How to Complain about Student Loan Problems
There are several options for filing a complaint about your student loans, lenders and servicers. Start by gathering information about your student loans and keep good records of who you talked to. Also, think about what you would consider as a satisfactory resolution to your complaint.
Next, try resolving the problem with the lender or servicer directly. Many have an ombudsman whose job is to help borrowers resolve problems. Here are links to the ombudsmen for some of the largest lenders but not every lender has an ombudsman:
- Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC)
- Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation
- National Student Loan Program
- Sallie Mae
- Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation (TG)
You also can call the loan servicer and ask to speak to a supervisor. If that doesn’t work, you can file a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education for federal student loans and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for private student loans.
For federal student loans, there are two options:
- File a complaint with the FSA Ombudsman
- File a complaint through the U.S. Department of Education’s Feedback System
For private student loans, there is just one option:
- File a complaint through the CFPB’s online complaint system or by calling 1-855-411-2372. The CFPB forwards the complaint to the lender or servicer and seeks a response.
If your complaint is about the servicer of a federal student loan, you can also file a complaint with the CFPB. If your complaint is about a collection agency for federal student loans, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Default Resolution Group at 1-800-621-3115, who will direct you to the Special Assistance Unit for resolution of the problem.
If you are a veteran, you can file a complaint about student loans through the VA GI Bill Feedback System.
You also can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) if the problem involves deceptive advertising practices, fraud or identity theft. The CFPB does not provide individual assistance, but rather addresses patterns of complaints. The FTC publishes a guide to borrower rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
When financial aid and federal student loans aren't enough to cover all college costs, consider financing the gap with private student loans. Shop around to find the loans that best fit your needs.