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Career and Education Opportunities for Loan Counselors in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

If you want to be a loan counselor, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 1,100 people work as loan counselors in Pennsylvania. This is expected to shrink by 9% to 1,000 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for loan counselors, which 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.

Income for loan counselors is about $18 hourly or $38,360 yearly on average in Pennsylvania. Nationally, their income is about $18 per hour or $37,470 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Accounting and Auditing, people working as loan counselors in Pennsylvania earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Accounting and Auditing nationally. Jobs in this field include: consumer credit counselor, financial aid officer, and finance manager.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can study to be a loan counselor, among eighty-three schools of higher education total in the Pittsburgh area. Given that the most common education level 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.


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 Pittsburgh 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.
  • Income Tax Advisor. Prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses but do not have the background or responsibilities of an accredited or certified public accountant.
  • 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.


Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890. Carnegie Mellon University is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,646 students and an admission rate of 29%. Carnegie Mellon University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Finance and Financial Management Services, Other Specialties which graduated zero and seventy-five students respectively in 2008.

Westmoreland County Community College - Youngwood, PA

Westmoreland County Community College, 145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697-1895. Westmoreland County Community College is a medium sized college located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,512 students. Westmoreland County Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Banking and Financial Support Services which graduated one and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

Community College of Beaver County - Monaca, PA

Community College of Beaver County, One Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2588. Community College of Beaver County is a small college located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,695 students. Community College of Beaver County has an associate's degree program in Banking and Financial Support Services.


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: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.