OUR MISSION

Protecting your rights as a California consumer.

We are a national leader with a mission to protect consumers and foster trust, innovation, and fairness in the financial marketplace.

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Ensuring that student borrowers who have fallen behind on payments have the information they need to get back on track is crucial to an equitable economic recovery. 

Student loan payments will restart for almost four million Californians on Sep. 1, 2022, and thousands of public sector workers with federal student loan debt may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Waiver that expires on Oct. 31, 2022. That’s where the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) comes in. We’ve provided this resource to help educate and empower California student loan borrowers, like you, about critical deadlines.

Know your rights and your options. 

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NEWS & UPDATES

EVENTS

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Workshop Webinar

May 31, 2022 at 12pm pst

In this free webinar, learn how to apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, how the process works, other issues to consider, and program requirements. Submit your questions through the registration process to have them reviewed and answered during the webinar.

Register for this webinar!

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Financial inTuition Podcast

Managing Your Student Loans episodes

Listen to the “Managing Your Student Loans” podcast series to learn more about managing student loans and money while in college, the VBA GI Bill® Comparison Tool and Your Financial Path to Graduation Tool, and postgraduate degree repayment options. 

Listen to this podcast!

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool

This Help Tool from the Office of the U.S. Department of Education helps determine whether you work for a qualifying employer, suggests actions you can take to become eligible for PSLF, and guides you through the form and submission process.

RESOURCES

Publications, fact sheets, online tools, and other resources to help you prepare for student loan repayment.

SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLKIT

ForgiveMyStudentDebt.org

Recorded Webinars

STUDENT LOAN OMBUDSPERSON

 

In 2020, the Student Loan Services Ombudsperson position was filled as required by SBOR. The ombudsperson works with other divisions within DFPI to evaluate challenges facing student loan borrowers, monitors the development of federal and state laws, rules, regulations, and policies relating to student loan borrowers in our state and partner with other agencies to reach student borrowers.

The ombudsperson responds directly to student borrower complaints and works with student borrowers directly.  

GOVERNMENT

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a U.S. government agency that aims to make consumer financial markets work for consumers, responsible providers, and the economy as a whole. The CFPB protects consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices and take action against companies that break the law. The CFPB also provides consumers with the information, steps, and tools that they need to make smart financial decisions.

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/consumer-tools/student-loans

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/consumer-tools/educator-tools/students/student-young-consumers-training-webinars

California Department of Justice

The California Department of Justice is a statewide investigative law enforcement agency and legal department under the elected leadership of the California Attorney General (AG) which carries out complex criminal and civil investigations, prosecutions, and other legal services throughout the state of California.

https://oag.ca.gov/consumers

California Student Aid Commission

The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) is the principal state agency responsible for administering financial aid programs for students attending public and private universities, colleges, and vocational schools in California. CSAC’s mission is to make education beyond high school financially accessible to all Californians and provides information to college bound and current college students about available federal and state financial aid. 

https://www.csac.ca.gov

California Office of Student Assistance and Relief

The California Office of Student Assistance and Relief (OSAR) provides prospective students information on making informed decisions when choosing a college and also information on their rights when attending a private college. OSAR provides current and past students of private colleges information about their rights, filing a school complaint, and resources available to them (including potential reimbursement from the Student Tuition Recovery Fund). OSAR also provides one-on-one guidance to help students access State and federal relief programs, and free nonprofit resources.

https://osar.bppe.ca.gov

Department of Financial Protection and Innovation

The Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) licenses and regulates student loan servicers operating in California. There are several state and federal laws that help protect borrowers. The Student Loan Servicing Act and all subsequent laws have established state standards to ensure consistent, fair, and quality servicing for the more than 4 million Californians who have student loans.

