Online campaign examines student loan struggles

(WISH Photo, file)

WASHINGTON D.C. (WISH) – The stresses and struggles over student loans felt by roughly 40 million Americans are under scrutiny.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched a probe Thursday into whether people paying on loans are treated fairly or set up for failure.

The agency has said it is hearing some companies taking payments might be making it harder for graduates and students to get ahead of the debt through issues including faulty communication, difficulty accessing payment histories and problems processing payments.

CFPB started a Twitter and email campaign to collect complaints and debt payer experiences. Twitter users have been encouraged to share stories using #StudentDebtStress.

Experts predict the collection could be used to establish stronger policies that govern the loan market.

Bill Wozniak from Indiana’s ISM College Planning heard about the effort while in Washington D.C. for a meeting on helping Hoosier families afford college.

Wozniak said it is hard enough to pay loans as it is, without servicers standing in the way.

“The real student loan problem today, at the crux of all of this, is the students go to school, they come out and they’re not able to get the jobs right after college,” Wozniak said. “If they don’t have a job, if your parents can’t write a check, you’re not going to be able to make the payments.”

The CFPB would accept comments through July 13.

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