CSLA Institute

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most commonly asked questions about the CSLP program. Please feel free to use the chat button to reach out to us as well.

The CSLP program is an online course, specialty designation (See FINRA), and reference resource for licensed financial advisors. It was created by recognized, subject matter experts in student loan advising.

It is used by financial professionals who seek to provide the best, and most up-to-date information to clients about how to efficiently repay student loans within the larger scope of their financial plans – both short and long-term.

The program is far more than a simple single use course like other products in the market. Beyond the initial certification, it’s a reference resource to be used in the client advising process, virtually anytime you have a client with student loans.

Here are the key features:

  • Over 40 hours of audio-visual presentations updated on a regular basis.
  • A library of resources to assist you and your clients in the various filing processes
  • 13 CFP CE credits for the first year and up to 60 CPE credits
  • Legislative and tax related reference material
  • Online support forum
  • Private CSLP Advisor community forum
  • Fully self-paced with free navigation throughout the material
  • The course is offered through an accredited public university
  • We offer a dedicated advisor community where you can discuss content with other CSLP and our instructors.
  • All CSLP receive a dedicated page about their practice, their bios, location, and areas of specialization. Much more than a picture and a one-liner!
  • We invite all CSLP to join us on our podcast series.
  • We encourage participation in our blog which focuses on many topics of interest to advisors AND to potential clients.
  • The CSLP program is accredited through HSU, which is part of the California State University system. We even offer additional college credits for completion.

Licensed financial professionals may take the course and qualify for the CSLP exam. Unlicensed individuals providing coaching services may qualify for the certificate of complete subject to the verification of business and individual qualifications. All program participants are subject to ethic and practice standards review at any time. The CSLA Board reserves the right to deny course access or use of any designation marks.

Yes, but you should gain approval from your broker. If you are a registered representative it is best to check with your compliance department before promoting yourself as a CSLP.

Many firms are encouraging their representatives to take the course because of the number of student loan borrowers and their need for student loan advice, but not all firms have approved the CSLP for marketing.
Also, you may only promote yourself as a CSLP when you have completed the required coursework and successfully passed the exam.

The time it takes to complete the CSLP depends upon your commitment, available time, and priorities.  Many have completed their certification in the first or second month. Others choose to take longer. Keep in mind that once certified, you continually receive updates and retain access to all the material as long as your CSLP remains in good standing.

CPA and CFP may apply for up to 13 hours of CPE credits once completing the CSLP Exam with a passing grade of 70% or better.  Check your state regulations here to determine the availability of CPE credits for the CSLP coursework.

We are continuing to add relevant topics to help you enhance your knowledge and advising practice. You benefit by having a dedicated resource from an organization 100% committed to keeping you informed about this subject.

Absolutely. All of the content is available 24/7 on tablets.

The CSLP program is the leading method for educating financial advisors about student loan consulting for their clients.

Our subject matter experts have been working with clients, studying the legislative issues, and researching this area since 2010. You can read more about them in our ‘about’ section.

The CSLP program is more than a one-time course and quick exam offered by other companies, new to the market. It is a rigorous program comparable to the CFP training.

The CSLP program is designed to be a resource you will use on a consistent basis when working with the variety of client scenarios.

The CSLP program contains more than course content. It is a helpful community and pool of resources to help you grow your practice as a highly skilled financial advisor with specialized expertise in this area.

The program will help you to provide accurate advice to clients about the management of their repayment in conjunction with their financial plans.

This knowledge will also provide you with a distinctive marketable skill to address the 1 in 4 households repaying student loans.

Finally, it will help you avoid critical and common mistakes made by uninformed advisors.

Consumers with student loans are being given incorrect or inappropriate advice. They need to have credible and qualified financial professionals who understand both the mechanics of student debt and personal finance.

If you are a financial professional working with consumers, this program distinguishes you from others who have not focused on learning the nuances of student debt management and repayment.

Over 43 million consumers are already in repayment and more entering the pipeline.

No. The program is for financial professionals who currently advise clients in areas of investment, planning, insurance, and tax as examples. Participants must hold a designation in a regulated financial industry such as CFP, CPA, ChFC, CFA, EA, or RIA,

If you do not meet these qualifications, a certificate program is available. Contact us for more details about the organizational qualifications.

The exam is administered online and monitored by remote proctoring to insure that designees are compliant. The exam can be taken at any point but it is highly recommended that all of the course material is reviewed. The exam consists of 90 multiple-choice questions on a variety of client cases to most closely simulate the advising process. There is a 2.5 hour time limit.

You can take the exam anytime but we don’t recommend it. The CSLP exam is largely based on case analysis. The intention of the CSLP is to prepare you to provide the BEST advice to clients. Also, if you fail the exam, there is a retake fee for each attempt.

70%. If you do not pass, you may retake the exam for a fee after a 1 week wait time.

An annual competency exam is require to insure that the CSLP continues demonstrate the knowledge required to provide student loan repayment advice to clients.  The exam is 20 questions and geared toward any recent regulatory or administrative changes that may affect advice provided.

As long as you keep your designation active you will have access to all of the latest course content, resources, the advisor forums and any other new features added to the system.

No but it’s strongly recommended as you’ve invested in the program. Why not?

If you do not certify, your access to the material is limited to 12 months from the original date of purchase. If you need to extend access for some reason such as a medical problem, contact us for help.

Renewal fees are posted on this page. Certifications are active for one year and entitle the holder to access all existing and newly added content. CSLP are listed in the directory for potential clients to review profiles and make contact through email or social media.

You must renew every 12 months from the date of your original certification. To renew, visit the get started page and choose the renew option. 

Get Certified Today.

Become a Certified Student Loan Professional.