Great Lakes Educational Loan Services

Great Lakes Educational Loan Services

 3.1/5 (757 reviews)

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Overall Rating3.1 out of 5
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About Great Lakes Educational Loan Services

Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc. is an affiliate of Nelnet Diversified Solutions, LLC. It services federal student loans and works with financial aid professionals and other business partners. As a loan servicer, it doesn’t actually provide the funds for your student loan, but it works as your primary contact for paying back your loans and answering questions you may have.

Pros & Cons


  • Flexible repayment plans
  • Loan consolidation help available
  • Mobile app


  • No credit card payments
  • Account required to see some info

Bottom Line

Great Lakes is a loan servicer that helps millions of borrowers manage their student loans. It has multiple payment schedules to match your life after graduation. Just read its policies so you know what to expect.

Top Great Lakes Educational Loan Services Reviews

Rated with 5 stars

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...

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Rated with 5 stars

My experience with Great Lakes has been completely positive ... I have received constant email notifications while in school that provided me education on loan repayment options, ...

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What is Great Lakes Educational Loan Services?

Formerly known as Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation, Great Lakes is a federal student loan servicer based in Madison, Wisconsin. This means that it doesn’t provide funding for loans, but it provides users the resources they need to manage their loan, including:

  • Help with repayment
  • Updates on loan status
  • Help monitoring school enrollment
  • Assistance navigating repayment options and consolidation

How do Great Lakes student loans work?

Federal student loan borrowers are assigned a loan servicer (like Great Lakes) that oversees their account and payments. As a servicer, Great Lakes is responsible for managing billing and payments on these loans. Great Lakes can also help borrowers who are having difficulties repaying their loans. This may include changing repayment plans, exploring loan deferment or forbearance or applying for loan consolidation.

Great Lakes loan requirements

Because it’s just a loan servicer, not a lender, Great Lakes doesn’t set the requirements you need to get a loan. However, it does manage the repayment process for the loans it services.

If you fall behind on payments, your loan will be considered delinquent. Your loan is delinquent from the day after a payment is missed until you catch up on payments or it enters default status. While delinquent, late fees may appear on your account and missed payments are reported to the four main credit bureaus.

After 270 days of nonpayment, your loan is in default. Once in default, the full balance is due immediately, and further financial and legal consequences may apply. Luckily, forgiveness programs may be able to help those who are eligible.

Great Lakes costs

The cost of repaying a student loan through Great Lakes largely depends on the terms of your loan. Interest rates are set by the lender, not Great Lakes, depending on the type of loan you receive and the economy at the time.

Figuring out your individual cost ahead of time can be confusing because it may involve coordinating information between the government and Great Lakes. However, as a loan servicer, Great Lakes works to help borrowers track their loans (even before repayment begins) and choose payment plans that match their lives after graduation.

Great Lakes Educational Loan Services FAQ

Is Great Lakes private or federal?

Great Lakes is a privately held company that services both federal student loans and private loans given through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) prior to 2010.

Is Great Lakes part of Navient?

No, Great Lakes is separate from Navient, although both are federal student loan servicers.

Can Great Lakes student loans be forgiven?

Yes, student loans serviced by Great Lakes can be forgiven by the federal government if you qualify.

Can Great Lakes garnish my wages?

Yes, Great Lakes can garnish your wages if your loan is in default.

Is Great Lakes legitimate?

Yes, Great Lakes Educational Loan Services is one of the companies the U.S. Department of Education lets service federal student loans. Great Lakes gives borrowers a variety of plan options for paying off their student loans, and former students can pay through the mail, over the phone or via its website or mobile app. Great Lakes’ online tools can help you choose the right repayment option for your individual needs, too. Just be sure to familiarize yourself with the company’s policies and features to help your repayment go smoothly.

Great Lakes Educational Loan Services Reviews

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Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 28, 2022

Be aware! Pay from your account! If someone else pays the loan for you and you give them the money you're basically **! They send your refund back to that person even if it's a stranger with another name. I now have an order of protection against that person and they refuse to send my money to an account with my name.

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Rated with 2 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 17, 2022

I've dealt with them in the past for trying to pay ahead on the loans. The customer service isn't really knowledgeable about the process as I asked for the pay off amount for a specific loan under their name and they gave me an amount that overpaid by several hundred dollars. It forced me to pay my loans slightly faster, but that's not what I requested. I wanted to know the pay off amount and received incorrect information. It left me with the impression they don't actually care about you paying off loans, but rather, continuing to pay them so they can make whatever commission fees they do.

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    Rated with 4 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: July 10, 2021

    Great Lakes has been great at helping me consolidate and get back on track with my loan. They really helped me understand payment options and accruals. They also communicate changes in government regulations and deferral periods well.

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    Rated with 4 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: June 25, 2021

    Great Lakes is a wonderful company. The customer service is excellent and they try really hard to help you get your loan down. But still the last 4 years the APR for the loans has been extremely high and I wish there was a way to combine loans and get a lower rate without going private and to stay with Great Lakes. Should the possibility of student loan forgiveness become available it would only be for those who have government backed loans not private ones. Right now is a great time to get a lower rate but again that would mean going private and risk losing out if there is loan forgiveness.

    2 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 4 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 10, 2021

    They worked with me in trying the best way possible to pay these loans back. They went through each option and explained each one thoroughly. Also they give me my best option to pay back and called and emailed all this information.

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    Rated with 2 stars
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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 8, 2021

    Must know the long loan ID number to log in. Have to reference it every time. Clear and simple web page design. Payment notifications are timely. I am overall sickened by the interest rate for grad school loans. It is robbery and negatively influences people’s decision whether to purpose advanced degrees or not.

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    Rated with 2 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Dec. 28, 2020

    They bug you before you graduate. I am not finished my degree and already getting letters, emails and phone calls before I finish. I do not think this is good practice for them to be doing to students. I have not secured a job yet.

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    Rated with 4 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Dec. 27, 2020

    I find the company to be helpful and they explain everything in detail until you fully understand. They are very polite and helpful to clients. They make the process easy and more manageable for the layman.

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    Rated with 4 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Dec. 26, 2020

    Very helpful knowledgeable staff. Kept me updated on every way to extend, save, waive or pay down loan. Easy payment remittance, kept me updated on balances, tax info. Made tax forms available and completed for accounting.

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    Rated with 4 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Dec. 25, 2020

    I was overwhelmed by the student loan debt and how I could possibly pay it back. I had no income and was using up savings. Finally it came to light that I had some long-term medical issues that would prevent me from working in my chosen field. I qualified for Disability from Social Security. As a result, Nelnet took over the loan and then forgave it; I had to submit a copy of the disability determination letter from Social Security to get that dispensation. BTW I disliked the interface system for Great Lakes. It just wasn't very direct or timely.

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    Great Lakes Educational Loan Services Company Information

    Company Name:
    Great Lakes
    Company Type:
    Year Founded: