Professional Designations

What is a Certified Personal Finance Consultant (CPFC)?

By  Brian Thorp

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A Certified Personal Finance Consultant (CPFC) provides financial advice for clients in one-on-one settings. It’s administered by Fincert, available in English and Spanish, and specifically designed for professionals who provide money coaching, budget counseling and credit counseling.

Let’s take a closer look at what this financial certification is, what it takes to earn it, and how you may benefit from working with a CPFC. 

What is a Certified Personal Finance Consultant (CPFC)?

CPFCs are highly trained to coach clients on a one-on-one basis. They know how to help them create budgets, get out of debt, and set financial goals. CPFC holders complete a course that includes these four parts:

  • Part 1: Covers emotional problems related to money as well as communication techniques like listening skills.
  • Part 2: Revolves around money management, debt management, retirement, and insurance. 
  • Part 3: Focuses on consumer protection legislation.
  • Part 4: Consists of worksheets, relevant terms glossary, forms, and the Code of Ethics. 

Essentially, CPFC holders are experts in personal finance management. They offer financial coaching programs for those who would like better control of their day-to-day finances and a solid, realistic plan that allows them to fulfill their short and long-term goals. In addition, they meet the requirements of the Uniform Debt Management Services Act and other similar state laws.

Should You Hire a CPFC?

A CPFC has the training and knowledge that may help you if you are in search of a way to better manage your money. If you’re currently in debt, lack a budget and hope to improve your financial situation, they can be valuable. 

You can count on them to offer a customized, one-on-one coaching experience that guides you toward a debt-free, financially secure life. With their support, you may alleviate financial stress and feel more confident about your future.

A CPFC is not a good option if you’d like assistance with complex financial matters or are doing well financially and solely need help growing your wealth or assets. In these cases, a financial planner, rather than a financial coach or counselor likely makes more sense. 

What Does it Take to Earn and Maintain the CPFC?

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

CPFC Education Requirements

Those who would like to pursue the CPFC are required to complete a self study course. The course covers a variety of topics including money management, consumer protection, and communication. 


CPFC candidates must take a 200 question exam. The exam is made up of a variety of multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions. A score of 80% or higher is required to pass. 

CPFC Continuing Education Requirements

To maintain the CPFC designation, financial professionals are required to complete 16 hours of continuing education requirements over a two year time frame. 

How To Find The Best Certified Personal Finance Consultant For You

You’ll find a growing number of CPFC certified financial professionals featured on Wealthtender this year and you can also search on Google by entering a search for CPFC coach.


How can I confirm the financial professional I’m working with holds the Certified Personal Finance Consultant designation?

Send an email to

What if I have a complaint about the Certified Personal Finance Consultant I’m working with?

Submit your complaint in writing to:

Center for Financial Certifications
Attn: Director of Certifications – Complaints
260 Western Ave., Suite 1
South Portland, ME 04106

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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