By Conor Laing, Consumers Union
Are you shopping for a financial product or service – like a loan, credit card, or bank account? If so, thanks to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), you have a powerful resource on your side.
This summer, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that their complaint database – which collects consumer complaints about payment cards, loans, credit reports, and other financial tools – now features actual narratives from consumers explaining in their own words what went wrong with their financial product or service. CFPB head Richard Cordray described this development as a “historic milestone that we believe will lead to better outcomes for everyone.”
The CFPB established the searchable complaint database back in 2011, but for the first time, consumers can choose to post their stories on the site – giving other consumers better insight into the financial marketplace. Previously, the database featured more limited information about the company involved, the category of complaint, and how the complaint was resolved.
The consumers’ complaint narratives are posted publicly only after the company has offered a public response, or after 60 days.
The complaint system is particularly important for consumers because the CFPB will work on your behalf to get a response to your complaint. Because of the CFPB’s work, hundreds of thousands of consumers have gotten their complaints heard and acted upon. Millions of dollars in relief has been awarded to consumers as well.
If you haven’t seen it already, check out this video featuring a consumer named Navid. It shows how the CFPB helped him after his mortgage application was rejected.
Do you have a complaint about a financial service or product? You can submit a complaint with the CFPB here, or call them at 1-855-411-CFPB (2372).