Why I’m Starting a Flat Fee Student Loan Consulting Business

flat fee student loan consulting
There’s a lot of people out there that need low cost personalized student loan advice.

I have no idea how businesses get your cell phone number. Somehow, a bunch of scumbag student loan robo-calling businesses have mine. I received a call from somewhere in North Carolina on Monday URGING me to press 1 to speak to a private loan counselor NOW. If you type in ‘student loan consult’ into Google, there are fewer than a half dozen legitimate options. The ones that do exist are ridiculously expensive. There is a massive need for objective, math-based, flat fee student loan consulting. Hence, I have decided to offer consultations for a one time fee.

Almost No One Specializes in Student Loans

If you type in ‘flat fee student loan consulting’ on Google, you’ll find fewer than a half dozen reputable sources. Most financial advisors have no clue what payment strategy to use for student loans. They want to focus on wealth management strategies to win your parents’ business. Traditional financial advisors care about assets under management, not millennials loaded with debt.

High fee financial advisors will wine and dine you if you have money to invest. ‘Financial consultants’ specializing in ‘wealth preservation strategies for [physicians, lawyers, teachers, small business owners, fill in the blank]’ will recommend awful financial products to maximize their own personal incomes. They’ll visit your place of business and invite the whole office out for steak dinners. These men and women know how to sell. However, they do not even know the prevailing level of interest rates on student loans. It would be impossible for them to recommend strategies to pay them back.

While there are some free resources out there, including my student repayment calculator, there are few options for 1:1 attention. Since there are not many choices, and I have plenty of time on my hands since I retired from the traditional workforce in June 2015, I decided to offer flat fee student loan consulting myself to give people more choice.

A Lot of Student Loan Consulting Businesses Are Scams

I have seen a few people post on Facebook about a secret repayment strategy to completely eliminate student debt. They are likely connected to the same kind of student loan companies that keep calling my cell phone. Student loan advice right now is the wild west.

Here is what to watch out for. A nice sounding customer service rep answers the phone. He or she is going to promise you an easy solution to get out of your debt fast. All you need to do is give them your credit card number, and for three easy payments of $399, they’ll help you enroll in the brand new secret Obama loan forgiveness plan.

This is borderline fraudulent. All the advice you ever need is on the federal government’s student loan website. You can change repayment plans, consolidate your loans, and check your progress towards the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program absolutely free. You should never answer the calls of one of these scammy student loan businesses that finds your cell phone number somehow.

Why Pay Me? How Do You Know I’m Legitimate?

Why then should you pay me? I had to study the student loan repayment rules extensively to make this spreadsheet I used to help my girlfriend plan how to pay back $124,000 in debt. I also used to be a bond trader and know how to model things like interest rates, repayment periods, and private refinancing. You don’t need a consultation to figure out how to sign up for a different loan repayment program.

A flat fee student loan consultation is for someone paralyzed with uncertainty over the next steps to getting rid of student debt. You might hire me if you are unsure of the total cost of each loan repayment strategy. If you did not know that you need to submit the PSLF loan certification form each year, then you might need my help. If you had no idea that REPAYE prevents part of your interest payments from capitalizing into the loan payments, I might be able to help you.

In short, the aid officer at your college is not going to be able to recommend a personalized repayment strategy. Any student loan company that calls you is probably a call center full of out of work actors who don’t know any better. You might be able to signup for a free service online that promises to save you thousands of dollars, but know that they make money from commissions each time you refinance with a private lender.

What It Costs

All of the other flat fee student loan consulting businesses I found online charge between $300-$900 for varying degrees of service. I only charge a one time fee for a flat fee student loan consultation that you can book by contacting me at [email protected].

For individuals, I charge $150 for a consultation that involves free support during the private loan refinancing process if that’s applicable to your situation. I’ll either find that we can save you thousands of dollars, prevent massive accumulation of interest charges, or confirm that the plan you’re currently using is the best available for your situation.

I offer a couples discount where I do the entire consultation for $200 total. This also includes free support with any questions you have while you’re going through the refinancing process if that’s what we discover would save you the most money.

For really tough cases where the borrower is in default, doesn’t know the location or basic terms of their loans, or needs me to have conversations with their loan servicer, I charge an additional fee dependent upon each individual situation. This is extremely rare.

For latest pricing and service details, check out my flat fee loan consulting site.

 

My Goal: To Help 1,000 People Pay Off Their Student Loans with Flat Fee Student Loan Consulting

For a one time fee, you get a personalized student loan repayment strategy. So far, I’ve worked with clients who have saved as much as $100,000 from actionable changes to their payment plans. I would guess I could save a typical person with a $50,000 debt load a few thousand dollars.

