Become a HUD Certified Housing Counselor

About the Program

HUD Housing Counseling Program

  • Provides housing counseling services to families and individuals
  • Provides administration and oversight of homeownership counseling and rental counseling
  • Administers the HUD approval process to become a HUD-approved housing counseling agency
  • Administers the approval process to become a certified HUD Housing Counselor

The HUD Housing Counseling Program supports the delivery of a wide variety of housing counseling services to homebuyers, homeowners, low- to moderate-income renters, and the homeless. The primary objectives of the Program are to improve financial literacy, expand homeownership opportunities, improve access to affordable housing, and preserve homeownership.

To provide housing counseling services through HUD Programs, individuals must certify through HUD by way of passing a new written examination—The HUD Housing Counseling Certification Examination—and verifying employment at a Housing Counseling Agency. 

Refer to the HUD Exchange for more information about the HUD Housing Counseling Program.

Training Overview

Designed for individuals seeking to become HUD Certified Housing Counselors, this website offers free online training materials covering a broad range of topics, including responsibilities of homeownership and tenancy; avoidance of foreclosure and eviction; financial management; and fair housing. Offered to assist housing counselors in preparing for the upcoming, mandatory certification exam, the HUD Housing Counselors Training is available to anyone and it is not required for certification.




  • Free access to 15 training modules, 30-90 minutes each
  • Specialized content to prepare for the certification exam
  • Optional - not required for certification
  • Two formats available for study at your own pace - anytime, anywhere
    • Online interactive modules
    • Downloadable PDF study guides (English and Spanish)

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Preview the Course Syllabus

Housing counselors can use the training to obtain the broad level of knowledge required for certification to provide housing counseling services under HUD programs.

The fifteen training modules provide opportunities to learn, practice, and explore six areas of content.


Practice Exam

Practice Exam - Quick Facts

  • Available since July 5, 2017
  • Optional
  • Free
  • Not limited to housing counselors
  • Practice exam is not scored
  • Feedback includes recommendations for further study by topic
  • Completion of practice exam does not guarantee certification

In addition to the training materials, a practice exam is available to help prepare for and pass the HUD Housing Counselor Certification Exam. Developed to meet the same knowledge and skills proficiencies as the certification exam, the practice exam is offered in a format similar to the certification exam and poses similar questions, but does not replicate any questions from the certification exam. 

There is no cost for the practice exam, and you are not required to be a housing counselor or be employed by a housing counseling agency to take it.

Certification Exam

Certification Exam - Quick Facts

  • Available since August 1, 2017
  • Not limited to housing counselors
  • Available online and at testing centers nationwide
  • Exam fee required
  • Consists of 90 questions with a two-hour time limit
  • Certification requires to both pass exam and work for an agency approved to participate in HUD’s housing counseling program

To prepare for the Certification Exam, candidates can access training materials, choosing from study methods including an interactive online training course and a downloadable Study Guide, and take a practice exam. The testing methodology for the Certification Exam will include options to take the exam online or in person. Both options will be proctored.

HUD published the Final Rule for Housing Counseling Certification in the Federal Register on December 14, 2016, revising the regulations governing HUD’s Housing Counseling Program, 24 C.F.R. Part 214. This rule implements statutory requirements that housing counseling required under or provided in connection with all HUD programs will be provided by HUD-Certified Housing Counselors. 

Read HUD's Press Release announcing the New Housing Counseling Certification Requirements or refer to the HUD Exchange for more information about the final rule and certification requirements.

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