Q&A with Frank Shields, Founder of Future Map Financial

Oct 14, 2019 7:06:29 PM

Catching up with LoanBuddy customer Frank Shields (MBA, CFP & CSLP) Founder of Future Map Financial.

Download his eBook THE PROFESSIONAL'S GUIDE TO PAYING OFF STUDENT LOANS 

LoanBuddy: When did you first know you were going to go into Financial Planning?


Frank: My passion for personal finance began during my tenure as a Social Insurance Specialist with the Social Security Administration. While with the agency, I was responsible for determining benefit eligibility and authorizing payment in the areas of Retirement, Survivors, Health Insurance, Supplemental Security Income etc. This was quite the responsibility for a young college graduate fresh out of school. On a daily basis, I saw firsthand how having financial resources or a lack thereof, can enhance or impede a person’s ability to live their best life. It was this experience that inspired me to become a financial planner.


LoanBuddy: How long ago did you found Future Map Financial?


Frank: I officially launched Future Map Financial on February 22, 2018. Future Map Financial is a fee-only financial planning firm that offers Student Loan Repayment Consulting, Holistic Financial Planning, and Investment Management services. Located in Houston, TX, serving clients locally and across the country, I specialize in helping student loan borrowers create and implement the optimal student loan repayment strategy for their personal and financial circumstances.


LoanBuddy: You have really begun focusing on helping your clients with student debt repayment planning, what was the turning point for you?


Frank: The short answer is yes however; when I launched Future Map Financial, I was only offering holistic financial planning and investment management services. My passion for helping individuals with student loan debt and subsequently creating a Student Loan Repayment Consulting service, grew out of pure demand. The majority of the prospective clients I met with when first launched Future Map Financial had student loan debt. At the time, I didn't have the advance knowledge nor the service model in place to serve these individuals, the majority of which only wanted help with their student loan debt and weren't interested in a holistic financial plan. I decided that I would spend both the time and financial resources required to acquire the advanced knowledge I needed to serve student loan borrowers. The CERTIFIED STUDENT LOAN PROFESSIONAL ™ course work was extremely valuable and informative. Ultimately, student loans repayment planning turned into a passion and my firm’s technical niche.


LoanBuddy: In what ways have you really excelled for your clients?


Frank:  Delivering an exceptional client experience is at the forefront of every decision I make as the owner of Future Map Financial. With the desired outcome in mind, I work backwards to create processes and implement technology that will enhance my client’s experience from first contact, to the repayment strategy recommendation deliverable. I see myself not only as my client’s Student Loan Repayment Consultant, but as their strategic partner. I assist my client’s with completing and submitting the necessary paperwork to implement the repayment strategy we mutually decide upon.  All my client’s meetings are held virtually, so they don’t have to leave the comfort of your home or office for our partnership to thrive!


LoanBuddy: What percentage of your clients have needed your expertise with respect to their student loans?


Frank:  The majority of my clients, I would say 75%, have needed my advanced knowledge and expertise to assist them with creating and implementing the optimal student loan repayment strategy for their personal and financial circumstances.

 

LoanBuddy: The data for Public Service Loan that was released in 2018 was eye opening for a lot of people, how has helping your clients enroll in PSLF helped improve their financial wellness?

 

Frank: It’s unfortunate that 99.5% of individuals that applied for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) were denied. Income-driven repayment plans make it easier for student loan borrowers to pay off their federal student loans. As a general rule of thumb, if student loan debt is twice a borrower’s annual income, and/or they are having a difficult making student loan payment(s) under their current repayment plan, and/or they work for a qualifying employer that is eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), enrolling in an income-driven repayment should be strongly considered. For my PSLF clients, our objective shifts from minimizing interest charged over time by paying your student loan debt off quickly, to structuring loan payments to  maximize the amount that will be forgiven after making the required 120-qualifying payments.


LoanBuddy: How has advisor facing technology improved over your career?


Frank: Technology plays a pivotal role in the enhancement of both my client’s experience and firm’s efficiency. The providers of the technology I utilize are open to receiving and incorporating suggested feedback and recommendations on how the technology can be improved to continue to meet my needs, which I greatly appreciate, (just like LoanBuddy).


LoanBuddy: Since you are now a LoanBuddy customer how has it helped you optimize the options for your clients?


Frank:  LoanBuddy helps clients to visually see the impact of various life scenarios in real time, which helps both the client and I to mutually agree upon the best repayment strategy for their needs.


LoanBuddy: If you could offer one piece of financial advice to everyone in the USA what would it be?


Frank: Don’t Let Student Loan Debt Stop You From Living Your Best Life! Find a competent finance professional to assist you with creating and implementing the optimal repayment strategy for your needs and live your life. Create a plan, live life!

 

You can find more on Frank Shields via his website: 

https://futuremapfinancial.com

Or visit his personal finance blog  FRANKly SPEAKING where he delivers simple, actionable, and timely tips to help clients better manage their personal finances.

 

Catching up with LoanBuddy customer Frank Shields (MBA, CFP & CSLP) Founder of Future Map Financial.

Download his eBook THE PROFESSIONAL'S GUIDE TO PAYING OFF STUDENT LOANS