Since opening its doors 12 years ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been a formidable advocate for everyday Americans, holding financial institutions accountable for predatory practices and returning $17.5 billion to wronged customers across the 50 states.
A note on the CFPB’s complaint data
The information in these fact sheets is drawn from the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database. Individuals submit complaints about challenges they are facing on financial transactions, and the CFPB works on their behalf to contact financial institutions and businesses to get answers. In addition, the CFPB uses the database to better understand trends and potential harm to consumers, supervise companies, enforce federal consumer financial laws, and write better rules and regulations. Ninety-eight percent of complaints sent to companies by the CFPB receive timely responses.
All complaint data used in these fact sheets represent the total number of complaints over the period from December 1, 2011, to August 29, 2023. The data were last accessed in September 2023.
By the numbers: CFPB complaints nationally
Number of complaints received per 1,000 people
Total number of complaints that the CFPB took action on
What kinds of complaints do Americans seek help with?
Consumers select from a menu specifying both a product and an issue when filing complaints. The following are the top categories of complaints, and examples of issues associated with those complaints, on which Americans nationwide request help:
Credit reporting, credit repair services, or other personal consumer reports: 2,156,560
- Examples of issues could include incorrect credit reporting about inquiries or payments, information errors on credit reports, credit report privacy concerns, predatory fees by credit repair services, and more.
Debt collection: 502,495 complaints
- Products could include medical, auto, credit card, student loan, and mortgage debt.
- Examples of issues could include attempts to collect debt not owed, debt that was paid off, debt disputes due to identity fraud, and more.
Mortgage: 382,884 complaints
- Products could include home mortgages, Federal Housing Administration and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs mortgages, home equity loans, and reverse mortgages.
- Examples of issues could include payment process problems with autopay, escrow, taxes, and insurance; struggling to pay mortgages and foreclosures; and unfair fees and applications.
Credit card or prepaid card: 205,085 complaints
- Examples of products and issues could include credit cards, store cards, government benefit cards and others being opened or closed without permission, transaction errors, declined card usage, unfair fees, or application denials.
Checking or savings account: 179,778 complaints
- Complaints could include checking accounts and other banking products and services, including savings accounts and certificates of deposits.
- Examples of issues include fees, privacy concerns, accounts opened without permission, fraudulent transactions, and other considerations around managing an account related to deposits, withdrawals, ATM cards, and more.
Top 4 issues on which Americans have sought help across all financial products
- Incorrect information on the consumer’s credit report: 1,035,490
- Problem with a credit reporting company’s investigation into an existing problem: 587,145
- Improper use of the consumer’s report: 512,388
- Attempts to collect debt not owed: 179,832
The CFPB’s impact state by state
These fact sheets provide information on the CFPB’s complaint data at the state level:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia