What is the Difference Between a Certificate and a Diploma for F&I?

The field of finance and insurance offers promise and a strong career path for people across the country. As you learn about the industry and better understand how to offer well-structured loans, you will be an asset to your dealership and help people get into the cars they’ve always wanted.

To do this job well, however, you need a quality education that will help you understand the industry thoroughly. This includes the intricacies of understanding credit reports, how to structure deals, and how to make sure deals benefit the dealership as well as appeal to the customer. When looking for the best education option, you will likely want to know what the difference is between a plaque or a certification program and earning a full diploma from a reputable school, like the Automotive Dealership Institute.

The Automotive Dealership Institute Difference

There are a number of programs out there that teach students about the F&I industry. All students need to do to earn these certifications is listen to a few videos and maybe answer a couple of questions. These programs then give the students a certification.

Auto dealerships themselves know, however, that this certification does not have much value. Students do not have to go through intensive training in order to earn them, which makes them nearly worthless.

A car dealer wants to know that the F&I professionals they hire have a firm understanding of the financial industry and will be able to help them appropriately manage the loans that their dealership administers. Managing these loans comprises a large portion of the revenue the dealership generates and is a key responsibility of automotive dealership F&I managers. They rely on their F&I professional to understand how to structure winning deals, encourage people to buy add-ons, and drive revenue for the business. A poorly trained F&I professional does none of this. At best, they might be able to learn on the job, which will take time and can cost the dealership a lot of money in the meantime. At worst, they can force the dealership to take a large financial hit.

The Automotive Dealership Institute, however, issues a diploma that has earned recognition from dealerships across the country as well as government agencies. This diploma represents weeks of intensive classes and training in the intricacies of the finance industry, particularly as it relates to car dealerships. To earn this diploma, students will:

  • Attend 4 weeks of classes without missing a day
  • Complete up to 2-3 hours of homework each night following a full day of classes
  • Pass 13 written examinations that demonstrate their knowledge as they move through the course
  • Learn from some of the most experienced and best minds in the industry

This diploma can be proudly hung on walls in offices. It opens the doors for those interested in finding positions in the F&I industry and working with car dealerships across the country.

Why Should Students Earn a Diploma Instead of a Certification?

Not only does putting in the work to earn the full diploma mean that you have thoroughly trained for the F&I trade, but it will also make it significantly easier for you to find a job. The Automotive Dealership Institute is the only school that offers job placement help in all 50 states. This means that we are so confident in our program that we will personally help you secure quality employment following graduation. We know that our graduates are prepared to thrive in the industry, which is why we boast an over 90 percent job placement rate.

Not only will you benefit from our job placement assistance when choosing to go for the diploma, but you will also benefit from the latest training. Most F&I professionals do a considerable amount of work on specialized software. The various certificate programs generally do not have access to this important technology, and therefore cannot train their ‘students’ on how to use it well. You will leave our diploma program, however, fully prepared to take advantage of the latest technology in the industry.

Finally, any veterans interested in pursuing an education in automotive F&I can also use their VA benefits including the Post 9/11 GI Bill to attend our program. Our government certification means that these benefits can be used to help cover the cost of earning this highly sought-after diploma.

As you begin to pursue your career in F&I, be sure to fully investigate any program you might consider enrolling in. As you do your research, you will quickly see that no certification or plaque program can come close to the quality of training that the Automotive Dealership Institute can offer you. We look forward to learning how we can help you get the training you need for a successful career in auto finance.

Get in touch with our helpful advisers today to learn more!

Post 9/11 GI Bill® Veterans: Building A Career in F&I

Although many people leave the military long before they are ready to stop working, it isn’t out of the ordinary for these individuals to pursue a new career path once they leave the service. This is part of the reason the government has put the GI Bill into place for military veterans who have served time in a deployment, as well as for their dependent family members. However, it can sometimes be difficult for veterans to decide what they would like to do after their military service. One viable and fast-growing option for individuals across the country is to enter the automotive industry, especially the area of finance and insurance. While this field is highly regulated, the good news is you can use your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to pay for this education as long as you choose the right institution.

A Strong, Growing Industry

You may wonder why the automotive industry is one of the smartest choices for those who are looking to establish a solid career after their time in the military. The truth is, over the last few years, the number of car sales has dramatically increased year to year. It doesn’t matter where you are in the United States, chances are the automotive industry is growing. In fact, car dealerships across the country project they will sell more than 17 million vehicles this year alone. In addition to a larger number of vehicles sold, there are more new car dealerships popping up across the country, bringing the total number of dealerships in the country to more than 17,000. This means more jobs in this industry are becoming available. When you get the necessary training to work in automotive finance and insurance, you are sure to find the right job quickly so you can get started on a lucrative career path that will help support you and your family until you are truly ready to retire.

