6 Benefits of Working In F&I

Choosing your career is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make in your life, which can make thinking about it feel even more stressful. If you’ve been considering a career in the automotive industry, however, getting into finance and insurance can be one of the best steps you take. When most people think of working in the automotive industry, they think about becoming a salesperson, which comes with its own set of challenges and doesn’t necessarily guarantee the amount of money you can make in any given day, week or even month. When you attend a school that trains you to work in finance and insurance, you can expect to enjoy a vast number of benefits that make this career choice a good one.

1 – No Need for Cold Calls

Working as a salesperson, even in the automotive field, means you’re likely going to have to take on the task of calling people who may not even be interested in buying a car at the given moment. This can be extremely stressful and isn’t often considered one of the favorite things to do on the job. The good news is when you choose to work in finance and insurance instead, you won’t have to deal with this issue. Everyone who walks into your office needs the services you offer, making it much easier for you to communicate and help them find just what they need. Whether they have found the car of their dreams on the lot and need to obtain the best financing package to make it affordable, or they need to insure their new purchase, you know what they need and can help them get it. No need to go through a bunch of cold calls with no results to get one sale.

2 – Flexible Work Schedules

Car dealerships need people to work at all kinds of hours to provide the services their customers need. This means those who work in finance and insurance can often get a flexible schedule that helps them create the right balance between work and home life. This can be a great choice for those who have other important obligations, such as a family to take care of or even those who wish to attend school to further their education. Even working a part-time schedule can allow individuals to make enough money to build their life on, supporting families without spending more time at work. The ability to work a more flexible schedule allows individuals to tailor their work schedule around the other important things they need to do with their lives. Those who are able to get jobs with this type of flexibility are often happier overall, which means there’s a lower risk they will leave in a short period to seek out another job and their performance is more likely to be better overall.

3 – Great Earning Potential

Some dealerships will offer a base pay rate for their finance and insurance employees, guaranteeing them a livable wage, no matter what their performance is like. However, this type of job often comes with the bonus of getting paid based on the amount of business you bring in. You may not have any control over which vehicle an individual buys, but you will have a role in how much they pay. While it’s important not to take advantage of customers, many of them are unprepared for making negotiations, which means you could stand to earn more based solely on that factor. However, even if you do work with a lot of customers who are able to negotiate the price down, you can rest assured the sheer volume of individuals who are buying vehicles means you will have a steady flow of customers, each of them contributing to the amount of money you can make on a given day.

4 – The Opportunity to Upsell

Just because you work in finance and insurance doesn’t mean you don’t have to be a salesperson on some level. While most customers will already have an idea of what they need, they may not be aware of the many nuances associated with the financing and insurance industries. Because you are fully trained in this aspect of buying a car, you can educate them on these factors and help them make the best decision for their financing or insurance needs. This means upselling them on certain products or services they may not think is necessary, helping them make the most financially sound decisions. When you’re able to successfully upsell something to a customer, you are improving their customer experience and ensuring your income is sufficient as well.

5 – Potential for Growth

One of the biggest reasons individuals choose certain careers over others is the potential for growth. The earning rate for finance and insurance is virtually limitless. The more you work and the more customers you serve, the more money you stand to make. This industry is also rapidly changing, which means you’ll need to stay on top of these changes in order to best serve your customers and continue to give them the high level of service they deserve. As you continue to learn and develop your skills, you will open many new doors so you can continue to work toward your financial and career goals. In the future, you could even move into other areas of finance and insurance based on what you have learned in your current career.

6 – The Road to Management

When you embark on your career in finance and insurance, you won’t be limited to selling insurance and helping individuals finance their vehicle purchases for the rest of your life. In fact, as long as you have the proper training and work hard in your current position, this field lends itself well to making the jump into an upper management position. While this career option isn’t the best for everyone, it can open many doors to you, helping you secure a more solid financial future, as well as move into a job that is more of a challenge and offers greater benefits. These skills can make you an attractive candidate when these positions open, allowing you to get the upper hand on anyone else who may apply for the same position. You could even potentially move into a position of management over the entire dealership.

