Certification FAQs

  1. What is the difference between the AFC and CHC certification programs?
    The AFC program is a two course program that covers topics relating to Financial Counseling and Debt Management, along with Personal Finance. This program complies with the Bankruptcy Bill Requirements and can be used in the application to the Department of Justice. The CHC program has three courses, including the AFC curriculum (Financial Counseling and Debt Management, Personal Finance). The third course covers topics related to real estate and housing.
  2. How much does the certification program cost?
    The certification programs require a non-refundable enrollment fee of $50. In addition, each AFC and CHC course costs $475. This includes your study materials and the first attempt at the exam (fees charged by your proctoring center are not included and you are responsible to pay if these fees exist).
  3. What is considered acceptable financial counseling experience for the required hours of experience?
    The required hours of experience (1000 hours for AFC, 1500 for CHC) in admissible financial counseling experience includes any of the following:
    * Working in a related financial or counseling field
    * 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.
  4. What is the process to enroll in the certification program?
    To enroll in the certification program, you must submit the enrollment form online or download the form and send it through the mail. Once the enrollment form has been submitted, please allow 14 days to receive your study materials and books.
  5. What is considered a passing grade on the exam?
    A candidate for the certification program must earn a score of 70 or above in order to pass the exam. Otherwise, he/she is required to re-take the exam.
  6. What is the cost for a retake exam?
    If a candidate does not score a 70 or above on the exam, he/she must submit a fee of $125 along with a retake form.
  7. Once I enroll in a certification program, how long will it take for me to receive my books and study materials?
    Please allow 14 days to receive your materials from when you submit your enrollment form.
  8. Where should I take the exam?
    To find a location where you can take the exam, please contact your local colleges and unversities, libraries or learning centers. The testing location must be able to administer online exams and receive emails for testing instructions and information. In addition, the testing site must have a proctor available to administer the exam.
  9. Who should I ask to proctor the exam?
    Many local colleges/univeristies and learning centers offer proctoring services. If you are service member in the military, contact your DANTES center or Training Center for more information. Proctors cannot be related to the candidate or work with the candidate or their firm.
  10. What is the timeframe allowed for taking the exams?
    The certification programs are self-study. Therefore, you determine how much time you will need to study and take the exam. You will also need time to schedule the exam with your proctor. Once a person has started the certification process, he/she must successfully complete the entire program within 36 months of enrollment.
  11. Once I have passed the exams, what happens next?
    Upon receipt of the exam information from your proctor, you will receive a Certification Packet for you to fill out and send back to complete your program and receive your certificate of designation. Each year, you will be required to pay a certification annual fee ($50 AFC or $65 for CHC). In addition, you must submit Continuing Education Units for approval every 2 year reporting period (AFC requires 30 CEUs or CHC requires 45 CEUs). Please go to FORMS to download the Individual or Group Pre-Approval CEU forms.
  12. What will the AFC designation enable me to do in the workforce?
    The AFC designation stands for intense and rigorous training enabling the individual to work with clients in a financial counseling or education setting to assess and improve their financial decision making. AFCs work all over the world as researchers or educators in schools, University Extension programs, private practice, financial planning firms, law firms, credit and debt repayment agencies, banks and credit unions, military financial counselors, government agencies and many other organizations committed to improving the financial capability of individuals and families.

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