Advertiser Disclosure

Borrower Beware:

Loans, Student Loans

This company is on the NerdWallet Student Loan Watch List. The list flags student-loan businesses and individuals hit by enforcement actions, court judgments or liens, or bad ratings from the Better Business Bureau. Learn more in Who Gets Listed. says it helps student loan borrowers manage their student loans. However, the company’s president and CEO, Carey Howe, has his own financial difficulties, leaving a trail of unpaid creditors, civil judgments and tax liens. is also known as the Education Loan Network and La Casa Bonita Investments Inc., which has suffered from legal infighting. In 2016 Bruce Hood, recently also listed as CEO, filed a civil complaint against La Casa Bonita Investments that alleged Howe was embezzling company funds.

An opposition filing on Howe’s behalf claimed that Hood was using the lawsuit as leverage to get a higher buyout offer for his stake in the company. It also accused him of smashing an office window and stealing Howe’s computer. Hood filed to dismiss the case with prejudice in 2017.

Liens filed:

Two federal tax liens were filed against Howe in 2015 totaling more than $44,000. A roughly $113,000 judgment lien, listing the California Bank and Trust as the creditor, was filed in 2009. A nearly $13,000 civil judgment against Howe, listing Caine & Weiner Co Inc. as the creditor, was filed in 1997.

What the company claims to provide: Student loan counseling services including document preparation, loan forgiveness, loan consolidation and default rehabilitation services


Based: Huntington Beach, California

Management: Carey Howe, president and CEO. Recent California business filings list Bruce Hood as CEO and CFO.

Sources: California Secretary of State; Orange County Superior Court records; federal bankruptcy filing; Los Angeles Superior Court records; California judgment and lien filings; federal tax lien filings