Mick Mulvaney turns his back on student borrowers, closes Office of Students and Young Consumers

Contact: Contact: Alegra Howard, 408-460-6797

WASHINGTON, DC — Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), announced Wednesday that the Office of Students and Young Consumers will be collapsed into the Office of Financial Education, serving a devastating blow to the nearly 44 million student loan borrowers in the country.

The Office of Students and Young Consumers was the only federal government agency solely focused on protecting borrowers from predatory actors in the student lending industry, and has been instrumental in uncovering lending abuses and predatory practices among the industry’s biggest players, including Navient, the nation’s largest servicer of federal and private student loans. Since its inception, in 2012, the office acted as a consumer watchdog, fielding more than 50,000 student loan-related consumer complaints and returning over $750 million to wronged student loan borrowers.

As the country surpasses $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, and the average student loan borrower leaves college $30,000 in debt, consumers are losing a critical ally that sought to protect them from rampant abuses by student loan servicers, debt collectors and predatory lenders.

“While it is not a surprise that Acting Director Mulvaney is continuing with his efforts to dismantle and weaken the CFPB, it is a gross disservice to those hoping to improve their lives through education,” said Alegra Howard, national priorities associate at Consumer Action. “Mulvaney continues to neglect the Bureau’s mission to protect consumers by putting the interests of financial institutions and banks ahead of those the agency was created to protect.”

The Office of Students and Young Consumers was a valuable resource for the 44 million Americans with student loans—publishing reports, creating templates and tools to help manage debt and repayment, and uncovering abuses related to student lending and loan servicing.

Consumers will continue to have the help of the CFPB Student Loan Ombudsman who by law must work to help resolve student borrower complaints. Consumer Action encourages students to continue to submit their student loan complaints to the CFPB online at consumerfinance.gov/complaint or via email to [email protected].

Nevertheless, the Trump Administration, the Department of Education and, now, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, are sending a clear message to students and their families: Corporate interests supersede the needs of borrowers struggling to repay their debt.




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