CFPB Seeks Private Student Loan Information for Congressional Report

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is seeking information about private student loans from students, schools, the student loan industry, and other stakeholders to help prepare a report to Congress.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires the CFPB and the Department of Education to produce this report by July 21, 2012. The CFPB will also use the information it gathers to prioritize its regulatory and education work. Comments must be submitted by Jan. 17, 2012.

“The private student loan market is one of the least understood consumer credit markets. It has been operating in the shadows for too long,” said Raj Date, Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the CFPB. 

The CFPB's goal is to get a complete picture of private student lending, including:

  • Information available to shop for private student loans
  • The role of schools in the marketplace
  • Underwriting criteria
  • Repayment terms and behavior
  • Impact on choice of field of study and career choice
  • Servicing and loan modification
  • Financial education and default avoidance

A CFPB press release notes that that private student loans don't include the same consumer protection features for borrowers facing hardship. The bureau says too little is known about this financial product that has resulted in billions of dollars of unpaid debt.

Instructions for submitting comments are available in the CFPB notice in the Federal Register.