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.
Periodically, we’ll feature stories from consumers who we have helped, and who have agreed to let the CFPB make their stories public.
Julio, a 31-year-old waiter from Florida struggled to pay his private student loans from a for-profit college after his payments shot up.
When Julio left Puerto Rico to pursue his dream of studying to be an artist, he chose a for-profit college that he says advertised itself as a top ranking school. But after accruing $110,000 in debt and graduating with only an Associate’s Degree, not the Bachelor’s he wanted, he couldn’t find a job in his field. The college was not competitive, he was told.
Like many other students, Julio says the school steered him into taking on expensive private loans before exhausting his federal loan options. For more than a year, he promptly paid $700 a month to the private student loan lender. But when his federal loan kicked in, his payments increased to $1,100 a month and he could no longer make ends meet. He called his private student lender and asked to work out a deal for lower, extended payments. The company refused, he said.
After Julio contacted the CFPB, the loan provider discovered that Julio was eligible for a reduced-payment program. Julio’s private student loan payments were cut back to $407 a month for the next year. Julio is still working out a plan for to reduce his payments for the federal loans.