As part of Financial Literacy Month, we are doing a series on what it means to be certified by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, why it matters, and when you should seek credit counseling.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®) was founding in 1951. It is the nation’s first and largest nonprofit dedicated to improving people’s financial wellbeing. Membership with the NFCC demonstrates a member’s commitment to provide a gold standard of financial counseling to individuals needing assistance with a multitude of financial circumstances. Life-changing events such as purchasing a home, foreclosure prevention, creditor concerns, and student loans are but a few of the financial circumstances faced by those individuals.
As part of membership, agencies agree to certify their counselors through the NFCC Certification program which focuses on empowering counselors to deliver exemplary counseling and educational services to the clients and communities they serve. Certified counselors are able to demonstrate to the community and their colleagues that they have attained the degree of professional knowledge and skills necessary to provide quality services.
Individuals in need of financial counseling can experience confidence in knowing that by working with an NFCC member they are being assisted by a counselor who has been certified and held to a high standard of service delivery. A typical session includes reviewing goals, completing a thorough financial analysis, and working in partnership with the individual to establish steps to improve the individual’s overall financial well-being.
The NFCC Certification program is exclusive to NFCC members and provides industry best practices in the financial management arena, to include working with people in (but not limited to):
- Establishing goals and the action steps to achieve them
- Developing and understanding a budget as well as revising a budget during times of crisis
- Working with creditors to manage unsecured debt and determine alternatives that most effectively meet the consumer’s needs and goals
- Determining affordability of potential housing options
- Examining steps needed to obtain and maintain homeownership
- Understanding consumer rights and responsibilities
- Navigating the student loan repayment process
- Identifying community resources and referrals that may assist individual’s in increasing their financial well-being
- Understanding the collection and foreclosure processes
- Establishing strategies to overcome financial hardships
- Developing techniques to effectively cope with unplanned expenditures and prepare for the future
- Understanding credit reporting and possible methods to improve credit-worthiness
The NFCC Certification program requires initial certification through comprehensive instruction on how to provide education and guidance regarding the multitude of areas listed above. The program also requires continuing education in service related areas as well as mandatory recertification on a bi-annual cycle for credit counseling and annual cycle for housing and student loan.
If you or someone you know is experiences financial difficulties because of life’s circumstances, you can rest assured knowing the NFCC is experienced, knowledgeable and able to provide the necessary education and/or resources to get anyone back on track financially. We have over 600 member offices that serve all 50 states and Puerto Rico. For expert guidance and advice, locate one near you today!