Great Lakes Loan Student Services

Getting an education from well-known institutes is a dream of many students and seems very exciting. But students are always anxious about how they will pay for this. Great Lakes Loan servicers play an important role in the life of students who can not afford to pay their educational expenses. They help you in managing your debts and finding ways to reduce payments. There are several ways to get funding for your education, but no one understands your needs better than Great Lakes. It is well known and one of the country’s largest student loan service providers. 

As a leading loan servicer, Great Lakes works closely with schools, the US department of education and students and helps millions of individuals to manage their student loans and build a bright future. In addition, as a loan servicer, it is responsible for helping borrowers in managing their bills and payments for federal student loans. If you want to know more about Great Lakes loans and services, keep on reading this article.

What Is the Great Lakes Loan?

When you take any federal loan, it is owned by the US Department of Education. But the government is not responsible for managing debts and providing customer service. Instead, it contracts with private companies to handle such tasks.

Great Lake is a subsidiary of Nelnet, another federal loan servicer. However, it also manages some private student loans. In other words, we can say that Great Lake does not lend money but instead handles tasks to manage loan payments.

Here are the types of loans that Great Lake services.

  • Direct Subsidized 
  • Direct PLUS 
  • Direct Unsubsidized 
  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL)
  • Direct Consolidation

Great Lake service student loans for millions of students and work with over 1,000 lenders and 6,000 lenders nationwide. 

How Do Great Lakes Loan Work for Students?

If you take out a federal loan, you will be automatically assigned a loan servicer to manage your account and payments. Once the Department of education works with your college to work on your loan request and grant funds, your account will be handed to a loan servicer such as Great Lake. You do not need to choose a loan servicer for yourself.

 

Great Lakes Loan

 

Your loan servicer contacts you to manage your loan once they get your account information. Typically, they contact you after the first payment of your student loan disbursement. After that, your servicer will be your point of contact for all the matters from billing to your last loan payment.

Since you do not have to make loan repayments while you are studying, you only need to contact Great Lake student loans for your queries or if you want to know your balance. But when your loan repayment time comes, Great Lake can help you in the following ways:

  • It helps you if you are facing difficulties in repayments.
  • It provides options if you want to change your payment plan, including income-driven repayment (IDR) plan.
  • Help make applications for student loan forbearance or deferment – ways to temporarily reduce or suspend payments.
  • It also advises whether a federal student loan consolidation is suitable for you, and if it is right for you, Great Lake will help you complete the process.

Above all, the best thing is that you do not need to pay additional fees to get these services.

If you want to make sure that the servicer contacting you is legitimate or not, you can check it by logging in to your Federal Student Aid account. This way, you can see all the information, including your servicer for each loan. 

How To Set Up a Great Lake Account?

Great Lakes Loan Account

It is simple and straightforward to set up your Great Lakes account. First, you need to go to their site and provide all the necessary information, including your social security number, full name and date of birth. After that, you have to create your username, password and personal identification number. This personal identification may be used later for your identity verification. Therefore, it is necessary to save these details in a safe place.

Once your account is created, Great Lake needs your address, phone number and email ID. You have an option to choose a peerless statement or receive your statements in your mail. 

How Can Great Lakes Loan Service Help You?

Great Lakes Loan Helping Students

Great Lake provides resources and support to the borrowers who are into student loans. However, if it is your loan servicer, you have to contact its customer service whenever you have a question or need help with the following things:

Loan Repayment:

Suppose you want to make your monthly payments, make an additional student loan payment, or need to sign up for automatic payment. In that case, you can do it all online through a mobile application or by calling Great Lakes customer support.

Loan Consolidation:

Some borrowers have multiple Federal loans with different monthly payments and due dates. You can consolidate these loans to simplify your payments through a Federal Direct Consolidation loan.

Forbearance or Deferment:

If you are in financial hardship, such as any medical emergency or loss of job, you should contact Great Lakes. It can help you with loan deferment or forbearance that temporarily postpones your loan payments.

Loan Forgiveness:

If you work for a government agency full-time or a non-profit organization, you must inform Great Lakes and ask them if you want to pursue Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). When you become a PSLF candidate, your loans are transferred to FedLoanServicing, which is a PSLF loan servicer.

Alternative Repayment Plans:

You may not like your repayment plan or may not afford to repay according to that plan. Don’t worry; contact Great Lakes and explain the situation. It can help you get an income-driven repayment plan, where your monthly payments will be based on your income and family size. In this way, your monthly payment can be significantly reduced.

Student Loan Payment Options With Great Lakes

Loan Paid Off!

Great lakes offer several options to make repayments, including options to pay online. Let’s have a look at these options: 

 

Autopay:

When you sign up for autopay, Great Lakes automatically deduct payment from your bank account on the due date. It can be beneficial because you do not need to remember to make your monthly payment, and it also reduces your interest rate by 0.25%. You will receive a reminder from Great when your payment is about to go through. Your automatic payment will automatically deactivate after three consecutive bounced payments. 

