300 SECU staff now hold AFC® designation to bolster its financial counseling services
RALEIGH, NC (December 17, 2015) — Earlier this year, State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) announced a plan to enhance its financial counseling services by certifying employees with the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®) designation in partnership with the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®). In just a few short months, approximately 300 SECU employees have successfully earned the AFC designation – the highest standard of excellence in the field of financial counseling and education.
This number is a sizeable start toward the Credit Union reaching its goal of 1,000 AFC certified employees, who must meet educational and ethical requirements and have at least 1,000 hours of relevant experience as a financial counselor before receiving the designation. The accreditation efforts are part of SECU’s plan of creating a more formalized and consistent financial counseling approach, which involves a comprehensive process of assessment, education and guidance to help members employ strategies to take control of their finances. Over the last four months, SECU counselors across the state have assisted nearly 600 members through requested appointments in the areas of credit report review, spending plans, debt elimination and future financial goals.
“Congratulations to the approximately 300 SECU employees who successfully completed the AFC certification program in 2015,” said Rebecca Wiggins, AFCPE Executive Director. “We are impressed by the level of professionalism and commitment these professionals have shown while completing a very rigorous certification program. Their dedication to mastering the AFC core competencies, obtaining the experiential hours and abiding by a strong code of ethics is a testament to their everyday commitment to the members that they serve in their own communities.”
“Providing financial counseling services has always been part of the Credit Union’s efforts to help members overcome their financial hurdles and achieve their goals,” remarked Joan McCool, SECU’s Senior Vice President of IRA and Investment Services. The AFC certification affords our staff increased expertise and credibility, providing a higher level of service as well as consistency to the advice we give. SECU’s financial counseling program is simply another service we can provide in-house at no cost to our members – a service that will continue to make a positive difference in their financial future!”
A not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members, SECU has been providing employees of the state of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for nearly 82 years. The Credit Union also offers a diversified line of financial advisory services including retirement and education planning, tax preparation, insurance, trust and estate planning services, and investments through its partners and affiliated entities. SECU serves over 2.4 million members through 266 branch offices, nearly 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 Member Services via phone and a website, www.ncsecu.org.