The CFPB issued its monthly report on consumer complaints last week. The report is a high-level snapshot of trends in consumer complaints. The Report provides a summary of the volume of complaints by product category, by company and by state. Additionally, it highlights a product type. This month’s report highlights credit reporting which was last in the “spotlight” in May 2016. Here are the highlights of this month’s report:

  • Complaint Volume by Product
    • In a startling change from prior months, the three products which yielded the highest volume of complaints in January 2017 were debt collection, student loan and credit reporting. This is the first month where mortgage complaints were not in the top three. Student loan complaints jumped 537% over December 2016 numbers. No explanation was provided for the sudden spike in student loan complaints between December and January.
    • For the three-month period, student loans indicated the highest increase in change – 388% when compared to 2016. The CFPB explained this year to year increase as being partly attributable to the CFPB updating its student loan intake to include complaints about Federal student loan servicing in February 2016; and
    • On a monthly basis, complaints for all products except money transfer increased over December numbers.

 

  • Highlighted Product: Credit Reporting
    • The CFPB notes that, as has been the case each time credit reporting is highlighted, the most common credit reporting complaint in July was incorrect information on credit reports (76% of all credit reporting complaints);
    • The CFPB report indicates that these complaints frequently involved difficulties with disputing inaccuracies with their credit report. A lot of these complaints center on issues with customer service.
    • Many consumers additionally submitted complaints about inaccurate personal information on their reports involving incorrect or unrecognized names and addresses and “mixed” credit reports.
    • The report also notes that complaints about hard credit inquiries are increasing. Consumers complain that hard inquiries appear when they did not take any action to apply for a loan.
    • The report also notes that complaints about accounts being reported where the consumer is in bankruptcy are also on the rise.
    • The Report notes that the Bureau is receiving complaints against specialty consumer reporting agencies and highlighted complaints involving rental, background and employment screening complaints.