CFPB Releases 2021 Annual Report; Credit Reporting Receives the Most Complaints While Personal Loans Near Bottom of List

Apr 6, 2022Federal Regulation, Financial Literacy, News

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its 2021 Consumer Response Annual Report which analyzes complaints submitted by consumers throughout the year for a variety of categories. Credit or consumer reporting was the most-complained-about financial product, comprising 71 percent of total complaints, followed by debt collection at 12 percent. 

Complaints about personal, payday, and title loans were toward the bottom of the list, making up less than one percent of total complaints combined. Of approximately 994,000 complaints the CFPB received in 2021, only 5,500 were about personal loans, 1,500 were about payday loans, and 600 were about title loans. 

Of the specific complaints made about personal loans, consumers most often cited being charged fees or interest they didn’t expect (20%), problems when making payments (17%), problems with a credit report or credit score (13%), problems getting the loan (13%), or problems getting a line of credit (11%). In response to concerns about high monthly payments or interest rates, “lenders generally stated that the terms of the loan given to the borrower were clearly stated up front and no modifications were possible,” the report says.

The report found that installment loans were the most complained about type of loan product at 61 percent, followed by personal lines of credit which made up 39 percent of personal loan complaints.

In many of these cases, borrowers were unable to access their accounts online or were financially unable to make payments. Lenders responded by helping to re-establish account access or by agreeing to stop contacting borrowers about their debt with methods like excessive phone calls.

“Complaints can reveal a weakness in a particular product, service, function, department, vendor,” the report concluded. “Complaints can also identify opportunities to enhance consumers’ experience and understanding of consumer financial products and services.”

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