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.
Keep an eye on your inbox, the lastest consumer news is on it's way!
A link has directed you to this review. Its location on this page may change next time you visit.
From start to finish it's all lies and total bs! I'm currently down for truck repairs. I drive for a living and contacted these clowns and told them soon as I'm back up and running I'd start paying again. They said, "Ok no problem." 2 days later I'm getting threatening calls emails and now attacking my credit score. Also you pay on 22nd they don't process payment for up to 14 days. Now they blame fed reserve. Ok now it's shutdown. How can they process payments while shutdown yet they continue to hassle and threaten you. Total scam. Needs to be shut down. Avoid at all cost.
My original loan was for $7747. After forbearance, deferred payments, small monthly payments etc. I finally settled into a career and began making on-time monthly payments of $118. By this time my balance was $9800. I have paid over $2000 and my balance is now $9500. At this rate, if I pay $118/mo, it will take me 32 more years and approx. $52,000 to pay off the remaining $9500. Unethical. Ludicrous. Infuriating. Money hungry. It’s mind boggling how this is even legal.
I was recently reviewing my payback schedule and noticed that the end date on Great Lakes was not correct. My payments for 14mo would not cover the remaining balance. It took 3 attempts to explain the customer service representative of the situation. The fact of the matter is this, if I'm teaching the customer service representatives how to handle my loan and simple math, this terrifies me. There are a ton of student loans out there and I'm fortunate enough to understand money but knowing that there are people who don't scares me. The Student Loan crisis is one that I follow closely and I'm appalled that this situation happened to me and have empathy for all of those who have to deal with these. Please take a look at your loans and make sure to double check them whenever you can!
Lie, lie, lie. What they say and what they do are very inconsistent. They need to be investigated by the federal government. This company asked for paperwork regarding my income for income-driven repayment and I submitted it -only for them to tell me that by the time it was processed I had to resubmit. This happened 4 times. Then they told me that I was paid ahead by almost $3000 and that I will not have money withdrawn from my account for several months if not a year. These people lie and convince you to not pay on your loans and then charge you fees when you don’t pay your loans on time. Anyone reading this... I would not wish this company on my worst enemy.
They call me up constantly from (800) 236-4300 and ASK for my FULL SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. As a rule it is a REALLY BAD IDEA to ever ask for someone's full social security number. If any company is legitimate that claims to have my loan information they should ALREADY HAVE that information.
- 1,417,278 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
- We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
- We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
- Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.
For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.
I began repaying $360 a month on the $31,000 Stafford Loan six months before my student graduated from college. By the time her first payment was due, I had already paid $1,810. In December, before the first "official" payment was due in January, a Great Lakes "customer service" person called to check in. He said I didn't need to make the January payment and that my new payments would start in March. So I did as he suggested. In February, I received a statement that did not indicate I had made any payments at all. Instead, it said I was BEHIND and further the balance was GREATER than my original balance with no indication that the balance had been affected by my payments.
When I questioned this, I was told that the interest had been "capitalized" and an additional $943 had been added to my balance. Even with that, the balance should have been lower by the difference between $1,810 and the $943 "capitalization" of the interest. They have a convoluted way of calculating payments and interest that always ends with me owing more than the original balance. I have continue to make payments on time -- and in more than is required. Yet, in almost three years, only $3,000 of the original (inflated) amount has been paid. I've called, written and my student has even signed notarized statements and powers of attorney to allow me to speak on her behalf. Yet the folks at Great Lakes cannot find any of those documents and I must resubmit them each time. In my nearly three years, I have paid right at $7,000, but my $31,000 original loan balance is now just over $28,000! What charlatans!
Customer Service was not compliant with CA AB2251. I called Great Lakes because I checked my credit report and saw that my new loan balance was a whopping $87,000 up from $52,000 the last time I checked. At age 59 I have not found a decent job that pays to house let alone Student Loan. My principal was original $20,000 in 1989 and I have made $43,655 in payments but with the uneven economy, it doesn't look good. Per CA House Bill AB 2251 I should have been directed to the correct repayment plan that may give me a hope of relief or a reduced amount that is realistic for my poor financial situation.
