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CFPB to oversee nonbank student loan servicers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a rule December 3 that allows the Bureau to supervise certain nonbank student loan servicers for the first time. The rule brings new oversight to the nation’s second largest consumer debt market – student loans – which have seen a rise in borrower delinquency in recent years.

“Student loan borrowers should be able to rest assured that when they make a payment toward their loans, the company that takes their money is playing by the rules,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “This rule brings new oversight to those large student loan servicers that touch tens of millions of borrowers.”

More than 40 million Americans with student debt depend on student loan servicers to serve as their primary point of contact about their loans. 

The Bureau currently oversees student loan servicing at the largest banks. This rule expands that supervision to any nonbank student loan servicer that handles more than one million borrower accounts, regardless of whether they service federal or private loans. Under the rule, those servicers will be considered “larger participants,” and the Bureau may oversee their activity to ensure they are complying with federal consumer financial laws. To coincide with this new authority, the Bureau has also updated its Supervisory and Examination Manual to provide guidance on how the Bureau will monitor bank and nonbank servicers of private and federal student loans.

Under this final rule, which was proposed in March, the Bureau estimates that it will have authority to supervise the seven largest student loan servicers. Combined, those seven service the loans of more than 49 million borrower accounts, representing most of the activity in the student loan servicing market.

Click here to view a copy of the rule.