Why should I file a complaint?
Filing a complaint may help address your issue. It will also help agencies that oversee the different players in the student loan system identify and address systemic issues.
How and where can I file a complaint?
Who you complain to will depend on your issue and type of loan, federal or private. Below is some guidance. With the exception of the U.S. Department of Education, these complaint mechanisms apply to both federal and private student loans.
- Your student loan servicer. Even if the problem is with your student loan servicer, you should start by filing a complaint with them. You should be able to file a complaint by phone, in writing, and often online.
- New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS). DFS is overseeing student loan products and servicers in NYS. You can file a complaint online or by calling their Consumer Hotline at 800-342-3736.
How can I escalate a complaint?
There are federal government agencies responsible for overseeing student loan lenders and servicers. A complaint is usually appropriate if your efforts to resolve your issue have failed or you have obtained an unsatisfactory response.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB is one of the federal agencies responsible for overseeing private and federal student loan products and servicers. You can submit a complaint through CFPB’s online complaint system or by calling 855-411-2372.
- U.S. Department of Education (DOE). They have an Ombudsman Group dedicated to helping resolve disputes related to the federal student aid programs, including Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, Perkins Loans, and grant programs. You should file a complaint through DOE’s Online Feedback System if your efforts to resolve the issue with your servicer have failed. You can also call 877-557-2575 to file a complaint. This is only for federal student loans.
I have defaulted on my federal student loans and want to complain about a debt collector?
The Department of Education contracts with several collection agencies to manage defaulted federal student loans.
- File a complaint with the Default Resolution Group. You can call 800-621-3115.
I have been a victim of a student loan scam, where can I complain?
- New York State Attorney General (AG). If you have been victim of student debt scam, filing a complaint with the AG is appropriate. You can file a complaint online or by calling its Helpline at 800-771-7755.
If you file a complaint, document everything. If you call, record the date, who you spoke with, and what was discussed. If you file a complaint online, also keep record of your complaint and any correspondence you receive.