Instead, I was told to simply keep reapplying for a deferral while the interest keeps accruing. At this point there is no way for me to pay off this loan and will have to fight for my Social Security as that will be garnished. I will never relieve myself of this debt before I die. I wish I would have never gone to U Of W and I wish I would have received real-world counseling from someone there before I got so leveraged. The US economy has also played a big role. Great Lakes lack of training or GL unchecked greed leaves my account untenable.
This is in regards to my Federal Student Loan. Great Lakes is the Servicer. Great Lakes was the servicer twice for my account which started in 1989 and is now in the 3rd decade. I called and got zero help in determining which plan I could qualify with for forgiveness. I am and have been on Food Stamps and living occasionally out of my car and motels. I was informed that Great Lakes will take up to 1/3 of my S.S. benefits. I regret going to college and working my way through. Started with $20,000, paid $43,865 after tax, now owe $87,000 and climbing. My life has been negatively altered forever and all Great Lakes cares about is charging more fees. To date paid more in fees than my original principal. Thanks for nothing.
It’s been 4 years of me working with them under the incomes driven repayment plan. (Part of the “Obama forgiveness program.”) I pay my bill and send my tax paperwork every year so the department of education is up to date with things. I read about 30 reviews of people saying the paperwork they ask for is crazy... it’s just a W-2 and your tax returns and the ironic thing is the Department of Education is the real one demanding it. Also for the 40 reviews complaint they don’t get paper statements or alarms the bill is due, please grow up. A one star review because you can’t maintain your bills like an adult is ridiculous. I have had smooth sailing with GL and I don’t have a complaint honestly. I have had one person in 4 years that was a mess to put it nicely and I just hung up and called again and got someone that knew what they were talking about.
Website is frustrating, no way to receive paper statements in the mail. I don't mind making payments online, but it is totally incumbent upon me to remember each month when it is due. I pay 20-30 bills a month, it would be nice to have my statements mailed to me. I pay a lot of other bills online, including credit cards, and none of them have a problem mailing me statements. I'll be glad when I don't have to deal with this jerky company anymore.
When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, my (student loan) payment was delayed but I was unaware. GL emailed me and I called to see what was going on. I had never missed a payment in 7 years. They put my account in forbearance which it still is but I continue to make my payments as always. The more you communicate with them, the worse your situation becomes. They feel the need to do whatever they want, your requests are irrelevant. So I've learned the less I communicate with them the better off I am, just make the payments and see if they apply them to our account. There is no watchdog over this entity and they well know it.
I called and Great Lakes said they will remove the forbearance. It was because I clicked into the consolidation option. I wanted to see what kind of rates a consolidation would give me but didn't confirm to finalize it. I'm not sure how this would've triggered for my loans to be in forbearance without any warning or confirmation from me. It's something that should be fixed but in the end, it's a misunderstanding. I wanted to delete my comment before publish, but now I can only resolve it. I'm relieved that the forbearance issue will be resolved soon.
I was on an income driven plan that would require me to reapply for yearly. It was only in June (mid year) that I called in to ask about how to pay off one loan at a time, focusing on the loan with the highest interest rate. Because the total payoff amount is usually different from what we see, I wanted to know what would be the total payoff amount for just one single loan (I have at least 8 to 9 loans with different interest rates). That was all the conversation was about. And yet, I received an email a couple of days later saying my application for forbearance was approved. That customer rep put my loans in forbearance WITHOUT my permission, NEITHER written nor verbal consent. How can they do this? This must be ILLEGAL!
