The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report last week that examines patterns in the consumer complaints that they receive.
The report, called “Consumer complaints throughout the credit life cycle, by demographic characteristics,” revealed some interesting trends. One of the findings was that complaints from wealthier communities and communities with higher percentages of white, non-Hispanic residents were more frequently about loan origination and performing servicing.
In contrast, complaints from communities of color and lower-income communities were more frequently about credit reporting, identity theft, and delinquent servicing.
The findings are based on the nearly 1 million consumer complaints submitted to the CFPB between 2018 and 2020.
“Today’s report confirms that the experiences and concerns of communities, with consumer financial products and services, vary by race and wealth,” CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio said. “Our consumer complaint data is a crucial tool for understanding varying consumer experiences, including across racial and economic divides.”
The report also found that Asian American and Pacific Islander communities had higher rates of submitting credit reporting complaints than predominantly white, non-Hispanic communities. However, they also had a lower share of delinquent servicing complaints.
Overall, complaints about loan originations increased by nearly 50 percent over the course of 2020, driven largely by mortgage complaints. This increase was centered in higher-income neighborhoods and neighborhoods with fewer people of color. Neighborhoods with the highest share of white, non-Hispanic consumers submit complaints about loan originations at more than twice the rate of neighborhoods with the highest share of Black consumers.
The findings from this research will help inform the CFPB’s work.
“The CFPB will continue its research into consumer complaint data as part of its larger commitment to put consumers, and their varying experiences with consumer financial products and services, at the foundation of all its work,” officials said.
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