Great Lakes Higher Education Corp.ConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
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.
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.
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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.
2.5 years ago I began researching the best repayment plan for my student loan which was slightly upwards of $50,000. After much research and calling Great Lakes to speak with multiple representatives, I decided that paying the full amount of $608 a month was the best option and I set up the payment on Autopay to receive a discount of 5% over the lifetime of the loan.
It was explained to me by a Great Lakes representative that I could make an additional payment, after the initial monthly payment was satisfied, and the additional payment would go entirely towards my principal if I mailed in a check and included a note earmarking the check for PRINCIPAL ONLY. I am now in a financial position to make an additional monthly payment in December, so I called Great Lakes just to be sure that the additional payment would go entirely towards principal - to my dismay, the representative told me that the additional payment would NOT go towards my principal, it would be applied to the next billing cycle and autopay would not recognize the additional payment so essentially I would be making 2 payments for 1 month though both would go towards a percentage of interest and principal.
The representative told me that the Federal Government changed the rules and they have no control. I asked where I could view the "updated" policy and information on the Great Lakes website and she said nowhere, though if you try to make an additional monthly payment online, it will tell you that the payment is being applied to the next billing cycle. She said that if I did want to make an additional monthly payment, I would need to make it on the due date of my current payment and then it will be applied to principal only - but she cautioned me that the Federal Government could change the rules at any time (and I assume that the new policies would not be made available to view online).
I will NOT make an additional payment, as I DO NOT trust that Great Lakes will apply my additional monies as I intend. I will instead continue saving the money and as the loan get closer to being paid off and I have saved enough, I will apply the entire savings towards completely paying off the loan in a lump sum. Working with Great Lakes has felt like a dishonest experience - ugh.
I have been paying off my student loan for 6 years. My total loan was for 40,000. I have put at least $10,000 into sporadic payments over the years, and have been paying anywhere from $220-$400 every month for the past two years. My balance is still over $39,000. It never goes down. This place is terrible to work with, I am certain they are ripping us off.
My husband was injured on the job and forced to apply for disability. After five years of homelessness and agony because he was unable to work, the disability came through in Jan of 2017 (this year). The first 2 months the money deposited for his disability was the proper amount, but when the 3rd month came we were surprised to find out there was a garnishment of over $250.00. After investigation we found that Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation were the culprits behind the offset, claiming they were collecting for the Dept. of Education for a student loan. Problem is, he didnt attend ANY colleges and never applied for any loan. The DOE informed us they had no record of him owing anything, that they had no record of him at all.
Of course we called GL and they gave us four different agencies and banks they were supposedly collecting for. We called every agency and surprise they had no record of him or any loan. Again we contacted GLHE demanding they send proof, a week later there was a typed letter from them with the name of this school he supposedly attended back in 2007. We called the University and they had no record of my husband, BECAUSE HE NEVER ATTENDED COLLEGE IN 2007!! And yet, because we live in a state (Wisconsin) with laws that protect these predatory collection agencies, (thank you Scott Walker), they're allowed to garnish wages, Social Security and SSDI checks without needing to provide proof of debt or even a judgement.
Great Lakes Higher Education has stolen money every month since March of this year from a disabled citizen... And my family are not the only ones affected by these scam artists. What is most shocking is GL has a contract with the DOE and there's absolutely NO oversight, NO regulations, complete lack of due process. Those of you who were trying to better themselves by getting an education and have fallen victim to these scam artists, my heart truly goes out to you.
This company has stooped to such a level as to steal from those on Social Security and Disability, prey on low income families who cant afford legal assistance. What's worse?? They're shielded by the very legal system established to supposedly protect and uphold the constitutional rights and safety of us, the working citizens. I know it's hard, but don't allow yourself to be intimated and fooled... Record every correspondence, demand records, keep and make copies of those documents, research state and federal law regarding student loan debt collection. We have contacted those in the Senate and Congress who do not take this matter lightly and are presently investigating the matter. Contact advocates, local officials, even news outlets. Enough is enough.
