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Next AFIP certification tests March 24, 25

November 22, 2010
Thirty-six area F&I personnel took tests in early March at the CATA to earn certification by the Association of Finance and Insurance Professionals. They should learn their test results later this week. More tests are scheduled March 24 and 25. Call 847-953-6055 to register. The CATA negotiated with the AFIP a tuition of $500 for all self-study materials and certification testing. For all personnel who earn certification, the CATA will rebate $250 to the CATA dealership, to encourage full participation from every dealer. The final cost represents a $420 savings compared to AFIP prices charged by other state and metro dealer associations, and private entities. The AFIP certification course is a college-level review and instruction on the federal and state regulations that govern the F&I process. Staff who are AFIP-certified can generate dealership profit and dramatically reduce the chance of legal action in today's litigious environment; they are bound to a code of conduct that holds them accountable for their actions. AFIP certification implies a technical competence and is considered "the MBA of the finance profession." Self-study materials include a lengthy booklet and six compact discs that can be listened to at the staffer's pace. Besides guiding personnel through the regulations maze, the certification course also helps F&I personnel sell products the department sells, by helping them understand the various customer benefits to promote. Certification tests pose 150 questions that must be answered in 200 minutes. NADA campaign Meanwhile, the NADA is developing a national campaign to educate con- sumers and the government on auto financing, with a four-pronged message: • Dealerships offer the convenience of one-stop shopping; • Dealerships have access to many credit sources; • Dealerships offer competitive rates and have exclusive access to manufacturer incentives and discounts; • Customers unhappy with finance terms offered through a dealership can refinance elsewhere without penalty. "There are powerful arguments in support of dealer financing," said former NADA Chairman Charley Smith. "But they are relevant only as long as each and every customer is treated in an open and honest manner and is well informed about all aspects of the transaction. "We have quite a story to tell."