On March 29, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) released its Consumer Response Annual Report, providing a high-level overview of the 1,657,600 consumer complaints received by the Bureau from January 1 through December 31, 2023. According to the report, the most-complained-about consumer financial product and service categories in 2023 were consumer reporting (79%), debt collection (7%), credit card (4%), checking or savings account (4%), and mortgage (2%). The CFPB’s 2023 Consumer Response Report found a continued increase in consumer reporting complaints, with more than one million of such complaints sent to the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies (CRA). The CFPB encourages companies to consider how best to incorporate complaint information into their institutional processes to help ensure that problems are detected early and addressed quickly.

Consumer Reporting

As the top category, the CFPB received approximately 1,309,800 consumer reporting complaints in 2023, of which the CFPB sent 1,095,300 for review and response. The number of consumer reporting complaints increased in volume compared to 2022, continuing the upward trend seen by the Bureau over the past several years. The most common complaints continued to be about incorrect information on a report. Consumers stated that CRAs incorrectly reported account balances, account opening dates, payment dates, bankruptcies, payment statuses, inquiries, and personal information. Some consumers stated their reports contained tradelines that they were unfamiliar with, bankruptcies they never filed, or negative items on their report about federal student loan debt despite the extended payment pause. CRAs responded to 99.8% of complaints sent to them for review and response, closing 48% of complaints with an explanation, 47% with non-monetary relief, and 0.1% with monetary relief.


The report also noted that nearly every category of consumer financial product or service received complaints about fraudulent activity. In consumer reporting and debt collection complaints, consumers raised issues related to identity theft. In checking or savings account complaints, consumers complained that funds were taken from their accounts through unauthorized or fraudulent transactions, often involving peer-to-peer platforms. In credit card complaints, consumers complained that accounts were fraudulently opened in their name and used without their authorization or knowledge. In virtual currency complaints, consumers reported being deceived into transferring funds through various scams. In prepaid card complaints, consumers complained that they found out that a gift card they had purchased or received had a depleted balance due to unauthorized use.

Student Lending

Since 2023 saw more than 20 million federal student loan borrowers begin making payments again after a three-year hiatus, the CFPB unsurprisingly saw an increase in complaints in this category. Borrowers reported persistent difficulties in accessing customer service, delays in refunds for payments made during the pandemic payment pause, processing delays when attempting to access different repayment programs, and problems with qualifying payment counts for forgiveness programs.

Auto Finance

The CFPB noted that it received over 17,000 vehicle loan or lease complaints in 2023, of which the CFPB sent 73% to companies for review and response, referred 21% to other regulatory agencies, and found 6% to be not actionable. The CFPB further noted that some complaints were about vehicle dealerships, though the CFPB generally does not send vehicle loan or lease complaints to vehicle dealerships for response unless the dealer retains motor vehicle installment sales contracts (i.e., buy here, pay here dealers). The majority of complaints (88%) were about vehicle loans as opposed to leases. Of the complaints closed with explanation or relief, the top complaint categories included: managing the loan or lease (35%), obtaining a loan or lease (18%), repossession (17%), problems at the end of a loan or lease (15%), problems with a credit report or credit score (11%), and struggling to pay (5%). Notably, complaint situations highlighted by the CFPB include delays in receiving refunds on guaranteed asset protection (GAP) products, delays in lien releases, and wrongful credit denial.