The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created by the Dodd Frank Act of 2010 and is the brainchild of Senator Elizabeth Warren. In addition to their supervisory role for banks and lenders related to a wide variety of credit products, the CFPB also helps consumers with timely advice and guidance. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CFPB has been active even though their staff is dealing with all of the same disruptions that the rest of the country has experienced. In a confusing and scary time, the CFPB is a source for unbiased and informed information on a variety of financial hurdles that families can expect to face in the coming months. For mortgage borrowers, renters, credit card customers and students, the options available are unprecedented and change every day. Here are a few resources that you should bookmark and follow the CFPB to keep up with changing options that can help your family in the days ahead.
The CFPB provides tips to mitigate the financial fallout of COVID-19 on your current loans (e.g. mortgages, student loans, etc.) as well as your housing situation. Many resources are provided to help with debt in collections and ways of checking your credit report. Helpful resources are also provided for those who are experiencing a loss of income in the wake of the pandemic. Older adults, being some of the hardest-hit groups, may also find some useful links in this blog.
Due to an increased concern for changes in credit, the CFPB is providing an easy way for you to access your free annual credit report. Lenders introduced proactive measures to help borrowers impacted by COVID-19. Some reassurances are given for payments that cannot be made by not reporting these to the credit reporting agencies. All you’d have to do is contact your lender and explain your situation to come to a written agreement. If you find any inaccurate information on your credit reports, CFPB provides useful links to help dispute them.
As the COVID-19 pandemic puts more pressure on students to cover their loans, the CFPB now has a FAQ page to help student loan borrowers. There are a number of subjects covered including questions on payment suspension, avoiding scams and ongoing debt-forgiveness programs. This can help in gathering what you will need when contacting your servicer and mitigating your situation.
Are you experiencing any problems with a financial product or service? The CFPB is open to taking complaints and sending them to companies to help get the response you need. Click on the link to get a walkthrough on how to build and submit a complaint and how to check on the status of your complaints.
The public health event we are experiencing now will be accompanied by a massive economic disaster that we are all going to need to deal with. Follow the CFPB online and the NCRC COVID information page to keep up to date on how to protect your financial future.
Jad Edlebi is NCRC’s GIS Specialist
Jason Richardson is NCRC’s Director of Research & Evaluation