The National Association of Certified Credit Counselors (NACCC) is a nonprofit professional organization that oversees the education needs, procedures, and outcomes of its members.
Our mission is to enhance the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to help clients increase financial literacy, address negative money behaviors, and implement sound financial management through holistic financial and career counseling.
The Financial Counseling Network
NACCC partners with the Financial Counseling Network (FCN) and the Center for Financial Literacy (CFL) to provide educational programs that are based on data-driven qualitative and quantitative needs analysis of the credit and financial counseling industries. All three organizations operate within the Financial Counseling Network which provides a unified organizational structure.
Our counselor certification programs cover essential counseling techniques, financial problem solving, consumer credit, consumer protection legislation, and the sources and solutions of delinquent debt. Our curriculum emphasizes not only the financial side of debt-related issues but also the emotional/cognitive aspects related to destructive money behaviors.
Fair and Valid Testing
The certification exam is written in accordance with The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing developed by The American Educational Research Association, The National Council on Measurement in Education, and The American Psychological Association. All exams are monitored by testing and measurement experts (such as industrial/organizational psychologists) to ensure content validity, reliability, and non-discriminatory items for protected classes. Exams are administered through proctoring services offered at universities and community colleges nationwide.
The Importance of Continuing Education
Counselors who pass the exam are awarded a two-year renewable certificate. Within those two years, counselors are required to complete continuing education to be recertified. Given the changes in consumer legislation and lending policies, NACCC believes that it is essential for certified counselors to continually increase their knowledge and skills through approved continuing education programs.
NACCC is recognized by governing bodies requiring certification. This includes the following: approval by all states requiring certification to include all whom have adopted Uniform Debt Management Services Act; recognized by the United States Department of Justice Executive Office of the United States Trustees, Internal Revenue Service, Federal Trade Commission and approved by creditors who require counselor certification as well as the credit counseling industry recognize our status as an objective third-party credentialing organization.
Financial Counseling Network is an approved continuing education provider now offering over ten different continuing education programs, including self-instruction through online courses, and full-day seminars. Our State of South Carolina Approved Provider number is (#0618100) . Our certification examinations are approved for veterans training through the Veterans Administration. For more information, please visit http://benefits.va.gov/gibill/
NACCC awards three designations – Certified Credit Counselor, Certified Financial Health Counselor, and Certified Debt Settlement Specialist – in order to accommodate diverse professionals outside the credit counseling community. These include licensed counselors, accountants, mortgage brokers, realtors, independent consultants, financial aid counselors in schools and universities, faith-based /community-based financial counselors, community development and community action agency counselors and case managers, small business development consultants and debt settlement consultants. The list continues to grow based on the needs of our communities.
NACCC awards three advanced designations- Certified Student Loan Counselor, Certified Housing Counselor, and Accredited Financial and Career Counseling Professional. Applicants must hold an active NACCC Credit, Financial Health, or Debt Settlement Specialist Counselor Certification along with additional requirements specific to the selected program.
Code of Ethics
In addition to maintaining certification, all Certified Credit Counselors and Financial Health Counselors must adhere to the Association’s Code of Ethics and sign a statement that they understand and agree to its provisions.
Education Standards for the Credit Counseling Industry
- Financial counselors engaged in direct communication with clients regarding personal financial management must be certified.
- Counselor certification must be earned through a nationally recognized, independent, third party educational organization.
- Curriculum used for certification must be research-based and specific to the education needs of financial counselors.
- The certification exam is written in accordance with The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing developed by The American Educational Research Association, The National Council on Measurement in Education, and the American Psychological Association. These standards recommend tests demonstrate content validity, reliability, and non-discriminatory items for protected classes. Validity is the most fundamental consideration in developing and evaluating tests.
- Testing for certification must be administered by qualified, independent proctors.
- Certificates are valid for a period of two years. Counselors must demonstrate that they have successfully completed a total of 16 continuing education units (CEUs) in order to receive renewal certificates. This ensures that counselors are current with important developments relating to lending and collections policies, consumer protection legislation, and issues surrounding credit and spending.
- The above education standards are to be periodically reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors.