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Struggling to keep up with student loan repayment


We’ve all heard the stories. Whether from our friends, colleagues, adult children, or through our own experiences, we know that student loan debt is taking a huge toll on students and graduates across the country. With the total volume of outstanding student debt amounting to well over a trillion dollars, we’ve heard stories of its impact on home buying, saving, the start of new businesses, new families, and more.

This summer, we had the pleasure of meeting Dani who shared her story with us. Her story was similar to many of the stories we receive on student debt. Dani, who graduated with a degree in elementary education, wasn’t making a lot of money. She was struggling to make ends meet and pay down her student loans. She was living in a family member’s basement located over an hour away from her job, driving a car in desperate need of repair, and trying to balance the cost of groceries against her student loan payments. At one point, she could not pay her student loans and received threatening calls as a result.

“I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve cried over my finances… It’s not like I’m going out and saying, ’Oh, I don’t have to pay those.’ I want to, and it’s really hard to deal with not being able to.”

Dani was on a one-year reduced payment plan, but it was about to expire. She knew that her income still wasn’t enough to manage a full student loan payment so, before the reduced payment plan expired, she contacted her student loan servicer to find out what steps she needed to take to stay on the plan. Although they assured her that she’d be able to do so, her request to extend the plan was eventually denied. Dani continued to try to work with her student loan servicer but she was getting nowhere.

“I needed help. I contacted the CFPB because I really needed someone else on my side. There’s nothing that I was doing with this private student loan servicer that was changing anything, and I was stuck in a position that felt hopeless…”

The loan servicer reviewed her account and determined she was indeed eligible to stay on the reduced payment plan for another year. By reaching out to the CFPB, Dani was able to take charge of her student loan debt.

“It’s such a relief to be able to not have to worry about if I’ll have money for gas to get to work; or, not have to worry about whether or not I’ll have something to eat that week; or being able to afford a place to live.”

We’re glad that Dani got the help she needed by reaching out to the CFPB. Whether you’re struggling with student loans or planning how you’ll pay for college, we have tools to help you. You have the right to take charge of your student loan debt, so let us help you along the way.

To learn more about our recent work to help student loan borrowers, read our report on Student Loan Servicing.

Check out more stories from people like you, visit our Paying for College tool, and submit a complaint if you’re having a problem with your student loan.

Reserve la cita, Miami-Dade, Florida!


Únase a nosotros para una audiencia pública en el Condado de Miami-Dade sobre prestatarios de préstamos estudiantiles. La audiencia se celebrará el miércoles 8 de mayo a las 6 p.m. (de la tarde.)

El evento contará con las palabras del Director del CFPB Richard Cordray, así como con los testimonios de grupos de consumidores, representantes de la industria y miembros del público.

La audiencia se celebrará en:

Miami Dade College
Wolfson Campus Chapman Center, Sala 3210
300 N.E. 2nd Avenue
Miami, Fl. 33132

El evento está abierto al público y debe RSVP.

Para RSVP envíe un mensaje con su nombre completo y su afiliación organizacional a

¡Nos vemos allá!

Save the date: join us for a field hearing in Des Moines


Join us for a field hearing in Des Moines, Iowa, on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Consumer Response Consumer Complaint Database. The hearing will take place on Thursday, March 28 at 11 am CST.

The event will feature remarks from CFPB Director Richard Cordray, as well as testimony from consumer groups, industry representatives, and members of the public. More information on the event to follow.
This event is open to the public and requires an RSVP.


Email with:

• Your full name
• Your organizational affiliation (if any)

See you there!

Twitter: Let’s chat!


We’re excited to co-host a twitter chat with the Federal Trade Commission and the General Services Administration as part of National Consumer Protection Week to answer questions about consumer issues on March 6, 2013, at 2 p.m. ET.

We’ll be taking questions on consumer finance products and services and other consumer issues.

Join the conversation

To participate, tweet questions with the hashtag #NCPW and follow us @CFPB.

Project Catalyst develops portfolio to support innovation


The initiatives announced at the start of Project Catalyst are gaining early traction. In November 2012 in Mountain View, Calif., we launched Project Catalyst, a program to support the creation and growth of innovative consumer financial products and services. The pilot collaborations we announced at our November launch have been actively moving forward. We have received data and are excited to be learning more about financial products and consumer behavior from real world startups.

In December, we announced the Bureau’s proposed Policy to Encourage Trial Disclosure Programs, an initiative aimed at working with industry to identify the best disclosure forms for consumers. In January, we explained the policy in a call with interested innovators. Once the policy becomes final, we will organize another call with the innovator community to answer questions about how to apply for permission to conduct a trial disclosure program.

As promised, we continue to engage with innovators across the country in formal and informal dialogue. Last week, we again went outside the Beltway – this time to New York City to meet with large financial institutions that share our interest in consumer-friendly products and services. We learned more about how these financial institutions are thinking about building and scaling a variety of new financial products. We also received valuable feedback about the policy tools we are using to implement Project Catalyst.

We will continue to engage with the innovator community to ensure the best financial products and services can reach American consumers. Every week we receive a number of new submissions from startups and other innovative companies looking to work with us. We encourage interested parties to send comments, submissions, and questions to us at:

Meet Greg from Michigan


Since we launched on July 21st 2011, we’ve heard directly from consumers about the challenges they face in the marketplace, brought their concerns to the attention of financial institutions, and helped address their complaints. Accepting, resolving, and analyzing consumer complaints is an integral part of our work.

This week, we’ll be featuring stories from consumers who we have helped, and who have agreed to let the CFPB make their stories public.

Greg, a 39-year-old insurance adjuster from Michigan, whose credit rating was damaged after a bank failed to tell him that an account with which he was associated was in arrears.

Greg added his name to his 71-year-old mother’s checking account after he helped her move into an assisted living facility. Six months passed without Greg getting any statements or hearing from the bank. Little did he know, however, that his mother had written a check and the account was racking up big fees because its balance had fallen below zero. He found out about it when he checked his credit report and saw that he owed a collection agency $469.

Greg paid the bill but his credit was harmed and he says the bank wouldn’t help. After the CFPB got involved, the bank apologized for their error, called off the debt collector, and had Greg’s negative credit record removed.

Learn more

To see more about how we handle consumer complaints, read our Consumer Response Snapshot and to see all credit card complaints, visit our consumer complaint database.