This last year consumer advocates have been on a warpath regarding student loans, setting their sights on loan servicers. Just this year the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) began the process of suing one of the largest student loan servicers: Navient.
With the CFPB so prominently in the news lately, it was only a matter of time before the number of complaints submitted to them would skyrocket. On April 1, the CFPB released their monthly complaint snapshot, showing a 325% increase in student loan complaints received in a year-to-year comparison of just three months.
From January 2017 through March 2017 the CFPB received 3,284 complaints about student loans, compared to 773 from January 2015 through March 2016.
The CFPB has noted that the spike in student loan complaints may be because of the awareness of loan servicer issues, specifically tied to CFPB suing Navient.
The report shows that Navient was the most complained about company, jumping from tenth most complained about in the previous month’s report. The number one complaint had to do with student loans, followed by debt collection — by a large margin.
After these past three months, Navient now has a complaint total of over 12,000.
“The agency’s lawsuit against Navient was a wake-up call to many borrowers that they too may have been preyed upon by the company’s illegal conduct,” said Rohit Chopra, a senior fellow at the Consumer Federation of America, and student loan ombudsman for the CFPB.
Most of the complaints from the snapshot were issues with credit card companies, which remains the nation’s highest debt. Wells Fargo showed an increase of approximately 99% when comparing October 2015 through December 2015 and October 2016 through December 2016.
Student loan debt totals $1.4 trillion in the United States. The 44 million Americans holding this debt have been looking to the government for help. While the current administration hasn’t lent a hand yet, CFPB does continue fighting in their name.