If you want to work with me, please shoot me an email at [email protected]. I have a goal to help 1,000 people come up with a payment plan to conquer their debts with my flat fee student loan consulting business. At over $1 trillion and counting, there are a bunch of people who I think will benefit. Please share this service with friends. If you have referred people to me, please send me an email so I can say thanks.

Questions For You 
  1. Do you have suggestions as I embark on this business?
  2. Do you think could be a great service or am I full of it? Let me know what you think.
  3. What is your favorite student loan resource? Please share in the comments and let our readers know. 

20 thoughts on “Why I’m Starting a Flat Fee Student Loan Consulting Business”

  1. Have you considered if instead of a flat fee upfront, providing an option where you charge nothing upfront, and a higher amount or even commission after you show how you save people $$ versus what they are doing now? Many people are more skeptical about paying the fee (while reasonable) if they don’t know what the results would be.

    1. That’s a great suggestion. What I would want to know is say I saved someone $100,000, would they really want to pay me 1 percent of what I saved them versus a small upfront charge ? If so I’m all for it. The folks I’ve had so far have been ecstatic after the consult is over and they see. The results. It’s where I’ve gotten a bunch of referrals from

      1. What you could offer is, $XXX upfront (your current rate), or for the “skeptics”/”Nonbelievers”, a second option: nothing upfront, and if I don’t prove my worth, $0. If I do, either a commission or some multiple of $XXX. I know that personally, I would rather pay more later once I was guaranteed results (maybe that’s just me).

        I also think that when I was dealing with debt, I was rather savy, and not sure what I could have done better – but if at the time I laid out my plan and your plan saved me money, obviously it would make sense for me to pay for your services.

        Happy to chat offline (ignore commas and there are no spaces)

        Danielstefan, the number after 9 in numerical form,@gmail

        1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here as well though, very helpful. If anyone sees this comment and would rather pay 5% of what I save you with nothing upfront and wants to take me up on that, I believe I’ll be a wealthy man.

  2. Hey Travis!

    This endeavor sounds promising. As a law school applicant, one of my biggest stresses is financing my education and choosing the smartest way to do so. I think your service would benefit people in a similar position as me.

    I’ve struggled to find good tools online, so I can’t wait to try out your student loan calculator. Thanks for posting it! In the past, I’ve experimented with the calculator by the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/business/student-loan-debt-calculator/).

    As I research law schools, financial aid, and loan repayment, I struggle to find an authority on how quality of education affects long-term investment. This lack stems partially from the subjectivity of value judgment one makes about what determines a “quality” education and from what one plans to do with a JD. Above the Law and U.S. News, for example, have varying opinions on these matters and their ranking lists reflect their difference in value judgments. But, I am curious if quality of education really does pay off in the long-run. Is paying sticker for a Harvard JD worth the initial debt as opposed to attending regionally recognized school on full scholarship? My apologies if you’ve discussed this in other posts. I would love the link if you have already!

    Thank you!

    1. Hey Lydia! I haven’t discussed it in detail although I should. From my experience talking with friends who have gone down the law school route, you should go to a top 10-15 school or the best law school in the state where you hope to practice. Would I go for full sticker at George Washington Univ vs a full ride to Levin School of Law? I personally wouldn’t although some people would who are less debt averse. If I got into one of the top 3 though, I’d almost certainly go there at full sticker price over a full scholarship at a top regional school. Good luck!

    2. Hi Lydia,

      I’m an attorney, graduated in 2013 with a fairly significant amount of student loan debt. In my opinion, you have to be very careful about how much student loan debt you are taking on. If it’s Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, NYU, etc, then you might consider taking on six figures of debt. But remember that you’re FORCING yourself to work in biglaw then for as long as it takes for you to pay it off. And you HAVE to try to live frugally during your biglaw years. Otherwise, you’ll carry that debt for 10-30 years. Basically, if you pay sticker anywhere, you are forcing yourself to work and taking away any flexibility you might have.

      I was faced with a similar decision as well in paying sticker for a T20 school so that I could stay in my “cool” city or going to a similar school in a less desirable area for half the cost. I ended up taking the cheaper route, and even then, it left me with $87k of student loan debt, which I paid back in 2 years.

        1. It’s pretty shocking. I estimate that I would’ve been around $120k in debt, which sadly, is entirely normal in the legal profession. I don’t have any empirical stats, but I’m willing to wager a guess that I am in the deep minority of millennials who took out student loans and paid them back in my 20s.

      1. Hi Financial Panther,

        Thanks for sharing your experience! You make a great point about sacrificing flexibility when incurring massive law school debt. I will keep what you said in mind as I hear back from schools. Also, congratulations for paying off your loans in 2 years!

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