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How to Become a HECM Counselor

HUD published requirements for HECM counselors via Mortgagee Letter 2009-47

The main requirements are:

Successfully complete an approved formal HECM training course
In order to be eligible to apply for the HUD HECM roster, you must complete a HECM-related training approved by HUD. NeighborWorks offers several of these approved courses. HUD and other organizations may also offer approved HECM training.  You must obtain a training certificate for each training event, which you will scan and upload into the roster application system

Pass the HUD HECM exam 
This exam is required under HUD Rule FR-4989-F-402 which established standards to qualify counselors to provide HECM counseling to prospective borrowers. This is a challenging exam designed to ensure that well-informed counselors are providing services to senior homeowners. Extensive preparation is required. In the past, you also had to be employed by a HUD-approved agency to take the HUD HECM exam. Recent guidance from HUD has stated that a person not yet employed can take the exam.

training in class on laptopNOT be listed on the General Services Administration's System for Award Management Excluded Parties List, HUD's Limited Denial of Participation List (LDP), or HUD's Credit Alert Interactive Voice Response System (CAIVRS).

Become employed at a HUD-approved agency
You must be employed by a HUD-approved agency to apply for the HUD HECM roster. As a HECM counselor however, you will hold the HECM roster status, not the agency. Therefore, your agency can only offer HECM counseling if they employ a HECM roster-qualified counselor. If you leave an agency and you were their only HECM roster-qualified counselor, they can no longer offer HECM counseling.

Apply for the HUD HECM roster
Once you have taken a HECM training course, passed the HUD HECM exam, and become employed at a HUD approved agency, it is time to apply for the HUD HECM roster. Follow the application instructions carefully.  Should you have any questions about the process, email hecminfo@nw.org. If you run into technical difficulties, or are having trouble with the system itself, email housing.counseling@hud.gov

Step by step instructions about to get on the roster, apply for FHA Connection, issue counseling certificates, and update continuing education information to your counselor profile. 

Executive Director/Program Manager Roles
Part of the HUD HECM roster application process includes having a manager at your counseling agency act as your Application Coordinator for FHA.  The application coordinator verifies your employment for HUD.

Once on the HUD HECM roster, you hold your roster status as a HECM counselor. The agency does not hold the roster status. You may work for more than one agency at a time, or you may change agencies at any time, and your roster status goes with you. However, you must keep your employment information up to date in FHA.