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Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor

What is a Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor?

A Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor is a credit union professional who has been certified by the National Credit Union National Association to provide financial counseling services to credit union members. These counselors can help you assess your financial situation and make recommendations on how to improve it. They can also help you create a budget, develop a savings plan, and plan for retirement.

A Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor can help you:

  • Analyze your current financial situation
  • Create a budget that works for your needs
  • Develop a savings plan for specific goals
  • Plan for retirement

Meet our Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors

Susan Bergman

Susan Bergman

Branch Manager

Why did you want to become a Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor?

I wanted to become a Financial Counselor as a benefit to our members. Many times, young adults aren’t taught many of the basics to starting out. They must learn how to navigate applying for a first loan, paying bills for the first time, and making sure they can pay bills from month to month. Being able to visit with them and help them understand so they can make sound financial decisions early is very fulfilling for me.

What is the process of becoming a Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor like?

For me it was a two-session process with two proctored exams. Since then, I have recertified which was two online webinars and a survey at the end.

What have been the highlights of being a Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor?

One of the biggest highlights is working with a member on a budget and having them realize that it doesn’t have to be super strict. I explain that the budget should be something fluid, that we can adjust to fit their lifestyle. Yes, they may have to give up something, like one of the streaming services that they have or cutting back on eating out, but that it can be something that they can live by.

What was your biggest takeaway from the program?

Most recently my takeaway has been estate planning. I have recently talked to a few members about making sure that they have their wishes in writing and that they are going through a checklist to make sure that their finances are in order if something should happen to them or to both their spouse and them.

If you could give one tip to people who are looking to better their financial position, what would it be?

Look through your subscriptions and see what you use and what you don’t. Many people are spending an extra $150 to $200 a month on subscriptions, streaming services, gym memberships or reoccurring automatic charges, that they just don’t use. This will allow them to save money for the unexpected, so they don’t have to finance it.

In your opinion, who would benefit from financial counseling?

I think on some level everyone could benefit from financial counseling. It doesn’t mean that you’re in trouble, it just means that you care about your financial wellness and want to look at better options for spending and saving. It allows you to take the blinders off and have a good grasp on your financial future.

Chelsea Jacobson

Chelsea Jacobson

BRANCH MANAGER

Why did you want to become a Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor?

I wanted to be able to have the knowledge needed to better assist our members. 

What is the process of becoming a Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor like?

Register with an accredited program. I chose to use CUNA, which stands for Credit Union National Association. Education piece is next for how to properly counsel someone, things to look for, situations to be aware of. Sometimes a financial counselor will encounter things that can veer off the financial path and we need to know the best way to get the members the guidance they need. Then you will need to pass an exam. The process can take months.

What have been the highlights of being a Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor?

I am new to the Financial Counseling world, but I enjoy being able to provide insight to people that have questions. Starting people on the right path, or things to look at for their financial wellbeing.

What was your biggest takeaway from the program?

If you are willing to be open to the process, it can be a life changing experience.

If you could give one tip to people who are looking to better their financial position, what would it be?

Ask yourself what you want to accomplish, what are your goals? Also understand that TIME is a key factor to changing your financial position. The only way you can change it overnight is if you win the lottery.

In your opinion, who would benefit from financial counseling?

Everyone and anyone can benefit from financial counseling. What steps are taken depend on what you are looking to gain out of the experience of meeting with one.

If you’re looking for trustworthy guidance on your finances and ways to meet your financial goals, our Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors can help.