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Broadsword Student Advantage Sells People Student Loan Help They Could Get for Free

A reader wanted to know more about a radio commercial they heard in California that was promising a student loan assistance or consolidation program. The reader said the telephone number in the radio advertisement was 800-514-9773 and they thought the company was Student Advantage.

So I called to find out what the service was all about.The telephone was answered by a very nice sales representative, Tim. Tim tells me their program allows them to consolidate federal student loan debt.

The Broadsword Student Advantage website says their services are geared towards people that need to improve their financial situation. “We have options and expertise to get you through these uncertain times and provide you with a solution to help you meet your loan obligations while you improve your financial situation.” – Source

Tim says they can consolidate my government student loans and my payment for the consolidated student loan standard program payment is $282.95. What comes to light later is that that payment includes a monthly fee of $49.95 that is not paid towards the student loan but instead paid to some financial planning product Broadsword Student Advantage is delivering or promoting.

Tim later sends me a breakdown of the available payments that shows the standard program payment to be $233.41. But what is very interesting is that the payment breakdown he emails me looks exactly like results from the payment calculator available for free on the Department of Education website. You can click here for the free government student loan consolidation calculator.

Payment Estimates

Broadsword Student Advantage Sells People Student Loan Help They Could Get for Free Broadsword Student Advantage Sells People Student Loan Help They Could Get for Free

Broadsword Sales Staff Commission Compensated

From an employment advertisement online it appears Broadsword Student Advantage is looking for sales staff that “puts our customers first and can sympathize with their situation.” That quote will become more interesting as you read on. And it is quite possible that Tim is a commission compensated sales consultant.

The employment advertisement offers “a $250,000 per year potential and a career path at our sister company!”

And that sister company apparently leads to someone becoming a financial advisor.

Sales consultants are compensated with a base pay plus commission. – Source

The fact the sales staff is commission compensated is important for consumers to know because they may be pushed a product that is more in the interest of the sales person earning the commission than as a sound financial decision.

Broadsword Student Advantage Sells People Student Loan Help They Could Get for Free

Program Costs

Despite repeated requests for Tim to send me an agreement for their services, which I do not get by the time of this publication, Tim does clearly say in the secret shopper call the $49.95 fee is a monthly fee.

His program estimate says the standard program is for 240 months. The total fee paid would then be a commitment for $11,988. I would be interested to know if the client agreement put the consumer on the hook for the entire amount up front.

The $49.95 a month fee is supposed to be for an added financial planning resource for all sorts of advice, who can also assist with debt settlement.

But let’s look at the true program cost.

If the consumer went directly to the government and consolidated their loans for free they would not have to pay the extra $49.95 monthly fee. Instead, that fee could be applied to their student loans.

If the full $282.95 monthly payment Broadsword Student Advantage asked for was instead paid towards the loan, the 20 year student loan would be repaid in 14 years, saving the consumer 6 years of payments. If those six years of payments were then invested after the loan was paid off early it would be worth $24,932.

Considering the lost rate of return at 6.625% if the $49.95 per month was paid into something with that rate of return, over 20 years it would be worth $24,867.

The loss of that return for the consumer seems to be horrible financial planning advice and how does that put “our customers first and can sympathize with their situation” as they represent in their employment advertisement?

Affordable Life Plans, LLC

An email from Tim tells me the financial planning company is Affordable Life Plans that happens to be located at the exact same address and suite as Broadsword Student Advantage.

7668 Warren Parkway
Suite 375
Frisco, Texas 75034

Interestingly, Affordable Life Plans makes available a document on their website that appears to have been filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission that says they do not pay any compensation for client referrals.

Broadsword Student Advantage Sells People Student Loan Help They Could Get for Free

Yet part of the $49.95 monthly fee charged by the student loan company is for the Affordable Life Plans service. So does the disclosure indicate that Broadsword Student Advantage is selling the Affordable Life Plans service and receiving no compensation at all?

Affordable Life Plans says “management persons/executive officers; Robert W. Boyd III and Kenneth Leroy Talbert.” – Source

Broadsword Student Advantage Sells People Student Loan Help They Could Get for Free

But what is interesting is that public records with the State of Texas reflect the management of the company is Matthew L. Winebrenner and Robert W. Boyd III. State records though say that Kenneth L. Talbert is the organizer of the company. – Source

The website for Affordable Life Plans is also on the same server with the following domains, including the Broadsword Student Advantage sites:

affordablelifeplans.com
broadswordadvantage.com
broadswordsa.com
broadswordstudentadvantage.com
debtreliefoptions.com
officeofstudentloan.org
officeofstudentloans.org
xwarenet.net

The administrative contact for the Debt Relief Options website is a Bob Boyd. Is it possible that is the same as Robert Boyd with Affordable Life Plans?