Who Qualifies for the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Once you make the decision to pursue a career in the finance and insurance aspect of the automotive industry, you’ll need to consider how you’ll pay for the schooling you need. If you have previously served in the military, chances are you may qualify for coverage under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. In order to qualify for schooling funds to cover your education, you must meet certain criteria. Simply being involved in the military isn’t enough. You must have spent time in deployment for a specified amount of time. For instance, you must have served in the military for at least 90 days after September 10, 2001. If you were released due to a service-related injury, the time spent is reduced to 30 days. Any discharge must be honorable in order to qualify for these funds.

In addition to making sure you qualify for the payments under this bill, it’s also essential to make sure you are choosing an educational institution that can receive these funds. There aren’t many schools that offer an education in the finance and insurance aspect of the automotive industry, which may lead individuals to believe this training can’t be paid for with the Post 9/11 GI Bill. However, this isn’t the case. When you choose the Automotive Dealership Institute, you can rest assured your benefits can be used to pay for the training you need to enter this career field.

Why Choose the Automotive Dealership Institute

If you’re interested in entering the finance and insurance career path in the automotive industry, the Automotive Dealership Institute is the smart choice. Not only do they accept payments from the post 9/11 GI bill, but you can get the education you need to become an effective employee in this field. Because of the rules and regulations that are in place that govern the field are constantly changing, it’s important to make sure you have the education required to get the job done right. Companies are looking for individuals that are qualified for the job, so they can trust the work will be done correctly. In an industry where customer service is of the utmost importance, dealerships need to know their customers will continue to come back to them in the future, both for their maintenance and repair needs and any new cars they may need in the future. The Automotive Dealership Institute can provide the education individuals need to gain a solid foundation for their career path.

One of the reasons the Automotive Dealership Institute is the right choice for those who are looking to gain an education for their future career after their service in the military is because of the flexibility of the program. Once you leave the military, chances are you want to get involved in your career field as soon as possible so you can continue your cash flow. This means you want a program that can be completed in a short time. In addition to allowing you to work through the program at a relatively fast pace, the Automotive Dealership Institute offers their training both in-person and online so you can get your certification from anywhere you have an Internet connection.

If you’re interested in a new career path in the automotive industry, particularly the finance and insurance industry, it’s time to consider the Automotive Dealership Institute. For those who are leaving the military, this career path certification program can be paid for with the Post 9/11 GI Bill, so you can get the education you need at no additional cost to you. Contact us today for more information and to get started on our program.

F&I Managers: How to Improve Your Business Office Etiquette

The responsibilities of an F&I Manager are extensive. In this position, you play an important role in the daily operations of your auto dealership. Although your position is rewarding, it can also be stressful. Maintaining good business office etiquette despite the stress not only improves your effectiveness as an F&I Manager, but it can also boost morale among coworkers to create a better overall office environment. Below are some tips to help you improve your etiquette in the office.

1. Stay organized.

Few things are more off-putting to customers and colleagues than a cluttered desk. Not only that, but when your workspace is disorganized, you are more likely to fall behind in your work, lose important documents and feel more tense on a daily basis. Avoid these problems by keeping your workspace as clean and organized as possible at all times.

2. Decorate appropriately.

There is nothing wrong with customizing your workspace. However, resist the urge to decorate your office in a way that would be offensive to clients and/or make you seem too carefree. Instead, choose tasteful minimalist decor that supports a professional work environment.

3. Have a strong knowledge of the software, presentation and processes.

The process of buying a car can be overwhelming for customers, even if they have purchased a vehicle in the past. As such, they rely on salespeople and F&I Managers to break down each step and provide the support they need to feel secure in their purchase. For this reason, it is essential for every F&I Manager to be comfortable with his or her job and the tools needed to complete it.

Before your first day in the office, make sure that you understand every phase of the process and that you are knowledgeable about the software you will need to use as you complete clients’ paperwork. You should also be ready to explain each phase of the process and present different products and services to the client clearly and concisely.

4. Don’t eat in front of clients.

As a busy F&I manager, the occasional working lunch or dinner is unavoidable. However, if you are going to eat at your desk, make sure that you are not eating in front of clients. Instead, have your meals outside of meeting times.

5. Be prompt.

Making customers or coworkers wait is highly unprofessional. Not only is it a waste of time for everyone involved, but it also sends the wrong message. When you have an appointment, do your best to keep it. If a customer needs to meet with you, take the meeting as soon as you are available.

6. Be courteous when interacting with customers.

When meeting with a customer, practice proper etiquette by introducing yourself, shaking the customer’s hand and explaining your role in the sales process. If possible, offer the customer a snack and/or a drink. If the customer has children, offer an activity to distract them, such as a coloring book or toy.

