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Technical documentation

What is this data?

Each week we send thousands of consumers' complaints about financial products and services to companies for response. Complaints are listed in the database after the company responds or after they’ve had the complaint for 15 calendar days, whichever comes first. We publish the consumer’s description of what happened if the consumer opts to share it and after taking steps to remove personal information. See our Scrubbing Standard for more details.

We don’t verify all the facts alleged in these complaints, but we take steps to confirm a commercial relationship. We may remove complaints if they don’t meet all of the publication criteria as defined in our policy statement. Data is refreshed nightly.

The Consumer Complaint Database contains complaints we've received about consumer financial products and services, including:

  • Bank accounts or services
  • Consumer loans
  • Credit cards
  • Credit reporting
  • Debt collection
  • Money transfers
  • Mortgages
  • Private student loans
  • Payday loans
  • Prepaid cards
  • Other consumer loan (such as pawn and title loans)
  • Other financial service (such as credit repair and debt settlement)

Field reference

The following fields are currently included in the database.

Field name Description Data Type Notes
Date received The date the CFPB received the complaint date & time
Product The type of product the consumer identified in the complaint plain text This field is a categorical variable.
Sub-product The type of sub-product the consumer identified in the complaint plain text This field is a categorical variable. Not all Products have Sub-products.
Issue The issue the consumer identified in the complaint plain text This field is a categorical variable. Possible values are dependent on Product. On December 18, 2013 the issues for student loan complaints were revised. “Repaying your loan” and “Problems when you are unable to pay” were removed and “Can’t pay my loan” and “Dealing with my lender or servicer” were added. Complaints received beginning on that date reflect this change. Complaints received before that date remain unchanged.
Sub-issue The sub-issue the consumer identified in the complaint plain text

This field is a categorical variable.

Possible values are dependent on product and issue.

Not all Issues have corresponding Sub-issues.

On December 18, 2013, sub-issues were added for student loan complaints. Previously, sub-issues were not used for this type of complaint. Complaints received beginning on that date reflect this change. Complaints received before that date remain unchanged.

Consumer complaint narrative Consumer complaint narrative is the consumer-submitted description of "what happened" from the complaint. Consumers must opt-in to share their narrative. We will not publish the narrative unless the consumer consents, and consumers can opt-out at any time. The CFPB takes reasonable steps to scrub personal information from each complaint that could be used to identify the consumer. plain text

Consumers' descriptions of what happened are included if consumers consent to publishing the description and after we take steps to remove personal information.

Company public response The company's optional, public-facing response to a consumer's complaint. Companies provide a public response to the CFPB, for posting on the public database, by selecting a response from a set list of options. plain text

Companies' public-facing responses to complaints are included if companies choose to publish one. Companies may select a public response from a set list of options as soon as they respond to the complaint, but no later than 180 days after the complaint was sent to the company for response.

Company The complaint is about this company plain text This field is a categorical variable.
State The consumer’s reported mailing state for the complaint plain text This field is a categorical variable.
ZIP code The consumer’s reported mailing ZIP code for the complaint plain text Mailing ZIP code provided by the consumer. This field may: i) include the first five digits of a ZIP code; ii) include the first three digits of a ZIP code (if the consumer consented to publication of their complaint narrative); or iii) be blank (if ZIP codes have been submitted with non-numeric values, if there are less than 20,000 people in a given ZIP code, or if the complaint has an address outside of the United States).
Submitted via How the complaint was submitted to CFPB plain text This field is a categorical variable.
Date sent to company The date the CFPB sent the complaint to the company date & time
Company response to consumer This is how the company responded to the complaint plain text This field is a categorical variable.
Timely response? Whether the company gave a timely response plain text yes/no
Consumer disputed? Whether the consumer disputed the company’s response plain text yes/no
Complaint ID The unique identification number for a complaint number

Release notes

Release 10 JUNE 2015
This release expands the database to include consumer complaint narratives and company public responses dating back to March 19, 2015.

