Can I Get My CFA with a Criminal Record?

For individuals with criminal records, you may think it’s a long-shot to accomplish certain things like working a great job, finding a home, pursuing education, etc. For those pursuing a career in finance who want to increase their chances of earning a higher salary or getting that top dog job, receiving their CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) charter is crucial to obtaining these goals. So, can you get a CFA if you have a criminal record? You may be able to do so if the proper steps are taken with precision and care.

Your Past and Moving Forward

The first step in the process of obtaining a CFA is to fill out an application for the CFA exam. This exam determines if you are eligible to enter the program or not, and it will have a section asking you if you have ever been convicted of a crime, and had any prohibitions or suspensions. If you answer yes to this section, you will need to come up with an excellently written account of the conviction circumstances, how you have benefited from your mistakes and what you are doing now to have a positive impact on others. This is similar to a college application, and the admissions department will vary on what their opinion is of individuals with criminal records, but doing this may dramatically increase the chances of your application being accepted into the program.

Next Steps

If you have been admitted into the CFA program, you will need to endure a grueling process in order to advance in the process:

  • You must pass all 3 levels of the CFA exam successfully
  • Obtain and present 48 months of acceptable professional work experience
  • Join the CFA Institute, which includes completing a professional conduct statement and affiliate with a local chapter.

There may be an additional list of steps that may be needed to take in the process, as everyone’s situation is different, so visit the CFA Institute website to learn more.

Earning your CFA can be a long and difficult process, and it is not the perfect route for everyone. Before deciding to take this path, you may want to consider all of your options and make sure you are ready to make the commitment of time and energy that you will put into this effort. It is also recommended to get your criminal record expunged if you are eligible, as this may also increase your chances of entering the CFA charter program.

To learn more, talk with our team of experienced attorneys at 844–947–3732.