The Financial Counseling Industry: Past, Present, and Policy Recommendations

13 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2018

See all articles by David Lander

David Lander

Saint Louis University - School of Law


Financial counseling plays an important role for low- and moderate-income Americans and deserves more attention from leaders in the field. As financial counseling has evolved, the providers have been challenged to find a model that is both borrower centered and sustainable. This article provides a diagnosis of the failures and challenges in the financial counseling field, as well as a discussion of steps through which the providers could optimally serve families in need. These steps include (a) enhanced funding of the industry as a result of a recognition by financial stakeholders that it would be beneficial for them if the counseling industry was markedly improved; (b) stronger training for counselors; (c) implementation of enhanced measurement tools so that both funders and consumer borrowers could choose their providers from an informed position; and (d) assertion of leadership by consumer advocates and the Consumer Financial Products Bureau in improving this industry.

Keywords: counseling, financial distress, foreclosure, credit cards, bias, student loans

Suggested Citation

Lander, David, The Financial Counseling Industry: Past, Present, and Policy Recommendations. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2018; Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2018-3. Available at SSRN:

David Lander (Contact Author)

Saint Louis University - School of Law ( email )

100 N. Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63101
United States

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