NAPERVILE, Ill. (1/23/12)--The REAL Solutions Enhanced Financial Counseling Certification Program (FiCEP) has been brought back to Illinois for a second year with two modifications to allow as many Illinois credit unions as possible to participate in the program, said the Illinois Credit Union League.
The enhancements include a reduction in cost and an increase in number and locations of proctored test sites. The Illinois Credit Union Foundation board will cover the cost of the REAL Solutions enhancement, so the only cost to Illinois credit unions is the purchase of FiCEP books and exams from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).
In the first year of the Illinois program, 23 individuals from 11 credit unions graduated as Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors.
According to the league, there are several benefits to the program:
- Participants attain financial counseling skills that become part of the credit union's culture;
- The program is written for all staff so anyone can offer financial counseling during every member interaction;
- Certification satisfies members' needs for value in their credit union;
- The credit union can differentiate itself by having certified financial counselors for each team; and
- Staff can help members transform the way they deal with money through real-world counseling.
As CUNA's financial counseling certification self-study program, 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 members who work in the financial counseling, collections and loan departments, or any others who are committed to helping members gain control of their financial futures.