Consumer Agency Hard At Work On Student Loans

Releases Report On Risky Practices With Private Student Loans

Somerville, MA -- As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau marks the one-year anniversary of opening its doors, consumer advocate and U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren praised the agency's work to protect young people from the financial tricks and traps associated with student loans.

On Friday, the CFPB and the U.S. Department of Education released a report on the risky practices and debt resulting from the private student loan market's recent boom and bust cycle. According to the CFPB, total student loan debt in the United States was over $1 trillion in 2011.

"I'm proud that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has stood up for young people who have played by the rules and want to invest in their future," said Warren. "We should be helping our kids get an education by making it easier to see the costs of borrowing, so they don't face a mountain of debt after they leave school."

The CFPB, which reached the one-year anniversary of opening its doors on July 21st, has taken a number of steps to help level the playing field for young people on student loans, including:

  • Creating a student financial aid shopping sheet to help students navigate the costs of higher education by providing information like monthly debt payment levels after graduation. The CFPB also created a student financial aid comparison shopper, which allows students to compare the costs of different schools and the debt they would incur at different schools.
  • Appointing a Private Education Loan Ombudsman, who will work with the Department of Education to resolve complaints about student loans.
  • Helping student borrowers directly by launching the Student Debt Repayment Assistant, which helps students navigate their loan repayment options. The site garnered more than 30,000 hits in its first few days.
  • Helping thousands of people resolve their complaints about credit cards, mortgages, and student loans with its fully accessible Consumer Response Center.

Warren is widely credited with the idea for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and she served as Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury in 2010 and 2011, with the authority to set up the consumer agency. Warren also served as Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Oversight Panel. For her clear and fearless oversight efforts on behalf of the American people, Time Magazine named her one of the "New Sheriffs of Wall Street," and the Boston Globe named her Bostonian of the Year in 2009.