Great Lakes Higher Education Corp.

Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates is a non-profit corporation with more than 1,300 employees, all committed to changing lives for the better through higher education. We’re one of the country’s leading guarantors and servicers of student loans, serving millions of borrowers, the U.S. Department of Education, more than 6,000 schools, and 1,100 lenders nationwide. We provide support to make higher education accessible, the financial aid process simpler, and the possibility of paying for college real. We know student loans, inside and out.

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

I've read the reviews on here by all of you so I am writing this as to what you should do when dealing with Great Lakes. I went to grad school 10 years after undergrad and all my undergrad loans were handled awesome. It took 8 years to pay off 90k but I always received paper statements and had great customer service experiences. When my grad loans got assigned to Great Lakes I had an oh crap moment cause I've heard they are the worst. So my advice to you all if you have internet is to be logging in and looking at your information DAILY.

I get it, they have a track record of sucking. After I graduated and my loans came out of deferment I continue to be on their website and track my daily interest and payments on an excel sheet. It's just become part of my morning routine now. Because I track daily, I know about how much my account is accruing (or should be) and if the number isn't in line I know they are screwing with something. In my last year with this company on separate occasions my account has gone to zero randomly, they have added 100k to my balance for a day, and wiped the principal paid off all of my payments. I had some freak out moments but the issues were resolved in a few days. I knock on wood I don't have any issues in the future trying to pay these off way early but as of right now I just recommend you all get used to getting nothing from them... Do the work, log in online daily because you have to police the account yourself.

Great Lakes has an entirely worthless website which will not allow users to log in. It repeatedly generates a "Problem Displaying this Page" error. This error persists across all browsers and devices, using both desktop and mobile applications. Such a blatant unresolved error is incredibly unprofessional and shows a lack of care and consideration for their clients. They obtain customers without their consent by purchasing loans and have no qualms about charging exorbitant interest rates which are well above what is reasonable considering the market, yet they fail to even provide a functioning and accessible website. I am entirely dissatisfied with the institution.

Easily one of the worst companies I have ever dealt with in my life. Horrible and incompetent customer service. I graduated college in 2014 and started paying on my loans around 06/2015. Payments started out at around $100 monthly which is not that bad. Fast forward one year and it's now around 06/2016 and I'm told that it's time to renew my income driven repayment thing. So I submit all the necessary documents well in advance. Like around March or April of 2016. I never hear anything directly from them for weeks, so I call them. They say it's still processing. I don't think it should take that long. So they say give it another couple weeks and "give us a call back for an update." I do that and they basically tell me the same thing.

Meanwhile the time is coming for me to make another monthly payment so I said "well I'm not making a payment until this is fixed." I can't afford for my payments to go up as high as the company wants them to. The website said that if I renewed my IDR it'll only make my payments go up to about 122-125 a month. If I don't do anything at all, then the website said my payments will go up to 188 a month. That may not be much difference to some people but when you have a crappy paying job that's a huge difference. Their solution was to put a 60 day hold on my payments while they got their crap together for my IDR plan thing. So I said "Fine. Whatever."

I call back in 60 days (which is the end of August 2016) to see the status of my IDR deal. The girl I spoke to said that it was rejected. I never got so much as a call or an email or anything about it. I had no idea it was rejected. I asked the girl if she could tell me why it was rejected and she told me they claimed they didn't get my spouse's financial info. Yet she could look it up in her computer and tell that I sent it in. I said that makes no sense. She said "I will resubmit it, call back in a week or 2 to check on it." I asked the customer service rep why in the world it was taking months to complete this process and she literally laughed and told me she didn't know.

A couple weeks pass and I get an email that says it's finally accepted. LITERALLY 5-6 MONTHS AFTER I STARTED THE PROCESS. So frustrating. My payments ended up going up 50 dollars. I was told that it would only go up 20 bucks. I truly regret taking out loans from this company. Their customer service is IGNORANT AND UNEDUCATED.

