Back in February, the CFPB proposed information collection on the student loan servicing market, since then two trade associations have submitted comment letters, one in support of the information collection and one believing that the information collection would be unduly burdensome. According to the Bureau, the proposed information collection was intended to provide the Bureau “with a broader and deeper look into the student loan market.” The comment period for its request closed earlier this month.

Americans for Financial Reform (AFR). On April 24, the AFR and 31 other organizations sent a sign-on letter to the CFPB expressing support for the CFPB’s proposed student loan servicing data collection initiative. The letter argues, among other things, that “compiling such metrics and borrower outcomes would benefit market participants, federal and state agencies, policymakers, and borrowers,” by allowing each to “[o]btain[] a clearer view of the student loan market overall” while also “inform[ing] all market participants on how best to serve student loan borrowers.” The AFR letter also offers several suggests as to how the Bureau can best ensure the “quality and transparency of the data.” The letter emphasized, among other things, that “transparency is critical to having a servicing system that works for borrowers,” especially given the large number of student loan defaults.

Consumer Bankers Association (CBA). In an April 24 comment letter, the CBA expressed agreement with the CFPB’s ultimate goal of creating a private student loan market that is both transparent and fair, but argues that its consumer bank members already “effectively tailor[]” their loan products “to meet their customer’s needs” and strive to make loans only “to customers who are judged highly likely to repay them.” Specifically, the CBA believes, among other things, that the CFPB information collection would require unnecessarily duplication of existing publicly reported private loan data. CBA also raised additional concerns, including: (i) whether the CFPB could collect the same data effectively, and with greater protection afforded to loan holders and servicers, through the supervisory process; (ii) whether the CFPB has “grossly underestimate[d]” the burden on servicers to collect the requested data, and (iii) whether the CFPB’s stated market monitoring objectives could be met through less burdensome methods.