If you are paying back student loans, you are not alone. More than 44 million people in America are repaying more than $1.4 trillion in outstanding student loan debt. Significant debt can have a domino effect on the major choices you make in your life: whether to take a particular job, whether to move, whether to buy a home, even whether to get married. For many of you, student debt stress makes these big milestones seem out of reach.
Today we’re proposing and seeking comment on an that would take a closer look at the way consumers repay student debt and track the student loan industry activities that you depend on if you experience financial distress. We are proposing a plan to from the largest student loan servicers (the companies that send you your bill each month). This proposed project would provide the CFPB with a broader and deeper look into the student loan market, with a focus on key areas that might put consumers like you at risk.
Last month, the Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid about the performance of certain student loan servicers. Last year, the Department of Education that included a detailed plan to expand public access to data about student loans. In 2015, we partnered with the Department of Education and the Department of the Treasury to highlight problems reported by consumers and released a shared vision for student loan reform and more transparency in the student loan market. Today’s proposed initiative would build on this important work.
The data we are proposing to request would inform our ongoing work to protect “at-risk” student loan borrowers, by taking a closer look at:
For many student loan borrowers, high quality student loan servicing can be the difference between getting by and going broke. We’ve called for market-wide reforms to halt harmful practices and boost assistance for distressed borrowers. The data we’re proposing to collecting will would build upon these efforts and the work we’ve done to improve student loan servicing practices and help borrowers stay on track to tackle their student loan debt.
In the meantime, if you are having problems with your student loan, you can submit a complaint online or by calling (855) 411-2372. For more information on how you can repay your student loans, including the different types of IDR plans, check out our Repay Student Debt Tool.
John McNamara is CFPB’s Assistant Director of Consumer Lending, Reporting, and Collections Markets.
Seth Frotman is the CFPB’s Student Loan Ombudsman. To learn more about our work for students and young consumers, visit consumerfinance.gov/students.
This article by was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.