March 06, 2012

CFPB accepting private student-loan complaints

March 7, 2012 – Consumers can now submit complaints regarding private student loans to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which plans to work with lenders and servicers to facilitate responses to consumer concerns.

The CFPB unveiled this latest phase of its online complaint system Monday. The system is overseen by the CFPB ombudsman, which was established under the Dodd-Frank Act.

Rohit Chopra, the CFPB's student loan ombudsman, noted Monday that the CFPB office "certainly can't make your debt disappear," but Chorpa said "we can help bring your concern to your financial institution's attention." He also invited consumers to share their general experiences with private student lending.

Chopra, in his announcement, noted the CFPB's recently launched Student Debt Repayment Assistant, which aims to help consumers learn more about their options for repaying student loans. The CFPB is also working on a Know Before You Owe project for student loans that features a proposed financial-aid shopping sheet.

NAFCU's February Economic & CU Issues Monitor (login required) noted that roughly 10 percent of NAFCU members surveyed report holding some outstanding student loans. The report also said the percentage of respondents offering student loans is higher than the percentage of all credit unions doing so. Data from Sept. 30 NCUA call reports show just 6.7 percent of insured credit unions are involved in student lending.