Wronged consumers get more than $11 million back from student loan servicers

“Sloppy or callous” practices by student loan servicers are still costing consumers money despite stepped-up enforcement efforts, according to a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which recently returned more than $11 million to more than 225,000 harmed consumers.

The CFPB said it also uncovered student loan servicer violations, such as failing to enroll qualified borrowers in affordable federal loan repayment plans. It is issuing updated procedures for student loan servicing exams.

“Our examiners continue to find sloppy or callous practices among some student loan servicers and other financial institutions that violate the law and put consumers at risk,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “If their practices hurt consumers, they need to rethink and change their practices in light of the actions and observations found in this report.”

The CFPB said its examiners have found student loan servicers unfairly denying or failing to approve qualified students’ affordable payment plans, leaving borrowers to face needless hurdles and wrongful rejections when trying to enroll in these plans.

CFPB said its examiners have found servicers are regularly and illegally denying applications from qualified borrowers. These practices could trap borrowers in payment plans they cannot afford, delay access to important benefits, increase costs for consumers, and contribute to avoidable defaults.