Report: Texas Ranks High In Student Private Loans, But Low In Complaints

David Tiede, director of Texas Consumer Complaint Center; Bria Riley and Cedric Bandoh with the University of Houston Student Government; Crystal Sowemimo with TexPIRG; and Khris Schneider with Texas Together Education Fund. They presented the TexPIRG report on private student loans at the University of Houston Law Center Thursday.
The current debt on private student loans in the United States is estimated at $165 billion. Here in Texas student borrowers carry an average of $22,000 in debt. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is collecting complaints on those private student loans.

Texas ranks No. 2 in the country in terms of how many college students take out private loans.

But when it comes to students complaining about those private loans, Texas does pretty well. It ranks number 43.

That’s according to a new report by the consumer agency TexPIRG. It used the federal consumer complaint database to come up with the rankings.

“I personally don’t think the students who do have private loans are satisfied.”


Table 1. Top 10 Private Student Loan Firms by Total Number of Complaints


That’s Crystal Sowemimo with TexPIRG. She’s also a student at the University of Houston.

“And this is why we came up with the report because students need to know about the database and know it’s a resource that they can use if they have these problems.”

Student borrowers are most likely to complain about problems with repaying their loan — issues with fees and deferment.

The private lender Texas students complain about the most is Sallie Mae.

David Tiede directs the Texas Consumer Complaint Center at the University of Houston. He says it’s not clear why Texas ranks so high in private student loans but so low in complaints.

“You know, I can’t explain that. Except perhaps the expectations are so low on fairness that people are giving up before they even bother to complain.”

To file a complaint, students can log onto


Table A-3. Complaints per 100,000 Student Loan Borrowers by State, Ranked


Bio photo of Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for KUHF, including K-12 and higher education.

Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and regularly contributed to WLRN, the local NPR affiliate and Miami Herald news partner...