After unexpectedly being cut off from student loan data by the Department of Education last week, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray is seeking to mend the fence, arguing that the two departments would work better together.

Cordray, a holdover from the Obama administration, wrote Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday asking for a "constructive conversation" on sharing student loan data, adding that "there is plenty of work for each of us to do, but I believe we can generally do it better working together."

Officials at the Education Department had written Cordray last Friday to say that they intended to rescind a memorandum of understanding regarding sharing student loan data. They accused the CFPB of infringing on their jurisdiction, and called it an "overreaching and unaccountable" agency.

Republicans have spared no effort to make life difficult for Cordray, whose term runs into next summer and who Republicans speculate will run for the Ohio governorship as a Democrat.

On Thursday, Cordray defended his agency's use of the student loan data provided by the Education Department, noting that he never received a complaint about it before last Friday.

Under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, he wrote, the bureau is empowered to police fraud in financial products, including student loans. He also noted that other government entities also have taken regulatory actions within the student loan market, such as the Federal Trade Commission.

Without access to the student loan data, he said, the bureau wouldn't be able to police student loan servicers that run afoul of federal consumer financial laws.