Just because they think I may pay off my loans, they put me on forbearance for 60 days so that by the end of this time, my 10K interest will be added to my principal and any additional interest will be capitalized. I was doing perfectly fine on my income driven plan, no late fees because my minimum payment is 0! I was only thinking my family may help me pay off some of the high interest loans but it doesn't mean this will pan out. I am so ANGRY right now. I saw that email but didn't quite understand what forbearance mean until now, 2 weeks later. I am calling them to have this forbearance removed. I am praying they will remedy the situation or I will file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
I want to sue that lady rep. That was devious and horrible of her, to do something completely against my benefit and without my express permission. I want them to remove the forbearance and reinstate my old plan, but I don't know if their procedures allow them to do this. I'm so worried and anxious I cannot sleep and just waiting for 7 am to call them right away to fix this problem. If anyone knows how these things work, please advise! Is what they are doing illegal? Can a forbearance be canceled or removed without capping interest? Why the hell would I want to be in forbearance when my income driven plan monthly payment is 0? If this was done on purpose, then they are scam artists and need to be sued by the CFPB. I will update on the result.
You cannot make an extra payment with these guys unless you do it ON your due date! You also can't pay off individual loan amounts without going through 100 extra steps to email and call and otherwise contact them for a specific pay off amount for a specific loan "token" (loan ID) that they then have to send you separately than the website. I tried to pay an extra payment two days after my due date and gave them permission to allocate 100% of it to a specific loan token only to have them allocate it as they chose to all of the loans since it was "in the new billing cycle."
I asked about moving the due date to alleviate that issue only be told that whatever the due date was would be the end of the billing cycle and that all extra payments must be made on the SAME DAY as your due date to count - and they only counted if they hit the bank on that day. I'm beyond irritated as I thought I had paid off a $200 balance about four times before figuring out what was going on. I'm waiting for a supervisor to call me back on Monday but I don't have high hopes for anything being allocated as I stated. If they don't reallocate or return my extra payment, I'll be calling my bank and reporting the misallocation of funds and asking them to retract the payment for me.
I have been making on time loan payments for years. Recently I have been trying to target the smaller loans with extra payments one at a time to get them off the books. My regular monthly payment is $584. I have been able to get "paid ahead" according to them by three months. Yet confusingly in the same information box they say I am only "paid ahead" $668. Both things can't be true.
I wanted to make an extra payment today, but couldn't find the daily balance of accrued interest (yep, your interest is calculated and accrues every day. Mine is $7.21 a day). They don't make it easy to find that information. So I called them. While I had them on the phone, I asked them to explain how they distributed my excess payments. The lady was real nice, but the logic they use is convoluted, hard to follow, and seems to be designed to bamboozle the customer. After several frustrated minutes of trying to understand them, this is what I was able to figure out. I'm trying to make this as generic as possible so you can figure out your own situation.
I made a payment on the 14th of one month. This was counted as the payment for that billing cycle (due the 7th of the next month). Then I paid again on the 4th of the next month. Because that was before the 8th, that counted for a fat overpayment (after they took the daily accrued interest of course), but somehow doesn't count for the new payment that comes due the 8th, yet at the same time I am credited with being an additional month ahead (*shrug*). But when I paid again on the 2nd of the next month, that payment is credited to the previous month’s billing cycle, which somehow puts me an additional month ahead, but the extra monies I paid (about $120 per month) now only counted for $30 against my designated loan.
And if I try to make an additional payment today, to, you know, pay down a loan? It's not additional. I'm paying the payment for this cycle, due the 7th of next month, because the payment I made this month on the 2nd doesn't count for this cycle, it counted for the last cycle. This cycle I owe another $584 before anything I pay is considered an "extra" payment. So to pay $100 towards the principal on any loan, I have to pay around $700. Oh, and don't forget the proportion that is principal is reduced every day because the interest accrues every day. Got it?