My student loans are 2% and 4% interest and created in 2014 and shortly after purchased by GL. It's 2017 and they're the SAME amount. I'm set up for the automatic payments through their site for the wimpy discount (I don't see it??) and I'm "paid ahead" until May 2018 even though I've selected the "uncommon" allocation to have all my extra payments go towards principal. Yet, I can't figure out how a $6000 student loan is still $6000 three years later with extra payments...
Remember my 2 and 4% interest rates? Well out of a scheduled $85 payment, $21 dollars goes to interest. And they fight to justify it (failingly and pathetically). And if I pay extra, even though I've allocated to have it directed at principal, it just 'pays ahead" and apparently disappears. And for some reason I can't get them to supply me with an itemized statement with Loan totals so that I can see why my end principal loan hasn't decreased. But that $60 still should have applied right? Heck if I can see it. At what appears to be a 25% Student Loan it would be cheaper for me to pay off the entire thing with a Credit Card. What sort of place has this become???
My daughter has 2 student loans in repayment. She recently lost her job and didn't pay last month's on time. Since we co-signed for her, we started to receive phone calls. Her monthly payment is $235, but when they call they tell you that you owe $470. I questioned this since the extra $235 isn't due for another 20 days. Their excuse is it is now in the next billing cycle. I don't know about anyone else, but you ca harassing us for a payment that isn't even due yet. So this weekend I went on and paid for her the $235 past due amount. I have a confirmation # and I'm still getting phone calls looking for last month's and what isn't due yet. This has to be illegal, I would love if anyone knows where I can file a formal complaint about this practice.
I graduated with my Master's in 2016. It almost marks 1 year since my original Income-Driven Repayment Plan request was submitted. Every month or every other month they contact me saying they are missing something. I have documented every phone conversation, every email, every form I've submitted. All the while, they are billing me for monthly payments upwards of $1,700/month and my credit is trashed because of this. They do nothing to correct or remedy their mistakes and I as a borrower that had no say in their acquiring my loan, am taking the hit. How do they get away with this? And how is it fair that we, those carrying student loan debt, have no recourse in these instances???
My student loan was sold from ACS to Great Lakes. Great lakes automatically and without my permission put my loans into deferment. Great lakes also could not locate my student loan payment that was made to my previous lender while in transition. The staff was unable to help in any way and while they offered an apology they did nothing to fix the situation. If your loan is sold to Great Lakes, I recommend that you refinance with a more reputable institution.
Great Lakes processed Loans that were not Student Loans in my name that I did not sign for nor did I receive any funds from them at all. Even after I made them aware of this, they Defaulted the Loans, that I did not sign for, and placed the several defaulted amounts on my credit report. They claimed that the Police told them that it was me. They never acknowledged that my signature was not anywhere to be found. Then further, tried to garnish my wages to pay for someone else's loans!!!
Great Lakes, has for the past two years failed to accept and investigate documented allegations that I fraudulently received my federal financial aid, which would be a felony. I have emailed, called, spoke with supervisors, called back and they absolutely refuse to pull the levers that would compel an investigation over these allegations. At the same time constantly billing me to pay it off. Education and federal student aid is a racket. Look at Corinthian colleges that have been shuttered for their fraud scheme. Just because Cal State San Bernardino is involved, Great Lakes, continues to refuse to do their due diligence.
Great Lakes Fails at accurate accounting... They consistently fail to apply my payments to my loans. I spend hours multiple times a year sorting this out on the phone. I stick to my guns when they say the problem is on my end. I have consistently made the same payment amount for year for each account--yet they always seem to mess up. Excruciatingly Frustrating!!! I don't have the time to deal with these folks each month and then have to follow after each conversation only to see it hasn't been correct--then they finally acknowledge the problem is on their end and will be fixed n 3 days. MUST be a broken record/refrain they teach their agents to state. It smells of fraud, diversion and scam!!! Stay away. Unfortunately, when the US Dept of Ed took all private loans to 3rd party administrators I didn't have a saying going to GL. My interests went from 3% to 8% and TERRIBLE service.
Great Lakes has not been helpful at all when it comes to my attempts to repay the massive student loan debt that my parents took out in my name. I am on IBR, and to calculate my payments GL does not consider any other factors besides income. This means, to them, that your student loan payments must apparently take priority over your rent, food, transportation, and healthcare. If, due to any of those reasons, you cannot afford the payments they've calculated based solely on your income, then there is no other option except forbearance. Once you reach the limit on your forbearance, the only other option is defaulting. We are screwed.
