Before the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, non-banks didn’t have to deal with the same regulation environment while issuing private student loans. The act changed that though.

Now private lenders are regulated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB accepts complaints from borrowers who are experiencing difficulties or issues with their private student loans. These complaint records are available online publicly.

Consumers can file various complaints regarding their student loans. Top complaints include:

  • Lack of information and sloppy practices
  • Difficulty enrolling in income-driven repayment plans
  • Difficulty staying in income-driven repayment plans
  • Confusion regarding Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs

Billing disputes, confusing advertising, repayment problems, and debt collection issues are also common complaints. Consumers who have serious issues with a private lender are encouraged to file a formal complaint with the CFPB.

How to File a Complaint

Gather the Information

Before consumers file a complaint, they need to gather the necessary information. They need:

  • Dates
  • Amounts
  • Additional details related to the complaint
 

Billing statements and other documents are also helpful when filing a complaint. Those who have supporting documents should gather them. 

Filling Out the Form

Consumers must go to the website and fill out the form. Once at the website, click “Submit a Complaint.” Then click “Start a New Complaint.” This will take the borrower to an online form. 

The online form is very simple. It has five steps that must be filled out.

Step 1 – What Is the Complaint About?

Students aren’t the only ones who can file complaints with the CFPB. People can also file complaints regarding vehicle loans, mortgages, and more. Select “Student loan” to continue with the form.

Next, borrowers need to select the correct type of loan. Since this is about a private student loan, students should select that and continue.

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Finally, borrowers need to provide the name of the school or university. While this is optional, it is a good idea to include it since it helps the CFPB understand the issue better. Each school has different lending practices, and this helps the government realize if the lender is in the right or wrong.

Step 2 – What Type of Problem Are You Having?


Next, the CFPB needs to know the nature of the complaint. Choose from:

  • Getting a loan
  • Struggling to repay the loan
  • Dealing with the lender or servicer
  • Issues with the credit report or score 

Answer additional questions dealing with the specific issue, and let the CFPB know if you have tried to fix the problem with the lender.

Step 3 – What Happened? 

Now it’s time to detail the information about the complaint. Write out the complaint, attaching all supporting documents. Include a fair resolution to the complaint.

Step 4 – What Company Is the Complaint About? 

Add the name of the loan company to the complaint. Borrowers can also include an account number, social security number, or loan number, although this is optional. This information helps the CFPB find the loan.

Step 5: Who Are the People Involved?

Borrowers need to include all parties involved in the loan. They need to select who is involved and then review the complaint. If they are pleased with the complaint, they can submit it.


This is a simple process that can be completed online. Follow these steps to file a complaint. Then wait for the CFPB to review it and possibly even resolve it.