Pandemic Response Strategy FAQ  
Pandemic Response Strategy FAQ
Can I switch FiCEP programs mid-stream?

Yes, but please contact the Foundation for guidance in changing programs.

Does each student need a unique email address to register for FiCEP?

Ideally, yes. Each student will receive guided emails specific to their chosen program - Standard or Accelerated. If the student does not have a unique work email address, a personal email address is suggested.

What if I am not able to complete the FiCEP program?

Student understands that barring extraordinary circumstances, they will complete the full program in the provided time frame. If not completed, the student will be responsible for reimbursing the CSCUF for the original cost of the program, $550.  Please contact the foundation for more details depending on your extenuating circumstances.

Is the FiCEP program truly free? Are there hidden costs?

Yes! All program cost and materials are absolutely FREE! The only way you will incur a cost is:

  1. You do not complete the program, barring an extenuating circumstance. Your CU will be held liable for $550, the original cost of the program.
  2. You do not pass your initial exam and need to retest – each retake is $50 which will be at your own/CU expense.
How much study time do I allot for each module prior to each exam?

Unfortunately, there is no specific answer to this. Everyone learns at a different level, reads at a different pace, and learns in different environments.

What are my options if I'm not able to test in person or via the scheduled virtual options?

Please contact CUNA directly to schedule your exam.

If I am unsuccessful at passing the FiCEP certification test the first time, how long do I have to re-take? Is there a cost associated with re-taking the exam?

It is recommended that a student reschedule a testing date four weeks out. Yes, students will have to pay $50 to re-take each exam. Please refer to CUNA’s website.

What is the difference between the three online educational platforms offered by BALANCE, Enrich, and EverFi?

Each Provider will host informational webinars/demos, thus allowing credit unions to make the best decision for their CU and its members.

How much does each online financial education platform cost?

Providers will cover all negotiated costs associated with the online educational platforms during their informational webinar/demos. 

Our credit union already has an online educational platform. Will the Foundation pay for my existing program?

Unfortunately, the negotiated platforms with all three Providers are part of the Foundation’s Pandemic Response Strategy and only available to new clients. The CSCUF welcomes you to apply for a Financial Capability Fund grant in 2021 to help offset your program costs. 

When is the deadline to choose an online educational platform?

Your deadline to lock-in the special pricing with all three platforms is Dec. 31, 2020. 

Can I get a grant to cover the rest of the cost of the e-learning platform?

Due to capacity, the CSCUF is not offering additional grant assistance beyond subsidizing a portion of your first-year costs. However, if you choose to continue using the platform after year one, you are eligible to apply for a Financial Capability Fund grant. 

Is the financial counseling that is offered from BALANCE confidential?

Yes, your personal information will always remain confidential.

How do I contact BALANCE to receive personal financial counseling?

Please call the toll-free hotline at 1-888-456-2227. Please note that during their first call, credit union staff will need to state that they are with the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation, not their credit unions.

How often can I contact BALANCE for counseling?

There is no spoken limit on how often you can contact your counselor. Based on the situation, you will most likely create a plan with your counselor.

What is the cost of BALANCE’s counseling services after the 12-month program period?

BALANCE does not work directly with consumers. After the initial 12-months has expired and you wish to continue counseling, please contact CSCUF and we will assist you further.

What is the time frame the financial counseling is available at no cost to credit union staff?

Counseling lines will open on April 29, 2020, and be available at no cost to credit union staff for one full year, to April 29, 2021.  

Will I incur any costs during my time with a financial counselor?

Sometimes, after doing a budget, it might be determined that a formal debt management plan (DMP) is the tool that is needed to get back on track. A debt management plan groups the unsecured debt into one payment, reduces interest rates, may reduce fees, and creates a 3- to 5-year repayment plan. Not every road leads to a DMP and all options (debt snowball, re-financing a loan, consolidating debt, increasing income, reducing expenses, etc.) are explored first. If a formal DMP is needed, there is a set-up fee and a monthly fee that covers the formal collection and distribution of funds from the consumer to the creditor. Set-up fees vary based on the state laws, but the average is $35-50. Monthly fees are based on the number of creditors managed and is usually capped at $50.