I took out a student loan back in 2009 after I lost my job and it looked as if unemployment would not continue, hoping I could get a job in the field I was studying at the beginning level. I could not. Fortunately I was rehired by the company that let me go but took a pay cut. I was struggling to catch up on bills, improve my credit and try to get my life back on track. Lost my job again in 2014 so retired at 62. I have never been able to get back to where I was at when I first lost my job and also my home.

I currently have to work part time 5 days a week to meet my expenses. I have filled out their income based application and the payments come back more than I can afford. They will not listen to this. They only look at your income and do not consider your expenses. I have tried to explain this with no luck. Every time I contact them they send me the income based site which starts the circle all over again. I told them what I could afford and they ignore it.

I finally got a 60 day forbearance, whoopee. I only took the first year which were all core classes except one. The education has not benefited me in any way as employers don't even look at the one year. I have several expenses and I will lose approximately $1400.00 a month income in July 2017. I can only afford what I can afford unless I can begin manufacturing money. They don't listen they don't care. They rush you into the loan then once they got you there is no way out. On top of it all interest keeps accruing. There is no way out so beware!

I have recently just received my information on paying back my student loans. I have never had any student loans and was not sure of the process. I was assigned to Great Lakes Higher Education Corp to help me establish a way for repayment that was good for me and what I could afford. I have not received any phone calls only communication Via Email, which is not so bad if you are working and cannot talk.

I would have to say my experience with this company has been little to no help. When I ask questions Via email I do not receive a response until three days has passed and I do not get direct answers. When I ask specific questions about my student loans they always refer me back to my school student loan office which will not discuss it with me and tells me to talk with Great Lakes, so basically I get tossed around like no one cares. I would definitely suggest keeping them if you do have them but make sure you are specific with your questions and do not expect a response in a timely manner.

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In 2013 the US Army loan repayment incentive (part of my military contract when I joined) paid off the loan that I have with Great Lakes. Notice I said "have". Although I have provided them with documentation that very, very clearly illustrates that this loan was paid in 2013. They refuse to acknowledge the final payment, and continue to charge me interest on a loan that was paid off two years ago. Like a previous reviewer on this site, my loan was previously held by Direct Loans (also known as ACS), before it was transferred to Great Lakes. No issues were encountered when it was in the hands of Direct Loans (ACS).

I've called many times and had conversations that always turn out the same. (1) I explain the situation and remind them that I have provided them with the documentation they need to illustrate the payment. (2) They tell me that they need time to "investigate" the matter further. (3) I never hear back from them, and when I call back to find out the status of their "investigation", they have no idea what I'm talking about, and I have to resend my documentation that shows the payments having been made. (4) They tell me they need time to "investigate" the matter further. (5) ...Rinse and repeat. They are holding my account open for approximately $10k on a loan that was paid off by the US Army in 2013.

You could never get anyone to talk about your loan that could help you with anything. They just keep saying how much you own and can you make a payment today. Called several days in a row and they transfer you around. One time the customer service agent said, "I can transfer you around here all day. It's going to be the same thing, can you make a payment". Not very customer oriented and dont want to work with you.

I tried to return Great Lakes' urgent phone call. THEY would NOT tell me why they were calling me. As a great aunt, I am trying to pay off some loans for unemployed college graduates. It is hard to respond to a phone call that is urgent if one does not know why they are calling. And, their attitude was rude. Also, Great Lakes will not acknowledge receipt of my money and because I can't review my nephew's account, they could be spending my money at Starbucks. Is this whole world crazy, perverse or just plain stupid? I pick the latter because if they can call me on my cell phone, they sure as hell must know who I am.

I am completely dissatisfied with Great Lakes. I have both a subsidized and unsubsidized loan at a higher interest rate. Sure they recommend you pay more than the minimum payment, which I do faithfully every month (about 25% higher), but instead of paying down the principal, they apply the monies to the next regular installment so I'm "paid ahead", instead of "paid down". I set the account up for monthly auto pay for a lower % rate, but when I make an extra payment, they cancel auto pay and the discounted rate. Since I get paid every two weeks, I set up recurring payments through my bank every four weeks so twice a year they receive an extra payment during the month. Those payments should be applied to principal only but they never are. And yes, the subsidized loan is always the first to get credited, even though their contract says otherwise. By the time I'm done paying this loan, I'll have likely paid 4x what I borrowed.

