Addressing Student Loan Debt - Tips for Financial Advisors

It's important for financial advisors to take a holistic approach to addressing client student loan debt. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and finding the best option involves careful evaluation of each client's repayment strategy. Try some of these tips when looking at your client's student loan debt.

Get a Clear Inventory

Student loan debt isn't necessarily from one source, and often times a client may not know the full picture of their balance and payment history. Conduct a loan inventory that looks at both federal student loans and private loans before giving financial advice.

Establish the Importance of Planning

Some clients may seek financial guidance before the college years, giving you the advantage of early planning steps keeping expenses on track. However, according to Sallie Mae's 2015 survey, only two in five families had a plan to pay for college.

As a financial representative, stressing the importance of thorough planning no matter the situation is important when dealing with debt. Let your client know the significance of staying on track with payments and make sure they are well-informed on different debt repayment options.

Use SII Investment Resources to Inform

SII Investments understands the difficulties and limitations that student debt can place on a client, which is why we've created helpful resources to help the financial advisor communicate the different options a client has.

  • Young Investors FAQ: Gives an overview of investment options and answers common questions that young investors, including those with student debt, may be asking.
  • Young Investors Sample Portfolio Asset Allocation: Gives a visual representation of where recent college grads should be allocating earnings, keeping in mind financial priorities.

Create a Clear Action Plan

Based on your client's unique situation, create a customized action plan to pay off student loans without sacrificing other financial priorities, like saving for retirement or investing for the future. SII Investments' WealthONE Asset Management Platform is a user-friendly tool that makes it easier to identify the best solutions to complex issues like the burden of student loan debt.

Stay Connected

Developing strong relationships with your client is important, especially when there are changes in a client's income or spending levels. After creating your student loan action plan as a part of your larger asset management strategy, keep in touch to check up on potential upcoming roadblocks or significant life changes that could require reevaluating their portfolio.

If you have additional questions on addressing student loan debt with your client, feel free to contact SII Investments for additional resources.