The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been an immensely effective advocate for students and borrowers. Now its independence and very existence are under threat from the White House and Congress, and lawmakers need to hear why the CFPB matters to you.
Just last month, the CFPB sued Navient, the nation’s largest student loan servicer, for “systematically and illegally failing borrowers at every stage of repayment.” It alleges that Navient put 1.5 million borrowers in serial forbearances from 2010-2015, costing borrowers up to $4 billion in interest.
As TICAS president Lauren Asher told the New York Times: “this is a reminder why it is so important that there is an independent consumer watchdog in Washington.”
Here are some more reminders: the CFPB has secured more than $480 million in debt relief for former students of Corinthian Colleges. It secured $60 million in student loan refunds to 78,000 servicemembers who were overcharged by Sallie Mae and Navient. And it has directly assisted people throughout the country by handling over one million consumer complaints to date.
On Friday, the Trump Administration made clear it is going after the CFPB and the law that created it. Congressional proposals also threaten to hobble the CFPB. It’s up to us to defend the independent agency that puts fairness, transparency, and the safety of consumers and student loan borrowers ahead of the power and profits of Wall Street.