If you've had a problem with an online marketplace lender, you can now file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Millions of consumers take out personal loans online. Marketplace lending—often referred to as peer-to-peer or platform lending—is a relatively new kind of online lending. A marketplace lender uses an online interface to connect consumers or businesses seeking to borrow money with investors willing to buy or invest in the loan.
Generally, the marketplace lending platform handles all underwriting and customer service interactions with the borrower. Once a loan is originated, the company generally makes arrangements to transfer ownership to the investors while it continues to service the loan.
Because marketplace lenders offer several types of consumer loans, a consumer submitting a complaint should select among the different complaint categories for products and services that best apply to their situation. For example, a consumer can select products such as "mortgage," "consumer loan," or "student loan."
The CFPB forwards complaints to the marketplace lender and works to get a response – generally within 15 days. Consumers are given a tracking number after submitting a complaint and can check the status of their complaint by logging on to the CFPB website. The CFPB expects companies to close all but the most complicated complaints within 60 days.
The Bureau is also releasing a consumer bulletin that provides an overview of marketplace lending and outlines tips for consumers who are considering taking out loans from these types of lenders. That bulletin can be found here.
To submit a complaint, consumers can:
- Go online at www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint
- Call the toll-free phone number at 1-855-411-CFPB (2372) or TTY/TDD phone number at 1-855-729-CFPB (2372)
- Fax the CFPB at 1-855-237-2392
- Mail a letter to: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, P.O. Box 4503, Iowa City, Iowa 52244
The CFPB provides complaint-handling services to consumers in more than 180 languages and to consumers who are deaf, have hearing loss, or have speech disabilities via the Bureau's toll-free telephone number.
Additionally, through AskCFPB, consumers can get clear, unbiased answers to their questions about financial products and services at consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb or by calling 1-855-411-CFPB (2372).