The CFPB has issued its “Consumer Response Annual Report,” which analyzes patterns and trends in the approximately 1,287,000 consumer complaints submitted to the Bureau in 2022.  The annual report is required by the Consumer Financial Protection Act.  

The CFPB indicated that the largest increase in complaints, accounting for more than 75% of all consumer complaints, was related to dissatisfaction with credit reporting, including inaccurate information on credit reports and improper use of reports.  The CFPB reported that on average, companies responded to more than 48,300 credit or consumer reporting complaints per month (compared to a monthly average of 24,500 complaints for the prior two years.)  These complaints frequently focused on alleged incorrectly reported negative information, misattribution of account ownership, and credit inquiries from entities the consumer did not recognize.

The Annual Report highlighted another consumer complaint category that saw a significant increase in 2022—student loans.  While still a small percentage of the overall total, consumer complaints about federal student loans increased 108% over the previous year and private student loan companies saw a 45% uptick in complaints.  The CFPB categorized these complaints as directed at both servicers and lenders, and focusing on consumer confusion regarding pandemic payment pause extensions and forgiveness programs.  The vast majority of those complaints (90%) that were forwarded to companies for review and response were closed with an explanation.

The CFPB encourages businesses to use the information in the Annual Report to prioritize which internal processes receive the appropriate resources.  But they also encourage review to identify “potential weaknesses in a particular product, service, function, department, or vendor.”