Certification Exam - Compliance & Retakes

Certification Requirement

Housing counseling required under or provided in connection with HUD programs must be provided only by certified housing counselors who work for organizations approved to participate in HUD’s Housing Counseling Program. In order to be certified, an individual must both pass a standardized written examination covering six major topic areas, and work for an agency approved to participate in HUD’s housing counseling program. In other words, you can take the certification exam without being employed at a HUD-approved agency; however, to become certified you must pass the exam and work for a HUD-approved agency.  

Please visit the HUD Exchange to learn how to become a HUD Certified Housing Counseling Agency. For steps to certification visit the HUD Exchange website and view the HUD Certified Housing Counselor Application Process.


See Housing Counseling: New Certification Requirements Final Rule on the HUD Exchange for more information. On August 5, 2020, HUD published an Interim Final Rule on the Federal Register website to announce a delay in the deadline for housing counselors to become HUD certified. The new final compliance date was August 1, 2021.

Review Managing Certification After the Final Compliance Date and HUD Exchange FAQs related to compliance for more information.


There is no limit on retakes for the Certification Exam. However, each retake must be purchased at the stated exam fee. You can take the Certification Exam as many times as necessary to achieve a passing score. If you receive a notice about maximum attempts, please call 210-489-1461. Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time Monday–Friday except Federal holidays.