Confused? Me too! After noodling it out, I finally understand their logic, but it is definitely not transparent. And I still have no idea why they claim I am paid ahead by three months, but my payments still only count for the billing cycle I'm in. When I asked, the lady said "that's in case you didn't want to make a payment for three months" which makes no sense at all as the daily accrued interest would total $650 after three months, which, incidentally now that I calculate it, is the same as the amount the claim I am paid ahead by. So, go figure. "Paid ahead" to them means how much interest you are allowed to build up before they come looking for you.
This is why people say dealing with them is like dealing with the Mafia. It is not possible to call them up and pay $100 towards a particular loan. They will not let you. Not until you have paid everything for the month. Then you can pay $100. After we take out the daily accrued interest of course. At $7.21 a day I'm no expert, but it seems to me that the rules are set up to make it as difficult as possible to pay off your student loan while maximizing profits to the loan servicers. A few months ago, I paid off a loan held by Nelnet. I found a place to lend me a small about so I could get Nelnet and their high interest rates and terrible customer service off my plate. Today I found out Nelnet bought Great Lakes. I expect the customer services to sink to a new low.
Followed every instruction on the site for how to set up what happens if I pay excess... AS IN OVER AND ABOVE WHAT I OWE THAT MONTH SINCE GL DOESN'T UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF EXCESS! Made an excess payment...and the morons STILL applied it to all 12 loans instead of the one I’m trying to pay down with their robbery high interest! I called...girl says, "Yeah", I will need to call in on the exact date of a draft to make extra payments so they go where I want. So set an alarm! I have to be available to get on the phone the day of the autopay to do an excess even though it is 2018! Why is this difficult for these idiots! I read all the time about people sending extra & yet their balances never come down. This is the mafia! How are they allowed to do this! They are idiots!
These mafioso incarnates will hound and harass you, offering no real help with your loan repayment plan. You can send in supporting documents to try to get lower payments during hardships. Even when they are your only documents, given to you by your employer, and they will always say they are invalid documents. The documents they demand are not any sort of document someone would have at their disposal on a normal basis. They will wait until the last minute of your temporary forbearance to let you know YOU have failed to send in documents you have sent in several weeks prior, thinking the issue has been resolved. They will call, email, and text you threats multiple times a day. They pretend to sound empathetic all while digging your grave for you. NEVER take a loan out with these thugs, you will regret it!
We have recently been informed we have a college loan from 2009 that has gone unpaid. My child graduated in 2012. Never knew about the loan. Never on our credit report until just recently. But showed we were up to date on the loan? Original loan was 42000. Has now ballooned to 75000. They dropped the ball on their end. Now we are paying the price. Tried to get them to help. Basically said, "You're on your own. Good luck."
My first reaction when I heard that my loans might be transferred to another loan servicer was, "Oh no!!! Nobody takes care of me like they do!" Great Lakes has serviced my loans for almost five years, and they have always been helpful and very kind through all the changes that I continually make given my line of work. The customer reps (phone) are patient and explain every step and option in detail so that I can get the best one. Really, thank you!
IMO this loan provider is nothing more than a scam. My student loan was in default resulting in an offset on my tax refund. I applied for a consolidation loan from these clowns. I was told that my loan would be funded on the 29th of January IF I waived my right to change the loan. This was perfect for my situation. The new loan would fund the same day as my refund. Which is Monday... Saturday I received an email saying that it would fund on the 30th. So I call the Dept of Education. They inform me that if that's the case my refund would refunded. Well it will but not to me or the Dept of Ed... But yes to guess who Great Nigerian Lakes.
For the last 3.5 three years my wages have been garnished. Each year I have called and asked for what the beginning balance was of this loan, and what is the balance of the loan at the beginning of a new year. No one can ever give me this information and the papers they send me in the mail does not explain anything. This loan service does not like to work with people, every time upon calling you get the runaround or it goes to a voicemail for you to leave a message in hopes someone calls back. For three and a half years I have tried to get my starting balance and my new balance and a statement showing how each payment is being applied to my account. I would not recommend this servers to anyone. If I hear the name Great Lakes Student Loan I would run as far away as possible. This company does not like to work with people, it is their way or no way. Run, run, run, when you hear this name as a student loan server.
