On February 28, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) released its monthly complaint report. For the month of January 2017, the products and services generating the most complaints were debt collection, student loans, and credit reporting, collectively representing about 60 percent of complaints. This is the first time since the CFPB started releasing monthly complaint reports in July 2015 that mortgages were not one of the three most complained-about products. Mortgages were replaced in the top three by student loans, which were 388% higher during the period November 2016 to January 2017 than a similar period last year. The CFPB attributes part of this increase to a February 2016 update to its student loan intake form, which allowed it to accept complaints about Federal student loan servicing. There was also a spike in student loan servicing complaints around the same time the CFPB announced an enforcement action against student loan servicer Navient in January 2017.
In contrast, complaints about payday loans and prepaid products were 26 percent and 13 percent lower, respectively, over the last three months compared to the same period a year ago. This decline continues a trend in complaints about these products that has been noted in the CFPB’s last several monthly complaint reports. Complaints about mortgages, which had also seen declines in recent complaint reports, were flat.
The current monthly report highlights complaints about credit reporting. The most common issue raised by consumers concerns inaccurate information in credit reports, constituting 76 percent of complaints about credit reports. Other issues raised by consumers include problems with: investigations (9 percent); obtaining a report or score (7 percent); the use of a credit report (4 percent); and credit monitoring or identity protection (4 percent).