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!