The company does not pay off the loans with the highest interest rates as their policy says and is ripping off students of millions of dollars! It is fraudulent. I insisted that payments be applied to the loans with the highest interest and they replied: "The additional amount will then be applied first to any remaining unpaid accrued interest, then to the principal balance of the loan with the highest interest rate. If more than one loan exists with this interest rate, the payment is applied towards the unsubsidized loan (if applicable)."

Looking at the balance this did not appear to be happening so I had to request the information multiple times in order to get a history of exactly which loans the payments were being applied to. What I found was that even though I had paid ahead and had $0 due, the payments were going to the principal of the Subsidized loans with 3.5% less interest!

Think about that! They are making 3.5% interest on all of the loans they deal with like mine! No wonder why they make it so hard to access the information on their website. I wonder how widespread this practice is and wish someone would write an expose. I just spoke with customer service. They admitted as such and said that in order to achieve what their policy stated they do automatically, I have to make a call every month and specify exactly what to pay. All the online payments will not go to the highest rate loan even though it says they will in their policy!

I have two student loan providers. Great Lakes and American Education Services. American Education Services is wonderful. Great lakes is horrible. I have autopay and in addition make weekly payments. I am on a Income drive plan, but still pay more than required. I set up weekly future payments for about 2 months in advance and then when I try to make additional payments it says that my account is not set up to make payments.

I have to go through this issue every couple of months. I've used the same bank account for payments for the past 2 years. The account I use for autopay is the same account I use to make the additional payments. For some reason the autopay payments go through fine, but not the additional payments. I've gone back and forth about this with them for months. I've contacted them about 6 times about the same issue. It's almost as if they are mad at me for trying to pay more than the minimum payment. Their customer service is awful.

They don't send monthly bills or have a payment coupon book. They want everything to be handled online or through email. I don't pay online, I mail checks. They have a payment statement online, but it is too time consuming to go find 2 every month and print them out. I have had to make up and print my own coupons so I can send the payment information along with check. I send two checks every month, one for Stafford Loan, one for a consolidated loan. I have the account numbers on the payment coupon. Yet they still don't apply the payments correctly. I have uploaded the application for an IBR to their site, and sent my 1040 and Schedule C also. Now they are saying they need me to type up more information and file it.

I am willing to make payments on my student loan, unlike a lot of other people. And yet this company gives me a hard time and doesn't apply my payments correctly. I have been making payments to them consistently every month, since I took out the loan, even when I was still taking classes. I am very frustrated with their unhelpfulness and their lack of ability to handle my payments correctly. I just received an email over the weekend, saying my payments weren't applied in Feb. Yet when I check my bank statement, both have been cashed. Half of the time I don't even know what they are talking about and why I am getting emails. It shouldn't be so difficult to send a company money!

This is a crooked, rotten corporation. They tell you to pay extra on your student loan, but if you don't pay the extra the same time as your monthly payment, all that extra money goes straight to your interest. So you actually never dent the principal.

My experience with Great Lakes has been completely positive. This is why I chose them to handle my consolidation. I have received constant email notifications while in school that provided me education on loan repayment options, when to apply for, how to access my account, and seek additional information as needed. Once I graduated with my Masters program, it was about a month before they were updated with my status. My other loans with ACS were due soon because they were older loans. I submitted the consolidation information and it took 2 business days to get the payoff info and total of 10 days to approve my consolidation for income based repayment. Thank you Great Lakes!

I graduated 8 months ago and since then we have been paying any extra money we have left that month on my student loans. This is what happens when we make a payment. We make a payment and wait for it to be withdrawn with no luck because it takes Great Lakes 1 week to approve the payment so that they can collect interest on it. We called them and they said they can't do anything about it because that's how the system works. By doing this they take 30-40 dollars on every payment! We are trying to pay the student loans as fast as we can and put a minimum of 1000 a month on it so we can avoid these extra fees but Great Lakes manages to get us. Looks like I have to find childcare and go back to work just so I can finish with this ridiculously money hungry company!

