This post is sponsored by AFCPE® (Association for Financial Counseling Planning and Education) and highlights the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship.

There has been a lot of talk lately about financial insecurity for military families. With military spouse unemployment rates three times the national average, the high cost of out-of-pocket expenses during PCS moves, and a lack of affordable housing and childcare, it’s no secret that military families often struggle to balance a budget.

Now, there’s a way for military spouses to be trained in a portable career while also making a difference to strengthen the financial skills of military families!

The FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship is a unique opportunity for military spouses to earn a career-enhancing credential – the AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®) – while providing financial counseling and education to the military community.

If you have an interest in personal finances, need a portable career that can move with you when you PCS, and want to work supporting fellow military families, then keep reading because this is an excellent fit for you.

And, this year’s deadline to apply is April 14, so you’ll want to jump on this application soon.

What is the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship?

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship allows qualifying military spouses to achieve a nationally accredited certification, the AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®), at no cost. During the fellowship, spouses will have three years to complete the certification, which has assigned experience hours and a graded exam.

The FINRA Foundation funding covers the costs of the course study materials: three textbooks, an online study guide, eight live review sessions, and two attempts at the exam.

To date, more than 650 military spouses have earned the AFC® certification. Those Fellows have worked with more than 165,000 service members to help military families reach their financial goals.

One recent military spouse Fellow said:

“I think the networking … has been the most beneficial and rewarding part. I have met some incredible people and made some really great connections through the fellowship. I feel like no matter where the military takes our family, there is someone I could reach out to. It provides an extra layer of security because I know that, if needed, I could reach out to several places and get leads for a job.”

If you’re interested in a career in personal finance and financial counseling, then the AFC® certification is a great way to start, and can be used no matter where the military sends you. Apply before the April 14 deadline on the Fellowship website here.

military spouse working from home with a baby shows veteran and military spouse employment issues
Military spouses can work anywhere with the AFC Certification through the Military Spouse Fellowship

What organizations sponsor this Military Spouse Fellowship program?

Since 2006, FINRA has partnered with AFCPE® (Association for Financial Planning and Education) to deliver the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship.

According to their website, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation “supports innovative research and educational projects that empower underserved Americans with the knowledge, skills, and tools to make sound financial decisions throughout life.”

They focus on tools and trainings for service members and military families, and have a Statement of Support from the DoD.

Gerri Walsh, President of the FINRA Foundation, said:

“Equipped with training in financial counseling, FINRA Foundation Fellows can help military families to manage their financial lives and plan more confidently for their financial futures. And the AFC designation empowers military spouses by providing them with transferable skills and tools to plan for their own financial futures.”

FINRA Foundation covers the costs associated with the program’s self-study course and exam. AFCPE administers the certification. Together, both organizations work to create a sense of community among the FINRA Foundation Fellows through their shared mission and experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions about the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship

Is this a legit program for military spouse employment?

Yes! The FINRA Foundation is approved by the DoD Financial Readiness Network. The AFC® credential is recognized by the Department of Defense and is listed in some of their job postings.

Who is eligible for the Fellowship program?

The program is open to current or surviving spouses of active duty or retired Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Space Force, National Guard or Reserve service members, as well as spouses of members of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Spouses must be enrolled in DEERS.

What kind of jobs do military spouses get as an AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®)?

The AFC® is a national accreditation in compliance with the Spouse Portability Act. This is a career that can PCS with you! Many fellows have worked on DoD installations as financial counselors. Others work at banks, credit unions, and tax centers. Some become involved in social work or family and criminal court, to provide budgeting education, assess child support, or provide information about public programs.

Where and how do I apply for the Fellowship?

Visit the application website to learn about the program, see former Fellows, and start your application process.

What is the deadline to apply for the Military Spouse Fellowship?

Deadline to apply is April 14, so get your application in now!

Military spouses are always seeking affordable, accredited programs that allow them to advance their career. And many want to continue supporting the military community by using their skills to counsel other young service members and spouses. The FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship is a great resource for military spouses interested in personal financial counseling. Take advantage of this program and apply today if it’s a good fit for your career skills!


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