Professional Designations

What is a Certified Credit Counselor (CCC)?

By  Brian Thorp

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Offered by the National Association of Certified Credit Counselors (NACCC), the Certified Credit Counselor (CCC) designation is designed to help others improve their overall financial well-being through practical financial education and effective counseling. Let’s take a closer look at what this designation is, what it takes to earn it, and how you may benefit from working with a CCC. 

What is a Certified Credit Counselor (CCC)?

A Certified Credit Counselor (CCC) takes a holistic approach to credit counseling and is well-versed in banking and credit fundamentals to help clients eliminate debt and improve credit scores. In addition, CCCs hold credit counselor ethics and perform their services in an ethical, professional, and legal manner. 

Their primary objective is to provide clients with the knowledge and resources they need to resolve financial issues and take control of their finances. CCCs are known to educate those who are financially stressed so they can avoid common mistakes and make smart decisions in the future. They also work with clients to implement the ideal financial plans for their unique budget, goals and priorities. 

In most cases, CCCs work for financial institutions such as banks and credit unions. Some are self-employed or offer their services at nonprofit organizations. Regardless, they strive to alleviate financial stress and improve their clients’ quality of life. 

Should You Hire a CCC?

A CCC can be a great option if you consider yourself financially stressed. You may feel this way because you’re overwhelmed with debt, unsure of how to meet your financial goals, have a history of poor financial decisions or simply desire a well-trained professional to get you on track toward a healthy financial future. 

With a CCC’s support, you can uncover your financial weaknesses and create a game plan for how you’ll improve them. In addition, you may expect the financial education you need to manage credit and debt, understand financial risks, invest, save for retirement and begin the estate planning process. 

A CCC may be a particularly good resource if you’ve recently undergone a life change such as a marriage or divorce that has altered your finances and brought about new challenges you didn’t have in the past. 

What Does it Take to Earn and Maintain the CCC?

Those who hope to earn a CCC designation must fulfill certain requirements set forth by NACCC. Here’s a brief overview of what that they are.

Training 

CCC candidates must enroll in an instructor-led online course. The course includes a combination of audio lectures, exercises, review slides and practice tests. It focuses on a variety of topics including key counseling techniques, budget analysis and the most recent trends in credit and lending. 

Those who enroll receive access to a live instructor via chat. They can also reach out to NACCC support staff at any time they’d like. Here are several examples of the modules found in the course:

  • The Components of Financial Well-Being
  •  Poverty, Culture and Socioeconomic Variables
  • The Problem-Solving Process
  • Establishing the Client/Counselor Relationship
  • Where the Client is Now
  • Where the Client Wants to Go
  • How the Client Will Get There

Exam

Once CCC candidates complete the course, they’re eligible to take the rigorous exam. They can complete the Request Exam Form and take the proctored test at a local community college, university, or library. The exam features 100 multiple choice questions. To pass, a minimum of 70 correct answers is required. 

Continuing Education

The CCC must be renewed every two years. To renew their designation, CCC holders must pay a fee and stay true to the NACCC’s ethics. 

How To Find The Best Certified Credit Counselor For You

You’ll find a growing number of Certified Credit Counselors featured on Wealthtender this year and you can also search on Google for the term Certified Credit Counselor Near Me.

FAQs

How can I confirm the financial professional I’m working with holds the Certified Credit Counselor designation?

Send an email to office@naccc.us.

What if I have a complaint about the Certified Credit Counselor I’m working with?

Send an email to office@naccc.us.

Where can I learn more about other professional designations held by financial advisors and coaches?

Refer to this list of popular financial certifications prepared by Wealthtender to help you learn more about each designation. You’ll find a brief description of each certification, plus links to in-depth articles if you want to learn more about a particular designation.

About the Author
Brian Thorp, Founder and CEO of Wealthtender profile picture

About the Author

Brian Thorp

Brian is CEO and founder of Wealthtender. He and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to encourage any lifestyle changes without careful consideration and consultation with a qualified professional. This article is for reference purposes only, is generic in nature, is not intended as individual advice and is not financial or legal advice.

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