The CSLA Board of Standards Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct are fundamental to the values of the CSLP designation and essential to achieving its mission to help student loan borrowers and financial professionals become fully informed about strategies, risks, and rewards associated with the variety of student loan repayment options.
Since the creation of the CSLP, the Code of Standards have promoted the integrity of the CLSP designation and served as a model for measuring the ethics of financial professionals providing student loan repayment advice.
All CSLP candidates and designees must abide by the Code of Standards. Violations may result in sanction by the CSLA Board of Standards. Sanctions may include revocation of candidacy or of the right to use the CSLP designation.
Act with integrity, competence, and care.
Treat clients and others with dignity, courtesy, and respect.
Avoid false or misleading statements to clients and others.
Act in the best interests of your clients.
Do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, age, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or service in the uniformed services.
Comply with all laws, rules, and regulations governing delivery of professional financial services.
Avoid conflicts of interest. Explain any foreseeable conflicts and secure informed client consent. When working with couples and families, secure informed consent regarding inherent conflicts of interest.
Avoid accepting any money, benefit, or other consideration from those with interests potentially adverse to your client.
Take care to ensure that client records and information remain confidential.
Require clients to provide recent and reliable records before conducing your analysis. Take care to identify indicators of incomplete or erroneous records. Exercise skepticism regarding communications from loan servicers, lenders, collection agencies, or others whose interests may not align with your client’s interests.
Respond to reasonable client communications in a timely manner.
When using tools including spreadsheets, online calculators, or student loan software, exercise care and diligence. Understand underlying assumptions. Test outcomes for accuracy and reliability. Explain the limitations of projected outcomes to your clients.
Help your clients make informed decisions. Explain the assumptions behind your recommendations. Inform clients of potential advantages and disadvantages to the various course of action.
Warn clients to be cautious when evaluating refinancing. Clearly explain the unique consumer protections applicable to federal student loans.
Communicate to your client any limits to the scope of your services. Describe the services that you will and will not provide.
If a client matter presents facts or circumstances outside your area of competence, secure assistance from a competent professional, refer the client to a professional you reasonably believe competent, or end your representation the client.
Take care to identify when a client may benefit from legal counsel. Avoid the unauthorized practice of law. Refer clients to competent providers of legal services as indicated.
Maintain and distribute up-to-date information about how-to find consumer legal services and how-to contact consumer protection agencies and advocacy organizations.
Provide pro bono services for financially distressed borrowers as you are able.