The CSLP Mission

Our Mission is to benefit the public by enhancing access to affordable higher education and the financial security that flows from educational attainment.

We undertake charitable and educational activities aimed at making postsecondary education more affordable for all Americans by mitigating the costs to society of borrowing for higher education.

It’s the American Dream–everyone willing to work hard should have a fair shot at climbing the economic ladder.  We know that earning a college degree increases the opportunity for well-paying work and reduces the risk of unemployment.  The burden of student debt threatens to diminish the promise higher education.  While it is estimated that two-thirds of new job openings require education beyond high school, college is expensive.  Less than 15 percent of financially disadvantaged students earn a bachelor’s degree by age 24.

Our primary initiatives include:

  • Educating the public about the risks and benefits of borrowing to finance the costs of higher education; and,
  • Supporting efforts to expand the availability of consumer-focused professional financial advisors dedicated to enhancing the affordability of higher education for students and families.

Initiative Overview

I. For students and families managing the costs of higher education:

  • A curated collection of reliable, consumer-focused, self-help materials
  • Search tool for finding licensed financial professionals demonstrating the knowledge, skill, and advocacy needed to competently advise student loan borrowers–Certified Student Loan Professionals (CSLP™)
  • Free public instruction about student loan repayment and forgiveness

II. For financial professionals interested in helping students and families afford college:

  • Four-part comprehensive curriculum: Certificate in Student Loan Planning offered in partnership with Humboldt State University, a member of the California State University system and Title IV accredited institution.
  • The CSLP™ professional designation, approved as an accredited designation by FINRA and co-issued by Humboldt State University (licensure requirement, professional student loan education, competency-testing, continuing education requirement, and adherence to fiduciary standard of care)

CSLP® For Financial Professionals

The Certified Student Loan Professional program is a structured online program for licensed financial professionals. The goal of the program is to provide training for financial advisors where they can competently advise clients about student loan repayment in the context of a comprehensive financial plan.

The CSLP® program curriculum consists of 4 primary courses with multiple sub-modules. It is self-paced, and participants are expected to complete the program in less than 6 months. Upon certification, advisors are admitted to the community support network connect connects with other CSLPs.

Learn More About The CSLP Program

Student Loan Borrower Resources

In support of the mission of the organization and its certification and training programs, the Board of Standards is committed to informing the public, specifically student loan borrowers, of the importance of using qualified professionals to advise about their student loan repayment plans.

We provide a variety of educational topics (video, audio, reports) to help student loan borrowers make better choices in how to repay their debt and choose an appropriate advisor if desired. Finally, you can locate a qualified advisor who works with personal finance and student loan repayment plans.

Borrower Resources

Our History

The CSLP designation is the culmination of more than 25 years of assisting financial planners and borrowers with incorporating student loan repayment into the financial plans. The roots of the designation date back to 2005 and the basis for the content was has been found in training seminars for registered advisor representatives across the US since 2010.

In 2016, the Board was created with the mission of elevating the level of advice provided to those struggling with student debt. Creating the Board allowed for an issuing body to insure those with student loans were being serviced in an ethical and professional manner, while also creating an identifiable credential that could be recognized by those seeking financial assistance with student loan repayment.

Student Loan Borrower Advocacy

The advocacy program as the following goals:

  • Providing educational resources to help consumers with student debt make the most appropriate financial decisions about loan repayment
  • Connecting consumers with qualified professionals with knowledge of financial planning, taxes, investments and student loan repayment
  • Creating national outreach programs to inform the general public about the range of student loan issues affecting the U.S. economy; avoiding student loan scams; understanding legitimate options for relief, and more about financial literacy.

Learn more about our programs

For Financial Professionals

Financial professionals can learn more about the CSLP program and becoming certified to deliver specialized services to clients with student loans.

For consumers with student debt

Consumers can learn more about how to choose the most appropriate advisor for their financial needs and tips on making smarter decisions around student loan repayment.

Submit the form and choose your interest type: Financial professional or student loan borrower. We’ll make sure you receive more information through a series of emails about our programs and services.

Learn more about our programs