The Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (ACFPE) is an independent organization which sets the standards to AFC training and accreditation.

ACFPE establishes an ethical code that outlines the standards for universities on what they are expected to teach in financial counseling programs and then accredits those programs that comply with their standards.

The ACFPE concentrates in financial literacy, advice and training. It teaches clients about managing money as well as debt reduction, rebuilding credit as well as investing to save for retirement, and many other financial topics.

How to become the Accredited Financial Counselor

There are four steps required to achieve AFC certification. AFC certification:


The requirements for education for this certification can be fulfilled in a variety of ways:

  • Self-Paced Exam

The program be completed within 3 calendar years following the time of the initial registration. the cost is $1,350 to $2,000.

  • Financial Education Challenge

It is required that an course be completed within a year from when you register. The price is $800.

  •  Professional Designation

Like that of the Financial Education Challenge option, this program should also be completed within a year from the time of registration. However, this option is priced between $1,075 and $1,625.

  • Optional University Program

The program is priced at $490.

  • Distance Learning Program

Like similar to University Program option, this option costs $490.

  • Examining

The three hour-long computer-based AFC exam can be completed following the completion of the education requirement. been fulfilled by the candidate. It comprises 165 multiple choice questions.

If a candidate is unable to pass the exam If a candidate fails the test, they must wait 30 days before the exam is repeated. The applicants have up to five times to attempt the exam.

An ongoing education of 30 hours every three years must be completed to keep the designation of AFC. An annual fee of $55 must be paid every year.

  • Experience

Alongside the educational prerequisite that must be completed to receive AFC certification AFC certification, applicants must also have 1000 hours of practical experience in the field in financial advice.

It can be done in conjunction in the education program or after the examination has been completed provided that they have been completed within the period of time.

  • Ethics

AFC designees must adhere to a code of conduct that emphasizes the highest ethics, honesty and objectiveness.

Benefits of being an Accredited Financial Counselor

One benefit of being an AFC is that it provides new career possibilities for financial counselors because of the ever-growing demand for professionals with the right qualifications in this area.

This designation also permits individuals to specialize in specific fields of financial counselling for example, debt counseling, credit counseling or retirement planning.

Another benefit is that ACFPE provides ongoing educational possibilities for AFCs to keep up-to-date on new developments in the world of finance.

This implies it means that AFCs are not only educated about personal finances but are also up-to-date with the most recent trends in the area.


While both are important titles in the field of personal financial planning, AFCs and CFPs have distinct specific areas of expertise. AFCs focus in financial guidance, education and training.

They teach clients about managing their money and debt reduction, building credit as well as investing for retirement as well as other financial topics.

CFPs On contrary they are more skilled in offering Financial planning and financial advice to customers. They assist people in creating an investment plan to meet their particular requirements and objectives.

CFP designation is more popular and well-known. CFP designation is more well-known and popular in comparison to the AFC designation.

CFPs are also geared towards wealthy clients looking for financial security while AFCs concentrate on those with a low-to-mid-income that require help in overcoming financial difficulties.

Which One Should I Hire?

There isn’t a clear answer to this. It is mostly dependent on the financial area you require assistance in as well as what the spending plan is.

If you’re looking for someone to assist you in creating an budget and plan for the future, hiring a CFP is the best choice.

But, if you require someone to teach you about financial management and teach you how to cut down on your debt, an AFC is the best option.

Final Thoughts

Overall, both AFC as well as the CFP designations are useful and essential in the area of personal finance.

Both offer distinct areas of interest and benefits that could be beneficial to people as well as companies alike.

The AFC designation is an excellent choice for those looking to focus on financial counseling and learn more about personal finances.

The ACFPE sets high standards for integrity, conduct and impartiality which AFC holders are required to adhere to.

The opportunities for continuing education offered by the ACFPE are beneficial to AFCs to keep up-to-date on the most current developments in the field.

It is believed that the CFP design is much more well-known and popular in comparison to it’s AFC designation. It focuses on providing financial planning and advisory services to clients with high-incomes.

It also provides continuing education options that will help those trying to get specialized in a particular field of personal financial planning.

Like any other qualification or course It is essential to to understand what each one of them has to offer to help you choose the best one that meets your requirements.

Accredited Financial Counselor FAQs

What is an Accredited Financial Counselor?

A Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) is someone who has successfully been through training in the Accredited Financial Counseling Professional Education program and is accredited with the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (ACFPE). They provide financial advice, education, and training to their clients in areas such as budgeting, money management and debt reduction, building credit and investing to fund retirement.

Does it true that Accredited Financial Counselor certification recognized across the country?

Yes. In terms of popularity in terms of recognition, the AFC certification isn’t so well-known like CFP. CFP designation. However it is growing widely used and more employers are beginning to recognize it as an important qualification.

What’s the distinction between the terms Accredited Finance Counselor as well as a certified Financial Planner?

Accredited Financial Counselors (AFCs) are mostly concentrated on education in financial matters, advice and training. They are experts in teaching customers how they can manage their money, decrease their debt, build credit, and save to fund retirement. Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) specialize in offering financial planning advice on behalf of their clients. They assist people in creating plans for their finances that is tailored to their requirements and goals.

What are the advantages of employing an Accredited Financial Counselor?

Accredited Financial Counselors possess the expertise, experience and resources to offer solid financial advice and direction on subjects such as money management budgeting, budgeting, debt reduction as well as rebuilding credit and investing to save for retirement. The ACFPE also holds them to strict standards of honesty and impartiality by the ACFPE and, as such, clients can trust them to offer unbiased advice and advice. Furthermore Accredited Financial Counselors provide continuing education for their clients to keep up-to-date with the most recent developments within the financial industry.

What exactly is an Accredited Financial Counselor qualification?

It is the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) certification is a professional certificate issued to individuals by the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (ACFPE). It recognizes individuals that have successfully completed their Accredited financial counseling professional training course and have demonstrated mastery of competencies and expertise in the field in financial counselling.