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How Do I Become a Debt Negotiator?

Debt negotiators may work with creditors to help clients negotiate bankruptcies.
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  • Written By: T. Webster
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2014
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Debt negotiators help consumers renegotiate their bills by reducing payments and sometimes reducing the total amount of debt owed. People seek the help of a debt negotiator when circumstances beyond their control, such as illness or job loss, leads to money problems. Counsel also is given to those who have simply lived beyond their means and cannot pay back the money they owe to creditors. If you want to become a debt negotiator, you will need excellent communication and negotiation skills. You likely will need certification in debt negotiation, and you might need a college degree.

No matter the reasons, there are always going to be unpaid bills by debtors and creditors who are trying to recover the money they are owed. That means there will always be a need for people who want to become a debt negotiator. As a debt negotiator, your goal will be to work with creditors and help your clients negotiate payments so they avoid costly lawsuits, wage garnishments and bankruptcies.

Strong communications and negotiation skills are just two skills needed to become a debt negotiator. As a debt negotiator, you will be dealing with creditors who are being pressured to collect the full amount that your client owes. They might have even started legal proceedings to collect payment. In these types of situations, you must be very persuasive to negotiate the best possible agreement for your client.

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Additionally, debt negotiators counsel clients about how to get back on their feet and improve their finances. This includes teaching clients how to understand credit reports and increase their credit scores. To do this, you will advise clients on how to build a budget and stick to it and how to reestablish their credit.

Having a college degree and a background in customer service or collections are desirable if you want to become a debt negotiator. They are not absolute requirements, however. Some companies have in-house programs for hiring and training debt negotiators.

There are national and international organizations that offer certifications for those who want to become debt negotiators. The International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators, for example, offers a full certification program. Obtaining a certification tells employers that you have knowledge of the ethical and legal aspects of debt negotiation practices and that you are serious about your career choice.

Before accepting a job with a firm, always carefully investigate the firm and its track record of ethics and success. Ultimately, working with a firm that operates within legal and ethical boundaries will offer you the greatest security and long-term job opportunity. Some of the most reputable firms work with attorneys to help ensure that laws are being followed. Investigating a company online or checking with business rating organizations can give you a glimpse into whether a company is following sound principles.

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