Great Lakes is decent enough as long as you never have an issue with them. Once you do, good luck getting it fixed. Unfortunately you will have a problem at some point, as their online mail payment system is buggy. If you have auto payments set up but pay early one month, for example, the system will take your payment and still charge your automatic payment. Great Lakes takes 1.5 months to refund even though it's their fault. Also, when rehabilitating my loan, Great Lakes accepted payment but then increased my monthly payments and retroactively marked the account as no longer paid. When I paid the extra amount for the new Balance, my account still showed that it was unpaid. Great Lakes insisted that because I paid the full amount in two payments instead of one, it doesn't count and I'd need to make yet another payment for the full amount. Meaning, I'd have to pay the full amount twice in one month or go back into default.

When I challenged this, they claimed it was the rules from the department of education, insisting the government didn't consider the balance paid off it wasn't made in a single payment. That's a complete lie, it's just another example of Great Lakes online payment system being buggy and them ignoring it. The best they offered was to refund half the money in 45 days, which is unacceptable when they're the ones who caused the issue.

Roughly 25 days ago I logged into my account to pay off the remaining balance of my student loan with Great Lakes. The website made it fairly easy with its "pay off balance" button. After doing so I watched my checking account the next day to ensure the debit had been made. I noticed that it hit along with my monthly payment as well. The system did not account for the payoff on the same day that the systematic monthly payment was made so it charged me an extra payment when indeed the loan had been paid off.

I called and spoke to a customer service agent named Lakeshia who apologized for the error. She advised that I would be refunded in 45 days. Unacceptable to me because essentially I just gave Great Lakes a interest free loan for a month and a half. Ironic! Lakeshia advised her manager had left for the day but she put a note in the system to have someone call me back. Knowing how this could drag on I asked for an email confirmation that she would have someone contact me. She advised they do not email confirmations like that. I politely agreed and awaited a phone call the next day that never came. I called again to speak with a manager and this time I was told the money would be back in my account 7-10 business days. We are now on day 13. If you want to borrow money from a lender, think twice about having to deal with Great Lakes and their headaches - still missing my 450 dollar payment.

One of my son's student loans was transferred to Great Lakes about a year ago. During that time period we never received a bill, only monthly reminders that we were past due which we used to then send payments. We complained that we're not receiving bills. These monthly reminders ended about 3 months ago, and now since we did not make payments this loan has been passed over as a default. This is crazy! All we want to do is make monthly payments but need a bill do so!

I incurred student loan debt a few years ago. 14 months ago decided to pay in full. Called, asked for total amount, went to bank, borrowed close to 20 grand to pay in full. Mailed check with memo paid in full. 14 months later these people call demanding another 1000 dollars for accrued interest on a debt that was paid in full. I'll pay a lawyer instead.

I took out about 250,000 in student loans as a medical student. Initially, these loans were with Sallie Mae. However, over the course of my medical school, some of them were transferred to Navient and some to Great Lakes. I graduated medical school and went into residency (UCLA-Kern psychiatry in Bakersfield, CA) where I was only making about $45,000 a year.

When I started residency, I brought deferment forms to my program administration. The program secretary took the forms but did not fill them out or send them appropriately because I started getting harassing phone calls from both servicers about 6 moths later about my loans going into repayment status. So at that point, I approached the program secretary and asked what had happened to which she stated that she did not recognize the forms and she was pretty sure I hadn't given them to her previously (bold face lie. okay though because her and the majority of the lousy department's contracts were not renewed a year later and they have for all intents and purposes, lost their residency program and affiliation with UCLA. I ended up transferring residencies to UT-Houston as a result but an entirely different story altogether).

Bottom line is, these were not trustworthy people. Anyways, I tracked down the program director (who was also let go shortly thereafter) and got him to sign the deferment forms for my loans and (finally) got them sent in. Unfortunately by then, they had entered repayment but Sallie Mae (Navient now) took the deferment forms and kindly placed them back in deferment status. Not the case with Great Lakes. Instead, Great Lakes used the 1-2 moths of lag time as an opportunity to mercilessly harass me and ultimately DESTROY me (or my credit, anyways). They continued to call me incessantly, none of their employees had any knowledge about the particular situation that I or my loans with them were currently in and they repeatedly shamed me for not paying my loans. And when I attempted to explain that a deferment request had been filed, they repeatedly disregarded it and endlessly berated me for not paying my loans.

