The NFCC, also known as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Inc., is a nationwide organization of credit counseling agencies that provides certification for counselors, educational curriculum support, and standards of conduct for its member agencies.
Official Website: www.NFCC.org
History of the NFCC
The NFCC was founded in 1951. In the early days its objective was to promote financial literacy and conduct public awareness campaigns about credit. (The first modern credit card, the Diner’s Club card, had appeared in 1950.)
By the mid-1960’s, there were dozens of individual counseling agencies throughout the country. These early NFCC members were all known as Consumer Credit Counseling Services and provided direct counseling to consumers along with debt management services. For decades, this network of agencies grew until there were thousands of offices nationwide that offered counseling services under the CCCS banner.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the rise of telephone and internet-based counseling prompted agencies like credit.org to choose new names (credit.org was founded as Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Inland Empire) to avoid confusion and conflict between regional CCCS agencies.
While many NFCC agencies have merged in recent years; there are still counseling offices in all 50 states that provide counseling to more than 3 million consumers annually.
The NFCC provides counselor certification for its member agencies. Certifying our counselors assures that they have the knowledge to help our clients make the best decisions regarding their personal finances. Our counselors must become re-certified every two years.
NFCC Members must be accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), which signifies the highest standards of service delivery. COA ensures that our practices are ethical, financially sound, and focused on serving the best interests of our clients.
In addition to the counselor certification and service standards established by the NFCC, they also sponsor national initiatives with the participation of member agencies.
The NFCC helps its members by evaluating current laws and regulations that affect our industry. Being a member helps us stay in compliance and ensures that our clients receive the full protection of all relevant legislation.
The NFCC negotiates with the creditors who participate in our Debt Management Plans. The standardized concessions the creditors offer make it possible for us to counsel clients individually and immediately estimate how the creditors will work with them to achieve debt relief. Without the NFCC conducting this negotiation at a high level, we’d have to enter into individual negotiations for each of the thousands of clients who seek our help; this would be practically impossible.
The NFCC also helps us form partnerships with charities and grant providers to help reach a larger audience and fund the agency’s operations without being forced to charge large fees of our clients.