Institute, click here.

Once you add those skills to your expertise you will be able to do a better job of placing the right solution into the appropriate context the consumer finds themselves in.

What do you think, does that seem like a reasonable approach to you?

Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.

Big Hug!

What is the Best Way to Become a Debt Counselor?   James
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Steve Rhode

    James,

    Patience grasshopper. I’ll help you to get there.

    Steve

  • James Valencia

    Hi Steve

    Thanks for your advice and I trust your experience. As you can probably tell I’m from Generation Y where we are all over anxious to begin our careers out of the Great Recession.  I’ll take you on your suggestion and just become more active on the site to gain more experience (the internship begins now!)

    Just do me a favor and let me know how my progress looks.  I’ll report back in a few months!

    - James

  • Steve Rhode

    James,

    I try to lead with the bad news first so here it is, don’t do that. You are still wet behind the ears.

    The debt world is full of 25% numbers and 75% other factors to guide people to the right solution. You are more than welcome to continue to comment and if I see the issue differently I’ll come behind and comment. That will help to open your eyes to the greater issues we face.

    I’d suggest that if you want to build credibility that you consider submitting guest posts on topics you’d like to cover and share. You can do it here.

    Just remember this, money problem are never about the numbers, they are about the underlying issues. The numbers are the symptoms, not the disease.

    I’m on your side, just want you to be the best and willing to help you on that journey.

  • James Valencia

    Hi Steve!

    I’m checking in to let you know how my progress has been.  I should be sitting in for the CFP exam in November and still interested in incorporating debt counseling as my niche for financial planning. I have started providing my first financial service to people where I create an Annual Spending Report.  I basically take 12 months of spending from a person’s checking account and create a detailed cash flow report for them.  

    I still follow your daily feed everyday and I try to reply to people’s questions when I have free time and know the answer.  Would you mind if I promote myself and my services whenever I answer a post through your website? I wanted to build more credibility for myself and also keep sharpening my skills. I look to post more as I develop my business further.

    Thanks again for what you’re doing! Its definitely an inspiration to me.

    - James

  • http://www.whereismymoneygoing.com James Valencia

     Hi Steve!

    I’m checking in to let you know how my progress has been.  I should be sitting in for the CFP exam in November and still interested in incorporating debt counseling as my niche for financial planning. I have started providing my first financial service to people where I create an Annual Spending Report.  I basically take 12 months of spending from a person’s checking account and create a detailed cash flow report for them.  

    I still follow your daily feed everyday and I try to reply to people’s questions when I have free time and know the answer.  Would you mind if I promote myself and my services whenever I answer a post through your website? I wanted to build more credibility for myself and also keep sharpening my skills. I look to post more as I develop my business further.

    Thanks again for what you’re doing! Its definitely an inspiration to me.

    - James

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      James,

      I try to lead with the bad news first so here it is, don’t do that. You are still wet behind the ears.

      The debt world is full of 25% numbers and 75% other factors to guide people to the right solution. You are more than welcome to continue to comment and if I see the issue differently I’ll come behind and comment. That will help to open your eyes to the greater issues we face.

      I’d suggest that if you want to build credibility that you consider submitting guest posts on topics you’d like to cover and share. You can do it here.

      Just remember this, money problem are never about the numbers, they are about the underlying issues. The numbers are the symptoms, not the disease.

      I’m on your side, just want you to be the best and willing to help you on that journey.

      • http://www.whereismymoneygoing.com James Valencia

        Hi Steve

        Thanks for your advice and I trust your experience. As you can probably tell I’m from Generation Y where we are all over anxious to begin our careers out of the Great Recession.  I’ll take you on your suggestion and just become more active on the site to gain more experience (the internship begins now!)

        Just do me a favor and let me know how my progress looks.  I’ll report back in a few months!

        - James

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        James,

        Patience grasshopper. I’ll help you to get there.

        Steve

  • Steve Rhode

    Primary methods?

  • Kjrsteamboat

    I have looked into Karen McCall’s Financial Recovery program. Do you know what the primary methods are for this program?

  • Kjrsteamboat

    I have looked into Karen McCall’s Financial Recovery program. Do you know what the primary methods are for this program?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Primary methods?

  • James

    Wow thanks Steve for the fast response.

    Yes you are right, I know of some advisors who deal with people with loads of debt, but do not know how to deal with the emotional stress that their client feels. So they try to deal with that emotional problem by referring them to psychologists for possible help, rather than for them to give advice which may not be suitable.

    Thanks for the referral, I’ll look in to that training with Karen McCall. Hopefully its not too expensive since I am still a student! :)

    I’ll definitely try by best to help out with the questions on the site & follow up. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Hugs back

    James

  • James

    Wow thanks Steve for the fast response.

    Yes you are right, I know of some advisors who deal with people with loads of debt, but do not know how to deal with the emotional stress that their client feels. So they try to deal with that emotional problem by referring them to psychologists for possible help, rather than for them to give advice which may not be suitable.

    Thanks for the referral, I’ll look in to that training with Karen McCall. Hopefully its not too expensive since I am still a student! :)

    I’ll definitely try by best to help out with the questions on the site & follow up. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Hugs back

    James

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