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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

CFPB Issues RFI on Private Student Loan Affordability

March 8, 2013

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to determine options that would increase the availability of affordable payment plans for borrowers with existing private student loans. Following up on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ombudsman's 2012 report that recommended the identification of "opportunities to spur the availability of loan modification and refinance options for student loan borrowers," the bureau is now seeking information from market participants, consumers, institutions, and other stakeholders in order to provide more detailed information on ways to encourage the development of more affordable private-loan repayment mechanisms. These mechanisms are intended to assist both pre-default and post-default borrowers in distress who wish to repay their loans, but may be lacking near-term ability to service their obligations. The CFPB notes that private student loans rarely offer modified repayment options, like the Income Based Repayment option offered for federal student loans, to debtors.

The RFI's 23 questions are categorized in the following broad categories:

  • Scope of borrower hardship
  • Current options for borrowers with hardship
  • Past and existing loan modification programs for other types of debt
  • Servicing infrastructure
  • Consumer reporting and credit scoring
  • Lender participation
  • Borrower awareness
  • Spillovers (such as student debt's impact on mortgage availability, auto loan availability, personal savings, etc.)
Institutions are encouraged to submit answers to any of the questions outlined in the RFI. Responses are due by April 8.


Bryan Dickson
Senior Policy Analyst