The field of finance and insurance is growing at a rapid pace. There is an ever-growing need for more individuals to enter this lucrative field. However, this requires the right type of training to set individuals up for a path to a successful career. This means choosing the right school that offers a fast, yet thorough, look at the industry and how it works. Automotive finance and insurance is a competitive field. This means you need to work hard to get to the top. With the help of a good education, you can get there much easier than in the past. The good news is it doesn’t require a lengthy time in school, allowing you the flexibility to continue in your current career or job, all while completing the necessary coursework to become certified to work in this industry. Once you receive your degree, you will quickly find a spot for you in the world of automotive finance and insurance.

Learn more about our F&I Training Program

F&I Education: Trade School vs. Traditional School

When you make a decision regarding your future, one of the most critical elements you must consider is what type of school you will go to. Whether right out of high school or even once settled into a career, many people seem to only think about the larger colleges as options to further their education. However, trade schools are an excellent alternative to more traditional school environments. For many people, there are misconceptions surrounding trade schools that can leave them feeling as though it isn’t the right choice. Below, we will explore the many reasons trade school may be better for some individuals than attending a traditional school.

Length of Education

While younger adults may not feel in a rush to finish their education and start on the path to their chosen career, those who are making a career change later in life or who are eager to start earning the money they need to support their families, trade school can be a great option due to the short amount of time it takes to complete your education. If you were to attend a traditional school, you would likely need to complete four years of schooling in order to obtain a bachelor’s degree. For those who wish to pursue their career field even further, additional years may be required. However, when you attend a trade school for something like finance and insurance, you can complete your education in a much shorter period so you can begin working in your career field, earning the wages you need for a comfortable life. In fact, some programs can be completed in as little as a few weeks.

The High Cost

Have you ever looked at colleges across the country to determine how much your education may cost? Whether you look at larger private institutions or you were considering public colleges, you may find the tuition costs thousands of dollars each year with private colleges charging significantly more for an education. On top of that, you need to pay for books and materials and potentially room and board if the school you choose isn’t close to your home. Trade schools are often either located close to where you live or provide you with the opportunity to complete your courses from the comfort of your own home on your own time through online classes. Because of these options and the short time during which you complete your coursework, the cost of a trade school is often much less than traditional schools, allowing you to embark on the career of your choice without going into severe debt that must be paid off for many years after your education is finished.

Rate of Graduation

Another factor many people must consider when it comes to attending a traditional school is the rate of graduation. Many traditional colleges have a high drop out rate for a number of reasons. Finances are just one. The stress of attending college, along with the large number of classes required and the amount of time it can take to complete an education, can all lead to individuals dropping out and going into the workforce early. This often leaves individuals working jobs that aren’t as fulfilling and don’t provide as many financial benefits as they would have gotten should they have completed their degree. Because of the amount of work required for a bachelor’s degree, those who find they must also work full time while they attend school may also take longer than the typical four years to complete their degree, further delaying their opportunity to work in their chosen career field. Trade schools often have a much higher graduation rate and individuals often can easily complete the coursework in a timely manner, even with the other obligations they may have in their lives.

Earn a Good Salary

While any degree can help you earn better wages once you do embark on your chosen career path, trade schools can help get you started much more quickly. Many career fields require working for a while as you build up your experience and slowly begin to earn more. However, when you choose a field that can be fulfilled by attending a trade school, you can expect to earn higher wages from the start. These careers are often in high demand and may be often overlooked, which means those who enter the career field will be able to secure better paying jobs, even upon their initial graduation.

A Specialized Education

Another great reason to choose a trade school over a traditional college is you will receive a specialized education designed specifically for the career field you are considering. In many cases, traditional colleges require a core curriculum that may not align with what you plan to do with your life. This can lead to spending a lot of time in classes that have no bearing on your ability to do your job, wasting both your time and your money. Instead, trade schools only require you to take classes that train you how to do your job so you can begin working in your field while earning the money you deserve for doing the job. This means less time wasted on courses that won’t provide a benefit to you in the future.

