Report: #1249652

Complaint Review: Grads1st - Nationwide

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  • Reported By: Bryden — California USA
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  • Grads1st Nationwide USA

Grads1st StuDebt Selling you something you can do yourself for $700 Los Angeles California Nationwide

*Consumer Comment: I can emphasize because and should have read this report first

*Consumer Comment: Some advice for those wanting in

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

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Grads1st formerly Sudebt will call you, or has radio and facebook ads. In reality you can do this yourself and not pay them $695-$395. When talking to you, what they will do is go through the process of pulling up your loans on the nslds.ed.gov website. You can do this yourself.


Depending on the amount and the type of loan you have, you may qualify for an income driven program. This is a government program, this is not provided by Grads1st. The plans are either Pay As You Earn, Income Based Repayment, and Income Contingent Repayment plan. All you need to do to get into these programs is have a direct loan consolidation, again, something you can do yourself.


If you made it this far; They will go over your budget, and see if you "qualify" for the "Hardship program" which does not exist. They will say the fee has been discounted from $1150 down to either $695,$595,$495, or $395. Again this is all scripted.


They are simply taking advantage of people, these people are not "counselors" they are employees from craigslist, usually 20 somethings. They have no actual certifications, and are paid minimum wage plus a small commission for tricking you into giving them money. 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/19/2015 06:16 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/grads1st/nationwide/grads1st-studebt-selling-you-something-you-can-do-yourself-for-700-los-angeles-californi-1249652. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#2 Consumer Comment

I can emphasize because and should have read this report first

AUTHOR: anonymous - (USA)

POSTED: Friday, September 09, 2016

Hi, I should have done my research first and read this report. Here's my unforunate circumstance.

 I usually don't leave reviews for restaurants, shops or other services I use or places I go. I have always thought that leaving negative reviews was a bit harsh, after all, everyone has a bad day from time to time. I also know that business owners can't always bear the full responsibility for an employee's bad behavior, attitude or mistake, sometimes employees just act irresponsibly or unprofessionally. However, the service I received from my former financial advisor is so irresponsible, unprofessional and wreckless, I have decided to reverse course and leave a complaint so no one else gets burned the way I did. 

Before I continue and you read on, let me be perfectly clear; I tried to resolve these matters with my financial advisor before bringing them to light on this forum. I gave her multiple opportunities to right the wrongs, and her inaction and complete disregard for my financial well being led me to make this complaint. I also want to stress that these complaints are based on a long term professional relationship, not just a single interaction that left a bitter taste in my mouth. When it comes to something as serious as financial security, I think it is my duty to write this complaint and let you know what is in store for you if you decide to hire the services of financial advisor her. After all, we're talking about your finances, not a burnt pizza or rude salesclerk.

When I first decided to work with her, I made it abundantly clear that given my age and financial goals, I was extremely adverse to high risk investments. I graduated college with a high debt burden and it took most of my adult working life to pay off my student loans. By the time my student loans were paid off, it left me with very little working time to build a retirement nest egg. While people in their 30's were busy building their 401k, IRAs and other retirement savings accounts, I was paying down student loan debt and interest. I knew I was already way behind the savings curve, but I felt if I worked with a knowledgeable financial planner, I could maximize what time I did have left before retirement and perhaps build my portfolio to the point where I could retire from full time work. I knew I would not be able to completely retire, but I thought I could scale back to party time work and enjoy some time off pursuing other interests.

I have worked hard over the years to pay off my student loans and I have lived frugally so I did not acquire more debt. I have paid off credit card balances every month and built a strong credit record. I have relied on public transportation until I saved enough to buy a used car in cash. I rarely eat out and I have lived a comfortable life, just not a life full of luxury. I did all of these things thinking that my hard work, dedication to financial frugality and long term thinking would pay off in my retirement years. I even put aside money every month earmarked for investment and to pay for the services of a financial planner who could help me create a portfolio that would help me reach my goal of part time employment.

After researching local planners in my area, it seemed she would be a good fit for me. Her website (now defunct) touted her as a responsive, client focused planner with experience handling portfolios both large and small. This was important to me because many of the larger, national firms had a minimum investment requirement I simply could not meet. I needed someone who would be willing to work with lower level investors yet still treat me with the interest, professionalism and courtesy higher level investors enjoy. Of course I knew I would not be she's most important, blue chip client, but I liked the idea that she seemed to think financial security and independence shouldn't be reserved only for the top 1%. I have always believed that with the right planning, guidance and investment strategy, even low level investors could build a comfortable retirement nest egg and it seemed she did, too. I was also impressed with some of the reviews other people left for she, so I decided to give her a call.

