I wanted to take a break from my typical blogging posts to say thank you to our clients. Back when I launched this business in late September / early October of this year, I had no idea that we would be sitting here today with $50 million of loans that I’ve personally consulted on. I’m humbled by the trust clients have placed in me, and am looking forward to helping a lot more people. So what does $50 million in student debt look like?
Average Student Loan Planner Client’s Loan Balance is over $250,000
If you’ve got a lot of student debt, you’re in good company here. I got into helping people understand their loan repayment options after I helped my fiancee conquer her six figure med school loans. If I had to place myself in your shoes, I’d probably be a little uncertain whether I wanted to reach out and pay a guy on the internet a flat fee for a comprehensive analysis of my student debt.
I’d probably rather not think about it. If I owed a small amount, I’d just try to figure out the student loan payback myself. Perhaps for that reason, this business is drawing a lot of very high income, high student debt individuals because Student Loan Planner provides a level of analysis that’s frankly absent almost everywhere in the financial industry.
If you visit your financial advisor, ask how to repay your student debt. They’re probably going to do one of four things. They’ll either honestly tell you that student debt is not an area where they have the necessary expertise, repeat boilerplate advice about paying off the highest interest rate loan first, tell you to sign up for income driven repayment, or try to sound knowledgeable to win your business on the stuff they actually make money on.
I Think We’ve Helped Take Market Share from Shady Operations
There’s loads of very questionable student debt relief companies out there that market aggressively. They make their websites look like they’re affiliated with the Dept of Education and then put in tiny font at the bottom of the page that they’re not affiliated. They’ll claim they can get your loans forgiven, which is just plain wrong.
You can work towards a strategy that could result in full or partial forgiveness, but to say that it’s going to happen right away or imply that it will is just horribly misleading. These companies have figured out how to game Google’s algorithms and thus show up high in the rankings for commonly searched phrases like “Obama student loan forgiveness” or “Trump student loan forgiveness.”
Many companies operating in the student loan space want to make a quick buck. They’ll sign you up for the income driven repayment option with the lowest monthly payment and move on. There’s not even a comparison to what we do. My goal is to have every client satisfied with a holistic analysis of their options so that they understand exactly the pros and cons for every strategy. Then they can make an informed decision and have a resource like Student Loan Planner to rely on for help.
I give away my most sophisticated tool for free, so you’ll see that I’m the one that built it and therefore probably can help you a ton with understanding the cost of the different student loan repayment options.
We’re Trying to Grow to Be One of the Larger Players in the Student Loan Space
The biggest source of referrals right now has been word of mouth from clients. If you’re one of these prior clients, I’m extremely grateful. I’m going to keep working hard to earn your trust so that when you send friends and families to Student Loan Planner for help, you can feel great about it.
There are several new companies in the student loan space, and many provide good advice and assistance paying back student loans. However, many blogs and student loan companies have a big conflict of interest from refinancing bonuses. We have that same conflict of interest, but we try to do something that not every company does. If you look at the links to student loan companies in the sidebar, we share the referral bonus with you. Many of the most popular student loan sites do not do that, on the premise that “it’s an important decision and shouldn’t be influenced by gimmicky bonuses.” I’d rather always be transparent and share the economics with readers and clients.
Our Service is Crafted to Deliver the Best Objective Help Possible
While our consult fees could change in the future, my goal is to be one of the lowest cost providers of competent student loan help in the market while also being the best.
One way we can do that is thanks to our hybrid compensation model. What I mean is that the only fee a client pays is the flat fee for the consult. However, we receive referral bonuses when someone refinances. That’s an additional profit source that allows us to keep the cost of a consult low. Other student loan consulting businesses have recurring fees and much higher base consult rates.
We charge for a comprehensive student loan analysis. I never want to be incentivized to just do student loan refinancings. The majority of the time, staying on the federal loan system and using it for maximum benefit is the right thing to do. However, sometimes searching for a better interest rate through a private lender is better, particularly for a high income borrower working in the private sector. We strive to deliver to clients a different and personalized strategy every time.
We’re Working with a Lot of Grad School Professionals
I’ve learned a ton about the inner workings of major American professions. I’ve helped chiropractors, dentists, veterinarians, doctors, lawyers, psychologists, teachers, pharmacists, physical therapists, marriage counselors, government employees, chemists, nurse practitioners, pastors, optometrists, physician’s assistants, nurses, middle managers, startup founders, and more.
I expect I’ll find more professions that have unusually high debt to income ratios as we grow. Student Loan Planner has worked with enough clients now that we’re even having multiple sub groups where I can estimate how much debt someone will probably have based on their sub-specialty.
All this occupational specific knowledge will be super helpful to clients long term. While we always keep individual client info confidential unless they tell us otherwise, aggregate large sample statistics have been really helpful to our clients and it’s added value beyond just a student loan consult. We’ve pointed folks to compensation consultants, retirement plan advisors, budget ninjas, practice consultants, and more and we do so in a transparent way to try to help the client wherever we can.
If You or Someone You Love Has Student Debt, Send ‘Em Our Way. We Can Probably Help
My goal is to help as many people as possible with their student debt and increase the return on investment from their education. I can’t believe we’ve consulted on $50 million of student debt, which is about 0.003% of all student loans in America. If you or someone you love is struggling with five or six figure loans from grad school or undergrad, you’ll come away from a flat fee consult with me understanding more about your student debt than you ever have before.
All Student Loan Planner does is help people save money on their student debt. I’ve become an expert in this field. When we do a consult, there’s no hidden fees, agendas, products we’re trying to sell, or anything like that. When you do a consult through Student Loan Planner, I want you to feel like I’m treating the debt repayment strategy as seriously as I would if those loans were my own.
So if you’re a past client, thank you. I’m super grateful and hopefully you can feel like you were a part of something if we’re lucky enough to grow this business to consulting with $100 million of student debt.
Update: We did it, passed $100 million managed in mid July