A new report by a federal consumer advocacy office says many Americans saddled with high-cost private student loans are falling into default.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says in its report today that companies servicing these loans are not offering reasonable options for new terms.
It says distressed borrowers are getting too little information or assistance when they run into trouble trying to keep up payments on their private student loans. And it says affordable repayment alternatives often are not available.
The agency also says complaints by borrowers are rising. It says it received about 5,300 complaints between Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014. That's up 38 percent from about 3,800 complaints the previous year.
The bureau has developed a financial worksheet and letter to help borrowers determine how much they can afford to pay for student loans and request an adjustment from their lender.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created by Congress during the Obama administration as part of bank reform legislation.