 

Manual Online Payment:

If you need more flexibility about when your monthly payment goes through, you can make monthly payments manually by logging in to your account. However, you can not get a 0.25% discount in this case.  

Over the Phone:

You can also make payments over the phone by dialing the Great Lakes contact number during business hours. Following are the contact details of Great Lake: 

  • Toll-free number: 800-236-4300
  • International/local number: 608-246-1700
  • TTY: Dial 711 after dialing any of the above numbers  

Mobile App:

Download the Great Lakes mobile application that is available for iOS and Android devices. You can log in to this app to view your loan details and schedule a payment. You can also get notifications so that you can never miss a payment. 

Bill Pay:

If your bank offers you a bill pay feature, you can use it to send payments to Great Lakes. However, this payment process can take a few days to complete, so you should ensure to set this up in advance.     

Mail:

You can also mail a money order or check to Great Lakes. But this process is a bit complicated as compared to other payment processes. So when you are making payment through the mail, always include your payment insert from the billing statement and payment reference number on the check.

Things To Consider About Great Lakes

Although it is supposed that all the loan services educate borrowers about the available options and help them in managing repayment, they do not always fulfill their mission. Even in some cases, loan servicers also have to face government lawsuits.

Most of the borrowers whose student loans are serviced by Great Lakes speak positively about their service, but there are also some borrowers that complained about errors and difficulties in the procession of applications for IDR plans and monthly payments. Moreover, some students said that Great Lakes also did not apply their extra payments to student loan balances in the right way.

 

Things to Consider about Great Lakes Loan

 

If we do a little research on customer satisfaction of Great Lakes, we can see that according to customer ratings with Customer Affairs in March 2020, Great Lakes got only one star out of five. It shows that there are more dissatisfied customers than the satisfied ones to review their loan service online.

Therefore we can say that if you have Great Lakes, student loans do not rely only on your loan servicer for information about your options. Instead, you can search for other trusted resources to know more about repayment options so that you can make the right decision for your debt. Furthermore, if you are making extra payments on your debt or applying for an IDR plan, ensure that Great Lakes has applied everything correctly.

Although you may have to make some extra effort, it is necessary to ensure that your debt is being managed properly. However, if you are not satisfied with Great Lakes Loan services, you can choose another loan servicer by consolidating your loan or refinancing with a private lender.

How To Manage Your Great Lake Student Loans

We understand that you may face some issues with Great Lakes, as some borrowers had in the past. So here we are providing some tips to manage your loans with Great Lakes and prevent you from any issues or miscommunication.

 

Managing Great Lakes

 

Sign Up For an Online Account/ Mobile App:

If you have a computer, laptop or mobile device, create your online account at my great lake portal or mobile application. When you have an online account, you can view your loan details and payment history, make online payments and download the necessary forms. When you are able to track your payment activity, it helps you in following your repayment process.       

Contact Customer Support:

When you have any issues with your payment, whether you think that your payment is not applied in the right way or you can not afford to make the repayment, contact Great Lakes customer support as soon as possible. When you contact them timely, it prevents you from developing many serious issues such as student loan defaults. 

Keep Good Records:

Whenever you contact customer service for loan deferring, entering an income-driven repayment plan or pursuing loan forgiveness, always keep a proper record and take careful notes. For example, you must record the time and date of call, the name of the customer support representative and what you have discussed. These notes are helpful in case you have any disputes, and you can show them what you agreed to. 

How Can You Make Early Repayment?

You can pay off your student loan early if you can afford to do so. You are allowed to make small additional payments along with regular monthly payments or pay off the loan in full. Making partial payments is more like making any online repayment.

Great Lakes automatically applies all excess payments towards the loan with the highest interest rate. Therefore, it will save you the most money in the long run. However, you can also select how you want to make your online payments. You can also review and allocate your excess payment when scheduling your payment.

Do Great Lake Service My Loan?

As we have discussed above, once you take out a student loan, your lender assigns you a loan servicer to manage payments. Your servicer contacts you after getting your account, and it usually happens once you receive funds.

After that, you have to contact your loan servicer for all the issues related to your loan payments. If you want to check which company is your loan servicer, you can check it by logging in to your Federal Aid account. For example, if you take out a Federal student loan, Great Lakes can be your servicer and works with some private lenders.

Wrapping Up

Overall, the Great Lake loan service is one of the best services across the country, and it performs well when it comes to federal loan servicing. It offers borrowers several ways to make their loan payments and is always ready to help them if any issue arises. Your lender assigns you a loan servicer, and unfortunately, you can not select a loan servicer yourself. However, if you are unhappy with your loan servicer, you can go for loan consolidation or refinancing options to change your loan servicer. In addition, you can make an account at the Great Lakes online portal or through the mobile application. This way, you can easily track your payments, check your balance, and view your account details.