My favorite comment by one of their most ignorant employees was "You're a doctor. You have plenty of money so why aren't you paying back your loans?" I didn't even bother explaining the situation or that resident physicians make significantly less money than the kind of physicians she was obviously referring to because I had already dealt with so many ignorant and idiotic people before her that I considered it a waste of my breath. Irregardless, this volley went on and on for several months at that point (them telling me I was nearing default if I did not pay my loans, me telling them that I had sent a deferment request to which they would reply "we don't have anything on record" to which I would reply "that's interesting because I sent virtually the same form to Sallie Mae 5 moths ago and my loans with them are back in deferment and doing fine. The problem appears to be on your end." blah, blah, blah).

Meanwhile, I am being abused and demoralized by people who would prove themselves to be most likely the worst residency program in the country (UCLA-Kern Psychiatry). It's not like I was sitting around on my ass doing nothing but dealing with these moron loan people... I eventually spoke with someone who was willing to at least send me a forbearance form via email to fill out and see if I qualify for which I quickly filled out (even though the deferment form sent SEVERAL moths prior should have sufficed) only to be told ANOTHER 2 moths later that I did not qualify for it and that "oh by the way, your loans are being sent to default". I actually have the impression that a default status is what they wanted all along because they never accepted my deferment form or the follow up forbearance form.

If I had known about the income based repayment policy, I would have opted for that. However, I did not and they certainly did not let me in on that information or option. So, now they are in default with no hopes of getting resolved. My credit is crap and I will probably never qualify for a home loan even though I've done nothing but work my tail off through med school and residency serving mentally ill patients who ironically, by comparison, have been lovely. What is most incredulous to me at this point is that I have been a resident physician for 4 years now and have every proof of that. That I need (pay stubs, certification certificates, letters from program directors, etc) which should be enough to prove that I do and have for the last 4 years, qualify for in-training deferment. But this does not seem to matter to anybody, anywhere.

I called them recently to discuss options for loan rehabilitation and all the "supervisor" could tell me was that there was an '"awful lot of activity" on my account. Well duh, you threw it into default, moron. She could not even tell me the basics of loan rehabilitation. I had to go online to find that out for myself and of course when I logged onto my account with them, the only option I was given to get my loan out of default was to pay over $1000 a month which is a completely ridiculous notion on my meager resident salary.

I feel as though I am destined, beyond anything in my control, to have crappy credit and defaulted loans because that is what these moronic, uneducated, ignorant slobs who work for places like Great Lakes want for people. I am astounded at not only the complete vacancy of customer service (the term in conjunction with Great Lakes is ridiculous) but even worse, the complete lack of any human element whatsoever. These "people" are evil, soulless animals.

On 11/6/2015 I called Great Lakes Higher Education customer service in order to inform them of my in-school status. The customer service representative persistently pressured me to accept a forbearance on my loan to which I consistently said no. She asked me about four times during the duration of the conversation. I explained that my in-school deferment form is in the mail to them. Therefore since this is an administrative problem, I do not want to accept the forbearance. After getting off the phone with Great Lakes, I called American Student Assistance and informed them of this conversation and also to confirm that a forbearance should only be accepted by me when I cannot make a payment. The problem is that Great Lakes applied this forbearance against my will.

I received an email today (11/7/2015) stating that the forbearance is accepted and applied to my account and that the amount of loan interest that is now added to my principal balance. This is completely wrong! Great Lakes is not allowed to do the opposite of what the loan borrower approves. I did not approve a forbearance. And not only did I have to withstand the pressure of this customer service representative but am now distressed by their actions.

I had applied for, what I was told by the school's finance rep, grant to have my schooling paid for in Computer Graphics/Desktop Publishing/Web Design. The school advertised Job Placement as well, which I thought would be a big plus. I come to find out, job placement was nothing but posts from job search engines and craigslist on a bulletin board (I get the same in my email every day). Now there was a job at the school for Teacher's Aid, the day teacher approached me and asked if I would like to take the job. I knew the material and the students both from day and night classes and my work was done before deadlines and I held a very grade (I certified with a GPA of 3.75). As soon as my name went on the list of persons wanting the job the job disappeared. I was told by the person who was in charge of this job, "No student from the school." Now to me that means the school won't hire me for the class they teach!

