WASHINGTON — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Wednesday it is seeking additional data on private student loan complaints, a move that could lay the foundation for changes to the student loan market.
The agency published a notice and request for information in the Federal Register Wednesday asking state agencies, colleges, consumer advocates and lenders to submit data and information on existing private student loan complaints.
The CFPB also sent a letter directly to state attorneys general and state higher education officials on Wednesday urging them to share complaint data and analysis on private student loans.
Under the Dodd-Frank Act, CFPB is required to review borrower complaints on student loans and provide recommendations to Congress and other agencies.
"Responses to the notice will inform the recommendations to Congress in the CFPB's student loan ombudsman report on private student loan complaints," the agency said in a press release.
The CFPB is also in the process of finalizing a joint study, in conjunction with the Department of Education, on the private student loan market. On Wednesday, it released more than 2,000 comments it has received from consumers as part of that study, which must be completed by July 21.
"Private student loans provide little room for error and students need to know before they owe," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a press release. "The bureau is committed to helping students get clear information to make the best choices for their financial futures."
The bureau started accepting its own complaints on private student loans in March, and it has the authority to supervise private student lenders, both banks and nonbanks, of any size. It does not have authority over federally-subsidized student loans, which make up the vast majority of the student loan market.
CFPB has also unveiled a handful of other student borrower initiatives, including an online repayment assistance tool and a standardized financial aid disclosure that would help students compare financial aid offers.