At my first appointment, she was extremely attentive, courteous and interested in learning more about my financial past and the goals I had for my future. She really did take her time getting to know and understand me and patiently answered all of my questions. I left her office feeling confident I had found the right financial planner. Once I got home, I went online to compare the fees she charges with others in my  area and found her prices to be in line with what other planners charge. I sincerely felt comfortable in the decision to work with she, and so I called her the next day to say I wanted to move forward with some of the things we had discussed in our initial appointment. she seemed happy to take me on as a client and scheduled another appointment for us to meet, sign papers and get the ball rolling.

When I showed up a week later for our appointment, she was late to meet me and seemed extremely rushed and even a bit harried. We all have bad days, though, so I decided to stay for the appointment and thought she would shake it off and get to work on my behalf. When she pulled out the paperwork for me to sign, I was more than a little surprised to see the plan was nothing like what we had initially discussed. The investment strategy laid out before me was a high risk plan that was not at all what I was looking for, so I told she that I felt uneasy about signing off on this particular plan. I also told her the fees seemed high and that I didn't really understand the fee structure.

Instead of explaining why this plan was good for me, reassuring me, helping me understand the fees associated with the investment and why it made sense for me to buy in to her plan, she curtly told me she was the expert, she knew what was best and I should just trust her. She told me in no uncertain terms that my past financial mistakes, i.e. taking out too many student loans, had gotten me into the situation I was in and that it was clear I was no financial genius. she went on to tell me that the plan she put in front of me was specifically designed to maximize my investment and give me a big initial financial boost that I could turn around and put into other investments. she said she had done this same thing for other low level investment clients, and that all of them had enjoyed a healthy return on their investment. she said her plan had helped other investors grow their retirement fund far faster than they ever thought possible. she then went on to say that if I didn't trust her and her advice, I should just go ahead and find another financial advisor.

In retrospect, I should have done just that. Sadly, I was so shocked and surprised by her behavior and the things she said I just sat there dumbfounded. My silence must have made she uncomfortable because she started to backpedal a bit and took a more reassuring tone and stated telling me everything she had planned was in my best interest. She said she knew I had done my research before I hired her, so she knew I trusted her and wanted her professional help and advice. I ended up agreeing to her investment plan and signed the papers.

A few weeks later, I called she to see how things were going and to ask a few questions about a bill I received. I called several times and was told each time that she was unavailable, in a meeting, out of the office, etc. It was becoming increasingly clear that now that I had signed the papers and she had me on the hook for her services, she was no longer the friendly, patient professional I had hired. It has been two months since that terrible meeting and I have yet to get a return call, a returned email or any kind of communication other than a bill from her.

It is also becoming increasingly clear that all the questions I had about the fees were completely warranted. I am paying exorbitant fees for an investment plan I never fully understood or felt comfortable with. I am sad to say I allowed her to prey on my fears of being financially strapped and unstable and I played right into her hands. I truly believe her behaved in an irresponsible and unethical manner and made me feel intimidated I would go along with her plan. I believe she used my fears of not having enough money to be an "important" investor against me and made me believe no other financial advisor would be willing to help me because I lacked serious investment capital.

I am embarrassed to admit it, but I feel I have been hoodwinked by her. As I stated earlier, I have tried repeatedly to contact her and come to an agreement, get clarification on the fees I'm being charged and also to severe our professional relationship. Since all my calls and emails have gone unanswered, it is clear she has no intention of making things right and that I will have to find someone else to help me figure out how to get out of the investment plan I'm in and to reinvest in a way that truly meets my needs.

All said and told, I made a major mistake trusting and working with her. This is a mistake that has cost me not only money I cannot afford to lose, but countless hours of turmoil, stress, fear and anxiety.
I have also wasted time on an investment strategy that is not a good long term solution for me. Remember, I was already behind schedule in saving for retirement, so losing these last couple of months is a steep price to pay for choosing the wrong financial advisor. Now, thanks to her, I'm even further behind in my retirement savings and after all the fees are paid, I'll have even less money to invest.

It is not easy to come forward and share this story with everyone. After all, I did allow myself to be bullied into agreeing to a plan that wasn't right for me. But, like many people, I felt out of my league Andreas made to feel like I had no right to question her plan and suggestions. Now, I know that financial advisors should be helpful forthright and take the time to answer your questions, not make you feel stupid and out of line for asking them. Now I know that when you are dealing with decisions that will have a long term impact on your future, if something or someone feels off, you should just walk away from it.

If you are looking for a financial planner to help you, please make sure you do extensive research and never sign an agreement you don't understand or feel comfortable with. I wish someone had saved me this hassle and headache by telling me every investor counts, not just those with lots of money to invest. I allowed myself to be abused because I thought my investment was too meager to count and I got swindled.
I thought her was part of the answer to my dreams of a secure financial future and in reality, all she has turned out to be is a nightmare. Don't let this happen to you.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Some advice for those wanting in

AUTHOR: anonymous - (USA)

POSTED: Monday, October 12, 2015

Make sure that proper research is done before making any decisions. There are many useful resources on the internet to choose from. I suggest reading up first and then making an educated, rational choice.

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