IAPDA Certified Debt Specialist
~ Course Summary ~

Serving Sole Proprietors, Start-Ups and
The Industry's Largest Debt Settlement Companies!

Leading the Consumer Debt Settlement Industry since 2000 with Training, Certification and Professional Development

Debt Settlement Professionals
Certified Debt Specialist CDS Table of Contents (Version 12-2-0-1)


100% Online - The material included in IAPDA certification training programs is current, complete, and presented in an easy to follow training format. Each certification training course module is supported by copies of consumer debt laws and the debt relief legislation governing the particular subject of that module. There are many articles included that will help you gain a further understanding of each topic in the training.

Scroll Down for all IAPDA Training & Certification Course Summaries
  • Suitability - All Debt Relief Options ->
    *Assessing and advising the client on the best debt relief option for them.
  • Debt Consolidation Loans learned in detail
  • Consumer Credit Counseling learned in detail
  • Bankruptcy options learned in detail
  • The Debt Settlement option learned in detail


  • Introduction to Credit.
  • What is the Credit Bureau ?
  • Types of Credit Reports.
  • Contents of Credit Reports.
  • Where Credit Reports are used.
  • The nine point credit rating scale.
  • Credit Bureau policies regarding bankruptcy.
  • The benefits of Credit Reports.
  • Myths of Credit.
  • Point Scoring system of Credit granting (FICO).
  • Vantage Scoring system
  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act (U.S.)
  • A detailed description and explanation of all terms used on a Credit Report.
  • Counseling the client on increasing their FICO Score*Debtor Client Counseling - Additional client education materials
  • Understanding the Lending Process ->
  • Credit underwriting guidelines.
  • Income
  • Debt
  • Credit


  • Savings
  • Income to Debt Service Ratios
  • The 4 C's of lending
  • Establishing Credit History
  • How to Build a Credit History and Establish Credit.
  • Re-establishing Credit.
  • A detailed education on FICO and Vantage credit scores
  • Explanation of Credit Bureau Pay Habits Ratings
  • A detailed education on other debt re-payment strategies - the alternatives to a Debt Settlement Program
  • Counseling the client on making a Financial Plan*Debtor Client Counseling - Additional client education materials
  • Client Budget & Review
  • Client Saving and Investment counseling
  • Debt Collection and Collectors ->
  • Defining the Collection Process.
  • Questions and Answers regarding Debt Collection
  • What can a client do about Bill Collectors ?
  • Fast Facts on Debt Collectors.


  • Collection / Collector Training information.
  • Priorities of the Collector
  • Typical Initial Collector Telephone Call
  • Collection tactics
  • Debt Collection Practices Acts
  • Counseling the client on dealing with Creditors and Collectors*Debtor Client Counseling - Additional client education materials
  • Credit Reports and Credit Repair ->
  • Credit Repair (Correction)
  • What is Credit Repair
  • Inaccurate Credit Reports
  • Credit Reporting Acts


  • Steps Required to Restore Good Credit
  • Obtaining Credit Report
  • Reviewing Credit Report
  • Ranking Questionable Items on Report
  • Requesting Corrections
  • Sample Letters 1 - 5
  • Counseling the client on Credit Reports*Debtor Client Counseling - Additional client education materials
  • Negotiation Process & Techniques ->
  • General understanding of negotiation process.
  • Negotiation techniques.
  • The 4 secrets of Debt Negotiation.
  • Debt validation and procedures


  • Statute of Limitations - State by State
  • Creditor Lawsuits and the importance of filing an answer with the courts
  • Settlement of judgments
  • What to accomplish in each contact with the Creditor / Collector, building consensus and reaching the best possible settlement for the client.
  • Treatment of Business Debt Settlement.

The IAPDA Certified Debt Specialist (CDS) Program Also Includes...

