Repayment of your student loan should be hassle-free. Even so, the reverse is the case when you are operating with some loan servicers. Nevertheless, if Great Lakes Loan services are your loan servicer, then that’s a sigh of relief for you. While none of the loan servicers rank the same, Great Lakes rank among the easiest loan services to contact.
While Great Lakes Student Loan Services still have a lot to do in terms of services, data from Great lakes student loan reviews show that people mostly prefer their services with limited exemptions. The average score of Great Lakes is 3.8 stars of 5. Although the average score is not very impressive, it stands at the top among the rest. Therefore, there are things people love about Great Lakes Student Loan Services.
Loan servicers are in charge of handling federal student loans. One of their vital roles is to ensure the timely repayment of debts. They also assist students who wish to adjust their payment plans and respond to frequently asked questions about loans.
Students who wish to know their loan services can do so at the National Loan Data System or contact the Federal Students Aid information Centre. For students whose loan servicer is Great Lakes, below are things they should understand about Great Lakes Students Loan.
What Do We Mean by Student Loan Services?
It is essential to recognize that Loan services are just what they are—servicers not lenders. Students applying for a Federal Students Loan will go through the Department of Education.
However, the Department of Education assigns a company to handle the billings and customer services. The assigned company becomes your loan servicer.
Once the Department of Education sends your loan, you get a loan servicer. In other words, you cannot select your loan servicer.
Great Lakes Student Loan Services
Great Lakes Student Loan Services—generally known as Great Lakes, is among the ten companies assigned to service Federal Student Loans.
Lakes was one of the biggest student loan services alongside its parent company Nelnet. The company was responsible for over 6000 schools and millions of students across the nation.
Great Lakes Educational Loan Services is primarily a Federal Loan Servicer. However, they also offer services to private lenders.
Great Lakes responsibility includes servicing the Federal Direct Loan Program and the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), and they cover the following types of loans:
- Direct Unsubsidized
- Direct Subsidized
- Consolidation Direct
- Direct PLUS
Great Lakes Loan Services Responsibilities
If Great Lakes is your loan servicer, you can reach them for the following services:
1. Repayment of student Loan:
for students that want to make their monthly payments, register for automatic payments, or increase their students’ loan payments, Great Lakes customer care services will be of assistance.
Nonetheless, you can access some of their services online or using their mobile app.
2. Accessing Alternate payment plans:
Great Lakes can help students that cannot afford their monthly repayment plan access other repayment solutions. One of such plans is an income-driven repayment strategy that puts your income and family size into consideration.
Your loan servicers can also help find ways to reduce your monthly payments based on your condition. Depending on your condition, you may be eligible for a $0 monthly repayment.
3. Consolidation of Student Loan:
Students with access to multiple federal loans with different repayment dates can now consolidate these loans.
Great Lakes can help them simplify the payment processes using a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan.
4. Postponement and Forbearance:
For those going through financial hardship like a medical emergency or job loss, Loan servicers will help you apply for loan postponement or forbearance.
5. Loan Forgiveness:
For those working full-time for an NGO or government agency, Great Lakes can help them pursue Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
Candidates that are eligible for PSLF will have their loans transferred to FedLoanServicing, which is responsible for PSLF loan servicers.
Ways to Make Great Lakes Payments
There are different ways to make your Great Lakes payment. They include:
Phone: you can make your Great Lakes payment through the phone by contacting the Great Lakes customer care line at 1-800-236-4300.
Mail: those that wish to pay using a check can send it via mail to Great Lakes. Note that the mail address depends on your location. Therefore, it is essential to log into your account to find out the correct mailing address.
Mobile app: MyGreatLakes App is available on Google Play and Apple App Store. MyGreatLakes App provides clients with a convenient way to make payments from the comfort of their homes using a smartphone.
Online: you can also make your Great Lakes monthly payment online through their website.
Step-By-Step on Making Online Payment with Great Lakes
Step 1: Create an Account
To create an account with Great Lakes, visit the official website and click on “Sign Up” on the top right side of the screen. The site will require you to provide your date of birth and social security number.
Once you enter the required details, the site will notify you to generate a username, a password, and a PIN. Once your registration is complete, the site will verify your account.
Step 2: Choose Your Loan Account
The next step is to choose your loan account and program your payment. There are two ways to schedule your Great Lakes payment, which are:
- One-time payment
- Recurring automatic payments
An automatic recurring payment system is a great choice for those that cannot make a one-time payment. Auto payment attracts a 0.25% discount on the interest rate for direct loans.
Note that, there are rules that apply to all student loan payment servicers. One of the rules is that all pending fees and interests, that apply to the loan must be settled first before the servicer can forward any payment to the principal.
For those who make extra payments, the extra amount will be used to service accumulated interest since the client’s last payment. For leftover money, the servicer applies it to the loan principal with the highest interest rate.
However, if you want the excess to be applied to a different loan, you can change your account preference online by selecting the Excess Payment Preferences.
Things People Like About Great Lakes Student Loan Services
According to surveys, one of the things people like about Great Lakes Student Loan is its user-friendly website. Students who use Great Lakes Services admit that their website allows you the ability to make adjustments to your loan payment dates.
The website also provides several useful information about student loans. Students are well enlightened about the various kinds of loans and the repayment methods available.
Another factor that makes Great Lakes better than the rest is its customer care service. While there are a few students who had a bad experience with Great Lakes customer care services, generally, they are better than the rest out there.
Things People Don’t Like About Great Lakes Services
It is not uncommon for loan services to give out wrong information about the status of a student’s loan. Great Lakes Services is not innocent of this error.
There are also instances where Great Lakes have signed up people to random repayment plans. In most cases, this did not work out well and is not helpful in any way.
It is common to find an “income-driven repayment” when you try to access your application. However, out of the four IDR plans available, there is none with that label as its official name.
Like every other large establishment, Great Lakes have experienced some issues through the years.
According to a 2020 report from CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), they were 3,600 Federal student loan cases between September 2019 to August 2020 that the Bureau handled.
One percent of the cases are in respect to Great Lakes Services. While it is relatively low when compared to others, it is still an issue that requires attention.
The Student Borrower Protection Centre filed a class-action lawsuit in May 2020 against Great Lakes, Experian, Equifax, VantageScore, and TransUnion. One of the allegations of the lawsuit was that Great Lakes provided false information about millions of its clients to Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, which damaged these borrowers’ reputations.
According to the Lawsuit, Great Lakes did not handle the CARES Act Pandemic relief properly.
It is essential to note that you cannot select your loan servicer.
Therefore, if Great Lakes is your loan servicer and you are not satisfied with their service, you might consider it good news that the government did not renew their contract for 2021.
Therefore, you will get a new loan servicer. Ensure you remit all your minimum contributions when due. Ensure to review your account statements once in a while and report any error to your servicers immediately.
- Student Aid