Consumers get access to the ‘heart’ of CFPB complaints

Friday, June 26, 2015


Consumers now have a critical tool with which to educate and empower themselves in the financial marketplace: complaint narratives (details).

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) public complaint database is now filled with first-hand information from consumer users of financial services. Consumers can search by company or keyword to learn about others’ experiences with a particular product or service before making a financial commitment.

“Whether it’s car loans, student loans, mortgages or credit cards, consumers have a place to report financial complaints and seek some help in resolving these problems," says Ruth Susswein Consumer Action’s Deputy Director of National Priorities.

“Thanks to the CFPB, consumers can now rely on actual complaint details to judge for themselves if a financial services company is worth doing business with. Do they support their customers and resolve complaints?  This is the kind of criteria consumers need to make smart financial decisions,"  says Susswein.

Consumers choose whether or not to share their complaint details, and personal information identifying the consumer is never shared.

You can search complaint details (called “narratives”) by:

  •    Product
  •    Problem or keyword (for ex.  lost paperwork, foreclosure, etc.)
  •    State

Here’s how you can use this valuable search tool:

1.    Visit the CFPB complaint database
2.    Scroll down and click on an icon to choose complaints by category (debt collection, car loan, mortgage, credit reports etc.)
3.    Click link titled: “See (debt collection, for ex.) complaint data
4.    Review individual complaint details

       Additional Options:
5.    Click on Company tab (upper right) to narrow the search
6.    Go to: Filter this column and click on Company name
7.    Click on State or another tab to filter further or
8.    Type keywords (searchable terms) in search box (upper right)

The CFPB wants your feedback on how to make this new tool as easy to use as possible.  You can send suggestions to the Tell Your Story part of their website:


Consumer Action has been a champion of underrepresented consumers nationwide since 1971. A non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, Consumer Action focuses on consumer education that empowers low- and moderate-income and limited-English-speaking consumers to financially prosper. It also advocates for consumers in the media and before lawmakers to advance consumer rights and promote industry-wide change.

By providing consumer education materials in multiple languages, a free national hotline, a comprehensive website ( and annual surveys of financial and consumer services, Consumer Action helps consumers assert their rights in the marketplace and make financially savvy choices. Nearly 7,500 community and grassroots organizations benefit annually from its extensive outreach programs, training materials and support.



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