In November 2017, I became unemployed. I contacted Great Lakes to let them know I was unemployed and unable to make my student loan payments. I had to send in my documentation proving that I was unemployed. I received an email stating my student loan payments would resume in March 2018 and my payments are more than unemployment. I called and talked to an absolutely clueless woman. She said “yeah we received your paperwork. It was rejected because it’s unclear.” She couldn’t tell me what was unclear — the documentation came from the state unemployment office. They postponed my payments for another 2 months while they further investigate. I’m unemployment. They see I’m on unemployment. I’m not bringing in the big bucks. I’m already stressed enough and now add this to the mix. This company is ridiculous.
Great Lakes is my federal loan servicing company. However, they are extremely mismanaged and offer very inconsistent answers. I applied for an Income Driving Repayment Plan (IDRP) and was told that my monthly payment would be estimated at $91. After filling out the necessary documents and submitting my paperwork, I received a bill for $339 instead. And so I called back and then was told that my application was never processed and that I have to start all over. Mind you, interest accrues daily so cause of their mistake, I have to pay extra interest.
When I redid the application, I was told that my monthly payment would now be $166 instead of $91. You would think with the same exact answers, I would get the same, if not similar, monthly payment. But no, my payment went up by $75. When I asked for the reason why, the representative simply stated that this was based on the information I provided. 1 + 1 equals 2 today and 1 + 1 will equal 2 tomorrow as well. Which leads to my point – if I provide the SAME EXACT ANSWERS to the questions as I did previously to the SAME EXACT QUESTIONS asked previously, why would the two results be staggeringly different? Anyway, this company has got my life strapped down for the next 24 years since my loans won't be paid off until I'm 48 years old.
I consolidated my $15,000 student loan debt from a two-year technical college. When it got to them they said I owed $35,000. I contacted them several times and I was only told it gathered interest. I have no idea what to do next. It's twice the amount and I can not afford the payments.
The loans interests are too high even I have given them 200 per month. They would want the rate to go up for 215 per month. This is nuts when I was given the rate of 162-180. I decided to pay higher but it didn't satisfy them enough since they want to raise the payments and I working so hard for these loans.
I changed my banking info to my new bank account and had auto payments but the auto payments are not affected when you change your bank account but nowhere on the site does it tell you that. Then when I reached out to customer service 3x after I'd been hit with over $120 fees for them withdrawing 2 months in a row for an account I was in process of closing, they said that it takes 10 days to go through and there is nothing they can do about the fees. They are crap!
My dad has a parent plus loan through them which I am repaying. They have based it on his income making my payments over $900 a month. They would only lower them by half until I started paying on them. I could not even afford half that payment on top of my other student loans and bills that I have. We have tried to get them to lower it and all they want to tell us is they need me to make full payments in order to lower it more. Now anytime we call they tell me they need to talk to my dad since it's his information and they tell my dad they need to talk to me since I'm paying it.
No matter how much I pay the loan keeps getting bigger. They have changed the due date of my loan multiple times but never send me statements. I may get a statement once every couple of months if I'm lucky. All I get are letters saying they can help lower payments and help regain control of the loan but when we call they say there is nothing they can do. If you get a loan through them switch it ASAP. I am trapped by this loan and can't get a job I want or give my son the life he should have because I can barely afford anything with this loan! They will not work with you at all and will just keep taking more and more of your money!
This company continues to state they are not responsible while they are, for stopping a garnishment to my payroll AFTER setting up a rehabilitation on a defaulted loan. Tried calling all the way to the Director of the agency they have hired, no return calls. But they still continue to garnish my wages on a new job as a new graduate.
