Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE)

Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC)


Credential: Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC)  GI Bill resource  NCCA resource
Credentialing Agency: Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE)

Renewal Period: 2 years

The Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE),  Accredited Financial Counselors (AFCs) work with clients in a financial counseling or education setting to assess and improve their financial decision making. AFCs have 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, support clients as they work through their financial challenges and opportunities, and guide clients in developing successful strategies for achieving their financial goals. Candidates must agree to adhere to the AFCPE Code of Ethics. Candidates must pass a written exam.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC)

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

Attainability:    high

Eligibility Requirements (View Details)

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience: 1000 hours
  • Education: Approved Program
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Note: This credential may have multiple options for a Service member to meet eligibility requirements. Requirements listed here are based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

Exam Requirements (View Details)

  • Exam
  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

RECERTIFICATION SUMMARY

Renewal Period: 2 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

AGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION

Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE)

79 S. State St
Suite D3
Westerville, OH  43081

Phone: 614-368-1055

Fax: (703) 684-4485
Email: chite@afcpe.org

Candidate must submit verification of 1,000 hours of financial counseling experience.  Acceptable experience includes:

  • 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
  • Conducting educational training for financial counselors
  • Serving as an education director for a financial counseling organization
  • Supervising financial counselors

Option 1:

Candidate must have completed applicable course work in Personal Finance, Financial Planning, Financial Counseling, Consumer Science, or comparable curriculum from a regionally-accredited college or university in the United States during the past seven years. A transcript showing completion of course work that corresponds to all of the AFC core competencies must be submitted electronically with initial registration for the AFC certification program.

Note:
Candidates that have completed their degree/course work more than seven years prior to AFC application will still qualify under this option if they have been employed full-time in the financial counseling or financial education field for at least four of the last seven years, or employed part-time in the financial counseling or financial education field for at least five of the last seven years.

Option 2:

Candidate must currently be a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) professional and provide verification that the professional certification is current and in good standing AND verify completion of applicable course work corresponding to the remaining competencies not met by the professional designation from a regionally-accredited college or university in the United States OR enroll in the AFCPE Financial Counseling and Debt Management self-study module.

Option 3:

Candidate must complete the AFCPE Self-Paced Study Accredited Financial Counselor course. Qualifying military spouses may complete AFCPE Self-Paced Study through the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship program.

Option 4:

Candidate must complete the AFCPE distance learning program offered by an approved distance learning provider.

Option 5:

Candidate must complete an AFCPE approved university program. See the AFCPE Registered Education Programs website for more information.

The Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) credential has the following other requirements:

  • Candidate must submit three letters of reference attesting to professional competence and experience. One letter must be from a supervisor and submitted on letterhead, one must be from a fellow financial counseling professional and submitted on letterhead, and one must be from a client.

Written Exam

  • Set the Stage and Gather Client Information (10%)
    • Establish the Counseling Environment
    • Gather Client Information
    • Form a Strategic Counseling Plan
  • Assist a Client in Creating an Action Plan (12%)
    • Assist a Client in Establishing Goals
    • Assist a Client to Identify Strategies to Attain Goals
  • Develop Financial Statements, Ratios and Spending Plans (10%)
    • Educate a Client About a Cash Flow Statement
    • Educate a Client About a Net Worth Statement
    • Educate a Client About Personal Financial Ratios
    • Educate a Client About Spending Plans
  • Manage Money (15%)
    • Educate a Client About Financial Services
    • Familiarize a Client About Basic Tax Management
    • Discuss Employment Considerations With a Client
  • Manage Credit and Debt (15%)
    • Educate a Client About Uses of Credit
    • Educate a Client About Credit Reports and Scores
    • Educate a Client About Credit Products
    • Educate a Client on Debt Management
  • Educate a Client about Consumer Protection (6%)
    • Educate a Client About Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
    • Educate a Client About Identity Theft
    • Educate a Client About Investor Protection
  • Educate a Client about Major Acquisitions (7%)
    • Acquire Property
    • Educate a Client About Renting a Home
    • Educate a Client About Purchasing a Home
    • Educate a Client About Selling a Home
  • Manage Financial Risks (9%)
    • Educate a Client About Financial Risk
    • Educate a Client About Insurance Products
  • Discuss Investment Basics with a Client (8%)
    • Educate a Client About Investment Fundamentals
    • Educate a Client About Investment Choices
  • Educate a Client about the Financial Aspects of Retirement and Estate Planning (8%)
    • Educate a Client About Retirement Planning
    • Educate a Client About Estate Planning

Exam Preparation Resources

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) examination:

An additional resource is O'Reilly Learning Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources section on the Related Sites page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

RECERTIFICATION

Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC)

Renewal Period: 2 years

The Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) credential has the following recertification information:

  • AFC certification holders must complete 30 continuing education units (CEUs) during a two-year reporting cycle. Two of the required 30 CEUs must be for Ethics.
  • AFC certification holders must attest to comply with the AFCPE Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and pay the recertification fee.
  • Note: Marine Corps COOL will only pay recertification fees for the current billing cycle. Voucher requests for recertification fees must be submitted with proof of the current status of the certification (for example, a screen shot of your credentialing agency dashboard or a copy of a current fee receipt).

In Demand

This certification is considered in demand. The U.S. Department of Labor sponsored CareerOneStop's analysis indicates the certification is frequently mentioned in online job postings.

