Course Modules

CSLP Program Topics

Each topic section includes an audio-visual lecture which can range in length from 20 minutes to over an hour. The presentations can be paused and restarted as needed. Additionally, the sections include knowledge tests for comprehension and a variety of resources for use in the learning and advising process.

New sections and updates are added on a regular basis. Participants are notified of changes and additions from within their learning portal.

01 - CSLP Program Introduction


This module provides an overview of the course, the learning objectives, topics covered, and organization of the material. It also includes a presentation on the key features of the Learning Management System.

02 - Addressing the Student Debt Problem


This module covers the scope of the student loan problem and the affecting the U.S. economy. This module will be useful as you market your practice and CSLP to the public by outlining the problems affecting consumers. It underscores the need for qualified financial advisors who can speak accurately about loan programs, repayment planning while correctly assessing and advising borrowers.

03 - The Advising Process

The CSLP Advising Process

This module provides an overview of the major steps involved in client consultations including data collection, goal identification, analysis, and presentation. It will cover how to assess and make recommendations based on knowledge of the rules associated with repayment plans. This module works in conjunction with the case studies found later in the program.

04 - Federal Student Loan Programs – Types and Terms


This module identifies and discusses the present and formerly available Federal Student Loan programs. It covers key areas of each that are typically the most relevant to clients with pre-existing loans and their future trajectory.

05 - Managing the NSLDS

CSLP Managing the NSLDS

This module illustrates the process of retrieving the latest client data from the NSLDS. Advisors should understand the issues surrounding navigating this system and the problems clients may experience when accessing and reading their student loan data.

06 - Private Student Loans


This module will address the terms and features of private student loans. It will present a framework for developing recommendations for clients who have private loans including evaluating refinance options, considerations when thinking about refinancing, minimizing overall costs, understanding default triggers, and releasing cosigners.

07 - Student Loan Defaults


This lesson provides an overview of how student loan default works, its effects, and the strategies for curing default. It explains the procedures and differences between federal and private defaults; how to deal with collections; the rehabilitation process; and consolidation options.

08 - Bankruptcy and Student Loans


This module summarizes the treatment of student loans within bankruptcy proceedings. It identifies the process, qualification, and tax considerations of loan discharge.

09 - Student Loan Discharge


This module sets for the rules and processes for discharging student loans.

10 - Federal Loan Repayment Plans


This lesson explains the traditional repayment plans for federal student loans. It covers the various repayment options including standard, graduated, extended, and how to calculate monthly payments under each plan.

11 - Deferment and Forbearance


This module will identify the available options for postponing payments based on hardship conditions. This applies to federal student loans. It addresses the distinction between deferrals and forbearance as well as alternatives to postponing repayment.

12 - Direct Loan Consolidation


This module covers the mechanics of consolidation and the reasons why a client should or should not consider consolidation. Also, it discusses private loan consolidation and the risks and implications.

13 - Introduction to Income Driven Repayment Plans


This module provides a framework for understanding and comparing Income-Driven Repayment plans. It will detail the features and eligibility requirements of each IDR plan, as well as relevant procedural considerations.

14 - “Old” Income Based Repayment Plan


This lesson covers the features and eligibility requirements of the "New" Income-based repayment plan, as well as relevant procedural considerations.

15 - “New” Income Based Repayment Plan


This lesson covers the features and eligibility requirements of the "New" Income-based repayment plan, as well as relevant procedural considerations.

16 - PAYE (Pay as you earn) plan


A detailed overview of the Pay as You Earn repayment program and its mechanics.

17 - REPAYE (Revised Pay as you earn plan)


A detailed overview of the REVISED Pay as you earn program and its mechanics.

18 - Income Contingent Repayment Plan


A detailed overview of the Income Contingent Repayment plan.

19 - Interest and Payment Crediting


This module covers how interest and principle are credited to student loan payments depending on the selected program.