Broadsword Student Advantage Sells People Student Loan Help They Could Get for Free

The website officeofstudentloans.org sure makes it sound like some special program that is affiliated with the U.S. government but it’s not till the very last line they disclose they are not a government agency. The website seems to just be a sales page and consumers are told to call 800-374-0668, the number for Broadsword Student Advantage. The advertisement appears to indicate there is an advance fee for the service as well.

Broadsword Student Advantage Sells People Student Loan Help They Could Get for Free

Broadsword Student Advantage, LLC

State of Texas records state that Kenneth L. Talbert is the registered agent for Broadsword Student Advantage and he is the sole member. – Source

Broadsword Student Advantage Sells People Student Loan Help They Could Get for Free

An Issue With Broadsword Student Advantage

Broadsword Student Advantage appears to be marketing and selling a service that the consumer can do for no additional charge directly through their current federal student loan servicer or the Department of Education website.

Other than the upsell or inclusion of an affiliated financial planning product, which most will probably never take advantage of, there appears to be no reason for any consumer to pay for the additional services or fee.

If Broadsword Student Advantage informed clients and potential clients they could consolidate their loans for free, consumers could then make an informed and better educated decision about if participating in the program was in their best interest.

Disclosure

The publication of this article is entirely coincidental to another article that was published yesterday by a former partner of Ken Talbert’s. See Former Dextral Managing Director Shares His Bold Story About Ken TalbertSource. I had no idea when I started this story that it would lead to some of the same individuals. I just want to make it perfectly clear there was no organization or plan to publish coordinated stories which might appear to be critical of Ken Talbert.

Additionally, it turns out that again, entirely coincidentally, this story also mentions Debt Relief Options. A video I once published about a Debt Relief Options story I wrote was the apparent basis of my YouTube account being suspended because of a complaint about the video. See YouTube Account Terminated – What In The World is Going On?

Broadsword Student Advantage Sells People Student Loan Help They Could Get for Free
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Taylor

    I responded to a job posting online, and was contacted and
    interviewed with Shaun Knapp the recruiter at the company. Shaun told me
    all this good stuff about the position he said they had all these
    inbound calls and fresh leads. Said I would make big commissions and
    become a series 65 licensed financial advisor on the other side of the
    wall. I attended training with a completely incompetent trainer whole
    also happens to be the President of this company (Shawn Burdick) many of
    us wondered what the heck was going on but okay. The building is a
    converted warehouse with cheap cubicles and bathrooms. Once we got on
    the phones after training the truth began coming out. The calls were
    hardly there and they forced everyone to become outbound telemarketers.
    The people calling in from the radio ads are driving, you can’t hear
    them because they are distracted and they are hardly interested in a
    financial advisor because they are poor as crap and too dumb to know
    better. Then the so called commission which becomes nothing are based on
    you cost per enrollment (this is confusing but okay). Knapp told me
    that we could work as much overtime as possible but what he didn’t say
    was if you work overtime you forfeit your commission. The pay plan is
    very complex, I asked Tim Amerson the sales director to explain the pay
    plan to me more in detail and he was confused. Pay is 11.08hr or not
    $14hr but is if you don’t get 20 sales per month then your cost
    enrolments is higher and they will fire you immediately, write you up
    over and over. Then on top of this if the customer service department
    pisses the customer off and they cancel then you are held liable for
    those sales being lost. If customer service fails to contact the
    customer and lose the sale then it’s still your fault. They send out
    these cancellation emails showing countless account cancellations daily.
    The bottom line is you will never make commissions just your hourly and
    they will pocket your commissions for themselves. Now, let’s talk about
    the schedule they don’t care if you have other arrangements they mix up
    your schedule on a rotation system. They told me I was going to become a
    financial advisor and I don’t see that happening. The meetings are
    negative they have this guy Bob- Robert Boyd iii the COO who everyone
    hates and I see why, he’s nothing but a car salesman who need to go back
    and sell cars. I heard he couldn’t pass the series 65 or the insurance
    test why is he telling us what to do and how to sell this is not a car
    lot. Everyone is leaving and walking out. The people running this place
    must be the dumbest people on earth. To show how dumb they are they have
    an in house attorney here muscle poor little helpless and powerless
    employees out of their commission money. I quit my job to start working
    here and now I am out of luck and regret it! I will be walking out soon.
    They lied to us and now they are angry because we are intelligent
    enough through the bs. It’s not our fault they don’t have the know how
    to manage this company. They are so caught up in their unprofessional
    pettiness and egotism that there company is going sour. Can anyone
    direct me to a real company with real leaders? Out of all the people
    working for them they only have a few who has been there from the start
    maybe three, ebveryone else are new. Big red flag!

