Have you ever been a victim of predatory lending, banking, or investment practices? Do you ever wish someone would put irresponsible financial institutions in check?
Well, there’s actually a U.S. government agency that does just that: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
They’re responsible for protecting consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices in the financial sector. They can also take action against the companies responsible for such actions.
More importantly, the CFPB is a great government resource for you, the borrower. Especially if you have have a complaint against your student loan servicer. Here’s how the CFPB can help you.
What is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created after the 2008 financial crisis to protect U.S. consumers. It employs 1,623 staff members and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
Originally, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren proposed the idea for such an agency back in 2007 when she was a Harvard Law School professor.
Then, in 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama appointed Warren as Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Ultimately, Warren helped shape the agency into what it is today.
Currently Richard Cordray, former Attorney General and State Treasurer for Ohio, is the first and only director of the CFPB.
How does the CFPB protect consumers?
The role of the CFPB is to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive practices by banks and other financial institutions. The agency strives to achieve the following:
Through a series of articles and tools, the CFPB empowers regular consumers to make the best financial and financial product decisions possible.
Tools, data, answers to common financial questions, and useful tips on making financial choices are all available through the CFPB website and print resources.
Through the creation and enforcement of rules and regulations, the CFPB prevents unfavorable financial situations before they begin.
The Bureau has an extensive rulemaking process that utilizes data analysis and research. They also take into account public input, hearings, expert roundtables, advisory panels, and small business reviews.
Essentially, the CFPB promotes collaboration with the public to bring about the best, most helpful and most effective rules to protect and advocate for consumers.
The CFPB works to educate both consumers and businesses on all aspects of personal finance decision-making.
They can help you learn how to open your first bank account as a child, how to pay for college or choose the right mortgage, and plan for a secure retirement.
Additionally, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau educates financial companies and businesses on their roles and responsibilities when it comes to protecting consumers.
What are CFPB regulations?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is constantly working on new and improved regulations for financial institutions.
Recent actions include improvements and amendments to existing laws like the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z). These are both mortgage and loan specific rules.
For example, Regulation Z is a Federal Reserve regulation that requires banks to be transparent and provide information on all costs involved with a credit card or loan. The CFPB works to ensure lenders follow that regulation.
The CFPB is also currently working on developing a handful of regulations for the following:
- Updating financial thresholds in the Consumer Leasing Act (Regulation M)
- Improving mortgage disclosures under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)
- Creating an amendment to annual privacy notification rules dictating what’s included in those annual privacy notices you get from your bank
Have you ever bought a home with a mortgage? There’s a stack of paperwork as thick as a phonebook that you have to sign and initial at closing.
This 426-page rule from the CFPB explains how the mortgage information should be laid out and disclosed to consumers. Although lengthy, it is a clear and easy-to-follow mortgage disclosure. Compare the old versions and new versions here.
How do I file a CFPB complaint?
The CFPB doesn’t just make rules and enforce them. They also take consumer complaints and actually follow up on them.
At the CFPB website, you can submit a complaint and view past complaints you think would be useful to other consumers. Pretty much everything that has to do with your money and a financial servicer you can file a complaint with the CFPB about.
The CFPB has a system for you to log in and track complaints on any of the following types of loans, products, and services:
- Student loan
- Vehicle loan or lease
- Payday loan
- Other consumer loan
- Bank account or service
- Credit card or prepaid card
- Credit reporting
- Debt collection
- Money transfer or virtual currency
- Other financial service
If your complaint involves a financial transaction with a financial services company in which they don’t live up to their end of the agreement or don’t follow consumer protection laws, the CFPB has your back.
What are some Consumer Financial Protection Bureau resources?
The CFPB states that all consumers have the right to clear, correct, and unbiased information about a variety of financial topics, including personal banking, buying a home and paying for college.
As U.S. citizens we pay for this organization with our tax dollars. That’s why their job is to make navigating our financial lives a lot easier.
Check out the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website and see how they can start helping you, today.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.49% effective March 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.50% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.53% – 8.79%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.55% – 7.12%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.00% – 9.74%6||Undergrad & Graduate|