How To Choose the Right Finance Coach Certification For You

financial coach certification

You’ve always had a knack for numbers and helping others with their finances. Financial literacy is your second language.

After countless hours of research, you’ve finally decided to become a financial coach by turning your passion for finance into a profession.

Making an impact with your knowledge and skills is what you dream about!

Your excitement bubbles over as you imagine setting up your own practice or working for an established firm.

The anticipation is palpable – this could be the start of something truly rewarding!

But then reality hits…

Do you have to get a finance coach certification to become a financial coach? How are you supposed to choose from all the existing financial coaching certifications out there? And how do you know when you’ll have the necessary credentials to start your financial coaching business?

No worries – we’ve got you covered! Keep reading to find out:

  • What certification do I need to be a financial coach?
  • Can you be a financial coach without certification?
  • 3 types of certification and cost
  • Understanding the cost of becoming a dave ramsey financial coach

What Certification Do I Need to Be a Financial Coach?

Certifications are important if you want to gain credibility in financial coaching. These credentials aren’t required, but they’re highly respected and recognized.

AFCPE® Certification Programs

AFCPE (Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education) offers top-notch certifications, like AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor). 

From debt management strategies to retirement planning and money management, this prestigious designation includes online lessons on personal finance topics. As well as continuing education and support, their program keeps professionals up to date on industry trends.

Obtaining an AFCPE® counseling certificate enables you to provide unbiased advice instead of selling specific financial products. Therefore, clients can trust your recommendations aren’t driven by commissions but by what’s best for them. financially.

Ramsey Solutions Master Financial Coach Training: An Alternative Pathway

When Dave Ramsey started coaching, he offered one-on-one financial coaching before developing his master’s course. The course teaches individuals budgeting techniques, wealth-building strategies, client communication methods, and more to make money management practices more effective.

In this course, you’ll learn how to become a confident and successful advisor and fulfill your professional requirements.

These certifications provide valuable credentials, but they’re not a requirement for becoming a life coach specializing in finances. 

Whatever you do, remember that a rewarding career takes effort, determination, and resolve. Pick based on your interests, abilities, and career goals, so you’ll be a respected and trusted advisor helping people make informed financial decisions.

Can You Be a Financial Coach Without Certification?

In a nutshell, yes. You can start your career as a financial coach (or financial fitness coach) without any formal credentials. Financial coaches can boost their credibility by having formal credentials and certifications, even though there are unique obstacles to consider.

To provide some context:

Getting a designation like AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor) from a respected certification program, like AFCPE®, can boost your credibility in finance coaching. Training like this covers all facets of personal finance, including online lessons and continuing education for professionals looking for rewarding careers.

It can be really tough to convince potential clients that you’re good without these recognitions. The financial world is complicated, and potential clients want to feel safe in your care!

Financial coaching requires a solid understanding of personal finance principles. Even though real-world experience lends valuable insights, structured learning provides an exhaustive understanding that’s hard to match.

Full-time financial coaches deal with complex situations like debt management and retirement planning, where certifications can make things a lot easier. The lack of proper training may lead to inadvertently giving out potentially bad advice due to misunderstanding these complexities.

Think of the consequences of that. Misguided coaching could literally ruin someone’s entire life. And that’s not being dramatic.

In Dave Ramsey’s case, he started by sharing his own experiences before creating his Ramsey Coaching Team program – but not everyone has the same resources. Things could have gone very wrong if he didn’t know what he was doing. 

Pursuing A Career As An Independent Coach

If you don’t get certified, you might miss out on essential resources certifying bodies provide.

There’s stuff like educational materials, networking opportunities, and job placement help. All of these will be helpful if you go out as an independent financial coach.

It will also give you the tools you need to come up with better financial planning opportunities for your clients!

Finding Your Unique Value Proposition

Offering guidance, counseling, and budget help instead of selling products will make you stand out and attract potential clients.

In other words, you can find your own coaching niche within the financial sector. 

For instance, you could specialize in helping young adults manage student loan debt or develop unique money management techniques.

3 Types of Certification and Cost

If you’re interested in becoming a professional financial advisor, you need to know what certifications are available. Let me break down some of these for you.

AFCPE® Certification Programs

The Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE) offers highly recognized AFCPE® certification programs. This program includes online lessons and provides professionals with ongoing continuing education and support.

The cost of the AFCPE® certification program for existing members is $1,300, while non-members must pay a higher fee of $1,500. These costs cover all study materials and exams but exclude annual recertification fees or optional review courses.

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Coach Master Training

Inspired by the coaching story Dave Ramsey started? Then, his Financial Coach Master Training might align with your career goals. 

The cost is approximately $4,000 – higher than most other certifications – but also includes marketing tools and mentorship to help establish your practice quickly once certified.

Certified Personal Finance Counselor Program

This hands-on course focuses heavily on practical application rather than theoretical knowledge, making it ideal for those who prefer real-world learning experiences in offering one-on-one financial coaching.