Job Security

Going back to the fact jobs that typically follow a trade school education are in high demand with fewer people pursuing them, individuals who complete this type of coursework can sometimes also enjoy greater job security than those who enter more competitive fields. Due to the specialized training they receive, they will be armed with the hands-on skills and knowledge to perform the work properly and earn themselves a good income in a much shorter period. They are much less likely to lose their jobs, giving them a level of security for a solid financial future, both while on the job and afterward into retirement.

Job Placement Assistance

Although it’s typically available at traditional schools as well, job placement assistance is often easier to receive for those who attend a trade school. This is because trade schools usually have a smaller student body and can provide more personalized service to each of their students. This allows them to take into account an individual’s unique abilities and carefully pair them with jobs that are best suited to those skills. They typically work with many local companies to help them fill positions with highly qualified new graduates.

Work Around Your Schedule

When you complete your education through a trade school, you may be able to complete the coursework on your own time. In fact, many of them offer online classes so you can go through the course material when it’s convenient for you from anywhere with an internet connection. This means you can get your work done at your own pace so you can take care of the other responsibilities you may have in your life, including family and a job. This makes trade schools ideal for those who may be older and are looking to either make a career change or gain the knowledge needed to advance their career.

If you’ve made the decision to go into the field of finance and insurance in the automotive industry, it’s important to make the right choice when it comes to where to get your education. While you can get this type of education at a more traditional school, it is often best to choose a trade school for many of the reasons listed above. At Automotive Dealership Institute, you can get the education you need to work in the automotive industry and start on a career that offers a good quality of life and the job security you need for a solid financial future.

Learn more about the F&I training program at ADI

Tips For Choosing The Best F&I School To Help You Succeed

If you are planning to work in the Finance and Insurance (F&I) department at an auto dealership, you need to get your education from a reliable institution. However, if you are considering multiple schools, it can be difficult to determine whether you are making the right choice. Below are some questions you should ask before you select any F&I school.

1. Is the school a licensed institution?

Licensure lets you know that a school has met important requirements that set it apart from other institutions and that it can provide you with a high-quality education. Unfortunately, many F&I programs are unlicensed programs that provide students with a meaningless certificate upon completion. Before enrolling in any school, consider whether it is licensed. If the school claims to be licensed, ask the school to produce its license number and be sure to verify it with the state’s licensing department. If you find out that the school is not licensed, look for another option.

Automotive Dealership Institute has been the nation’s only licensed F&I School for the last 32 years. When you trust us with your education, you can be sure that you are getting the instruction you need to be successful in your career. After you graduate our program, you will receive more than just a meaningless certification. Instead, you will have a diploma and a certification in F&I management that you can present to any potential employer with confidence.

2. Where are classes held?

The environment in which classes are held tells you a lot about an institution. Before you sign up for a program, ask the school to give you the physical address of the classes it offers. If the classes are being held in a temporary space not owned by the school, such as a leased office or hotel conference room, it indicates that the school is not stable and reliable. On the other hand, if the classes are being held in a static location that seems appropriately furnished, you can be more confident in the school’s ability to teach you the skills you need.

At ADI, we have been in business for over 30 years, offering programs both in-person and online. Our F&I classes are held at our beautiful campus in Scottsdale, AZ, which is located at the most desirable resort corridor situated between many 5-star resorts and high-end shopping areas. We have been operating at the same facility for the last 15 years, providing students with a stable environment equipped to support the learning process.

3. Does the school offer computer training?

In order to get a job as an F&I specialist, you need to know how to use the appropriate computer programs. For this reason, adequate computer training is essential. Ask the schools you are considering whether they have F&I computers for each student in their classrooms. Each computer should be equipped with DMS software, appropriate application platforms and special finance software. If the school cannot assure you that these resources will be available, look for another institution.

ADI offers computer training for every student to ensure that he or she is ready to use all of the latest F&I software. All of our students graduate from our program feeling confident in their abilities to use computer programs on-the-job.

