HUD Certified Housing Counselor Application Process

After passing the HUD Housing Counselor Certification Exam and transferring the exam results to the FHA Connection (FHAC), counselors must apply for certification in FHA Connection and have their employment validated by the agency FHA Connection application coordinator. Every agency must designate at least one person to serve as the agency application coordinator. This page provides detailed instructions and accompanying screenshots for Housing Counselors and Agency FHA Connection application coordinators.

The graphic below includes the entire process, inclusive of both Exam and Application steps, for counselors to become HUD certified.

Becoming HUD certified involves two processes: the exam and the application. First, a counselor needs to register for the examination through and pay the fee to take the exam. Then, the counselor must take the exam. If the counselor does not pass the exam, they must register again and pay the fee again. Once the counselor passes the exam, they can begin the application process through FHA Connection. The counselor must register for an FHAC ID in the FHA Connection. After they receive their ID and password, they must request employment verification. An Agency FHAC Application Coordinator will verify that the counselor works for a HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agency. Once the Application Coordinator verifies the counselor’s employment, the counselor is HUD Certified. If a Housing Counselor is hired by a different HUD-approved agency at any time, they must have their employment verified in FHA Connection by their new FHAC Application Coordinator. If a Housing Counselor is no longer employed by a HUD-approved agency, the housing counselor is no longer HUD certified.

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You may apply as a HUD certified housing counselor, as an application coordinator, or as both. Each of these roles require different actions to be taken within FHA Connection.

This page has 3 different sets of instructions. Click on the icons below to go to each instruction set. Note that both counselors and coordinators can print counselor certificates.

HUD Certified Housing Counselors

HUD Certified Housing Counselor Instructions Icon

FHAC Application Coordinators

FHA Connection Application Coordinator Instructions Icon

Public Search

Public Search Instructions Icon

Prior to applying for certification in FHA Connection (FHAC):

  • Take the exam through
  • Once you pass the exam, transfer your exam results to the FHA connection.
    (Double check information is accurate, e.g. email, SSN, and agency HCS ID.)

For counselors seeking certification in FHA Connection:

  1. Apply for certification in the FHA connection.
  2. Request a User ID in FHA connection.
    (You must complete your application in FHA connection prior to requesting a User ID.)
  3. Request validation for multiple employers through the FHA connection after receiving your User ID. (Note: This section is only applicable if you work for more than one agency or if your HCS Agency ID has changed)
  4. Update and maintain your personal information in FHA connection as needed.

For instructions to print a counselor certificate, view the “Print Counselor Certificate” section. Both counselors and coordinators are able to print certificates.

Application coordinators have separate instructions. The purpose of the FHAC Application Coordinator is to validate the counselor’s employment at the agency and to manage the data regarding the counselor’s employment status in the future. Application coordinators must:

  1. View and understand their overall instructions
  2. Request a User ID in FHA Connection
  3. Validate counselors’ employment as needed
  4. Validate the end of counselors’ employment as needed
  5. Export spreadsheets of certified counselors

For instructions to print a counselor certificate, view the “Print Counselor Certificate” section. Both counselors and coordinators are able to print certificates.

The final section covers nation-wide public search functions on for HUD certified housing counselors or agencies.

Once counselors have become HUD certified via FHA Connection, the public can search on for both HUD certified housing counselors counseling agencies nation-wide.

Did you know?

HUD keeps track of which agencies are complying with the final rule by using the agency HCS IDs reported by counselors in FHA Connection.

For example, if a counselor is employed by a branch or affiliate agency but registered with the Intermediary (parent) agency HCS ID in FHA Connection, rather than the branch HCS ID or the affiliate agency HCS ID, the counselor will only be credited to the Intermediary. The branch or affiliate will be identified as not in compliance with the final rule if there are no counselors associated with the branch HCS ID or affiliate HCS ID reported in FHA Connection. If you are a counselor or application coordinator who works at a branch or for an affiliate agency, please ensure you have entered the agency HCS ID in FHA Connection for the branch office location or affiliate agency for which you work, or enter both the branch or affiliate and Intermediary agency HCS ID. If you don’t know the HCS ID of your branch location or your agency, you may search the map online to find it listed under “Agency ID”.