How to Become a CLFP

Thank you for your interest in applying to sit for the Certified Lease & Finance Professional Examination. Upon passing the Examination, you will be among a select few in the equipment leasing industry that have demonstrated the knowledge required to pass a very detailed examination and call themselves “Certified Lease & Finance Professionals.” You will be entitled, with permission from the CLFP Foundation, to use the CLFP Logo and Certified Lease & Finance Professional designation(s) on all of your professional literature and correspondence.

Before starting this application process and beginning your CLFP Journey, please read all of the requirements and make sure you can supply the required information.

Application Instructions

  1. Complete the CLFP Application in its entirety. Incomplete applications will not be processed, which includes the fee.
  2. Be sure to read the CLFP Standards of Conduct. Upon passing the Examination, you agree to act according to and be bound by these Standards.


Leasing professionals with the following prerequisites may apply:

  • CLFP candidates must have a minimum of three years of verifiable equipment leasing and financing experience; however, one year may be substituted with other financial experience; check with us for eligibility requirements. For those with less than three years’ experience, please look into the CLFP Associate designation.
  • Acceptable character, ability and reputation both within and outside of the industry.
  • Pledge, in writing, to adhere to the CLFP Standards of Professional Conduct.
  • The CLFP Foundation does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.


The CLFP Exam is offered via an online extension to the Google Chrome browser; therefore, it may be taken at any time and anywhere. Once the test has commenced, the candidate has a maximum of eight hours to answer various questions that are all automatically gradable e.g., true/false, matching, multiple choice, etc. (no essays).

The exam is cumulative and a score of 75% or greater is needed to pass. If 75% is not obtained, the individual sections are taken into consideration and only the sections that the person did not pass would need to be taken again.

The exam is closed-book and no study materials may be used.

Examination results are provided automatically upon submittal by the Candidate with a pass/fail notification. 

Reasonable Accommodations Pursuant to the ADA

The CLFP Foundation will make reasonable efforts to accommodate eligible candidates who provide documented evidence of their disability or need for special arrangements, with services that do not present an undue burden to the CLFP Foundation and do not fundamentally alter the measurement of the knowledge the assessment is intended to test. If you require special testing arrangements, you must inform the CLFP Foundation of your needs in writing upon application submission or at least 30 days prior to your exam date.

Fees and Refunds

A fee of $695 is payable with the filing of the application; this includes a $30.00 non-refundable fee to cover the cost associated with a public records background check of the applicant. Applicant acknowledges that the $30.00 fee will be non-refundable, even if the application is declined.

For those that need financial assistance, please consider applying for a grant from the Chris Walker Education Fund. Chris Walker was the President of the CLFP Foundation Board of Directors when he passed away and was very active with the National Equipment Finance Association (NEFA) as well. In the spirit of his passion for education, NEFA created the Chris Walker Education Fund and more information may be found on NEFA’s website or by clicking here.

Applicants may pass parts of the Examination; therefore, the applicant may retake those parts of the Examination that the applicant has not passed as many times as necessary. The re-examination fee is $265.00, provided that all parts of the examination are passed within one year from the date of the first Examination. If the Examination is not passed within one year, then the Entire exam and payment process as outlined above is repeated. Payments may be made by credit card, PayPal or check, subject to collection.

In the event that after payment of the application fee the applicant is not able to sit for the CLFP exam, the applicant may request a hardship withdrawal. In case of a medical emergency or other extenuating circumstance, refunds of only the $665 exam fee will be considered. The request for such a waiver must be made in writing and e-mailed to the CEO ( who will present the case to the CLFP Board of Directors.


  1. CLFP candidates must have a minimum of three years of verifiable equipment leasing and financing experience; however, one year may be substituted with other financial experience; check with us for eligibility requirements. For those with less than three years experience, please look into the CLFP Associate designation.
  2. Completed application and Examination fee
  3. Approval to sit for the Exam



A CLFP has and maintains acceptable character and reputation, and can answer NO to the following questions or provide in separate letter complete details to questions answered yes:

      • Have you ever been convicted of, or are you now under indictment for, a felony crime?
      • Have you or your firm ever been sanctioned by a leasing trade organization for conduct or business practices?
      • Are you or is your firm now the subject of any action before the Ethics or Standards Committee of any leasing trade organization?
      • Have you or your firm ever had a license to do business revoked, for cause, by a government entity, including licenses for real estate, insurance, securities, mortgage brokerage or the like?
      • Are you or is your firm now the subject of any investigation by a governmental agency that could result in the revocation of a license to do business?


