Sara Routhier, Managing Editor of Features and Outreach, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming worl...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Dec 24, 2013

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Consumers can file a payday loan complaint with a newly-established page on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website.

If a borrower has a question or complaint about their loan, they should first contact their lender. If that does not lead to an answer or a solution, borrowers now have a more powerful approach than in the past. Starting last month, the CFPB began accepting payday loan complaints.

Payday loan borrowers are able to contact the Bureau for a variety of reasons including an unexpected fee or interest rate, unauthorized bank charges, non-credited payments, communication issues, receiving an unrequested loan, and not receiving the loan funds.

Consumers with any of the above issues, who have already contacted their lender, should contact the CFPB in one of the following ways:

  • Visit the CFPB online at www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint
  • Call toll-free at 1-855-411-2372
  • Fax a complaint to 1-855-237-2392
  • Mail a letter to: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, P.O. Box 4503, Iowa City, Iowa 52244.

The CFPB said it expects lenders to respond to complaints within 15 days and detail the steps needed to resolve the issue. In addition, the majority of the complaints should be resolved within 60 days. After consumers submit a complaint, they will receive a tracking number that will show request updates.

The payday sector is only one of the many types of consumer products that the bureau protects. It watches over consumer financing such as mortgages, bank accounts, credit reporting, and private student loans, among others. Since its reach has been extended, the CFPB will now have more oversight on payday loans.

Laura La Belle, a certified instructor at LFE Institute, believes that the bureau has taken many strides to protect consumers and this new addition simply took more time due to the multitudes of loans that it watches.

“This will highlight what led to the problems, identify the gimmicks payday lenders are using and how to protect consumers going forward,” she said.

The payday loan industry is a strong business, with locations spanning the country. Although many states have limited or banned payday loans within state lines, online lenders have expanded and now offer more options and added risk.

But payday lenders vary just like any other type of lender. There are both good and bad options in the market. Providing a medium for consumer complaints ensures that positive business models will thrive.

“This will help slow down the wealth of abuses in the industry, bringing awareness to the problems and putting payday lenders on notice that complaints will be taken seriously,” La Belle said.