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.

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.

New students have 6 months of access to complete and certify. If you fail to certify within this time frame you will lose access but may purchase an extension.

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. Cal Poly Humboldt (formally Humboldt State University) provides 1 unit of graduate level coursework from their business department for each one of the 4 CSLP courses.  Upon completion of all 4 courses Cal Poly Humboldt will issue a certificate in financial planning.  These credits are transferable to any other university in the CSU system and generally accepted by other public institutions across the country.

Licensed financial professionals may take the course and qualify for the CSLP exam. 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.

Only if you hold a financial designation such as a CFP, CPA, EA, ChFC, or insurance license. Also, you may need 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, successfully passed the exam, and complete the ethics questionnaire. (You must also recertify each year).

With consistent study, you should be available to complete within a month. Factors include your schedule and financial advising experience. Ultimately, the time it takes to complete the CSLP depends upon your schedule for study.  

The exam is administered online and monitored by a third party remote proctoring company to insure that designees are compliant.

The rules associated with the proctor system are similar to a live setting.

Test takers are allowed to use the downloaded .xls case study scenarios, a calculator and pen/paper. 

You are not allowed to use external xls sheets or open web browser windows or use other notes during the exam or it will be flagged for disqualification.

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.

The CSLP Final Exam has 90 multiple choice questions. There is a practice test inside of the course that may be taken up to 10 times. The individual modules also have quizzes throughout and an exam to receive the modules’ certificate of completion.

You have 6 months from the date of course purchase to complete the CSLP Exam. Extensions are available for an additional fee. This assumes purchase of the full, 4 module program.

If you purchase an individual module only, access for that specific module terminates at 6 months and extension fees apply.

You do not have to ‘complete’ the course material in order to take the exam.  You can register and take the exam at any point after purchasing the course. Based on prior assessment result, it’s strongly recommended to review all of the material and complete the practice tests. There is also a practice final exam.

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

If you do not complete the course and certify, your access to the material is limited to 6 months from the original date of purchase.  Extensions are available. Please contact us.

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 have questions about your qualifications for program participation, please contact us.

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.

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.

Renewal fees are posted on the website. Certifications are active for one year and entitle the holder to access all existing and newly added content. Certificants 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.  Renewal reminders are automatically sent via your registered email several times and at least 30 days prior to expiration.

Get Certified Today.

Become a Certified Student Loan Professional.