Understand the F&I professional benefits and why AFIP is the leading F&I certification program for dealers, F&I professionals, lenders, vendors, customers – and the industry as a whole.
F&I Professional Benefits
The AFIP Certification Program gives F&I professionals the power to sell their products with confidence and authority. Professionals certified through AFIP gain a working knowledge of the state and federal laws associated with the F&I profession, opportunities for continuing development, and higher standing in the industry.
AFIP certification provides individuals working in dealership financial services genuine professional development opportunities and a distinct career path.
- AFIP’s multi-tier regulation training curriculum provides dealership personnel with continuing professional development opportunities to advance knowledge, skills and professional standing.
- AFIP-certified individuals earn professional designations to reflect their level of expertise.
AFIP Certification often improves day-to-day job performance.
- AFIP Certified professionals exude the confidence that comes from a working knowledge of the rules, backed by a firm grasp of what constitutes ethical behavior in vehicle and aftermarket purchase transactions.
- Confidence lays the groundwork for trust, which grows as customers hear simple, straightforward explanations and answers.
- The authentic rapport established early in the relationship helps sell more product and retain customers.
AFIP Certification is an asset on your résumé.
- Many prominent dealer groups only employ AFIP Certified F&I personnel.
- Certification is a big plus for potential employers.
For dealerships and owners, AFIP Certification gives your employees the tools necessary to operate comfortably within the law and to meet higher performance thresholds. As productive members of your team, they are less inclined to change jobs. AFIP Certification can also be used as proof of knowledge of F&I law and ethics to help settle employee disputes.
Certification Increases F&I Income and Reduces Losses
AFIP Certified professionals gain the following qualities through the certification process:
Answer customer questions confidently and accurately.
- Can meet the needs of a wide range of buyers without crossing any legal or ethical lines.
- Are trusted by funding sources and customers alike.
- Increase CSI – based on industry member feedback.
In addition, certification will also help:
- Reduce the number and dollar amount of chargebacks and customer complaints.
- Reduce the likelihood of agency fines and legal settlements.
Certification Provides F&I Personnel with a Working Knowledge of Federal and State Laws
- Because your F&I team execute binding legal contracts, they need knowledge of laws, regulations, and ethical considerations to avoid legal mistakes. AFIP Certification provides this knowledge and helps stop problems before they occur.
Holds Your F&I Staff Accountable to the AFIP Code of Ethics
- An AFIP certified employee is less likely to violate a law, but if he or she does there may be a defense available to the dealership.
- AFIP’s Code of Ethics is a mandatory part of the certification process. When your employees are certified you can be sure they are aware of the ethical considerations of their position.
Certified Employees Help Limit Your Liability
- You can use the employee’s AFIP Certification to produce proof that the employee was aware of the law and agreed in writing to act ethically. This shows you took action to prevent such an occurrence and that the worker’s actions are not representative of the way you do business.
Certification Provides the Cornerstone of a Dealership Compliance Management System
- In 2015, the CFPB emphasized the need for financial institutions to have a formal compliance management system (CMS) in place in order to comply with federal consumer protection law.
Certified Employees Build Customer Trust
The awards and professional designations that come with AFIP certification ensure that everyone who walks in your store will see that knowledgeable financial services professionals are on hand to help them with their vehicle purchase.
Certified personnel receive a framed diploma for display, a certification logo and professional designation for business cards, and a press release template for trade area newspapers.
Your dealership receives a logo that states “AFIP Certified Financial Services Personnel on Staff” for display in store, on your website or in print, as well as a press release template when you have multiple professionals undergo group certification.
Lender, Vendor & General Agent Benefits
AFIP certification benefits lenders, vendors and general agents in two main ways:
- AFIP Certified professionals submit accurate information and properly disclose documents, which benefits lenders and funding sources.
- Certified field representatives from lenders, vendors and GAs provide dealer-clients with valuable and timely compliance support. Representatives can help clients through the AFIP Certification process or provide oversight through simple compliance audits during sales calls.
AFIP has a global constituency and a global approach to the F&I process. We serve as a proactive advocate for the interests of F&I industry practitioners, managers, and the lenders and vendors who serve the F&I process.
Industry Member dues are used in part to fund AFIP’s lobby and public relations initiatives. Your support and active participation enable us to represent your interests aggressively to those with the power to enact or prevent legislation on your behalf. Your dealer clients and their F&I personnel will look to you as the fount from which all AFIP benefits flow. AFIP provides Industry Members with the opportunity to offer our services as value-added products.
In terms of gross dollar sales, the general agents in support of the automobile industry used to comprise the largest marketing entity in the United States to operate without the support of an advocacy organization. AFIP created the Association of Independent General Agents in 2006 to give GAs the opportunity to speak with a single voice and to reap the benefits of a unified lobby and service provider.
The annual dues paid by the independent general agents will cover the administrative costs of operating the agents association. AIGA operates in conjunction with AFIP to further the goals of its GA members and the industry at large.
The services AFIP provides its constituents assist and protect dealership customers. The AFIP Certified F&I Professional logo is the mark of an individual who has given time and energy to understand the laws regarding the sale and finance of vehicles. Certified professionals make a pledge to abide ethically in all dealings with all customers. Customers can also contact AFIP for help understanding vehicle purchase-related documents and to help resolve contract errors or disputes without legal hassles.
The AFIP Certified professional’s knowledge and ethical training enhances the customer experience in several ways:
- Customers receive clear, honest explanations from professionals who know what they’re talking about.
- AFIP Certified professionals work to meet the customer’s genuine needs in selecting products.
- AFIP Certified professionals provide full disclosures and makes every effort to verify that the customer understands what he or she is signing.
- Customers can feel confident that every aspect of the transaction has been completed in accordance with state and federal regulations.