The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that it will accept payments from consumers about payday loan products.
Payday loans, sometimes called cash advance loans, are usually low balance, high interest, unsecured loans which advocates argue are meant to help consumers meet an immediate cash needs who would otherwise have no recourse. Critics argue the loans trap borrowers in endless and expensive debt cycles and have worked with some success to ban them in some states and for military personnel. Credit unions have been engaged in trying to offer members an alternative to the high-cost products and have sometimes drawn the ire of consumer groups who argue their payday loan alternative products are actually payday loans. Some credit unions defended their products on the grounds they are less expensive and do not exploit members.
“Before the Consumer Bureau, consumers who had trouble with payday lending products had few places to turn,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “By accepting consumer complaints about payday loans, we will be giving people a greater voice in this market.”
The agency said consumers could complain about unexpected fees or interest; unauthorized or incorrect charges to their bank account; payments not being credited to their loan; Problems contacting the lender; receiving a loan they did not apply for; not receiving money after they applied for a loan.
The agency said it “requests” companies respond to complaints with a plan for how to reconcile them within 15 days and settle all but the most complicated in 60 days.