    Sales Consultant Carrollton Prior Frisco, TX

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

      Scary. What do you think consumers should know who think the person talking to them on the phone is providing them with best advice for their situation?

  • Randy

    This comment is from a former customer, this is the pure facts on how the debt consolidation works from this company. They sell the high pitch, but a lot of red flags go on thrughout the process. Basically you get charged $49 a month for the next 10 years for supposed great service for the loan relief and helping you with your loan. This company gets you by remarking that you are able to be out of debt with their program, but you really don’t need them, you need Direct Loans who own your loan and they can only make determinations about your loan. But this company is not going to tell you that. If you have a loan you are already having to budget or bad things happen to your credit score, so you have to pay either way. But all they do is file the loan consolidation application for you. Who provides the actual loan consolidation is Direct Loans who actually owns all your school loans from companies like American Education Services, etc. One you can call Direct Loan Consolidation Center by calling (800) 557-7392 and file the application yourself. When you think about it this is what you are looking at for the filing of your application one time with direct loans, this had my head spinning for awhile. Remember your application with Direct Loans gets filed only ONCE and Direct Loans doesn’t charge anything for the filing. This company is a third party and when I asked Direct Loans, they said that they had nothing to do with them and that they only get the applications to be processed but, have no idea how much we pay or what those third companies continue to charge or how those third companies exist or how many. $49 x 52 wks a year = $2,548 x 10 yrs = $25,480 for ten years!!! – nice scheme if you ask me. I did loose money because the first month they charge you $499 out of your account, but I am glad to be done with them and be able to share my experience with others. I am upset for that type of money to be lost, my family doesn’t have that type of money to loose, but it’s a lesson well learned.

  • Amy Bryant

    I have heard this commercial, but there was another claim now, that Law enforcement and public service or government employees could have their loans forgiven. The commercial said it at least two times. Can a LEO approach the Dept of Education and get their debt forgiven?

  • I know the truth

    Broadsword is not some scam. Yes there is a monthly fee but for some people even with the monthly fees they are paying less money long term and monthly than they are currently on their student loans. Your scenario as a single man making over 35 a year and having about that much in student loans obviously would not benefit you to enroll. But for people with bigger families and more debt they benefit greatly!

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Explain to me the benefit of paying a monthly fee for 20 or 30 years versus doing the exact same thing for free directly with the Department of Education or using one of the many other one-time low fee outfits out there?

      • I know the truth

        Well have you tried saving money through the government? It’s a constant battle and filing faxing refilling paperwork. And you need to have it always up to date (which broadsword does) should they have yearly service charge instead of monthly? Maybe…but it’s what they have decided and it works for them. Especially since they offer more than just student debt relief.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Can you please explain “Especially since they offer more than just student debt relief.”

      • I know the truth

        The finical planner. And you didn’t answer my question

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        A financial planner licensed in your state? What question did I not answer?

      • I know the truth

        Yes a finical planner in your state. And my question was have you ever saved money through the government on your own?

      • I know the truth

        Dumb I phone will not let me spell financial… :(

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Yes.

      • I know the truth

        Was it easy?

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        It was very easy.

        But what is the point you are trying to make? It’s wandered so far off I’m lost.

        Are you trying to support Broadsword, less expensive student loan assistance programs, financial planners, or telling people not to try themselves. Which is it?

      • Randy

        It is a scam when you are paying for something that you do not need for years!! Also, the debt consolidation can be filed directly for FREE with Direct Loans by calling (800) 557-7392. It doesn’t matter if you owe American Education Services or Sallie Mae, you need DIrect Loans to do anything.

    • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

      So “I know the truth” your position is that Broadsword is just not the worst solution?

      You say it is often better than continuing to pay. That may or may no be true, but shouldn’t consumers be looking for the best solution to solve their problem, and not simply one that sucks a little less than what they have now?

      Just saying.

      • I know the truth

        For some it is the best solution..
        Just saying.
        sorry i’m not sorry.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

        Why is it best for consumers to pay $499 upfront and $50 a month for something Randy alleges they can get for free?

      • I know the truth

        Why does anyone pay for people to do anything? Because they dont have the time, patience, themselves or they simply don’t know how to.
        This is why i said “for some”
        the people who can do it themselves GREAT!!! more power to them, but not all can.

      • I know the truth

        Plus not everyone pays a $499 upfront fee and not everyone pays $50 a month.

      • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

        It has nothing to do with whether or not they “can” do it themselves. It has to do with whether or not the commissioned sales person educated that consumer that the option to do it themselves is freely available if they would prefer not to pay thousands of dollars in fees.

        Somehow I am guessing that really isn’t highlighted in the sales pitch.

        Just saying.

      • I know the truth

        “commissioned sales person” would have to actully make commision when someone enrolls… which they dont. Just Saying.
        Plus it is adviced to those who dont have enough Student Loan debt to not enroll because the monthly fees would add up more than what they would pay out on the loan making it not logical. Just Saying

      • Really Dude?

        So you are trying to tell me there is no sales incentive? No commission? No bonus, no incentive at all? GImme a break.

        This is a business. Everything has an opportunity cost. If someone isn’t producing, then they are gone, fired, shown the door, kicked out. And that seat is filled by someone that can make sales

        Don’t expect anyone to believe there is no incentive to enroll people.

      • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

        how are the sales people paid? What are the incentives?

      • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

        If by “some” you mean uninformed consumers who didn’t take the time to research their options, then I guess you have a point.

        Just saying.

      • I know the truth

        Sure.
        The ones who didn’t research, and weren’t so fortunate to find your ridiculous site.
        and again, the ones who dont have time to deal with the D.O.E
        Just saying.

      • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

        You are right. I can’t save everybody. But at least the ones fortunate enough to find this “ridiculous” site, will be able to learn all their options so they won’t get taken advantage of by sales people.

        Just saying :-)

      • Well

        Silly point. All “services” auto, beauty, plumbing and thousands more can be done by the person… It’s their time value and expertise… Just like what you and Rhoade do… Your “service” could be done by the individual … Nothin u do is special

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

        So by extension, does that mean nothing Broadsword does is special?

      • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

        Well whatever justification helps you to sleep at night I guess.

  • Ang

    Im a big fan of this site but Im confused by the recent articles exposing companies offering student loan consolidation services that charge a fee as if somehow that it wrong. Since when is it wrong to charge for a service that someone would rather pay someone else to do. I hate to sound cliche but I can change my own oil but I’d rather drop my car off at Goodyear, I can do my own taxes but would rather pay a CPA, I can go online and quote different insurance but Id rather pay my local agent to shop for quotes. Should all industries be exposed for charging a fee for a service that a consumer doesnt want to do themselves for whatever reason? It sounds silly when you list them off like that, doesn’t it? I may be missing something but why is this any different and where is the injustice being exposed?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Ang,

      I think this other article is right on track and answers your question directly. See http://getoutofdebt.org/49310/how-to-run-a-clean-student-loan-assistance-program

      Look at the student loan situation like this, you go and change your oil and Jiffy Lube then charges you $50 for the next 20 years. Is that fair?

    • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

      As Steve pointed out. You missed the message. We are not saying, never pay anyone for a service that you can do yourself.

      What we are saying is charging someone 50 dollars a month for 20 years to simply take their information and input it into a site without telling the consumer that is all you are doing, is not being honest and upfront about what the consumer is paying for.

      If the sales person says to the consumer, I am going to take your info and turn right around and plug it into the department of education website to see if you qualify for their program. If you do, then we are going to charge you 12,000 dollars over 20 years, and in exchange, we will reapply for the program every year and give you these financial education tools.

      If the consumer knows all that very clearly up front and then still decides that they want to pay 12,000 for that service, then fine. It isn’t my money.

      Where I have a problem is where this is not presented in a straight forward way and the consumer is led to believe that hiring the company is the only way to reduce their loan payment.

      I would assume you would have a problem with that as well Ang?

      • Ang

        You are right Damon, I did miss the point and honestly didnt read the entire story, I tied the article title to the recent Military Debt story but see now that they are worlds apart. I absolutely would have a problem with that type of deception.

      • http://www.facebook.com/blen.butterson Blen Butterson

        The monthly fees are the absolute worst idea to come about in this industry, and will be the downfall of many companies. When I learned about it, I was appalled. There is a right and wrong way to do this – why do all these former debt settlement guys want to do it the wrong way?

      • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

        Because they do it ass backwards. They focus on the best way to make the most money, rather than helping the consumer solve their problem in a fair and reasonable way

    • Randy

      This comment is from a former customer of Broadsword, this is the pure facts on how the debt consolidation works from this company. They sell the high pitch, but a lot of red flags go on thrughout the process. Basically you get charged $49 a month for the next 10 years for supposed great service for the loan relief and helping you with your loan. This company gets you by remarking that you are able to be out of debt with their program in 10 years!! but, you really don’t need them, you need Direct Loans who own your loan and they can only make determinations about your loan. But this company is not going to tell you that. If you have a loan you are already having to budget or bad things happen to your credit score, so you have to pay either way. But all they do is file the loan consolidation application for you. Who provides the actual loan consolidation is Direct Loans who actually owns all your school loans from companies like American Education Services, etc. One you can call Direct Loan Consolidation Center by calling (800) 557-7392 and file the application yourself. When you think about it this is what you are looking at for the filing of your application one time with direct loans, this had my head spinning for awhile. Remember your application with Direct Loans gets filed only ONCE and Direct Loans doesn’t charge anything for the filing. This company is a third party and when I asked Direct Loans, they said that they had nothing to do with them and that they only get the applications to be processed but, have no idea how much we pay or what those third companies continue to charge or how those third companies exist or how many. $49 x 52 wks a year = $2,548 x 10 yrs = $25,480 for ten years!!! – nice scheme if you ask me. I did loose money because the first month they charge you $499 out of your account, but I am glad to be done with them and be able to share my experience with others. I am upset for that type of money to be lost, my family doesn’t have that type of money to loose, but it’s a lesson well learned. Do not loose money and hope, you can call Direct Loans yourself at (800) 557-7392 and they are willing to help you. Do not let anyone take away money that you already are trying to save.

      Your loans can be from Salie Mae, American Education Services, you still need to contact and file the consolidation of your loan with Direct Loans at (800) 557-7392 and no charge for their help. Direct Loans is the overall route to making determinations about your loans. Do not loose the hope. I was so glad when I got everything clarified.

  • Kaye

    So I live in Texas and just heard the same commercial. I found this article and glad I did as it’s very informative. Can I ask then, is your position that this is basically not the best option if you have a large amount of federal loans?

    • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

      Hello Kaye,

      The first step for you would be to follow this link

      http://getoutofdebt.org/33967/student-loan-consolidation-opportunities-and-the-best-way-to-lower-your-student-loan-payments

      Scroll down to the bottom and look at the available programs for reducing federal student loan payments.

      It appears this company in the above article is simply taking your information, applying for the same programs and then charging you 50 dollars a month for the life of the loan.

      So the first step would be to apply for these programs directly. Come back and let us know how it goes.

      • T

        Kaye have a professional handle the paperwork and pay the $50

        So worth it.

      • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

        Hey T, you can stop your sales pitch. It isn’t 50 dollars. It is 50 dollars a month for years. So we are talking thousands of dollars. You never answered my question. Do you work for this company?

      • T

        She can cancel and get the work done for $50.

        Sounds like the cheapest scenario. Maybe she can pay another company $395 to do it without the monthly commitment.

        She can do it for free but Kaye sought out help and she seems to be a consumer who can’t do it themselves.

      • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

        Ok, that sounds more logical, but what about her comment led you to believe that she can’t do it herself? Seeking out help doesn’t mean they can’t do it themselves, it simply means they are researching their options.

        So my point is simply to be open and honest with consumers. Tell them they are going to pay thousands of dollars for something they can do themselves and let them decide what they would prefer.

      • T

        3 things.

        1 she has a large amount of student loans so she probably has had the loans for a few years and has not been offered a consolidation or discovered the solution on her own.

        2 Without hearing the commercial Kaye would probably never know about some programs and options.

        3 I will retract “can’t”. Kaye stated she has a large amount of loans. The process can be done herself and if she has the time Kudos to her. But for $50.00 for someone else to do it, is a good deal.

        Kaye – The monthly fee makes no sense unless they are doing something for it. You can read Steve’s post on how to get a refund from a company if they try to pull some sort of shenanigan’s and bill you some sort of fee. I also don’t see them coming after you as the new customers who may find other value in the service will be the core group of customers. I would also shop around with other companies and tell them what you were thinking of doing and see if someone will hand hold with you through the process. Damon or Steve could work with you hand in hand I bet. Just an Idea. It would be nice to see. Fellas?

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Are you unwilling to send me the Broadsword Student Advantage client agreement to me or post it for review? Also, please disclose your relationship to this company.

      • T

        If I had the agreement I would send to you.

        I don’t work for the company or with them in any way.

      • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

        I am confused. If you don’t work for them, then why did you tell two different consumers in two different threads on this site to hire them? If you don’t know anything about them, then on what basis are you giving the advice?

      • T

        On the basis that any company offering this product is putting people to work helping people in need. It is a product and not a service and within a month the buyer will have the end result completed.

        Back at ya Damon, why do you not support the product?

      • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

        So you are advising consumers to do something because it employs other people? Seriously?

      • T

        Consumers should take advantage of products that are cost effective and support legitimate businesses. Good companies will employ people long term.

        You never answered my question about support for the product. Do you feel that you could not employ people at your own company to do this type of work for a consumer?

      • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

        Forgive me, I am having trouble keeping up.

        When did you make the leap from a company you don’t work for and have no ties to, to a company that is legitimate and cost effective?

        On what basis have you drawn that conclusion?

        To answer your question. I would not employ anyone to sell a 12,000 dollar service to a consumer without telling them we are simply going to input their information into a website that is freely available for them to do directly.

      • Guest

        Let’s be honest T – no one is saying they will do this whole process for $50. So just stop. This is not the place for deceptive marketing. Why don’t you post under your facebook account T? Put your name behind your product and step out of the shadows.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Oh that’s probably not going to happen.

      • http://www.facebook.com/blen.butterson Blen Butterson

        Basically none of these companies as they currently exist could qualify as “good companies” or “legitimate businesses”. They will be sued by the government and attorneys general within the next 1-2 years. You will learn.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        So are you encouraging people to enroll in Broadsword Student Advantage and then cancel? That does not make any sense why you would suggest that especially in the face of their employment ads and commissions to be earned.

        I have not seen the Broadsword Student Advantage cancellation policy or client agreement for this service. Please feel free to post the agreement here so we can all see it.

        It would be interesting to see the fees agreed to and cancellation policy in writing.

        If you are alleging this process can be completed within 30 days that flies in the face of what many others say.

        I also noticed you did not answer Damon’s question if you work for the company. In the interest of transparency and to help the consumer make an educated and informed decision, please be transparent about your affiliation with the company.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        T,

        You appear to be dodging my other questions but here is one more anyway.

        If you are suggesting that a consumer hire Broadsword Student Advantage and bail after the first month, you appear to be insinuating their regular fees are a ripoff and consumers should avoid them, otherwise why would you suggest they quit?

      • T

        I answered all of your questions. Except – ” If you are alleging this process can be completed within 30 days that flies in the face of what many others say.” Anything else i missed let me know.

        Paying $50 for the consolidation product to be completed doesn’t take longer than a month, a day or maybe even 2 hours. The DOE may take a month or two to process the consolidation but you don’t need to continue to pay for months on end to Broadsword. I never insinuated that their regular fees are a rip off and if you read I actually encouraged consumers to use them. Not sure where you read otherwise.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Yea, sorry on that. I was referring to the questions I asked you as your KMAN posts.

        The Broadsword Student Advantage as sold to me in the secret shopper call was an alleged total of $24,867. You are suggesting the consumer should not pay more than $50. It’s not a leap to assume you feel the alleged fee charged was either unnecessary or unfair.

        Also, you stated you didn’t have a client agreement to send so how do you know a consumer can terminate and not be committed to more than $50?

      • T

        Damon- I did not back peddle as you say if you read my posts. Kaye should use the service to consolidate her loans if she feels the company is up to her standards. I have not seen the agreement and what follow up services are added to the product but Kaye only asked about consolidating and the financial impact of the consolidation and whether it is worth it for her. For $50 as the product fee this particular company is charging yes I think that is fair. If they advertised its $50 then it has to be $50 per month that the service is used.

        Steve- In a perfect world I would like to believe that the company in question would not seek to collect from people who cancel from the program. Realistically as these companies will have ex-debt settlement and loan mod people involved they won’t go after old clients for cancelled contracts.

        Both- Can one of the 2 of you reach out to Kaye and help her? See if it would have been worth $50 bucks with any company?

        Keep Us All Posted

      • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

        I am not sure how to respond. Either you recommend the company and think they offer a great service as you initially did, or you recommend that a consumer hire them, get the loan modified and then cancel as you later “back peddled” into.

        We have reached out to Kaye through this website. She is subscribed to this thread and can read our opinion and visit the article we gave her to find direct links to all of the federal programs available for her to apply for to consolidate the loan directly.

        If she needs additional assistance, she can certainly feel free to request it.

      • T

        Damon- Enjoy the weekend and with a clear mind go back and read all of my comments. I never backpeddled into anything and my position is clear and precise. On the flip side just answer my question about helping someone for $50.00 and in turn putting those that are un-employed back to work. You never answered my question and if you want people to converse with you it has to be a 2 way street.

        Kaye get it setup to get help with those federal loans.

      • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

        Not sure how much clearer I can make it, but clearly we are beating a dead horse. The readers can decide.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        T,

        Just finished reviewing a client agreement that shows if client cancels the service they still have to pay monthly fee for the life of the Department of Education loan, up to 20 years. http://getoutofdebt.org/49366/student-loan-processing-us-my-observations-and-site-review

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        T,

        I did provide Kaye with the direct link to the student loan consolidation page. She is coped on all the comments here and she is free to post a comment or come back if she required more information. She has not done that.

