Working with its various partners, CEFC develops innovative, consumer-focused solutions and implements them in cooperation with interested high-quality nonprofit financial counseling organizations. CEFC’s programming identifies and incorporates evidenced-based counseling practices into financial counseling content, develops counselor training on how to implement the evidence-based practices, and provides staff guidelines and support. Third-party program evaluation is at the heart of CEFC’s mission.

By developing, implementing and evaluating effective counseling practices ‒ such as a behavior-change counseling model and effective counselor communication skills ‒ CEFC initiatives strengthen consumer financial outcomes and capabilities, thereby enhancing those consumers’ ability to successfully participate in the nation’s economy.

Our Mission

The Center for Excellence in Financial Counseling investigates, develops and implements programs to improve the quality and effectiveness of education and counseling that is available to consumers in financial distress.

Our Approach

CEFC is truly a pioneer in enhancing financial counseling program design and conducting evaluation of the implementation of the counseling process, client impact and program outcomes.

For its demonstration project, CEFC has undertaken a multi-phased pilot program focused on student loan debt repayment counseling. Initially, CEFC sponsored free counselor training contracted and conducted by student loan experts at the National Consumer Law Center; the training was provided to nonprofit budget and credit counselors as well as HUD- approved housing counselors. Program analysis indicated that counselors would be able to more effectively assist borrowers with additional support and guidance from CEFC. CEFC then provided more intense financial support to four organizations to include a review of clients’ student loan debt. 

Today, the Student Loan Debt Repayment Counseling program has evolved based on analysis of the earlier outcomes. Now in its third stage, the project has achieved promising results.

CEFC is now seeking funding opportunities to expand the program’s reach to help more borrowers in communities nationwide.

For information on how you can bring the program to your community, click here.