  • Module 6- Ethical Conduct- A thorough discussion and education of Ethical Business Practices for Debt Settlement Professionals.
  • 6 Steps for Ethical Leadership
  • Ethical Best Practices
  • Putting Ethics Before Business
  • Complete review and study of the IAPDA Code of Ethics
  • Module 7- Debtor Client Debt & Credit Counseling Module - Additional client education materials
  • Financial Analysis of client's current financial situation - Suggested forms included
  • Developing your client's monthly debt settlement plan.
  • Debtor Client counseling and education on financial basics regarding debt and credit.
  • Module 8- Debtor Client Debt & Credit Counseling Module - Additional client education materials
  • U.S. Consumer Debt Laws
  • Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act
  • Fair Credit Billing Act
  • Truth in Lending Act
  • Service Members Civil Relief Act
  • Credit Repair Organizations Act
  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act
  • Module 9- Member Resources Area - Industry & Legistlative information, News & Articles (updated regularly)
  • American Fair Credit Council - (AFCC) - AFCC Uniform Program Disclosure Statement
  • CFPB Final Rule governing persons providing consumer debt relief services - (effective August 2, 2013)
  • CFPB Supervisory and Examinations manual - Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts and Practices (effective October 1, 2012)
  • FTC Telemarketing Sales Rule Amendment U.S. (effective October 27, 2010)
  • Module 10- Condensed Summary
  • Course Summary - A thorough review and summary of the course materials.
  • Also Included - Marketing & Expanding your business
  • Getting Started
  • Source of Clients:
  • Advertising, including sample ads.
  • Automobile Dealers
  • Public Court Records
  • Credit Grantors
  • Direct Mail campaigns
  • Purchasing Pre-Qualified Leads
  • Referrals
  • Cases to take on
  • Example Fee Structures
  • Example Scripts for Client Calls - to enhance full understanding of the course materials.
  • Suggested materials for communication with clients and creditors/collectors designed to launch you directly into negotiations with the creditors/collectors for the settlement of your actual client case accounts.
  • Goal Setting - We provide a very detailed Goal Setting program for our members use, if they so desire. The program is designed to significantly increase individual business success.
  • Commonly used contracts, forms and letters Provided in both printable and editable formats.
  • Important Acts & Rules affecting Debt Settlement Service Providers
  • Uniform Debt Management Services Act (UDMSA)
  • The FTC Act (Section 5)
  • FTC Telemarketing Sales Rule Amendment (effective October 27, 2010)
  • FTC Telemarketing Sales Rule Amendment - Sales Compliance Overview
  • Legal compliance and industry updates, articles & news
*New - Now also included - Consumer Credit Counseling & Debt Management Plans

Know all consumer debt relief options and thoroughly understand Credit Counseling & Debt Management programs.

Consumer Credit Counseling & Debt Management Plans training consists of two (2) comprehensive training modules.

  • Module 11 - Educating Your Client in Personal Finance
  • Understanding Personal Financial Knowledge
  • Identifying Debt Warnings
  • Budgeting, Money & Cash Flow Management
  • Using Credit and Credit Cards
  • Borrowing Money (loans)
  • Risk Management and Insurance Issues
  • Life Insurance Considerations
  • Understanding Investing in Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds
  • An Education in Retirement Planning
  • An Education in Estate Planning
  • Module 12 - Educating Your Client regarding Credit Counseling and Debt Management Plans
  • The Communication Process and Counseling
  • Understand and Using Listening Skills
  • Understand and Using Counseling Skills
  • Understanding Problem Solving
  • Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information
  • Understanding Credit Cards
  • Credit Reports
  • Consumer Rights - Guide to Consumer Laws
  • Debt Recovery Steps
  • Existing Strategies for Reducing Client Debt
  • Bankruptcy (mortgages, student loans, alimony, child support & reposessions)
  • Debt Management Plans

Begin a rewarding career providing debt settlement services to clients desperate for help with overwhelming unsecured debt like high interest credit cards loans. Make a real difference in the lives of American families strangled by debt. Work independently or apply for employment with leading debt relief firms after your certification as a Certified Debt Specialist. IAPDA certification training will provide you with the knowledge to advise your clients on debt settlement, credit counseling, debt management plans and bankruptcy.