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Financial Counseling Program on Track for Biggest Year Yet
Friday, December 11, 2015 6:40 AM

FiCEP Program

The Enhanced FiCEP program has concluded another year of training with 275 new credit union staff in nine states from 95 credit unions becoming Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors (CCUFC), and will continue to grow in 2016.

The Enhanced FiCEP program (Credit Union Financial Counseling Certification Program) is a unique partnership between the National Credit Union Foundation's REAL Solutions program, CUNA's Center for Professional Development (CUNA CPD), credit union leagues and credit unions to train staff who are then able to give professional financial counseling and education to help members better prepare for their future and to assist when they are faced with financial difficulties.

“Thank you to all who participate in the enhanced FiCEP program,” said Kathryn Greiner, director of credit education at University of Michigan Credit Union. “It’s not a requirement, yet this is something that credit unions do because of the principles and values that all credit unions share. This is crucial work and we’re changing the world.”

This was the fifth year the program has been conducted, and since then 1,655 staff from 448 credit unions in 25 states have become certified financial counselors.  The demand from credit unions for more trained counselors is continuing to grow as they see the value the training has for credit union members.

“I think the financial counseling program is exactly what credit unions need to be doing,” said Charles Elliot, president/CEO of the Mississippi Credit Union League. “I don’t think there is anything that a credit union could do that would bring more value and benefit to credit union members.  There are members that need this and we could absolutely change their lives.”

2016 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet for FiCEP, with at least four state leagues planning to conduct programs for the first time ever. Four leagues have worked with FiCEP in the past and are planning to rejoin the program next year to continue to strengthen their staff's ability to serve their member’s needs. 

“By getting your staff certified as financial counselors you have the opportunity to make a real difference in member’s lives,” said Courtney Cantwell, instructional design manager at CUNA.

About FiCEP
FiCEP enables all credit union staff to become more confident in helping members build a stronger financial future. FiCEP is designed for credit union staff who work in the financial counseling, collections, and loan departments, or any other staff members who are committed to helping members gain control of their financial future.

FiCEP enhances credit union services by:

  • Proven financial counseling skills become a part of the credit union’s culture;
  • Written for all staff levels so anyone can offer financial counseling during every member interaction;
  • Certification satisfies members’ needs as they continually look for the value of the credit union;
  • Differentiates the credit union with certified financial counselors
  • Helps members transform the way they deal with money through real-world counseling.

Credit unions interested in having staff trained to become financial counselors should contact Mark Lynch at MLynch@ncuf.coop.

About the National Credit Union Foundation (ncuf.coop):
The National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) is the charitable arm of the U.S. credit union movement and works as a catalyst to improve people’s financial lives through credit unions. Through Foundation grants and programs, credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes.  Donations to the Foundation enable credit unions to help their members reach life-changing goals and achieve financial freedom.

The National Credit Union Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization. The Foundation continues to earn the Better Business Bureau seal of approval as an “Accredited Charity” for meeting all 20 BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for national charities.