- An audit criticizes how the U.S. Department of Education handles student loan borrower complaints against private collection agencies.
- The report, by the department’s Office of Inspector General, faults the Federal Student Aid (FSA) division for failing to monitor the complaints effectively, make sure the problems were fixed and that collection agencies followed the law, and consider the complaints when evaluating and paying the collectors.
- Because FSA senior managers considered the number of complaints to be irrelevant, they didn’t make it a priority to identify, track and resolve them, according to the audit.
Do you ever get the feeling that your complaint is falling on deaf ears? Federal Student Aid’s contracts with the collection agencies state that it will order an agency’s activity to cease when a complaint is a concern. If the activity doesn’t stop, the agency’s evaluation score will be reduced, as well as its compensation. But, the audit found, because FSA has no process for identifying complaints that are a concern, it never ordered activity to cease — or lowered scores or compensation — because of the complaints.