I have dealt with Great Lakes for a few years now. I pay my bill each month when my statement comes in the mail. At least once a year, my monthly bill won't come. The next month I will get a past due notice from them. Each time I call they have no explanation of why I did not receive a bill in the mail. The next month I get a bill again like usual. However this hurts my credit score. This also disqualifies me from any gov repayment programs! To qualify for gov repayment programs you have to make consecutive payments. Does anyone else have this problem?
Seriously, it is not hard to take money and apply it to a specific loan. However, Great Lakes has a very difficult time with it. I started paying off my loans while I was still in school, Dec 2016, through my grace period, 02 2017 to the present 04 2017, and in that time I had to call 20 times just from Dec. to Jan. and my grace period does not end until July. For some reason they cannot read emails, they have to be sent from the borrower to the finance people, to disperse the money to the desired loan. So not only have I had to call them a ridiculous amount of times but I have had to email them. A new problem is when they decided to update the system and not email the borrowers so that we don't get upset when our ENTIRE ACCOUNT INFO CHANGES!! I magically owed them more money and had more loans (the ones I already paid off) than the day before.
Seriously, I have had more problems with this company than I had with any other business. Additionally, the staff seems to be trained differently because they do not seem to agree on the information they give you. I would call and get different answers of why something happened to my account and honestly it is a true headache and very time consuming. I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent dealing with this. Most of the personnel is nice and tries to help, but it does not seem as though they are trained properly to apply money to the loans. They have no trouble taking the money but there are extreme problems on reading emails and representatives notes on how to disperse the money. Plus, there is no way for them to pay me back from their mistakes like other business. If I ever take out another student loan, I will make sure it won't be from this company.
Great Lakes irresponsibly and fraudulently allowed a loan to be placed in my name for almost 30,000. I've never heard of them or dealt with them, never signed anything never spoke to them over phone or emailed or mail no communication in any way about this loan. Some company named Forgiveness Processing illegally made a FAFSA id in my name and consolidated loans in amount of 30,000. I had one loan of 4 thousand bucks with Sallie Mae ten years ago paid in full. Last year I received an email saying a loan was in process and I called the department of education and had two fraud cases made two different case numbers. Reported the fraud, and called and emailed this Great Lakes and made them aware it's fraud, not me. I also put the whole thing on medical discharge for 90 days, medical discharge papers say loan is froze nobody can do anything for 90 days. This was an extra precaution is all.
Now a year later these bastards are sending me a loan renewal email, the whole system is a government scam. It's the crooked Rothschilds who own these banks and our country is in debt to them, college is a scam to charge us all with the country's debt. Don't go to college. It does nothing for you but make you a slave to debt. You're never going to pay it off. They find a way to charge you the rest of your life. And there's nothing you can. They're all thieves.
I have been dealing with these people for years now. They will lie and say you only owe a certain small amount in forbearance if you sign up for it and then you will have 10 times the amount of money that they said you would owe. It is ridiculous. They are a complete scam. If you try to get angry on the phone with them then they will get angry back. The customer is not always right in their eyes. I send them an income driven repayment plan in the mail 3 times and they still didn't recognize that it was there. This is so they could send you a bill that you couldn't pay each month. They won't send you an e-mail recognizing this until after it is done. The entire company is corrupt. Please do not use them for student loans. I have so much more I could write that shows how corrupt it is but I might wait till later.
Last May as I do every single year I put in the paperwork for my ex husband's student loans to be in forbearance and amazingly this year these "people" lost the paperwork. So they defaulted him and in turn stole my tax refund. He didn't work last year and they will not do a default reversal because they are greedy and they know they are wrong. I even sent in proof that we had filed because not only did I do it on paper but I also sent it in an email which I forwarded to Jared in the escalation department. Amazingly I have heard nothing back. If your loan is with them get it out NOW.
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.
Personal 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.
Great Lakes Higher Education Corp. Company Information
- Company Name:
- Great Lakes
- Company Type:
- Year Founded:
- (800) 236-4300