The CPFC program comes at a lower entry fee compared to others, costing about $600-700, including exam fees. 

You might have to pay extra if you need extra study materials or if you fail your first test. Always factor these expenses into your overall budget when considering different options, so you don’t get any surprises later.

Understanding the Cost of Becoming a Dave Ramsey Financial Coach

If you want to make a career change and become an official financial coach with Dave Ramsey’s program, it could be a great fit for you. But what does it cost? Let me break it down for you.

The highly recognized Financial Coach Master Training, offered by this respected designation program, can set back aspiring coaches anywhere between $1,950 to $4,500, depending on their chosen package.

You might think these numbers are steep, but consider them stepping stones to your rewarding career goals in one-to-one financial coaching. With certification programs like AFCPE® or even Dave Ramsey himself, recouping the initial investment becomes easier over time.

Inclusions within Certification Fee

This sum isn’t just about paying off the professional requirements needed to become an officially recognized finance advisor! It also covers access to continuing education resources provided throughout the course duration and marketing tools designed to help you market your new practice effectively afterward.

In essence, all costs associated with the process aren’t simply expenses; rather, they serve as investments contributing to the overall success of your future coaching business.

Potential Additional Expenses: Books & Other Study Materials

Besides the primary enrollment fee, you might need to buy recommended reading materials not included in the base tuition price. 

After you start practicing professionally, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of various aspects of personal finance management, ultimately improving service quality. 

Actual amounts vary based on individual preferences, but generally range from $100-200 per year.

Maintaining Active Status Through Ongoing Continuing Education and Continual Support

Keeping up with Dave Ramsey’s team requires continuous learning even after earning a certificate via periodic sessions held each year for nominal fees. 

Investing in such a commitment will pay off big time since you’ll stay on top of the latest trends!

Steps to Becoming a Financial Coach in the US

You have to take several steps to become a full-time financial coach. You’ll be able to build your coaching practice and reach your career goals by doing each of these.

Start by getting certified through programs like AFCPE® certification programs or Financial Coach Master Training. As I’ve said before, they’re not required – but they’ll give you a head-start!

Educational Background: The Foundation

When you start this journey, it can help you to have a solid foundation in finance or related fields. While many successful coaches don’t have any formal training, they use their own personal experience with debt to motivate them – like Dave Ramsey, who started his own Ramsey Coaching Team without any formal training.

In short? Don’t feel like you have to go back to college for a financial degree. Going through a reputable certification program will be more than enough to help you become a trustworthy financial coach.

However, if you do have a relevant educational background, don’t be afraid to leverage it when you’re looking for your first coaching clients.

Certification Programs: Building Your Expertise

Once you’ve gained some basic knowledge about finance, it’s time for more specialized learning via various certification benefits offered by different organizations such as AFCPE® counseling programs (or any of the others I’ve discussed above).

When choosing these courses, you should take into account not just the cost but also the course content and professional requirements since they will affect how well prepared you are.

Gaining Experience: Hands-On Learning

The key to being a good financial coach isn’t just theoretical knowledge, it’s also practical experience! 

It’s great to provide individual financial advice sessions because it gives customers an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned.

This hands-on approach makes sure you get the necessary exposure. As such, you become better equipped to handle challenges that arise during actual client interactions later in your career!

But staying on top of your game doesn’t just happen by taking courses and getting work experience. It’s important to stay up-to-date on regulatory changes by attending seminars/webinars and participating in peer groups where experienced professionals share their best practices, helping newbies learn and grow.

FAQs in Relation to Finance Coach Certification

What certification do I need to be a financial coach?

A Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) or Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) credential is typically recommended, although not required, for financial coaching.

Can you be a financial coach without certification?

Yes, but having a recognized certification like CFEI or AFC enhances credibility and can attract more clients.

You’ll also gain additional coaching skills that you wouldn’t have without the certification. Remember that being good with money and knowing how to coach someone to achieve success are not the same thing!

How much does it cost to become a Dave Ramsey financial coach?

Dave Ramsey’s Master Training program costs around $2,500, which includes training materials and ongoing support.

How much does it cost to be a financial coach?

The total cost varies depending on the chosen course. It ranges from several hundred dollars for basic courses up to $2,500 for comprehensive programs like Dave Ramsey’s.

Become a Certified Financial Coach And Start Your Business

Now you have a better understanding of how financial coaching works and what it takes to succeed in this field. 

Plus, you know which certifications to look for if you decide to take the plunge!

Keep in mind that financial coaches are different from financial advisors in several countries, including the US. If you’re looking to become a financial advisor, know that the requirements are much stricter than for financial coaches.

Need help streamlining the admin side of your financial coaching business? With Paperbell, running a coaching business online has never been easier! Try it for yourself by claiming your free account.

financial coach certification
By Charlene Boutin
Charlene is an email marketing and content strategy coach for small business owners and freelancers. Over the past 5 years, she has helped and coached 50+ small business owners to increase their traffic with blog content and grow their email subscribers.
September 8, 2023

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