Hello, I am a veteran and got out the military last year but as soon as I got hired by the post office I wanted to change the income on my income driven repayment plan since my income has dropped. I was informed by several representatives from their company that I needed to send verification of my income which a pay stub would be considered acceptable. So, when I received my check from the post office, I tore off that pay stub which is the original and sent it to Great Lakes mailing address. They acknowledged that they received it but claimed they couldn't read it which I am confused about. The payment stub was typed in dark letters and numbers that came directly from the post office and was the original copy, so I don't understand how I mail in a readable document that anybody could read that is literate but when it reaches Great Lakes, their staff cannot read it.
So, yesterday on 11/22/2017 I talked to their representative and she gives me this lame excuse saying they received it but claim they cannot read it. So, I sent in my entire income statement from the Post Office from my employment account which has my employee identification number, income, and name on it also the original. Then This morning on 11/23/2017 around 1:00 am, they claim they cannot read the pdf document once again which this document once again was generated from my employee account from the epayroll section from The United States Post Office. How is it that I send in two documents verifying my income that everybody else can read but not the staff at Great Lakes? Also, they acknowledged they have received both my income statements but want to raise my payment plan higher because their staff cannot read documents.
This company I believe is pulling unethical behavior due to the fact that they want to raise my plan even though they know my income is not the same since I served in the Army a couple of years ago. All their advertisements about helping the veterans is a lie, they draw up this image of or have commercials/websites with sections claiming to help the military but all they are known for what I can see is unethical behavior.
I mailed my payment to Great Lakes over 17 days ago. They still did not received the payment? The post office gave me tracking number that my envelope was delivered 15 days ago, this means only one thing. Great Lakes keep these envelopes for 28 + days to make sure my % interest will apply for the following month. I am with debt of $9.000 but there is thousands of people like me. Let's do the math!!! This is FRAUD!!! I spoke to account manager and he said he doesn't know where the payment is. They haven't received it YET. Post office confirmation of delivery 15 days ago. HMMM??? Really Great Lakes??? I think I am hiring attorney to look into WHY this is happening at Great Lakes? No one to go get mail? No one to open received mail? Fraud.
I was duped into taking out a predatory loan back in 2007 for a school that has since been shut down for their predatory schemes. I went to ITT Tech for about a semester and a half before I realized that the school was a complete scam. Anyhow, I signed a Promissory Note in 2007 for what I thought was just one loan from Sallie Mae/Navient Solutions. I had no idea how the student loan system worked and that is an entirely different complaint. It turned out that the school took out 5 loans total for different amounts. Anyhow, I quickly defaulted on the loan because I felt like I was duped and I wasn't going to pay $7000 for a worthless education. I paid much more than $7000 but that was just the loan portion. The school made me bring my entire Montgomery G.I. bill to them and then I still owed them another $3000 on top of the loans that they already got.
Anyhow, when I defaulted, I learned very quickly just how powerful these Mafiosos are. They threatened to garnish my wages and I quickly decided to just make a deal with them and pay them. However, it seemed like no matter how much I paid them, my balance never went down. Somewhere along the way I was not able to make the payments anymore. Then next thing I knew, Great Lakes had my loans. I seen that they were reporting to my credit. I sent them a letter asking them for the proof of indebtedness. They can't provide it in its entire form. All they have is a signature page with absolutely no details on it. I told them that I did not sign that and I want to see the entire contract with my social security number, address, phone, and etc on it. They can't provide anything other than the signature page. I've been afraid to challenge this in court because it appears they are under an entirely different set of laws than normal creditors.
If this wasn't a federal loan, this would have to be deleted due to lack of evidence, since there isn't any pages with the details of the loan or personal information of the recipient of the loan. Anyhow, I am still looking into litigation but I am not certain how this will turn out. I am also fighting this from an identity theft angle since I don't believe the signature on the one page is mine.
Great Lakes expert review by Barbara Friedberg
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.
Great Lakes Higher Education Corp. Company Information
- Company Name:
- Great Lakes
- Company Type:
- Year Founded:
- (800) 236-4300