        In addition the site publishes comprehensive links for student loan help that I did not think were relevant as part of the original article but Kaye and others can go to http://getoutofdebt.org/resource/student-loan-consolidation-payment-and-interest-rate-calculator and follow the direct links to the Department of Education.

        Just to be clear, are you saying the Broadsword Student Advantage program isn’t worth more than $50?

      • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

        T, If I may be captain obvious for a moment. When you encourage a consumer to hire a company, and then back peddle and suggest they should just hire them for a month and cancel, you are implying that the rest of the 1,000′s in fees is not worth it.

        Can you clarify your position please. Do you think a consumer should hire this company and pay them 50 bucks a month for 20 years, or do you think they should hire them for 1 month and then cancel?

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I know, right?

        It appears T is saying they are so good people should hire them and then cancel but says he/she is unaware of what the cancellation policy is and has no ties to the company.

        It doesn’t add up. I look forward to T’s response to your question.

      • Randy

        She can do the form herself and save those $50. $50 dollars can buy a good pair of shoes or even go to the movies. If you can read and write, the consolidation form from Direct Loans can be done all by yourself without having to share your SSN and other personal information and for FREE!!! Beat that…FREE! no charge and no fees.

      • Randy

        But, Broadsword asks for $499 the first month, so those $50 dollars is merely what you loose when you can just call Direct Loans and do the application for free. $499 dollars for a FREE form already provided by Direct Loans and they are willing to walk you throught the application process and super nice, yeah this is a scam. Why pay for something that is been offered for free.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Kaye,

      In order to make n informed decision I would suggest you read http://getoutofdebt.org/49243/student-loan-assistance-rescue-scams-on-the-rise-beware

  • KMAN

    Steve,

    There are roughly 200+ companies operating in the student loan consolidation industry. Some like the company above charge a large upfront fee and then a monthly fee because they cannot actually run a successful business but rather re-engineer the old debt settlement way. This student loan business will eventually be a bust and the fall out will be hundreds if not thousands of consumers that paid fees for something they should have done on their own.

    How come you didn’t cover Jason Spencer from the other article as owning a student loan consolidation company with fees ranging from $495.00-$1,295?

    They are all having a bad day in Texas and I think you should expose Spencer for what he is. Someone who left EFA because he wasn’t getting paid enough and started his own business with other peoples investment capital and copied his old partner’s ideas. No innovation there.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      If you want to contribute an article about Jason Spencer and his operation and put your name on it. I’d be happy to publish it as a guest post.

      I think you are referring Spencer’s guest post last week on http://getoutofdebt.org/48758/former-dextral-managing-director-shares-his-bold-story-about-ken-talbert

      My position on these pay for what you can do yourself programs is just like paying someone to mow your lawn. We all know we can mow our own lawn but some choose to have someone else do it for them.

      If student loan consolidation companies charge consumers in advance for something they can easily do themselves then just disclose that fact so people can make an educated and informed decision.

      If Spencer is offering a service like that then I would be just as critical of that.

      Again, the only reason for the Broadsword article was because someone asked me about a radio commercial they heard in California. It was entirely accidental it led to someone in Texas.

      And I completely agree that the student loan consolidation business as Broadsword laid out for me will be a bust. I would expect to see rules coming from the FTC, CFPB, and Department of Education on this.

      • KMAN

        Red Pill Or Blue Pill.

        We agree with the commentary that if the consumer is advised that he/she can do the work with themselves then the option lies in the customers hands. If they want to pay for the work to be done that is their decision.

        Elizabeth Warren of the CFPB according to her interview on 60 Minutes regarding Sallie Mae a few years back literally feels that Sallie Mae is as powerful as the MOB with respect to control over the student loan industry. The clips are on youtube and you Steve may be able to get some commentary from the FTC/CFPB or her regarding her current thoughts on the Student Loan Industry.

        With respect to Jason Spencer I think our assumptions that he left EFA to start http://www.studentloanrelief.us are exactly correct.

        Jason joined EFA after the business was well established and he used his knowledge to help run the Ken Talbert collector settler business. What Jason left out of his article is that no matter what type of role you had if you had access to something that was morally bankrupt and affected more that 1 person you had a fiduciary responsibility to report that to anyone that would listen. He watched and helped in the purported scam with Talbert but did nothing. We smell weakness and the exact opposite of leadership.

        Jason why did you never report a $100 million dollar scam?

        Moving forward in time Jason Spencer now seeing the opportunity for a long term business in it’s infancy decided best to run from Ken Talbert with the idea and start his own business.