7. Don’t discuss controversial issues.

As you are progressing through the sales process, conversation is likely to stray off-topic from time to time. While it’s perfectly fine to discuss harmless subjects like the weather or the customer’s line of work, stay away from anything that could cause conflict. Examples of topics to avoid include religion, politics and anything else that may provoke a strong opinion.

8. Don’t be negative.

In some cases, it may be tempting to share some of your complaints about the state of the world or common issues with customers as a way of making a connection. However, making negative comments is generally considered unprofessional. Instead, try to remain positive and upbeat so that customers will be more likely to trust you with the important purchase they are about to make.

Working as a F&I Manager requires a distinct skill set and the right personality. Although some of these traits are inborn, others can be learned in the right environment. If you are considering a career as an F&I Manager, the best thing you can do to ensure your success is to spend some time in training.

The Automotive Dealership Institute has been the only licensed F&I trade school in the United States for the past three decades. Our institution can help you gain all of the knowledge and skills you need to succeed as an F&I Manager in any auto dealership. We can also help you learn how to practice good business etiquette at all times. Please contact us today to learn more about enrolling in our program.

Top Earning Potential for Post 9/11 GI Bill® Veterans: F&I Training

For those retiring from the military, finding a civilian career path can be a challenge. Those who have access to the post 9-11 GI Bill can use these funds to pay for school, but they need to find a school that qualifies to accept these financial benefits. They also want to find a career path that offers them strong earning potential so that they can comfortably settle into their new life.

Those interested in establishing themselves in a new career path may find the automotive industry working in finance and insurance for car dealerships to be just the job they were looking for. There, those leaving the military can find stability and opportunity to grow in a professional sphere with great salaries.

Those interested in entering automotive F&I with the GI Bill should familiarize themselves with the education and potential of a career in automotive dealership F&I. Here is what they should know.

What is the GI Bill and Who Qualifies?

The GI Bill was created to help returning military members pursue their education and prepare themselves for a civilian career following their time in the service. The GI Bill, however, will only pay for an education at certain accredited schools.

It is also important for people to remember that not everyone who has served in the military will qualify for the post 9/11 GI Bill. To have access to these funds, you must have been on active duty for at least 90 days beginning on or after September 11, 2001. If you received a medical honorable discharge, you must have served at least 30 days beginning on or after September 11, 2001.

In certain cases, you may have received access to the GI Bill because a close family member transferred the rights to you if they chose not to use the benefits themselves. The only people that these benefits can be transferred to, however, are certain qualifying dependents. This might include a child or a spouse.

The number of benefits you receive from the GI Bill will differ, depending upon how much time you spent in active duty. With the GI Bill, you will receive assistance with the cost of your tuition and related fees, the money needed for housing while studying, some money for books and other supplies, and even relocation help if there are no good options for receiving an education locally in certain situations.

What do F&I Professionals do?

F&I professionals work in the finance department of car dealerships. They help people interested in buying a car to navigate the process of securing a loan. They earn money for their dealership by showing customers why they benefit from taking out a loan from the dealership. They also work with the sales team to promote upsells and related items that will interest these customers.

To succeed in the F&I sector, professionals must have a solid understanding of credit scores and the entire credit process. They will need to understand how to read and interpret credit scores and reports, which will help them better understand the financial position of their customers. These professionals will then begin to construct a deal that benefits both the customer and the dealership. The deal must be enough to generate profit for the dealership while still offering the customer an appealing arrangement that will help them get the car they want.

Those who are talented in the F&I field not only must work with finances and money, but they also will understand how to be engaging with customers and build a rapport to increase their ability to sell.

What Makes the Automotive Dealership Institute the Perfect Place to Study

People leaving the military service who want to use the funds provided by the GI Bill will need to make sure that the school they attend qualifies. Those interested in entering a trade school will quickly find that the Automotive Dealership Institute offers them the unique chance to use their GI Bill and enter them into one of the highest paying trade industries available.

At the Automotive Dealership Institute, you will have the chance to study at the nation’s only licensed F&I trade school. For over 30 years, we have worked to educated students who then go on to work at car dealerships across the country.

Not only do our students receive the highest level of education for their new career path, but they also receive help with the interview process and job placement across the US. This makes it easier for our graduates to secure a well-paying job as soon as they have finished their degree.

The F&I industry is high paying, and the graduates of the Automotive Dealership Institute take advantage of the full potential of the field. Graduates from our institute can earn an average income of $143,000 per year. This allows our military graduates to earn a comfortable salary following graduation.

The F&I sector offers those leaving the military life with excellent earning potential and the chance to build an exciting career. Those who want to use their GI Bill to pay for an education will find that attending classes through the Automotive Dealership Institute will offer them the chance to learn at the only accredited F&I school. Learn more about our classes and what we have to offer our recent military service members!