Connie Unruh headshot AFC designation

Local bank employee receives Accredited Financial Counselor designation

February 15, 2022

Clinton, IL - Financial Literacy Coordinator at First National Bank and Trust Company, Connie Unruh recently received the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) designation, which provides financial advisors with practical training in all aspects of personal finance and must meet educational, experience and ethical requirements.

The AFC designation has rigorous education and experience competencies, specifically college level coursework in financial planning and financial therapy. This designation also requires continuing education, which helps keep individuals up to date on emerging discoveries and techniques.

Unruh will complete her master’s degree from Kansas State University in personal financial planning with a certificate in financial therapy this May, wrapping up a two and a half year journey to hone her knowledge and experience within the field of financial therapy. Along with the academic coursework, Unruh completed 1,000 experience hours, which consisted of client coaching and financial literacy classes. This training and designation is unique in that it allows individuals to delve deeper into the ‘why’ behind an individual’s financial behavior.

“When I first started financial coaching I provided the education or the how to spend money wisely, but it did not always result in significantly better outcomes for my clients. I could see there was an emotional component I was missing,” shared Unruh.

After studying behavioral finance, Unruh applied some of the exercises and techniques and began to see significant increase in the positive outcomes among coaching clients. She also needed to learn about behavioral psychology, effective teaching and counseling methodologies, and any regulations over the industry. After this implementation, clients had a more positive attitude towards money, and improved family relationships and an increased trust in Unruh’s abilities.

“Meeting with financial coaching clients, I can help them explore their own views on money and how experiences in their past shape how they currently use money,” said Unruh. “This designation shows my commitment to motivating people to make positive financial changes in their lives that not only benefit themselves but also provide financial stability for their families.”

Financial coaching sessions offered through First National Bank and Trust are free of charge and confidential. Any community member with questions about simple or complex financial concepts – no matter their financial journey are encouraged to reach out to Connie Unruh at or 217-935-7464.

About First National Bank and Trust Company: First National Bank and Trust Company is a community bank located in Clinton, Illinois as well as Arcadia, Whitehall and Independence, Wisconsin. Dedicated to community prosperity, the First National Bank and Trust Company was chartered in 1872 under the name DeWitt County National Bank and became part of the TS Banking Group in 2017. With $400 million in assets, First National Bank and Trust Company is dedicated to community reinvestment and gives 10% of its net income back to the community. For more information, visit