The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's student loan ombudsman released a report Thursday documenting consumer complaints about needless hassles borrowers face in applying for income-based repayment of student loans. The report said delays in applications can leave students with thousands in extra costs.
"Too many student loan borrowers are struggling to take advantage of their right to pay based on how much money they make," said Ombudsman Seth Frotman. "Services who want to better serve their customers can take the immediate steps recommended in this report to clean up this broken process."
About five million borrowers had enrolled in income-based repayment plans as of the first quarter of this year, according to a release from the CFPB. But the agency says many more eligible borrowers are not benefiting from the program, leading to needless defaults. The CFPB has produced a "fix it form" for loan servicers to provide borrowers seeking income-based repayment with a clearer understanding of the status of their application or the reasons for rejection.