Vent Away: A New Complaint Database From the CFPB

Vent Away: A New Complaint Database From the CFPB

So you filed a credit complaint last month with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Some complaint about a pesky line on your credit bill or poorly managed credit dispute.

Now what?

Well, now your complaint—along with 45,000 others—is to become an informational tool that will educate fellow Americans about hazardous dealings with credit card companies, mortgage lenders, banks and private student lenders.

Yes: Your complaint is going viral. Rest assured though—even your best friend won’t know you filed it.

The CFPB launched a new online Consumer Complaint Database that will house and publicize consumers’ complaints (previously kept private) with various financial services providers. Richard Cordray, Director of the CFPB, hopes that the project launch will “improve the transparency and efficiency of this essential consumer market.”

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The complaints are anonymous and available for analysis. Each complaint entry is composed of five pieces of critical information:

  • Reason for complaint (e.g. credit card, mortgage)
  • Zip code in which the complaint was filed
  • Contested company (e.g. Citibank, American Express)
  • Mode of response (Phone? Email?)
  • Response rate from the company

Users can browse the database by selecting any of these five factors in a search. The result? “Visualizations”: graphs, charts and tables that reveal helpful trends.

The database will prove helpful for a variety of consumers, particularly those looking to apply for new credit cards, loans or grants. Additionally, the “visualizations” will showcase the companies that provide the most in-depth and timely customer service.

After all, a financial service designed for you shouldn’t keep you waiting. With CFPB-informed choices, we hope you won’t have to.

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