If you need assistance or have questions regarding issues with your student loan servicer, please email our Consumer Services Office at Ask.DFPI@DFPI.ca.gov or call 1-866-275-2677.

https://dfpi.ca.gov/student-loans-borrower-resources

Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the U.S. government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. 

https://www.ftc.gov

Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs

The Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs serves consumers, businesses, and communities through education, advocacy, and complaint resolution. Our mission is to create a fair and vibrant marketplace for consumers and businesses.

https://dcba.lacounty.gov/consumer-protection

Sacramento Cal-SOAP Consortium

The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) is one of 58 county offices of education in California. Approximately 650 regular and more than 950 temporary and substitute SCOE staff work year-round providing services which complement and supplement those offered by public school districts in Sacramento County. SCOE provides technical assistance, curriculum and instructional support, staff development, legal and financial advice, and oversight to Sacramento County school districts.

https://www.scoe.net

San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment

The Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) is a unique private-public partnership housed within the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector of San Francisco that convenes, innovates and advocates to strengthen economic security and mobility of all San Franciscans. The OFE engages partners inside and outside City Hall to equip San Franciscans with knowledge, skills and resources to strengthen their financial health and well-being. 

https://sfgov.org/ofe

U.S. Department of Education - Federal Student Aid

The U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid provides more than $120 billion in financial aid to help pay for college or career school each year. It also provides other resources and answers your most pressing questions. 

https://studentaid.gov/h/manage-loans

EDUCATIONAL

California Federation of Teachers

The California Federation of Teachers (CFT) is a teachers’ union representing more than 120,000 educational employees working at every level of public and private education from Head Start to the University of California. In all segments of education, the CFT is committed to promoting high-quality education and to securing the conditions necessary to provide the best services to California’s students.

https://www.cft.org/about-us

UC Berkeley Center for Consumer Law and Economic Justice

The UC Berkeley Center for Consumer Law & Economic Justice works to establish fair and equal access to a marketplace free from fraud and predatory practices. Through research, advocacy, and teaching, the Center builds toward a society where economic security and opportunity are available to all. 

https://consumerlaw.berkeley.edu

UC Berkeley Law Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP)

One of Berkeley Law’s defining characteristics is its public mission and commitment to supporting our students and graduates pursuing public service careers. Our Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) is crucial in this regard. Since 1997, Berkeley Law’s LRAP has provided funding to graduates working in public interest careers to help them cover student loan payments and ease the burden of loan repayment.

https://www.law.berkeley.edu/admissions/jd/financial-aid/loan-repayment-assistance-program

NONPROFITS

Bay Area Legal Aid

The Bay Area Legal Aid provides many free consumer clinics and represents student loan borrowers. The BayLegal is committed to providing meaningful access to the civil justice system through quality legal assistance regardless of a client’s location, language or disability.

https://baylegal.org

California Asset Building Coalition

The California Asset Building Coalition (CABC) consists of hundreds of diverse leaders across the state joined together to make California’s economy work for communities targeted by oppressive and extractive systems like poverty and racism. We identify and employ multiple and intersecting strategies to build economic security and power where they are most needed.

http://www.calassetbuildingcoalition.org

California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits)

The California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits) is a statewide membership organization that brings nonprofits together to advocate for the communities we serve. 

The Nonprofit Student Debt Project is a CalNonprofits initiative to educate nonprofit staff and employers, advocate for public policy changes, and engage our community on the problem of student debt and its impact on the nonprofit workforce. CalNonprofits Members now have FREE access to online tools from Summer – a website that takes your unique information and provides recommendations and information for lowering your monthly payments and enrolling in Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

https://calnonprofits.org/programs/nonprofit-student-debt-project

Community Legal Aid Southern California

Community Legal Aid SoCal is dedicated to meeting the legal needs of low-income people throughout Orange and Southeast Los Angeles Counties. With an emphasis on innovation, language access, and a holistic approach to client care, we support clients with the following services:

  • Evaluation, Advice, and Counsel
  • Clinics, Workshops, and Self-Help Centers
  • Direct Representation
  • Impact Litigation
  • Policy Advocacy

https://www.communitylegalsocal.org

East Bay Community Law Center

The East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) envisions a California where Black and Indigenous communities and those at the intersection of multiple oppressions are positioned to realize thriving, healthy, and dignified lives. Rather than treating legal crises in isolation, EBCLC’s holistic approach aims to address the entire suite of legal and social service needs of under-resourced Black and Latinx clients, bringing together legal experts across housing, health, immigration, education, community economic empowerment, organizing, and social work case management.

https://ebclc.org

https://ebclc.org/need-services/consumer-justice-general-clinic-services

Inland Counties Legal Services, Inc.

