The CFE Certified Financial Educator® or CFEd®, is a FINRA recognized designation that is registered and offered through the Heartland Institute of Financial Education, a 501(c) (3) national nonprofit. This prestigious and one of a kind designation is awarded to individual professional practitioners who have knowledge in the field of financial services as well as Experience in the area of teaching or instructing adult learners.

CFEd® Application

Benefits of the CFEd®

By obtaining the CFEd® designation, financial professionals can be recognized for their experience and expertise in the above mentioned areas. In addition, the CFEd® Designation:

  • Provides instant credibility when dealing with their clients and prospects.
  • Creates an image for the financial professional as an “educator” or “teacher” rather than a sales person.
  • Distinguishes the financial professional from others in the industry.
  • Builds confidence for the financial professional with a recognized designation with FINRA.

Professionals in the following financial services fields may be eligible:

  • Financial Planning
  •  Accounting
  • Banking/Mortgage Services
  •  Planned Giving
  • Insurance & Investment Services
  •  Estate Planning
  • Third Party Administrators
  •  Debt Management

How to become a CFEd®

The CFE Certified Financial Educator® is a registered designation awarded to individual practitioners who have:

  • A minimum of 3-years of experience in financial services.
  • Experience in teaching adult learners.
  • Demonstrated to be in good standing with financial federal & state regulators.
  • Willingness and effort to financially educate and enlighten others.

If these above requirements apply to you, please follow these steps to obtain the CFEd® Designation:

  • Apply online for the designation.
  • The Heartland Institute will review your CFEd® application for approval.
  • Once approved and payment is completed, you will receive all of the necessary self-study materials and exam instructions.
  • Take and successfully pass the CFEd® exam.

CFEd® Renewal/CE

Each CFEd® must annually renew their designation through a 2-step process:

  1. Payment of the annual CFEd® Renewal Fee and continue to be “in good standing” with federal and state regulators.
  2. 12 hours of approved Continuing Education requirement.
    • Acceptable CE courses include subject topics addressing the area of financial planning, including (but not necessarily limited to) the planning process, risk management, debt management, cash flow management, investment planning, tax planning, retirement planning, business planning, employee benefits, planned giving, estate planning and strategies, ethics, etc. State-approved continuing education for licensing renewal purposes counts toward the HIFE CE requirement.
    • Two hours of the twelve hours must include a review of instructor issues relative to teaching financial wellness to adult learners. This is done by reading the monthly articles from the Heartland Institute’s website.
    • Detailed instructions for HIFE’s Continuing Education submittal process can be found below.


Instructions for completing the 12 hours of Continuing Education:

  • Download the CE form below, complete the form with the required 12 hours of CE, and email it to or fax it to 303-369-3900.
  • Continuing Education Reporting Form, click Here


Instructions for completing the Heartland Institute’s required 2 hours of CE on Financial Wellness:

  • Read the monthly articles which can be found by clicking on Our Resources.
  • Take the CFEd® CE Exam pertaining to the monthly articles by clicking the appropriate links below.
  • HIFE Continuing Education Test, click here
  • HIFE CE Answer Sheet, click here

If you have any questions regarding the Heartland Institute’s Continuing Education requirements, please contact HIFE at (303) 597-0197.

The Registry of Certified Financial Educators®

Our certified instructors live and work in the local community and practice what they teach.  They have been in the financial services business locally for a minimum of three years and are fully certified.  Certification through the Heartland Institute requires a firm knowledge of and practical experience in financial service and adult education. Instructors in the Registry of Certified Financial Educators® are required to complete a study course, pass a comprehensive exam and complete continuing education to attain and maintain their certification.  In addition, all instructors must sign a statement pledging ethical behavior, and all instructors are subject to the disciplinary oversight of the Heartland Institute.

HIFE Registry of Certified Financial Educators®

  • Must sign a HIFE Registry of Certified Financial Educators® agreement
  • Must pay the HIFE Registry of Certified Financial Educators® Fee
  • Must be selected by the Heartland Institute.
  • Members of the Registry of Certified Financial Educators® are able to “represent” the Heartland Institute as Instructors.
  • Members of the Registry of Certified Financial Educators® have access to Heartland’s unique marketing program and proprietary classes.


Registry of Certified Financial Educators® renewal

  • Must pay the HIFE Registry of Certified Financial Educators® annual Renewal Fee.
  • Must complete a total of 12 hours of Continuing Education, of which 2 hours must be completed through HIFE’s website (same requirements of the CFEd® Designation Renewal).

Interested in being a member of the Heartland Institute Registry of Certified Financial Educators®? Please use the “Contact Us” tab to the right for more information.

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Contact Us

If you would like to learn more about Heartland Institute’s CFE Certified Financial Educator® designation or Registry of Certified Financial Educators®, please contact us by calling 303-597-0197 or email or simply complete the form below:

If you would like to learn more about Heartland Institute’s CFE Certified Financial Educator® designation or Registry Program, please contact us by calling 303-597-0197 or email or simply complete the form below:

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CFE Certified Financial Educator®


A CFEd® is an individual who has been trained and certified through the Heartland Institute and whose credentials have been accepted by the Heartland Institute Consortium of Colleges and Universities across the United States and Canada.  Once a professional has earned the CFEd®, they are recognized for their willingness and effort to educate and enlighten others, whether through the formal classroom, individual training sessions or simply by imparting important information to clients.

The proper use of the designation can be accomplished in two formats:

1.  CFE Certified Financial Educator®
2.  CFEd®

These are the only acceptable formats when using the designation.

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