I just pissed and flushed away $11,000.00! If the school won't hire me for what I am qualified to do what are my chances outside the school? Slim to None and Slim not only left the building, Slim took a flight to Belize on a one-way ticket! Now I have this loan company wanting me to pay them the loan! I keep telling them to get it from the school as the school won't even hire me with a 3.75 GPA in their course. I did all that while homeless and sleeping in their lower parking lot at night for 1 1/2 years. The loan company needs to forgive my loan!

I even went to go into the next level in Computer Graphic to bring me from certification up to Associates Degree. The day and night students had a fit. I asked the teachers why? I was told that they can't compete with my skills and the grade curve would be a straight uphill climb. I never needed extra time to complete my assignments and always showed up for class. I have the letter I sent to loan company in an email if you would like me to forward it please let me know.

I have a student loan with Great Lakes. I pay on a regular basis. It does not matter with them. They constantly call and when you pick up there is no one on the other line. I have tried to talk to their customer service to get them to stop and they refuse. They have terrible customer service. If you have other options, do not go with them!

Payment plan - Please avoid Great Lakes! They will rush you to complete paperwork then take their time on their end to complete their part.

I called to make a large payment, in fact to pay off a specific loan in its entirety. I was on the line and speaking with someone in less than a minute. The representative on the phone was 1) very kind and 2) as helpful as you would need. She answered my many questions and never once came off as irritated. If you have questions, just call and talk to another human.

My Sallie Mae loans were consolidated and Great Lakes took over the loans. I was able to defer for a year. After that, they sent the payment schedule and the payments were like $400 a month and I did not have a job at the time so obviously I could not pay. I ignored it until it defaulted and they garnished my wages from the job that I did get. This went on for a few years until I lost that job. Then they called me to set up a repayment plan for 10 months at $5.00 per month which I completed then they set me up on the income based program where I pay what I can because I only have a part time job right now. I tried to go on the website today to check the account and my browser is telling me it isn't secure, so I found these reviews and I'm like, now what?

Stay away from Great Lakes. I read in the website that all the monthly payments were going towards the loan with the highest interest rate, but after doing some calculations, this didn't add up. I called them asking for a document where I could see specifically how my monthly payments were being allocated. After talking with the consumer services person she told me she could put the request on the system but that she wasn't guaranteeing that I was gonna get the document. I asked to speak with a supervisor because I believe it is my right to know how my money is being allocated.

When I first started talking with the supervisor she told me that the majority of the money were going towards the loan with the highest interest rate (just like the website says), but after I told her the calculations I made she changed her statement and said that the majority of the money was going towards my unsubsidized loan, which obviously has the lowest interest rate. They do this because it is on their best interest that our money goes towards the loan with the lowest interest rate, that way they make more money out of us. At the end of the phone called, she didn't give me any document that says how my money is being allocated and she said that I won't ever get it. I wonder if there's someone I can talk to about this, because being my money I believe I have every right to know how is it being distributed.

I went to Virginia College... Don't ever go there. They promised I would get a job in medical billing and coding after graduation. That was a big lie after learning from the teachers that wasn't true and research on my own. I found out too late, and the lender Great Lakes came after me, harassing me frequently by phone even though I sent them my social security disability award letter to get the student loan dismissed. I cannot hold a job, because of my disability, but why are they still harassing and threatening me? This taught me a lesson not to ever get a student loan ever again.

For the past 5 years, I been paying off student loans with Great Lakes. Each month I call to make a payment and I answer all the questions each time until the last question which is "now what do you want to pay?" You can say "Pay Total". So when I say "pay total" their system tell me they do not understand the reply. I am forced to go to an agent. Each time I tell the agent about it they refused to do anything. But they want to sign me up for automatic payment. What the hell. If they can not get their phone system to work I would never sign up for anything else. These people are lowlife.

