A few weeks ago, we announced that we’re gathering information to identify policy options for borrowers to find affordable options on their private student loans.
In that short period of time, we’ve received over 20,000 responses from individuals and organizations telling us what could be done. We’ve already posted many of the responses online – take a look.
Here’s a couple of the issues and ideas that have been submitted:
Refinance products and the capital markets: A number of participants, including a publisher of websites on financial aid and a start-up CEO, described how there may be significant demand for credit-worthy borrowers to refinance their loans and lock-in lower rates, but creative lenders face hurdles in the capital markets to fund loans. Individual borrowers have also described how the lack of refinance options impacts them.
Government-sponsored programs to promote affordable loan repayment: Many participants have talked about income-based repayment, and two separate think tanks discussed creating programs and capital vehicles to modify loan terms so borrowers can get affordable payment plans.
Impact on professions: A number of participants talked about how student debt affects their profession. For example, a medical student wrote about the inability to get a lower rate. A physician assistant serving veterans talked about the difficulty staying in public service. A school district official wrote about how the lack of repayment options on private student loans impacts teacher retention. A mortgage loan officer talked about the impact of student loans when qualifying for a mortgage.
This is just a small sample of the input we’ve received – we know there’s even more out there. Submit your ideas and input online by April 8, 2013.
Sometimes, you really just need some cash. Maybe you want to catch a bus, grab a cab, or get a bite to eat at your favorite restaurant that doesn’t accept debit or credit cards. In situations like these, you may have to run to the nearest ATM.
Now, I imagine you’re probably aware that you’ll be charged a fee if you use an ATM that doesn’t belong to your bank or credit union. And even if you didn’t know that, you would receive an electronic notice on the ATM screen or a printout before you complete the transaction and have to pay that fee.
If you were paying extra close attention, you may have noticed a sticker pasted on or near the ATM that tells you about fees but doesn’t tell you how much the fee will be. If you’ve ever wondered why that sticker was there, the answer is that, until now, the law required it.
Congress recently amended the law about ATM fee disclosures to eliminate the sticker requirement. Now the CFPB is following the law by changing these rules. While this change means that consumers may no longer see a sticker on the ATM telling them that the ATM owner may charge a fee, the information about these charges, including the amount of the charge, will still appear on the ATM screen or a printout. The consumer will be able to cancel the ATM transaction without paying a dime.
At the CFPB, we work to ensure that consumers have the information they need to make informed decisions about their financial products and services. If you have had a confusing experience with ATM fees, you may contact the CFPB to tell us your story or submit a complaint.
Today we announced how lenders can take steps to prevent discrimination in auto lending, but there are also steps that every consumer can take to make it more likely that they are getting a good deal on a car loan. If you’re shopping for a car loan, you’re not alone. The average loan for a new car is up to $26,691 – making auto loans an important decision for consumers.
Shop for a car loan before shopping for a car
When you decide to buy a car, there are several options when it comes to getting a loan. You can check with several banks, credit unions, or other lenders to get a pre-approved loan. Get that pre-approval before you go to buy a car and take the pre-approval with you when you go shopping. Having a loan offer in-hand when you shop for the car puts you in a strong position. For most people, concentrating your applications in a short period of time can minimize the effect on your credit score. Any negative effect will be small while the benefits of shopping around could be big.
When comparing loans, make sure you’re comparing all the terms
If you get competing offers from different lenders, including a dealer who offers you financing, you should take a close look at each of the loan terms, including the interest rate, amount financed, and length of the car loan. Some lenders may tell you they can tailor the monthly payments to suit your budget, but that could mean extending the lifetime of the loan. That could mean that you would still owe on the car when you are ready for your next car.
It’s hard for you to know how your interest rate and other loan terms stack up against other consumers in similar situations. Our announcement today is part our effort to protect consumers from unlawful discrimination. You can be a savvy buyer, though, by taking easy steps to negotiate the best deal for yourself – starting by shopping for a car loan before buying the car.
Banks, credit unions, and other financial services providers are concerned with compliance costs – how much it costs to comply with financial regulations – and we’re interested as well. Regulations can have many benefits for consumers, but the benefits sometimes come at a cost.
What we want to know
What are the extent and nature of compliance costs?
So, what are we doing?
Our Research, Markets, and Regulations team is studying the costs related to rules we inherited from other agencies. We want to increase public understanding of compliance costs. As a first step, we will talk to banks across the country about the costs they incur to comply with consumer regulations for deposit products and services. These include products like checking accounts and debit cards, which nearly all banks offer and most consumers use. Through our research, we hope to become better and smarter regulators.
Today, we presented our annual report to Congress on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA.)
From the report:
“This report covers much good work done together over the past year by the CFPB and the FTC. In the last year, we began an important new chapter in the history of the FDCPA. Under the larger participant rule recently adopted by the CFPB, any firm with more than $10 million in annual receipts from consumer debt collection activities is now subject to our supervisory authority. This authority extends to about 175 debt collectors, which accounts for over 60% of the industry’s annual receipts in the consumer debt collection market. This new federal authority enables us both to protect consumers and to promote a level playing field for all law-abiding debt collectors.”
“Above all, we are concerned about the system-wide problems in the debt collection market that pose risks to consumers, and we want to see good practices come to dominate the market, including improved data integrity.”
If you have questions about debt collection, check out Ask CFPB for some answers.
Read the rest of the report.
We have announced the location for our field hearing in Des Moines, Iowa on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Complaint Database. The hearing will take place on Thursday, March 28 at 11 a.m. CST and will be held at the following location:
Des Moines Central Library
1000 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309
The event will feature remarks from CFPB Director Richard Cordray, as well as testimony from consumer groups, industry representatives, and members of the public.
This event is open to the public and requires an RSVP.
Email email@example.com with:
- Your full name
- Your organizational affiliation (if any)
See you there!