Harry noticed that his son Ari, a servicemember, was struggling with his car loan, so he reached out to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. His story led to our investigation into an auto loan program that we found was using deceptive marketing and lending practices to target servicemembers.
The number of complaints we receive from the military community continues to grow; from 2014-2015, complaints increased by 13 percent. For the second year in a row, debt collection, mortgages, and credit reporting were the top three complaint categories for the military community. Debt collection—by a large margin—was the top complaint category, comprising nearly half of our military complaints.
After reviewing complaints submitted by consumers, we’ve discovered a financial scam targeting older consumers who had previously been victims of fraudulent money-making schemes. So-called asset recovery companies are contacting these past victims, promising to get refunds for a substantial fee, failing to deliver promised services, and leaving consumers financially worse off than before.
In the past month, credit reporting complaints showed the greatest monthly percentage increase compared to other products the CFPB accepts complaints about (including debt collection, mortgages and credit cards – to name a few). Check out this month’s report to see trends across all consumer complaints.
Listening to and elevating your voice matters to us because we are a federal agency devoted to protecting consumers. When you speak up, you offer invaluable insight into the financial products and services consumers depend on. Telling us about your experiences helps us to better serve you and make the financial marketplace work for Americans.
In Jorge’s words, “Within two weeks, everything was finalized . . . [I got] a letter saying it’s gone.” He continued, “Having a good credit score and a clean credit record is always good. No one was going to help me with my problem – and I took charge, by contacting the CFPB.”
We know that buying a home can be complicated, and that’s why we’ve created tools to help home buyers understand and shop for mortgages. We’re glad that Navid and his wife got the help they needed, and we’re here for you, too!
Today, for the first time, we are making consumers’ complaint narratives – the heart and soul of the complaints we receive – public. These narratives are important because they tell the story of what happened in the consumers’ own words. Making these consumer narratives public amplifies the voice of the consumer.
Some of these companies, called specialty consumer reporting agencies, compile and sell reports with all kinds of personal data including, but not limited to, the history of your employment, rental, banking, lending, insurance, and criminal background. This includes other public record data such as tax liens, civil suits and bankruptcy data. We’ve got a list of consumer reporting agencies, so you can fact-check them to ensure your personal report data is accurate and complete.
If you are paying back student loans, you are not alone. Over 40 million Americans are repaying more than $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debt. Paying off student debt can be stressful. If you’ve run into roadblocks, tell us about it. Learn more about the roadblocks some borrowers face and tell us about your experience.