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Career and Education Opportunities for Loan Counselors in Des Moines, Iowa

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for loan counselors in the Des Moines, Iowa area. The national trend for loan counselors sees this job pool growing by about 16.3% over the next eight years. Loan counselors generally provide guidance to prospective loan applicants who have problems qualifying for traditional loans.

Loan counselors earn about $16 hourly or $34,240 per year on average in Iowa and about $18 per hour or $37,470 annually on average nationally. Earnings for loan counselors are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Accounting and Auditing in Iowa and not quite as good as general Accounting and Auditing category earnings nationally. Loan counselors work in a variety of jobs, including: pell coordinator, financial aid counselor, and loan consultant.

The Des Moines area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can get a degree as a loan counselor. The most common level of education for loan counselors is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying to be a loan counselor if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Loan Counselor

Loan Counselor video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, loan counselors provide guidance to prospective loan applicants who have problems qualifying for traditional loans. They also guidance may include determining the best type of loan and explaining loan requirements or restrictions.

Loan counselors interview applicants and request specified data for loan applications. They also contact applicants or creditors to deal with questions about applications or to help with completion of paperwork. Equally important, loan counselors have to check loan agreements to insure that they are complete and accurate, in line with policies. They are often called upon to maintain and review account records, updating and recategorizing them in line with status changes. They are expected to analyze applicants' financial status and property evaluations to establish feasibility of granting loans. Finally, loan counselors submit applications to credit analysts for verification and recommendation.

Every day, loan counselors are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they speak clearly.

It is important for loan counselors to supervise loan personnel. They are often called upon to calculate amount of debt and funds available to develop methods of payoff and to estimate time for debt liquidation. They also maintain current knowledge of credit regulations. They are sometimes expected to inspect billing for accuracy. Somewhat less frequently, loan counselors are also expected to supervise loan personnel.

Loan counselors sometimes are asked to inspect accounts to establish write-offs for collection agencies. and match students' needs and eligibility with available financial aid programs to furnish informed recommendations. And finally, they sometimes have to compare data on student aid applications with eligibility requirements of assistance programs.

Like many other jobs, loan counselors must have exceptional integrity and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Des Moines include:

  • Accountant. Analyze financial information and prepare financial reports to determine or maintain records of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.
  • Assessor. Appraise real and personal property to determine its fair value. May assess taxes in accordance with prescribed schedules.
  • Auditor. Examine and analyze accounting records to determine financial status of establishment and prepare financial reports concerning operating procedures.
  • Budget Analyst. Examine budget estimates for completeness, accuracy, and conformance with procedures and regulations. Analyze budgeting and accounting reports for the purpose of maintaining expenditure controls.
  • Credit Analyst. Analyze current credit data and financial statements of individuals or firms to determine the degree of risk involved in extending credit or lending money. Prepare reports with this credit information for use in decision-making.
  • Financial Analyst. Conduct quantitative analyses of information affecting investment programs of public or private institutions.
  • Financial Examiner. Enforce or ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing financial and securities institutions and financial and real estate transactions. May examine, verify correctness of, or establish authenticity of records.
  • Loan Officer. Evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of commercial, real estate, or credit loans. Advise borrowers on financial status and methods of payments. Includes mortgage loan officers and agents, collection analysts, loan servicing officers, and loan underwriters.
  • Personal Financial Planner. Advise clients on financial plans utilizing knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, and real estate. Duties include assessing clients' assets, liabilities, and financial objectives to establish investment strategies.
  • Real Estate Appraiser. Appraise real property to determine its value for purchase, sales, or loan purposes.
  • Tax Examiner. Determine tax liability or collect taxes from individuals or business firms according to prescribed laws and regulations.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Loan Counselor Training

Drake University - Des Moines, IA

Drake University, 2507 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311-4505. Drake University is a medium sized university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,753 students and an admission rate of 69%. Drake University has a master's degree program in Finance and Financial Management Services, Other Specialties which graduated seven students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Personal Banker: Applicable to financial services professionals who have completed the AIB Personal Banking Diploma and who function as personal bankers.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Bankers website.

Certified Investment Management Analyst: The CIMA offers an intense educational experience focusing on asset allocation, manager search and selection, investment policy and performance measurement.

For more information, see the Investment Management Consultants Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.