CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU LAUNCHES PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO STUDENT LOAN SERVICING PRACTICES

Announcement from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:

bankruptcyWASHINGTON, D.C. — July, 2015 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is launching a public inquiry into student loan servicing practices that can make paying back loans a stressful or harmful process for borrowers. The issues that the Bureau is seeking information on include: industry practices that create repayment challenges, hurdles for distressed borrowers, and the economic incentives that may affect the quality of service. The CFPB is also re-launching an enhanced version of its Repay Student Debt online tool to help borrowers figure out their options for affordable repayment.

“Student debt stress can make borrowers feel like they are walking a tightrope where any false move in paying back a loan can cause them to fall,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Today’s inquiry seeks information on the pain points in student loan servicing that make repayment a more difficult and stressful process.”
The Request for Information.

Student loans make up the nation’s second largest consumer debt market. The market has grown rapidly in the last decade. Today there are more than 40 million federal and private student loan borrowers and collectively these consumers owe more than $1.2 trillion. The market is now facing an increasing number of borrowers who are struggling to stay current on their loans.

UPDATE: as of 2018 the student loan debt exceeds $1.4 trillion and growing.

A fact sheet about student loan stress

Income Based Repayment Plans