AFCPE Certification Programs

AFCPE Certification Programs

The AFCPE (Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education)
proudly administers the leading national certification programs for financial
counselors and housing counselors. Here is how you can obtain these prestigious

Contact the Director of the Institute
for Personal Finance (email:

Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) Program

As the links between financial stress, health, and productivity become
increasingly apparent, individuals and employers will seek out professionals
to guide clients to healthier, more effective financial decision-making
skills. Industry has always sought out professionals with prestigious certification
that confirms that rigorous training has been obtained to address the specific
needs of clients. The AFC – Accredited Financial Counselor – is the leading
designation in its field and will increasingly become known as the designation
of choice for financial counselors.

The AFC candidate must complete two courses, which are currently offered
for self-study.

Course 1: Personal Finance

This course includes an in-depth analysis of financial services, estate
planning, and retirement planning. Candidates will develop a full understanding
of the mechanics, techniques, and strategies of personal financial management.

Course 2: Financial Counseling

This course examines the components of financial counseling including:
counseling, budgeting, debt reduction, collection policies and practices,
bankruptcy, and government assistance programs. Candidates develop a sensitivity
to their counseling responsibilities by learning how to advise clients

To receive the AFC professional designation, candidates must pass each
course, subscribe to the AFC code of ethics, have two years of counseling
experience, and submit three letters of reference – including one from
a client and one from a fellow professional.

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Benefits of

The Accredited Housing Counselor (AHC) and Certified Housing Counselor
(CHC) Programs

These university-based paraprofessional and certified housing counselor
credentials provide professional credibility reflecting a well-defined
level of expertise. Industry players respect these designations knowing
a rigorous education curriculum has been completed.

Clients appreciate a distinguishing tool for evaluating the quality
of the services they seek. The real estate community readily and confidently
refers prospective clients to specialists with recognized credentials.

Lenders, mortgage insurance underwriters, and the secondary market acknowledge
and appreciate the educational achievements and professionalism of certified
housing counselors. They refer and accept referrals from a certified housing
counselor with confidence. Financial industry players recognize the benefits
of the education and training that clients receive and the reduced default
risks which have been demonstrated when early, comprehensive preparation
for home ownership is provided by qualified housing counselors.

Accredited Housing Counselor (AHC)

The AHC paraprofessional training is conducted in a structured classroom
environment, complete with lectures, case study application, and role playing.
The applied environment enhances learning.

This basic course provide an overview of housing counseling, including
fundamental concepts and terminology. A broad range of topics are covered
including counseling skills, cash management , credit and debt management
, and risk and tax management. Housing topics entail housing options, affordability
factors, home purchase details, mortgage processing and underwriting criteria,
housing legislation, and home maintenance. Foreclosure and evictions, the
HUD assignment and VA refunding programs, and other types of moratoriums
are covered providing the counselor with a basic understanding of these

The AFC paraprofessional designation is given to candidates who complete
the training, pass the exam, and sign the code of ethics. This AFC paraprofessional
designation requires six months experience and one letter of reference.

Article comparing financial counselors to financial planners
Jerry Mason article
about AFC program

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Counseling and Planning Journal

Certified Housing Counselor (CHC)

Candidates for the CHC (Certified Housing Counselor) program complete three
college-level courses which lead to the professional designation. Certification
candidates may choose between two study methods for these courses. They
may attend in-class training sessions or take advantage of a self-study

This course of study provides an in-depth analysis of both the personal
finance and housing fields. Emphasis is placed on a more extensive comprehension
of financial management and housing. The three courses leading to certification

Course 1: Personal Finance

  • An in-depth analysis of financial management for low, moderate, and middle-income

Course 2: Debt Management and Counseling Techniques

This course examines the components of financial counseling, including:

  • Advanced Counseling Skills

  • Debt management and reduction

  • Collection policies and practices

  • Bankruptcy

  • Government assistance programs

Course 3: Housing Principles and Practices

This course examines the residential housing market and its legal aspects,

  • Residential appraisals and issues influencing property values

  • Real estate contracts

  • Property right sand deeds

  • Financing options

  • Tax factors

  • The real estate industry

  • Mortgage underwriting

  • Secondary market transactions

  • Public policy issues.

As the housing field becomes more complex, the housing counselor must understand
the essential workings of all aspects of the industry to help clients make
appropriate housing decisions. The CHC designation is awarded when candidates
complete training and pass all exams. Three years experience and three
letters of reference are required.

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For information on the AFCPE’s 

professional certification programs, contact:

Sharon Burns

6099 Riverside Drive # 100

Dublin, OH 43012-2004



FAX: 614-798-6560

Note: the contact person may change sometime in Autumn, 1998 — please
check back


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