Click for external link to CareerOneStop's Credentials Center.

COOL Bucks

See your installation Education Service Officer for credential exam information and coordinating instructions.

COOL Summary

Click to go to the COOL Summary page for this MOC.

COOL Summary

Click to go to the COOL Summary page for this MOC.

COOL Summary

Click to go to the COOL Summary page for this MOC.

Some

Credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (at least one critical task but less than 80%)

Most

Credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%)

Other

Credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience

CA Eligible

This certification is eligible for CA.

Star

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improves the MOS technical proficiency.

Skill Level

The Skill Level reflects the level, based on MOS training and/or experience, the Soldier should be the most prepared to successfully earn the credential. See the Table Legend for details about each level.

Navy Bucks

Credential voucher or reimbursement for credential exam, re-certification, or maintenance fee has been approved for payment through the Navy's Credential Program Office. To get a voucher request form, click Menu at the top of any page, then click "2 Complete Voucher and Apply" under Credentialing Steps.

CG Bucks

Current Coast Guard policy states all credentials listed on CG COOL may be reimbursed assuming the enlisted service member meets the eligibility requirements as outlined in the Coast Guard Voluntary Credentialing Program Policy (COMDTINST 1540.1(series))

Early Career

1-3 years experience; Enlisted E1 through E4

Mid Career

4-10 years experience; Enlisted E5 through E6

Late Career

10+ years experience; Enlisted E7 through E9

Early Career

1-3 years experience; Enlisted “A” School through E5

Mid Career

4-10 years experience; Enlisted E6 through E7

Late Career

10+ years experience; Enlisted E8 through E9

Early Career

1-6 years experience; Officer O1 through O2

Mid Career

6-12 years experience; Officer O3 through O5

Late Career

12+ years experience; Officer O6 and Above

GI Bill®

Reimbursement for exam fees has been approved for payment through the GI Bill.

Note: GI Bill approval data is updated quarterly. For the latest information, visit the WEAMS Licenses/Certifications Search page. Make sure to select "Both" in the LAC Category Type drop-down before searching.

Click to go to the external link for GI Bill licensing and certification information.

ANAB (ANSI)

This credential has been accredited by ANAB (ANSI).

Click to go to the external ANAB web site.

ICAC

This credential has been accredited by ICAC.

Click to go to the external ICAC web site.

ABSNC

This credential has been accredited by ABSNC.

Click to go to the external ABSNC web site.

NCCA

This credentialing program has been accredited by NCCA.

Click to go to the external NCCA web site.

IAS

This credential has been accredited by IAS.

Click to go to the external IAS web site.

Low

May be difficult to attain: minimum education requirement is a Bachelor's degree, and/or minimum experience is 10 or more years.

Note: In some cases “years of experience” refers to time actively on duty or while holding a certain occupation or prior certification and not always in consecutive calendar years. Additional years required for certain preliminary stages may not be included in this classification. For requirements measured in hours, 1080 hours was considered a year. For days, 365 days was considered a year. Please review all prerequisites and requirements for eligibility, and additional information for details.

Medium

Moderate ease of attainment: minimum education requirement = Associate's and/or prerequisite and/or minimum experience = more than 2 years and less than 10 years of experience.

Note: In some cases “years of experience” refers to time actively on duty or while holding a certain occupation or prior certification and not always in consecutive calendar years. Additional years required for certain preliminary stages may not be included in this classification. For requirements measured in hours, 1080 hours was considered a year. For days, 365 days was considered a year. Please review all prerequisites and requirements for eligibility, and additional information for details.

High

Highly attainable: minimum education requirement = HS or less and/or minimum experience = 2 years or less experience and no additional requirements.

Note: In some cases “years of experience” refers to time actively on duty or while holding a certain occupation or prior certification and not always in consecutive calendar years. Additional years required for certain preliminary stages may not be included in this classification. For requirements measured in hours, 1080 hours was considered a year. For days, 365 days was considered a year. Please review all prerequisites and requirements for eligibility, and additional information for details.

MOS is Military Occupational Specialty
ASI is Additional Skill Identifier
WOMOS is Warrant Officer Military Occupational Specialty
AOC is Area Of Concentration Officer
Functional Area
Branch

Army e-learning

State-of-the art Computer Based Training available for free to the Army Workforce. Click for more information.

Click here for more information.

NKO e-learning

$$ELEARN_NKO_DESC$$

Bright Outlook – new job opportunities are very likely in the future for this job

Registered Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship program is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor. Go to the Apprenticeship Finder and enter career path or location to find apprenticeship opportunities.

Click here for External link to: My Next Move for Veterans - Financial Managers, Branch or Department
Click here for External link to: My Next Move salary info for Financial Managers, Branch or Department

Bright Outlook – new job opportunities are very likely in the future for this job

Click here for external link to: My Next Move for Veterans State Map for Financial Managers, Branch or Department

Click here for External link to: My Next Move for Veterans - Personal Financial Advisors
Click here for External link to: My Next Move salary info for Personal Financial Advisors

Bright Outlook – new job opportunities are very likely in the future for this job

Click here for external link to: My Next Move for Veterans State Map for Personal Financial Advisors

This is an official U.S. Marine Corps website
Updated: June 11, 2020
Top