CLFP Standards of Professional Conduct

      • A CLFP will consent, in writing, to adhere to the Standards of Professional Conduct and the CLFP Pledge.
      • A Certified Lease & Finance Professional will always strive to conduct all business dealings in an honest, ethical, and professional manner.
      • A Certified Lease & Finance Professional will respect ownership of funds delivered as advanced fees or security deposits and will treat in a fiduciary capacity all funds received in that capacity.
      • A Certified Lease & Finance Professional will strive to constantly gain additional education to improve his/her professional competency and will work to promote education and integrity within the leasing industry.
      • A Certified Lease & Finance Professional will never knowingly make false or misleading statements to his/her employer, employees, customers, vendors, brokers or funding sources.
      • A Certified Lease & Finance Professional will never be involved in fraudulent activities.
      • A Certified Lease & Finance Professional will act in a leadership role in the industry and always be held to the highest standards of conduct applicable to the industry.


CLFP Pledge

“By applying for certification and recertification I agree that, if certification or recertification is granted, I will adhere strictly to the Standards of Professional Conduct of the CLFP Foundation (the “Standards”).

I am aware that certification or recertification may be revoked due to, among other things, a finding by the Foundation that I have failed to adhere to the Standards. I agree to participate in any peer review or examination conducted by the Board of Directors or designated representatives of the Foundation and to be bound by the results of any such review or examination.

If my certification or recertification is revoked or other disciplinary action is taken upon finding that I have violated the Standards, I agree I shall have no right or cause of action to pursue any claim against the Foundation or any member of its Board of Directors, Advisory Council, its officers, Executive Director or other representatives and I hereby waive and release any claim that I may have, at law or in equity, arising out of any such revocation or other disciplinary action.”

Annual Renewal

Upon achieving your CLFP, there are ongoing requirements to maintain your elite status as a CLFP In Good Standing and retain the license to use the designation.

Annual renewal membership is currently $155 and is due with the renewal form which includes an affirmation in writing to adhere to the Standards of Professional Conduct and the CLFP Pledge.

Use of the CLFP Designation, Logo and Other CLFP Branding

The terms “Certified Lease & Finance Professional,” “CLFP Foundation,” “CLFP Associate,” and “CLFP,” as well as the CLFP Designation as they all pertain to their use in the equipment leasing industry, are owned by the CLFP Foundation and protected under Federal Trademark Law. Only upon meeting and maintaining the qualifications for use as determined by the CLFP Foundation Board of Directors will the CLFP Foundation grant an individual a license for use of materials owned by the CLFP Foundation. The CLFP Foundation intends to comply with all antitrust laws.

CLFP Associate Designation

In an effort to attract motivated young leasing professionals in our industry to strive for CLFP Certification, we are pleased to announce the CLFP Associate Program.

While continuing to maintain the current high levels of competency, standards of professionalism and conduct required for CLFP designation, it is our goal to identify the younger professional who wants to attain the CLFP Associate designation, while still meeting our current 3 year time in the industry requirement for full certification. Toward that goal we have identified the CLFP Associate Program for the individual with less than three years in the industry who is motivated to participate in the education needed and sit for the exam prior to reaching the 3-year threshold.

The application for the CLFP Associate Designation may be found here.

Tips on Preparing for the CLFP Exam

CLFP Exam Study Plan

It is encouraged to establish a targeted Exam date and build your study plan from there. Check out the CLFP Exam Study Guide which provides a suggested guideline for a 10 week period of study to review the Body of Knowledge in full.

Remember, the CLFP Exam is based on the Certified Lease & Finance Professionals’ Handbook, so the very first step is to order the Handbook and begin reading! You may obtain your copy here.


Study Tools

      • Check out the CLFP Exam Outline and be familiar with the Exam format.
      • Review the Body of Knowledge, an in-depth outline of the Equipment Leasing Industry. This is an excellent guide to follow through your entire study program.
      • Read The Certified Lease & Finance Professionals’ Handbook in its entirety to assist you with your studies – this may be purchased from the link on our home page, or from the link above.
      • Utilize our Toolbox to support your study plan. 
      • Make sure you are comfortable with solving for rate, yield, etc. using the concept of Time Value of Money by using one of the following: HP 17bII+, HP 17bII, or TValue.
      • Visit and search for “CLFP Exam”.

CLFP Mentor Program

After you have read and studied The Certified Lease & Finance Professionals’ Handbook, you will probably have some very specific questions. To answer those questions, we ask you to complete a short survey rating yourself on your strengths and weaknesses on the subjects to be covered in the exam. We will then match you with a Mentor whose strengths complement your weaknesses. We ask only that you have made the commitment to take the CLFP Exam by scheduling a specific date to sit for the Exam. This gives your Mentor the assurance that the time he or she spends with you will be time well spent.

Email Mel, VP of Marketing & Development, if you are interested in being paired with a mentor as you study:


Attend an Academy for Lease and Finance Professionals (ALFP)

The ALFP is an event designed to fully prepare an individual to sit for the CLFP exam. During the class, all of the required sections of the CLFP Exam are covered in-depth and after the conclusion of the ALFP, the Exam is offered, but not mandatory.  For more information, and a link to current classes please click here.

CLFP Foundation
P.O. Box 146, Northbrook, IL 60065
Phone (206) 535-6281     Fax (866) 795-5839