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November 14, 2012 10:36 AM   Subscribe

Are financial advisers usually expert in student loans? I need an expert but I don't know how to find one.

I am looking for a professional who has expertise in student loans, especially loan repayment programs for graduates in public service, to help a friend of mine whose loan situation needs untangling. What is my google search term? How do I figure out who will do a good job? What fees are reasonable?

The educational institution in question has been useless (e.g. doesn't return calls). I myself don't know anything about how loan repayment programs work. I'd like to help my friend by at least hiring someone who does understand this stuff to counsel her, and I am hoping you can point me in the right direction.
posted by prefpara to Work & Money (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
For information about student loans in general, I think you'd be better served by talking to someone from the student financial aid office on campus. But, since you're not having any luck with them, I'd try calling around to a few banks and financial advisors to see if they have anyone who can help you with your specific situation.

I can't really help you out with determining what's a fair fee, though.
posted by asnider at 10:40 AM on November 14, 2012


I actually just asked my boss about this a few days ago: if you're going to an outside party, you want a debt specialist specifically (he used to be one.) There's a lot of rules, regulations, loopholes, etc., that a general financial adviser wouldn't have reason to know, and a debt adviser makes a career out of.
posted by griphus at 10:46 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Your school's financial aid office won't be able to help with the loan repayment. Think of them as the middlemen between the lender (the feds) and the borrower (your friend). There are far too many variables to help figure out what the best options are for a school financial aid counselor to be any help.
posted by Think_Long at 10:50 AM on November 14, 2012


Seconding the suggestion of finding a debt specialist.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:58 AM on November 14, 2012


Thanks for the debt specialist suggestion. How do I find one, and how do I find a good one?
posted by prefpara at 11:02 AM on November 14, 2012


I use GLAdvisors. They have been very helpful in organizing my medical school student loan portfolio, dealing with Sallie Mae when they were giving me trouble about entering IBR, and in addition to their student loan services, their fee also covers tax prep.
posted by honeybee413 at 11:03 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Finaid.org is pretty good. Their Public Service Loan Forgiveness page is here.

One thing to note is that every benefit you read about (income based or income contingent repayment, pubic service loan forgiveness, etc.) ONLY applies to federal student loans. They do not apply to private student loans. Roughly speaking, private loans are the ones you apply for when you want more than the federal government's maximum loan amount. This distinction is incredibly important.

Also, declaring bankruptcy will not clear your student loans, except in the case of permanent disability which 100% prevents you from working. I've read of a case where blindness didn't qualify.
posted by cnc at 3:23 PM on November 14, 2012


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