Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®)

AFC® certification marks the highest standards of excellence in the field of financial counseling and education. Our programs train professionals to guide clients through a holistic counseling framework of life cycle financial education. This allows the professional to provide a high-level, tailored approach based on the needs of each client to effectively analyze and create lasting financial behavior change.

The Abilities of a Financial Counselor

Accredited Financial Counselors have certified skills to assist individuals and families in the complex process of financial decision making, including the ability to:

  • Educate clients in sound financial principles.
  • Assist clients in the process of overcoming their financial indebtedness.
  • Help clients identify and modify ineffective money management behaviors.
  • Guide clients in developing successful strategies for achieving their financial goals.
  • Support clients as they work through their financial challenges and opportunities.
  • Help clients develop new perspective on the dynamics of money in relation to family, friends and individual self-esteem.

Step 1: Education

Each educational eligibility requirement has been established to ensure that individuals certified by AFCPE have an acceptable level of education, knowledge, and proficiency necessary to provide financial counseling services for an AFC.

Prior to selecting an educational pathway, please review the educational competencies needed to sit for the AFC examination. The competencies are based on the results of AFCPE’s 2014 Job Analysis Study.

List of Required Core Competencies

Please review  the educational pathways below and select the one best suited to your educational background and professional experience.

Click to view AFC Pathways & Fees Table

Step 2: Exam

Once your education requirement is complete, you will need to submit an AFC Examination Request through your MyAFCPE Login. At this time, candidates will be required to pay the examination fee (if applicable). Once your fee is paid, AFCPE® will notify AMP that you are ready to test.

Candidates will be contacted by AMP via email when the examination is available for scheduling.  Instructions for scheduling an examination with AMP will be provided at that time.

For questions about the AFC exam process and fees, please visit the AFC Exam FAQ page.

Step 3: Experience

Complete 1,000 hours of experience in financial counseling experience:

  • Offering one-on-one counseling or advising services for clients
  • Developing and conducting education and training for clients.
  • Developing education and training programs for financial counselors.
  • Education and training financial counselors.
  • Serving as an education director for a financial counseling organization.
  • Supervising financial counselors.

The experience requirement can be met before or after the candidate completes the exam requirement. Certification will not be granted until all of the requirements have been completed successfully.

Step 4: Letters of Reference

Submit three letters of reference attesting to professional competence and experience (one from supervisor, one from a fellow professional and one from a client). This is completed once 1,000 hours is submitted.

Step 5: Ethics

Sign and adhere to the AFC Code of Ethics. Certificants commit to maintaining the designation through ongoing professional development and annual fees. At this time, Authorization to use the Certification Marks is granted.

Step 6: Certification Renewal

To continue using the certification marks,  post-certification requirements must be fulfilled each reporting period.

AFC® Candidate Handbook

Click to view the AFC Candidate Handbook.