20 - Income Documentation – IDR Enrollment and Forms


This lesson covers the importance of regular income documentation and updates to their loan servicer. This applies to people who are in Income Based Repayment Plans

21 - Calculating Payments for Income-Driven Repayment Plans


This module breaks down the process for determining payment amounts under each Income-Driven plan and according to a borrower's marital status and income. Case examples illustrate how payments are calculated and applied.

22 - Income Driven Repayment Plans When Both Spouses Have Student Loans


This module discusses the complex nature of advising married clients who both have student. It addresses the common errors made with repayment planning, tax filing, and payment calculation.

23 - Tax Implications of Income Based Repayment Plans – Part 1


This module highlights the intersection of taxes and student loans including which loan repayment assistance programs provide taxable benefits as well as how tax planning and preparation influence income-driven repayment and forgiveness.

24 - Tax Implications of Income Based Repayment Plans – Part 2


This is a continuation of the preceding presentation on tax implications of Income Based Repayment plans.

25 - Federal Loan Forgiveness


This module provides information regarding long-term, income-driven forgiveness including how to determine when forgiveness will take place under each plan and tax consequences of forgiveness.

26 - Public Service Loan Forgiveness


This module sets out the requirements for Public Service Loan Forgiveness including eligible loans, qualifying employment, and procedural considerations.

27 - Annual Income Documentation Requirement For IBR Plans


This module covers the process of documenting income for clients in IDR plans, sets out procedural and servicing challenges, and offers guidance for navigating the process.

28 - Income Driven Repayment Plans and the Planning Process


This module provides a structure for integrating student loan management within a holistic financial plan including retirement, insurance, and business ownership considerations. It addresses how student loan repayment decisions must be reviewed in light of retirement, business planning, disability, home purchase, treatment of retained earnings and other topics.

29 - Home Ownership Considerations


A review of the impact of student loans to home purchases and mortgages

30 - Advisors and Loan Servicers


This module describes the companies assigned to administer loan programs, the typical challenges of working with these companies, and how to best protect your client's interests. It also addresses how to work with the client's loan servicer and the common problems that occur. (Updates coming soon)

31 - Case Study Introduction


This presentation explains the structure of the case studies and their importance in learning an effective advising process.

32 - Case Study – Sarah


Sarah is single, 25 and a new veterinarian earning 85k/year. Her student debt is approximately 200k. She, like many new early career professionals, needs a strategy to repay the loans and manage monthly expenses. She anticipates about 3% annual income growth and an income cap of 150k at peak earning. What is her best repayment strategy?

33 - Case Study – Jackson


Jackson is a married school teacher with a family income of approximately 100k/yr. He is in a graduated loan repayment plan. His concerns are the restrictions this debt has on his family's future. Does he qualify for public service loan forgiveness? Is there a better repayment plan available that will provide cash flow relief?

34 - Case Study – Jimmy


Jimmy is single with an MBA earning about 55k/year. He expects to make around 100k a year in the future but his loans (120k) are holding back the potential for a family. What are his options?

35 - Case Study – Lin


Lin is a nurse earning approximately 63k/year and over 1k/month dedicated to loan repayment. She has a mix of loan types include a high interest private loan. What are her best options to reduce the monthly cash flow pressure?

36 - Case Study – Dan


Dan is 55 and married with three adult children. He has a family income of approximately 170k. He has loans of 250k and would like to retire in less than 10 years. What strategies would work best for him to help achieve his goals?

37 - Case Study – Jose and Sophia


Both Jose and Sophia have student loans. This case illustrates the complexities when advising a married couple with loans. Additionally, both work in healthcare with high earning potential.

38 - Certification Exam Overview

cslp program

Once you have completed all of the coursework you may take the CSLP Exam. Upon course completion, you will receive a notification for enrollment in the exam which is hosted on a site for remote proctoring. Please review the information in this section to learn more.

39 - Annual Recertification

Your CSLP designation is good for 1 year. You must re-certify each year by taking a short, open book exam containing new material and changes over the prior year. You will be notified approximately 90