4. Does the school offer job placement?

Your F&I certification or degree won’t do you much good if you cannot find a job after you finish the program. However, finding a job on your own can be difficult. The best F&I schools are those that offer job placement services to their students after graduation. Ask the schools you are considering whether they offer these services. It is also important to inquire about the school’s annual audited job placement ratio upon graduation, as this will let you know how easy it will be to find an open position. If the school doesn’t have a respectable job placement ratio, consider other options.

ADI offers job placement in all 50 states as part of their education to our students. Our job placement rate (as F&I Manager) consistently remains over 90 percent over the last 30 years. After you complete our program, we will be more than happy to help you find and secure your first position in the F&I industry.

5. Is the school’s instructor qualified?

After you enroll in an F&I program, you will be relying on your instructor to teach you the skills and information you need to build a successful career in the F&I department at an auto dealership. For this reason, it is important for you to find a program with a qualified instructor. Before you enroll in a program, ask the school whether the instructor has a degree and license. It is also important to find an instructor who has classroom teaching experience and experience working in a car dealership.

Many of the so-called F&I Trainers, F&I Schools, colleges, universities on the internet are nothing more than one man/woman operations offering one to five day seminars in rented conference rooms. Our instructors, on the other hand, are licensed and experienced teachers who will make sure you are well-equipped for a job as an F&I manager at any auto dealership.

6. What instructional materials are used?

All F&I programs will utilize instructional materials to help students learn the required information. The quality of these materials will have an impact on the quality of your education. Ask any school you are considering to tell you about the handouts and textbooks they use in the classroom.

ADI uses a copyrighted hardcover classroom textbook, titled “Finance and Insurance Management,” with 536 pages of information. This book is considered the bible of the dealership F&I industry. It is not sold to other institutions and is reserved only for ADI’s students. Every student who enrolls in the F&I program at ADI will receive their own copy of this book on the first day of class.

7. Does the school have any published F&I Management works?

The best F&I programs are considered authorities in the industry and will have published respected documents. Ask any school you are considering whether it has publications of this nature. If publications exist, ask the school to produce the ISBN number or the U.S. Library of Congress Catalog Number.

ADI authored and published a 772-page hardcover book titled “The Encyclopedia of Finance and Insurance Management.” This encyclopedia is sold to dealerships as a reference manual for the F&I department. More than 16,000 copies have been sold, and digital copies of this book are now available on ADI’s website for $99.95.

If you are hoping to land a job as an F&I manager, you need to be able to show evidence of appropriate training. ADI is an organized, professional institution with licensed instructors and a solid record of success. We will teach you real world lessons about the F&I industry so that you can be sure you are prepared your very first day on the job. After you graduate from our institution, we will even help you find your first position so you can hit the ground running. Please contact us today to learn more about our F&I program.

How to Become an F&I Manager in 2019

A knowledgeable finance and insurance manager can make good money. As a matter of fact, this position is the one of the best paid in an automotive dealership. A skilled finance and insurance manager can create profit for the dealership and are rewarded in salary. And with the help of the latest F&I software, even less experienced finance and insurance managers can perform at high levels. Modern finance and insurance platforms also make it easier for financial and insurance managers to be organized and more effective.

So, how do you become a finance and insurance manager in 2019?

Starting out at a salesperson at a dealership is a good first step. Once you have a good track record of sales success, you may be able to get a position as a finance and insurance manager. But, you’ve got to be on top of your game. Always treat customers with respect, maintain a professional persona and keep learning. While having a degree in finance or accounting may help you land your first gig, getting a certification as a finance and insurance manager will give you the specific knowledge and skills to get your foot in the door. This type of certification will make you stand out from the crowd.

The Automotive Dealership Institute offers certification in automotive finance management both in-classroom and online. This curriculum is organized into four modules and covers a variety of topics, including finance software, laws mandated by federal agencies, structuring special financial deals, menu selling, dealership retail operating systems and finance menu presentation.  And if you choose online training, modules can be paused, and you can work at your own pace. Telephone support is also available to online learners. Each section has many interactive features with voice over, printable books, graphics and examples of real-life situations. All that is needed is a high school diploma or GED along with good math and writing skills. Student loans and financing options are also available. Whether you choose online or in-classroom learning, you’re given job placement assistance across all 50 states. The Automotive Dealership Institute has a 90 percent job placement rate within 90 days of graduation and will do everything possible to help you land that dream job soon after getting your certification. The program at The Automotive Dealership Institute also qualifies for VA educational benefits. Post 9/11 vets can apply for full tuition coverage, in addition to travel expenses.

