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09/12/2014 - National Foundation for Credit Counseling

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Founded in 1951, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Inc. (NFCC®) promotes the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and builds capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services. As the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit credit counseling organization, the NFCC has played the key role in providing financial counseling and education to consumers for over 60 years. With 81 member agencies and over 600 offices in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the NFCC is the national voice for its members, which are nonprofit, mission-driven, community-based organizations.

Many NFCC members are known as Consumer Credit Counseling Service® (CCCS®). A number of agencies operate under other names, but all can be identified by the NFCC member seal. This seal represents accredited agencies with high standards, ethical practices, certified counselors, and policies, which help consumers achieve financial stability. NFCC member agencies provide financial counseling and educational services to millions of consumers annually in person, over the phone, or online.  

Each NFCC member agency is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). COA is an independent, third-party, not-for-profit, accrediting organization that has reviewed more than 1,500 social service programs to ensure compliance with best-practices standards. All NFCC member agencies must be reaccredited by COA every four years. The NFCC is recognized for its trademarked Counselor Certification Program. All NFCC member counselors must complete the NFCC comprehensive, training program to guarantee their ability to provide quality education and assistance to consumers.

NFCC member agencies provide a variety of services including:

  • Budget Counseling and Education
  • Debt Management Plans
  • Counseling Referral Services
  • Financial Literacy Courses
  • Bankruptcy Counseling and Education
  • Housing Counseling

Additionally, one-third of NFCC member agencies are multiservice agencies specializing in community-based social service programs.

The NFCC is interested in building awareness for its initiatives and the services offered through 800-388-2227, which provides access to NFCC member agencies. Additionally, NFCC is currently enlisting the support of nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and other groups or individuals that demonstrate a real commitment to financial stability and are interested in helping to promote our newest financial education initiative outlined below.

Last year, the NFCC introduced a nationally driven, grassroots-supported, multiyear financial education initiative, Sharpen Your Financial Focus™ (Sharpen). This initiative is designed to:

  • Assist American consumers in stabilizing their personal financial situation;
  • Through media outreach, encourage consumers to take action over the phone, through the Internet, or at a NFCC member agency; and
  • Provide a three-step process for improving consumer financial circumstances and behaviors.

NFCC member agencies have already enrolled over 30,000 consumers in the initiative’s targeted three-step program, which offers clients access to a comprehensive, diagnostic financial assessment, a one-on-one financial review with a NFCC Certified Financial Professional, as well as the opportunity to participate in a targeted financial education activity focused on a particular topic of interest or need. For service members and their families, financial reviews and Hands on Banking for Military® sessions are also being offered.  More information on the Sharpen initiative can be found at www.SharpenToday.org and individuals seeking assistance may also call 855-3-SHARPEN.

Rhonda Ashburn
Senior Director of Financial Education Programs
National Foundation for Credit Counseling
(202) 677-4343
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