Consumers' descriptions of what happened are included if consumers consent to publishing the description and after we take steps to remove personal information.

Companies' public-facing responses to complaints are included if companies choose to publish one. Companies may select a public response from a set list of options as soon as they respond to the complaint, but no later than 180 days after the complaint was sent to the company for response.

For complaints where consumers consent to publishing the description of what happened, only the first 3 digits of the consumer-reported ZIP codes are displayed.

Release 9 JANUARY 2015
This release expands the database to include complaints we’ve received about prepaid cards, other consumer loans, and other financial services dating back to July 19, 2014.
Release 8 JULY 2014
This release expands the database to include complaints we’ve received about payday loans dating back to November 6, 2013.
Release 7 APRIL 2014
This release includes complaints received after March 12, 2014, when the Bureau's case management system was upgraded. It also includes updates to older complaints that have happened since that date.
Release 6 DECEMBER 2013
This release reflects changes to the consumer complaint form:
  • The issues consumers can select on the student loan complaint form were revised. “Repaying your loan” and “Problems when you are unable to pay” were removed and “Can’t pay my loan” and “Dealing with my lender or servicer” were added.
  • Consumers can now select a sub-issue for student loan complaints.
  • Consumers can now submit a credit reporting complaint about the issues “Incorrect information on my credit report” and “Credit reporting company’s investigation” without first filing a dispute with the credit reporting company.
Complaints we receive beginning December 18, 2013, will reflect these changes as they appear in the database. Complaints received before then will remain unchanged.
Release 5 NOVEMBER 2013
This release expands the database to include complaints we’ve received about debt collection dating back to July 10, 2013. Additionally, consumer-reported ZIP codes for areas with populations of 20,000 or fewer persons are no longer included in the database.
Release 4 MAY 2013
This release expands the database to include complaints we’ve received about credit reporting dating back to October 22, 2012 and about money transfers dating back to April 4, 2013. It also adds the Sub-issue and State data fields. More information on the newly added fields can be found in the Field Reference, above.
Release 3 MARCH 2013
This release expanded the database to include complaints we’ve received related to mortgages dating back to December 1, 2011 and bank accounts and services, private student loans, and other consumer loans dating back to March 1, 2012. It also added the Sub-product data field.
Release 2 OCTOBER 2012
This release expanded the database to include credit card complaints dating back to December 1, 2011.
Release 1JUNE 2012
This release included complaints about credit cards received on or after June 1, 2012.

API documentation

The Consumer Complaint Database's application programming interface (API) allows you to filter and download complaint data in machine-readable formats. The API uses the following base url:

http://data.consumerfinance.gov/api/views

By adding a view ID and the rows parameter, you can create a url, or endpoint, that will download complaints by category. You can also choose a data format by appending your choice (such as csv, json or xml) to your endpoint.

The following endpoint will download debt collection complaints as a csv file, a format that can be opened as a spreadsheet:

http://data.consumerfinance.gov/api/views/fphp-cr5a/rows.csv

Here are the main view IDs for downloading complaints by category:

View IDs

ID Category
s6ew-h6mp Consumer complaints (all categories)
t9fg-cqmi Bank accounts or services
7zpz-7ury Credit cards
xa48-juie Credit reporting
ckyu-ku28 Debt collection
uha4-cwwn Money transfers
g5qz-smft Mortgages
b239-tvpx Other financial services
6hp8-hzag Payday loans
6yuf-367p Prepaid cards
eew7-9yf2 Student loans
wfbn-zkat Vehicle or other consumer loans

More options

Since this API is based on the Socrata Open Data API, you can also use Socrata's resource parameter to search and filter the data set. When using this option, be aware that Socrata imposes limits on the number of rows returned and may limit how quickly you can make requests if you send lots of them.

For details about Socrata's resource endpoint options, see Socrata's API documentation overview.