        Here is where it gets ungodly. Spencer is involved with the following Companies below and we believe he is going to run the Ken Talbert scam for himself. We believe he plans to buy defaulted student loan debts and then settle them as the common place knowledge of a student loan settling is unheard of in the federal loan world but the private loan world it is becoming much more common-place.

        This is just the beginning. Stay Tuned.

        Jason Spencer is the Executive Chairman for Settlement Collections. He is also the majority owner of the firm and its parent company Adiuvo, LLC. Jason also owns and operates Securities Corporation of America Inc, SCA Banc, SCA Advisors, Dignitas Capital Parters LP, JM Spencer Holdings LLC, and Student Loan Relief LLC. He has worked in the financial industry since his graduation from Indiana Univerisity in 2003 with a degree from the Kelley School of Business in Finance. After college Jason founded “Sold it on eBay”, which gained national recognition after being featured in the CNBC documentary “The eBay Effect”. Jason is also currently finishing his second MBA at Cornell University. Source – http://www.settlement-collections.com/about-us/consultant-bio-s/

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I get the Sallie Mae point of view but in this specific example, the secret shopper call was federal loans and not about private student loans.

        You also make an assumption that Spencer did not report his concerns. Do you have knowledge that he did not?

        Who is “our” and “we?”

        If you have information you want to share, you can send me your guest post and I’ll post it as is so you can make whatever point you want but you must put your name and confirmed identity to it just like Spencer did.

      • KMAN

        We are working on a guest post Steve however it will be more like a doctrine encompassing student loans. The companies doing student loan consolidation will be a very minimal part and the lions share of the information will be solving the student loan issue as a whole.

        As you are aware the student loan programs were created back in the 50′s to stay ahead of the world with respect to innovation and advancement but we have strayed from those principles which has created a snow ball effect with respect to student debt. The root cause is actually the information and guidance given to our Nation’s high school graduates regarding advancement in education. The rate of non-graduates with student loans that will never achieve the income goals that their college major would have provided is a main turning point to overburdened students and the problem at large.

        Spencer didn’t report anything, he needed to get his cash back to start his own business up. If he did he should have mentioned that in his letter. With all of the intel he had on the business with Ken Talbert any regulatory entity would have seen the scam and filed suit or sanctions. As far as we see it his participation fueled the success of the scam.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        You can submit your guest post through http://getoutofdebt.org/confidential-tip-form/

        You will need to give me information to confirm your identity and just like I asked Spencer, the reason why you want to contribute the post.

        The student loan game changer for me was the 2005 bankruptcy reform which prevented private student loans from being discharged. At least federal loans still have some good options, as the Broadsword representative mentioned in his sales pitch. Private student loans are a terrible trap.

        I look forward to receiving your guest post responding to Jason Spencer’s guest post.

      • http://www.facebook.com/blen.butterson Blen Butterson

        Good luck solving the “Student loan problem as whole” unless you are able to personally change Department of Education procedures

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Forgot to ask. I don’t get the red pill or blue pill reference. What’s that from?

      • [email protected]

        Matrix.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        And now I know.

      • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

        Video Clip – Red Pill vs Blue Pill – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Mu_8w6db5M

      • Randy

        This comment is from a former customer, this is the pure facts on how the debt consolidation works from this company. They sell the high pitch, but a lot of red flags go on thrughout the process. Basically you get charged $49 a month for the next 10 years for supposed great service for the loan relief and helping you with your loan. This company gets you by remarking that you are able to be out of debt with their program in 10 years!!!, but you really don’t need them, you need Direct Loans who own your loan and they can only make determinations about your loan. But this company is not going to tell you that. If you have a loan you are already having to budget or bad things happen to your credit score, so you have to pay either way. But all they do is file the loan consolidation application for you. Who provides the actual loan consolidation is Direct Loans who actually owns all your school loans from companies like American Education Services, etc. One you can call Direct Loan Consolidation Center by calling (800) 557-7392 and file the application yourself. When you think about it this is what you are looking at for the filing of your application one time with direct loans, this had my head spinning for awhile. Remember your application with Direct Loans gets filed only ONCE and Direct Loans doesn’t charge anything for the filing. This company is a third party and when I asked Direct Loans, they said that they had nothing to do with them and that they only get the applications to be processed but, have no idea how much we pay or what those third companies continue to charge or how those third companies exist or how many. $49 x 52 wks a year = $2,548 x 10 yrs = $25,480 for ten years!!! – nice scheme if you ask me. I did loose money because the first month they charge you $499 out of your account, but I am glad to be done with them and be able to share my experience with others. I am upset for that type of money to be lost, my family doesn’t have that type of money to loose, but it’s a lesson well learned.