After exiting full time studies, my loans became due during the summer. (I had already been working full time over the past 2+ years but I was doing a second undergraduate degree program, hence my loans were due so quickly upon exiting university studies.) My student loans are due on the 27th of each month, starting 7/27/2015. On 7/10/2015 I scheduled an automatic debit and received a confirmation number. Well, on the night of the 27th, about 2 hours until midnight, I check online to see that my student loans are now past due. Remember, unlike most people with federal student loans, I am a registered nurse who has been working full time for the past 2 years. I have more than enough money to make my minimum payment. But they don't withdraw it.

So now I am faced with the prospect of having delinquencies reported to the credit bureau. Their online system reeks of scam -- I think they are purposefully trying to scare people into overpayment. Not knowing whether I can trust the online system, which claims I have a payment pending, but also claims that I am past due on loans, I make a payment for the total amount due before midnight on 7/27/2015. I fully expect them to double bill me. There is no reason for this confusion in their online system in 2015. I am a registered nurse and sleep during the day and work nights. Therefore, it is difficult to keep logging in to to check if my payment processed properly. If you read more information such as complaints on the Better Business Bureau, you will find egregious treatment of consumers who do not fit the typical mold of the delinquent deadbeat.

In fact, there is even a story about somebody in Germany trying to pay off their $20k+ student loan in full, and having to incur hundreds of dollars of pain and suffering including cross city travel just to get the check to them while Great Lakes was refusing to accept payment. Great Lakes basically doesn't help out until you start going ballistic and get authorities and others involved and start making federal complaints. Worse yet, the few times I have called for typical day-to-day operations such as in-school deferment and income based repayment (IBR), customer service has ALWAYS - WITHOUT FAIL - been either incompetent, or rude, or both. Because of this new Federal Student Loan charade... you cannot choose your servicer. Thus certain cohorts of student loan borrowers are automatically assigned Great Lakes. Like all modern student loan servicers, Great Lakes claims to be nonprofit.

However, as you already have inferred, I would find it hard to believe that there aren't several people within the organization commanding disproportionately high salaries. Once I had a serious complaint about a customer service representative blatantly ignoring my question and answering the one that she decided was my question (even though she wasn't actually answering my question). When I complained to the Omsbudsman, they didn't help at all. I just called Great Lakes until I got a rep who could actually answer my question. Great Lakes is the type of organization where you simply have to keep calling and cycling through customer service reps in order to get a favorable outcome. They lack communication, unified policies, or anything else that is required for delivery of good and consistent customer service.

One time, when I simply referred to the national student loan data system (NSLDS) as the federal government, a woman got haughty on the phone with me and condescendingly asked "What do you mean when you say the federal government?" I quickly quipped back that I meant the NSLDS which is a subset the federal government. Apparently it is a stretch to call a dog an animal by her standards. As I have stated, I am a registered nurse with a bachelor of science. Due to my horrible experiences of being treated as a criminal despite not even being delinquent, I am in the process of working on immigration to Europe. I hope to not have to deal with them soon. :)

Expert Review

Barbara FriedbergPersonal Finance Contributing Editor

Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS is a former investment portfolio manager with decades of financial experience. Friedberg taught Finance and Investments at several universities. Her work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, Investopedia, Yahoo!Finance and many more publications.    More about Barbara→

Great Lakes is a non-profit organization that helps students make college a reality. The company partners with the U.S. Department of Education and private lenders to facilitate successful student loan repayment.

  • Services: Great Lakes works with more than 6,000 schools and 1,000 lenders to help students and their families navigate the student aid process. The firm services federal student loans and provides educational customer service.
  • Student educational resources: The knowledge center helps students understand the wide variety of student loan options. Great Lakes’ robust website includes special guidance for military. Their repayment resources explain how to navigate paying back the student loans.
  • Payment services: As a student loan servicer, Great Lakes offers payment plans, loan consolidation services, loan forgiveness programs and more.
  • Best for Undergraduate and graduate students, seeking knowledge and information about the student loan repayment process.

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Great Lakes Higher Education Corp. Company Profile

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Great Lakes
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