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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

CFPB Monthly Complaint Snapshot Highlights Issues Related to Student Loans

Lending Student Lending CFPB Consumer Finance Consumer Complaints


On April 25, the CFPB released its monthly complaint report highlighting consumer complaints year-to-date April 1. The Bureau has handled approximately 1,163,200 consumer complaints across all categories since it began collecting complaints. Of the roughly 28,000 received in March, 2,033 focused on private and federal student loans. Common problems raised by student borrowers included:

  • lost documentation, extended application processing time, and unclear guidance when enrolling in income-driven repayment plans;
  • misapplied payments, such as overpayments being applied to all accounts instead of being applied to a specific account;
  • confusion over Public Student Loan Forgiveness programs and other loan forgiveness programs, specifically regarding enrollment issues, payment problems, and issues due to inaccurately reported employment data; and
  • credit reporting companies receiving incorrect data, resulting in negative scores or collection companies contacting consumers about accounts that were paid in full or for debts that were not owed.

Similar to past CFPB-issued complaint snapshots, the report identifies the top 10 most common complaint categories with respect to all financial products, as well as the top 10 companies for which they received the most student loan complaints. The report spotlighted Nevada, noting that (i) Nevada consumers have submitted 14,600 of the 1,163,200 complaints received; (ii) debt collection complaints accounted for 29 percent of complaints received from Nevada, exceeding the national average by 2 percent; and (iii) mortgage-related complaints accounted for 23 percent of all complaints submitted by Nevada consumers, a rate equal to the national rate of mortgage complaints.

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