The Southeastern Credit Union Foundation is excited to announce 2018 Financial Counselor registration (FiCEP) is now open! This is a great program to be able to help your members even more. Please share this with the appropriate staff members in your CU. The cost of registration is $650 per person and credit unions with SAS funds may apply them to this cost. This cost includes training materials as well as webinars, group testing and/or proctoring if needed.
There will be 2 exams, consisting of 100 questions each (Part I and Part II) as we had great feedback last year on this change and on the updated material.
The schedule is available on the website here.
Special training and coaching will be provided to help you develop a detailed vision and plan for financial counseling at your credit union. Individuals who successfully complete the program and exams will earn their Credit Union Certified Financial Counselor (CUCFC) designation. With certified financial counselors on staff, credit unions are better able to:
- Help those experiencing financial difficulties – utilize the FiCEP certified team members to assist members that are just starting out or seem to be struggling (using overdraft protection regularly, falling behind on loan payments, using a credit card to make payments). Identify these members through daily interactions and then schedule consultation appointments. Appointments can also be set up through the website for those looking for help. List your certified counselors on the website along with bios and give members the opportunity to request an appointment. If feasible, allow those certified to block off part of their schedule each week for financial counseling appointments (start with ½ day each week, then go to a full day or two half days, just be consistent with the times).
- Demonstrate the credit union difference – many banks do not try to be proactive when it comes to helping members, they wait until they are months past due and sometimes too far under water to make contact. You should be sure to communicate to members through social media, newsletters and the website that you have this service available.
- Attract new members – Advertising or simply adding that you have certified financial counselors to your list of member benefits may attract new members, especially promoting that this is a free service through the credit union. Partner with community agencies such as United Way, Metropolitan Ministries and Neighborhood housing programs to bring the counselors to their clients on a regular basis or to start a community financial literacy program. You can also work with high schools and colleges to offer money management sessions for students just starting out or just getting their first job. Building the relationship early bonds the teen to the credit union for life. Another possibility is to offer scholarships related to the financial counseling workshops. (Any family attending X# of workshops may apply for certain scholarships…)
- Grow product and service revenue – Possibly add checking programs for members with lower credit scores who may not qualify for a traditional checking…a requirement could be that they complete X# counseling sessions or workshops. Same could be considered with a higher risk loan or a loan to start building credit.
- Reduce delinquencies and charge-offs – Obviously, assisting members in getting out of the debt/past due cycle will help in reducing delinquencies but will also gain trust and loyalty.
Please click HERE for more detailed information and to register. Space is limited to 50 individuals so be sure to reserve your spot soon. If you have already emailed me a list of names, please still have them register through the link. Let me know if you have any questions. Locations for the two face-to-face meetings/group testing will be announced after registration is complete (we try to make it the most convenient for the majority). If your credit union is registering a large group, we may be able to make special accommodations. If you cannot make a face-to face meeting/testing, we will make other arrangements with you.
Still not sure? We know that FiCEP benefits our employees and is a feather in their cap. Watch CUNA’s new video here to see how this training ultimately benefits our members (the main reason we’re all here)!