09/09/2016 - AFCPE


Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) is a nonprofit organization that ensures the highest level of knowledge, skill and integrity of the personal finance profession by certifying, connecting, and supporting diverse and capable professionals who serve communities worldwide.


AFCPE® offers comprehensive certification programs in both financial counseling and financial coaching. Our certifications mark the highest standard of excellence in the field of financial counseling, coaching and education.

  • Financial Counseling: Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®): The AFC certification program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), confirming the AFC as the highest standard for the field of financial counseling and education. 

    The program trains professionals to guide clients through a complete framework of financial education. Professionals learn to use a tailored approach based on an individual client’s needs to affect lasting financial behavior change. AFC professionals are equipped to navigate clients through financial crises such as credit and debt issues, bankruptcy and foreclosure. Additionally, they work with clients to develop and implement effective spending plans, eliminate debt, build savings, and create meaningful solutions to maintain financial stability and reach a client’s financial goals.
  • Financial Coaching:  Financial Fitness Coach (FFC) and Accredited Personal Financial Coach (APFC): Building upon the core knowledge of our financial counseling programs, we have partnered with Sage Financial Solutions to deliver two financial coach certifications. Our financial coaching model is the only program in the field that requires a comprehensive educational background, experience in the field and on-going continuing education. 

    AFCPE certified professionals work around the world as financial counselors and educators in schools, university extension programs, private practice, financial planning firms, law firms, credit and debt repayment agencies, banks and credit unions, military installations, government agencies and other organizations committed to improving the financial capability of individuals and families. 
  • Membership: AFCPE® membership provides financial educators, researchers and practitioners:
    • A strong network of colleagues to exchange ideas, share best practices and influence change.
    • Opportunities for award recognition and grant funding.
    • Access to cutting edge research and information through our semi-annual Research Journal, The Journal of Financial Counseling & Education, and quarterly newsletter, The Standard
    • Discounts on professional development training, including the Annual AFCPE Research and Training Symposium.
    • Access monthly online financial counseling community webinars through FPA Connect.
    • AFCPE mentorship program.
    • Use of the AFCPE membership logo.
    • Reduced career center job posting rates.
    • Member-only monthly announcements and news.
  • Professional Development: AFCPE® collaborates with esteemed partners in the field to provide professional development experiences for financial educators, practitioners and researchers to improve the economic wellbeing of individuals and families worldwide. 

    Held each November, the AFCPE Symposium brings together a diverse community of financial professionals for professional development, networking and growth. The program attracts researchers, educators, practitioners and thought-leaders from all areas of the personal finance field, building the bridge to new research, ideas and resources.  

    The 2016 AFCPE Symposium is Nov. 16-18 in Louisville, KY. Visit www.afcpe.org/symposium for more information on our program, as well as pre- and post-symposium opportunities.


AFCPE® is focused on building relationships with partners who share our values and vision of a financially capable future for all consumers. Please contact us if you are interested in:
  • Supporting our mission by sharing your resources as an exhibitor or sponsor for the Annual AFCPE Symposium.
  • Providing comprehensive professional development programs for financial educators and practitioners.  
  • Discussing partnership opportunities that focus on enhancing the nation’s financial capability.
  • Providing scholarships or funding to support certification opportunities for community groups, nonprofit professionals or students.
  • Supporting the career growth of our professionals by posting open positions on the AFCPE Career Center.
  • Writing a guest blog post or newsletter article.


CFPB Financial Coaching Project: As part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Financial Coaching initiative, all financial coaches are required to obtain the AFC® certification. CFPB Financial Coaches will provide one-on-one financial coaching services to veterans and the economically vulnerable to help them proactively take control of their finances and empower them to make better informed financial decisions.

Military Spouse Fellowship Program
Since its inception in 2006, the FINRA Military Spouse program has awarded more than 1,300 fellowships to military spouses across the United States and the world. The fellowship covers the costs associated with completing the AFC® training and testing and is designed to meet the unique needs of military spouses. Through this partnership military spouses have developed rewarding careers while helping military families build brighter futures.

Veterans Financial Coalition
AFCPE joined with Visa Inc.’s Practical Money Skills, Consumer Action, the Consumer Federation of America and Military Saves to form the Veterans Financial Coalition. The coalition is dedicated to serving the financial education and consumer protection needs of veterans and will offer free resources to aid the transition from the military into civilian life. With funding from the coalition, AFC professionals will provide virtual financial counseling and coaching to recently separated veterans and their families.

Wounded Warrior Project (WWP)
Along with the American Red Cross, Operation Homefront, SALUTE, INC., and USA Cares, AFCPE is proud to partner with WWP in the launch of a financial assistance program that directly serves the needs of injured service members during their times of financial hardship. AFC professionals are working with injured veterans, caregivers, and family members who access Emergency Financial Assistance to develop long-term financial plans that lead them to real, lasting financial stability.

Ohio Investor Education Program
AFCPE has received grant funding to create a program that will effectively link Ohioans to investor education and protection resources, materials and financial counselors, educators, and planners so that they are better equipped to save, invest and plan for retirement. With a multi-generational approach, the engagement program will utilize the When I’m 65 documentary and engagement program, which looks at how the choices we make today will impact our lifestyle and aspirations tomorrow. Beginning in April 2017, AFCPE will host Ohio Investor Education and Protection events across the state with pro-bono financial counseling and planning services available. In November 2017, findings of the program will be presented at the AFCPE Symposium to help educate financial professionals and create a model for other states to consider.

AFCPE® Approved University Program
Through AFCPE Approved University Programs, students are able to obtain the educational requirement for the AFC® certification and sit for the AFC exam at a significantly reduced rate. The program enables students to work toward their AFC designation while pursuing their undergraduate, graduate or PhD degree. Upon graduation, the AFC provides university students an edge in their career, a close network of professionals and a commitment to continuing education and ethics.

Rebecca Wiggins
Executive Director
(614) 368-1042
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