Our Services

Holistic Education Loan Planning™

The HELP™ Program was designed to build a strategy for your student loans within a comprehensive financial plan.

Many of our clients have told us they feel a lot of stress when thinking about their student loans, but it’s not having student loans that causes them stress, it is not having a plan to repay them.

Carter Michaelson is a Certified Student Loan Professional™ who can assess your student loan situation and see what strategies fit best into their comprehensive financial plan. Whether that strategy is paying the loans off as quick as possible, paying as little as possible to maximize forgiveness, or somewhere in between. 

Your student loan strategy will likely depend on your marital status/possibly spousal loans, your income and how quickly your income could change, qualification for PSLF, if you currently own a home or your timeline for buying one, if you have children/when you want to have children, and much more. 

Our HELP™ Program is best suited for medical professionals, educators, attorneys and others pursuing a career in the public sector.

Why should you work with an expert? 

  • Income Driven Repayment (IDR) for federal student loans are unlike any other type of loan. They don’t follow a typical amortization schedule. 
  • As the name implies, IDR plans use your income as the basis for determining your payment. 
  • Each IDR plan (IBR, ICR, PAYE and SAVE) has unique nuances including: % of discretionary income to calculate payment, tax filing rules to include or exclude spousal income, payment caps, negative amortization, interest subsidies, required payments until forgiveness, demonstrating a personal financial hardship, and more. 
  • Rather than trying to do enough research yourself, you can trust an expert to help you. 

You may be a great fit for student loan forgiveness if: 

  • Your federal student loan balance is high compared to your current income 
  • You work for a non-profit or public sector 
  • You have a high student loan balance, you don’t work or only work part-time, and your spouse is the higher income earner 
  • You are completing residency/fellowship and preparing for a significant income increase 

When is the best time to plan: 

  • The earlier the better! 
  • You are a graduate student/resident/fellow who is coming out of school and about to start full-time work
  • Build a plan before you get the large increase in income. This can be a critical factor in minimizing payments and maximizing forgiveness opportunities 

Planning Software

You’ll have access to planning tools that let you consider various scenarios and participate in the creation of your financial plan.

Annual Recommendations

You’ll receive written recommendations each year based on the action items and areas of focus discussed with your Advisor.

Fee Structure

The annual fee for the HELP™ Program starts at $1,200/year and can be paid monthly.

Looking for more basic help with your student loans?

We also offer a Student Loan Strategy Session for $500. This one-time plan includes a full analysis of your loan repayment options, forgiveness opportunities and tax filing comparison, along with a follow-up containing a prioritized list of recommendations and next steps.

(Scheduling a consultation is the first step for getting started with the HELP™ Program or a Student Loan Strategy Session.)