Interested in a Career in Financial Counseling?

Are you interested in financial education as a possible career?  If so, you should definitely look into the  FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Accredited Financial Counselor® Fellowship.

The Program

The Military Spouse Fellowship program is a joint venture between AFCPE, the National Military Family Association (NMFA) and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.  The fellowship covers the course costs for the AFC® training and the first two attempts at both exams. Upon successful completion of the program, and the required practicum, the participant will be awarded the Accredited Financial Counselor® designation from AFCPE®.

Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) is a professional certification program offered by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®). The program requires two courses and two exams. Study is self-directed and is done at your own pace, but the program must be completed within 36 months.

From the application announcement:

Many employers such as credit unions, financial aid offices, and community housing agencies need well-trained, ethical and caring financial counselors to meet the increasing demand for financial counseling services.

Military spouses can fill this need while building a rewarding career that is flexible to the demands of the military family lifestyle.


The following individuals are eligible to apply for this program:

  • Current spouses or surviving spouses of a Uniformed Service member; Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (active duty, National Guard and Reserve, or retirees)

The following individuals are not eligible for the fellowship:

  • Current Civil Service employees
  • Current employees of contractors serving the United States government
  • Active duty or Reserve Component members of the Armed Forces
  • Holders of active securities licenses
  • Current National Military Family Association Staff, Volunteers, and Representatives
  • Those already enrolled in the AFCPE® Certification programs
  • Those who previously accepted the fellowship but did not complete the program

Approximately 50 fellowships will be awarded.  There are typically hundreds of applications, so make sure your application is really great.

My Experience

I was enrolled in the AFC® program for over two years.  I applied for the fellowship several years in a row, and finally just decided sign up for the program on my own.  II found the course materials very useful in combining financial skills with counseling skills. I did not complete the program because I could not get suitable proctors at my remote locations.  I have recently spoken with another previous student who had difficulty finding a place to complete her practicum hours.

Do you have more questions?  See the Financial Counselor Fellowship FAQs.

The application deadline is 16 April 2014.  I know that sounds far away, but don’t procrastinate.  We all know that never ends well.


About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • This job would have been a dream come true since I have a Finance degree, but things have changed.

  • We need to educate military personnel on financial management and investing. For many it’s just Wall Street voodoo, which means nothing until it is understood.