So, how much will you make as a finance and insurance manager in the automotive industry?

According to the National Automotive Dealers Association, around $142,000. Finance managers are paid higher or less than the average based on where they are located. They are paid the most in the West South Central area of the Unites States, at 114% of the national average. This region covers states including Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. F&I managers earn the least in the East North Central region at just 87% of the average. This is the ‘Rust Belt’ area of the country including states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio. That’s not bad for just four weeks of classroom training. Car sales in all 50 states are also on the increase. Dealerships sell over 17 million cars a year and new car dealerships are on the uptick also.

What Finance and Insurance Managers Do?

Finance and insurance managers help customers obtain financing for both new and used car purchases. They work with financial lenders to get clients the best possible interest rates while still generating a profit for the dealership and are expected to maintain high ethical standards. Duties include:

  • Offering car financing to clients while explaining extended service contracts, dealership service procedures and aftermarket products.
  • Processing leasing and financing deals while securing approval through different channels.
  • Creating a program with the sales department for direct referral to them.
  • Understanding and following local, state and federal laws with regard to the automotive industry.
  • Training and motivating the sales team with the leasing and financing programs available at the dealership.
  • Providing the sales team with support.
  • Increasing profits for the car dealership.

According to Ward’s Auto, “A successful F&I manager needs the product knowledge, professionalism and empathy that customers look for today. In other words, to be a successful F&I manager you must be the kind of person that you would buy the products from and the kind of professional that you would enjoy working with.”

What After Products Do Finance and Insurance Managers Sell?

A finance and insurance manager may sell extended service contracts and maintenance plans, among other products. Plans offered include bundle oil changes and are usually limited to the dealership’s service department. Anti-theft products may be promoted also, including GPS locators, VIN etching or car alarms. Combo warranties include damage to the wheels or tires to cover bad luck with potholes. The pain and fabric protection coverage is an added chemical sealant to the paint or fabric. A finance and insurance manager may also offer gap insurance. This pays off the difference between what the car is worth and what a customer may owe after a collision. Primarily for leases, excess wear and use protection, protects in the event of scrapes or a few dents. Credit insurance plans are designed to help customers make car payments if they lose their job or are unable to make a payment due to illness.

How Are Finance and Insurance Managers Doing Today?

Automotive News reports that “Five of the six public new-vehicle dealership groups improved average finance and insurance gross profit per vehicle in the second quarter, driven primarily by financial and insurance training efforts, growing financial and insurance product penetration and increased retail sales, the companies said. In the first quarter, Group 1 launched Val-U-Line, a proprietary brand for older, higher-mileage used vehicles. With the addition of Val-U-Line, it’s a mix among math issue. Our financial and insurance business actually was very good, and it’s exactly what we had expected.”

The Future for Finance and Insurance Managers

The future is looking bright for finance and insurance managers. As a matter of fact, it’s a golden era for this career. Car dealerships are driven by easy credit and low interest rates, and the market is ripe for that. And the benefits of being a finance and insurance manager are many. You’ll be offered similar benefits as any other full-time corporate position. In addition to a good salary, you’ll get retirement plans and health and dental insurance plans. Plus, many dealerships offer compensation benefits for each completed finance loan and the sale of after product plans.

If you’re considering a career in F&I, be sure to carefully consider the F&I training programs at The Automotive Dealership Institute. Get trained by the best in the industry to launch your new career. Call 1-877-998-7200 to get more information or feel free to visit the F&I Training overview page on the ADI website. The Automotive Dealership Institute is a certified institution that has integrity and qualified faculty. With training at The Automotive Dealership Institute, you’ll get the best possible training to prepare you for a lucrative career in automotive finance.