Inland Counties Legal Services, Inc. (ICLS) is a nonprofit organization providing legal services to low-income persons residing in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties with litigation defense, negotiation and settlement for student loan borrowers.

https://www.inlandlegal.org

Inland Southern California United Way

The Inland Southern California United Way provides a financial navigator program for Californians to request assistance as well as offer direct signup for support programs such as Medi-Cal, Covered CA, SNAP, and other benefit programs. 

https://inlandsocaluw.org/

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles’ (LAFLA) consumer work focuses on assisting clients who cannot afford to repay their student loans and/or have attended for-profit colleges that engaged in predatory, deceptive, or illegal practices. 

https://lafla.org/get-help/student-loan-issues

Los Angeles Veterans Collaborative

The Los Angeles Veterans Collaborative is a network of public, private, and government agencies working together to reduce suffering and improve the lives of veterans, service members, and military families in LA County. This is achieved through strategically improving and coordinating their access to services, reducing barriers to care, and influencing policy.

https://socalgrantmakers.org/lavc

National Consumer Law Center

https://www.nclc.org/issues/student-loans.htmlSince 1969, the nonprofit National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) has used its expertise in consumer law and energy policy to work for consumer justice and economic security for low-income and other disadvantaged people, including older adults, in the U.S. NCLC’s expertise includes policy analysis and advocacy; consumer law and energy publications; litigation; expert witness services, and training and advice for advocates, working with nonprofit and legal services organizations, private attorneys, policymakers, and federal and state government and courts across the nation to stop exploitative practices, help financially stressed families build and retain wealth, and advance economic fairness.

https://www.nclc.org/issues/student-loans.html

https://library.nclc.org/sl

Public Counsel

Public Counsel is the nation’s largest provider of pro bono legal services, utilizing an innovative legal model to promote justice, hope, and opportunity in lower-income and communities of color in Los Angeles and across the nation. Through groundbreaking civil rights litigation, community building, advocacy, and policy change, as well as wide-ranging direct legal services that annually help thousands of people experiencing poverty, Public Counsel has fought to secure equal justice and opportunity for all for more than 50 years.

https://publiccounsel.org

Public Law Center

The Public Law Center (PLC), Orange County’s pro bono law firm, is committed to providing access to justice for low-income and vulnerable residents. Founded in 1981, PLC’s 42 staff members work with over 1,600 Orange County lawyers, paralegals, law students and other volunteers annually to provide free civil legal services, including: counseling, individual representation, community education, and strategic litigation and advocacy to challenge societal injustices.

https://www.publiclawcenter.org

Stockton Scholars

Stockton Scholars aim to guide young people in Stockton towards an impactful life through education. Every young person has the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and find their place in the world. Making an impact means participating in meaningful work and contributing back to our community.

https://www.stocktonscholars.org

Stone Soup Fresno

Stone Soup Fresno hosts an annual FASFA workshop for families to help them understand the application process, requirements, and information on Pell, Cal-grants, and loans. Stone Soup also helps low-income working families file taxes for free through its IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA).

https://sites.google.com/stonesoupfresno.org/stonesoup

Student Borrower Protection Center

The Student Borrower Protection Center is a nonprofit organization focused on alleviating the burden of student debt for millions of Americans. The SBPC engages in advocacy, policymaking, and litigation strategy to rein in industry abuses, protect borrowers’ rights, and advance economic opportunity for the next generation of students.

https://protectborrowers.org

The Institute of Student Loan Advisors Corporation (TISLA)

TISLA was founded to ensure that all student loan borrowers have access to free, neutral and clear student loan advice and dispute resolution assistance. They are a non-profit that believes borrowers have a right to a trusted resource with industry experience to mentor, educate and advocate for them.

Services:

  • Offer expert advice on your student loans
  • Help you decide which repayment plan make the most sense for you
  • Determine if you are eligible for loan forgiveness or discharge
  • Offer guidance in any dispute you may have regarding your student loans
  • Guide you through completing required forms and applications
  • Help you get out of a default or delinquency status

https://freestudentloanadvice.org

Veterans Education Success

Veterans Education Success is a nonprofit organization comprised of bipartisan policy experts, academic researchers, lawyers, advocates, Veterans and non-Veterans dedicated to bridging the military-civilian divide to ensure career and education success for military families. They provide free legal casework assistance to veterans and service members who have student loans. Veterans Education Success also provides information on loan discharge.

https://vetsedsuccess.org

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