Certification Center


Accredited Financial Counselor®

AFC® certification is the standard — training professionals to guide clients through life-cycle financial education to help them realize their goals and achieve lasting financial well-being.

Abilities of an Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®):

  • 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.

  • Guide clients in developing successful strategies for achieving their financial goals.

  • Support clients as they work through their financial challenges and opportunities.

  • Help clients develop new perspectives on the dynamics of money in relation to family, friends and individual self-esteem.


The AFC Online Course - a supplementary tool to support your preparation for the AFC® certification examination! The course is designed to guide you through the material, providing you with additional tools and resources to develop your skills, test your comprehension, and put your knowledge into practice!

Housed in a learning management system, the course allows you to: 

  • Divide the material into manageable sections of content.
  • Sort through study processes more efficiently.
  • Engage with other certification candidates through discussion boards. 
  • Tap into different learning styles, utilizing videos for visual learners.
  • Apply the material you are learning with "Think Like A Counselor" exercises.
  • Access study materials, including a glossary of terms and worksheets.
  • Explore additional resources and links to bring the material to life.
  • Experience new content, including case study applications for non-traditional clients and instruction on cultural sensitivity.

The course is now included with the self-study pathway and available as an add-on for all other pathways. 

To complete your AFC® certification:

Educational eligibility requirements have been established to ensure that individuals certified by AFCPE have the appropriate level of education, knowledge and proficiency necessary to provide financial counseling services as an AFC professional.

As a prerequisite to selecting the education path that’s right for you, please review the list of core competencies required prior to sitting for the AFC examination. These competencies are based on the results of the AFCPE 2014 Job Analysis Study.

You’ll find meaningful differences among the education paths for AFC certification. Each path is designed to ensure that you’ve been exposed to the educational components that correspond with each of the core competencies on the AFC examination. You can find the option that best fits your experience and goals.

Download the AFC Candidate Handbook.

AFC® Education Paths and Fees

The educational pathways below include the cost of the AFC exam. Education and exam fees are paid separately. Certification registration fee is non-refundable. AFCPE's Refund Policy.

Optional webinar reviews are available through AFCPE upon request for $550 and optional study guides are available for $50. Books and materials that ship outside the U.S. will incur a $35 international shipping charge.

AFC® Special Pricing

Learn more about special pricing, including AFC exam discounts for non profit professionals, group pricing and military educational benefits.

The AFC exam is provided through AMP. Visit their website to find a testing center near you. 

Your exam fee is paid to AFCPE after your education requirement is complete. Find a list of common exam FAQs here

Your 1000 hours of relevant experience may include

  • Delivery of one-on-one or group personal financial counseling, education or coaching
  • Curriculum development
  • Management of financial counseling professionals

Experience may be obtained in conjunction with exam preparation or following successful completion of the exam, as long as all requirements are completed within the designated timeframe of the certification path you have chosen. You may also include relevant hours obtained up to 2 years before registering for the program.

Note: You will be required to document your experience in an online resume form. The form will be provided to you in your myAFCPE certification dashboard after successful completion the examination.  

Counselors certified by AFCPE® pledge to maintain the following ethical standards...Learn More.

The NCCA accredited the Association for Financial Counseling & Education® (AFCPE®)'s AFC® certification for a five-year period, expiring December 31, 2020. NCCA is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (formerly the National Organization for Competency Assurance).  Since 1977, the NCCA has been accrediting certifying programs based on the highest quality standards in professional certification to ensure the programs adhere to modern standards of practice for the certification industry. The AFC's compliance with NCCA standards shows that the educational content and testing for the AFC is psychometrically sound and has been developed, maintained and governed by the highest standard.This recognition and achievement sets the certification mark apart from others in the field and emphasizes the highest standard of excellence that AFCPE has built for this field.

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