Great Lakes Educational Loan Services

Great Lakes Educational Loan Services

 3.6/5 (98 ratings)
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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.

Overall Satisfaction Rating

  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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.

Great Lakes Educational Loan Services Reviews

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Page 2 Reviews 10 - 40
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 10, 2020

Great Lakes "higher education" is as fraudulent in their practices as a $3 bill. When their people walked me through an IDR application to defer payments, and everything was to (supposedly) their satisfaction, they denied my application demanding additional information that's completely irrelevant to the application. Then they proceeded to report me to the credit bureaus, destroying my credit. And without credit, my life is destroyed. So now, what have they accomplished? No Credit and no payment. Congratulations, scumbags.

2 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 15, 2020

Typical predatory loan servicer using the system to line their pockets. Borrowed from them for graduate school and have the privilege of paying them 1.5-2x what I borrowed. Want to pay a lot more than you borrowed? Choose Great Lakes and they will be sure to take advantage of your financial needs while attending higher education.

4 people found this review helpful
Rated with 4 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 12, 2020

My Great Lakes incorrectly coded the CARES act student loan forbearance to credit reporting agencies, therefore resulting in a greater than 10 point reduction in my credit score despite my account being in good standing. I contacted the company about this through their online portal and received a response in less than 24 hours. Their response communicated the error and clearly explained each action that will be taken to address, correct and reverse the issue. I am very pleased with the prompt customer service and communication on this matter.

2 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 5, 2020

My experience with Great Lakes mirrors Mary from Brooklyn and I would be interested in joining a class action lawsuit against these gangsters. Great Lakes should immediately be removed from the US Department of Education list as an approved loan servicer. They hold themselves out as a 501(c)3 non-profit but clearly they do operate for a profit. They are without any guiding compass of ethical business practice.

15 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 12, 2020

This "MyGreatLakes" is the absolute worst. Unprofessional, Lost Minded, and truly does not know what they are doing whatsoever. They never go through with payments you make on your accrued interest, but will take your money and try to give you some lame excuse as to why this & that happen. Been dealing with these idiots for years over a loan that I clearly told them isn't mine. You reach out and contact them as to why this is happening, and they don't get back to you for weeks. Then they go ahead and take action without your knowledge by either placing you in deferment or forbearance. How can you not see a payment that's been made on your bull crap website? I feel sorry for anyone that has to deal with these scumbags. And the school I was at closed down and they refuse to shut down this loan I have no knowledge of while I was enrolled.

4 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 9, 2020

Paid my loan off after 4 years of payments. Took every last penny in my account. Thought I was done with these scumbags. Then the following month Great Lakes withdrew my monthly autopay amount out of my account. I called and the extremely condescending representative informed me that, despite paying off the loan I still needed to turn off autopay. Ridiculous! What other loan servicer requires that? To make it more absurd, you can’t turn off autopay online once you are done making payments.

Great Lakes informed me that they couldn’t refund my payment for 45 DAYS! It took every spare penny to finally reach my goal of being debt free, how can I pay my rent this month? I bet that the majority of people use autopay and many of them don’t realize they need to cancel after paying off the loan. If Great Lakes is holding on to an extra payment for all those people for 45 days they are earning some serious interest. It’s criminal and sad. I guess they have the federal government feeding them customers so what do they care if young people trying to repay student loans get screwed?

14 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 28, 2019

Hi all, I figured this is one of the best way to get back at such a shady and dis-trustworthy company the best I can. I would strongly recommend steering clear of this circus show known as Great Lakes student loans. Here are some of the pleasures I had to deal with this on this company. My father had co-signed for me because at the time of getting this loan I did not have the credit to qualify on my own for the student loan. After graduating College I started doing my best to pay my loans as fast as possible. Trying to be responsible and all and pay back the money I owed. Well this company made that as hard as they possibly could. With most loans you can start paying on the principal first so that way you don't get buried with interest on said loan, with these guys that's a no no. They want as much money as they can possibly get from you.

Ok I thought, I'll pay this interest off as soon as i can then so all my payments start cutting into the principal of the loan. Hold on, I can't do that either, apparently because my dad's name is also on the loan with my name too. He is the only one who can authorize an advanced payment. What kind of BS is this? Ok, so then my dad and I called the company to try and set up the loan that I now make payments on so I can authorize advanced payments on my loan. Their "customers representatives" said that also isn't possible.

The final straw is when they decided to randomly bill me for $2,000 and overdrafted my checking account. I called the company once again, their helpful customer representative came to the rescue again by telling me, since the payment had been made (mind you the day the payment was made was also the same day I called about canceling this payment) They would not be able to refund my money for at least 2 months. In order to cancel this payment I had to work with my bank and have this called a fraudulent charge. The only way I got away from this predatory student loan company was refinancing my loan with a different company. Future students beware, avoid Great Lakes like the plague they do their best to get as much money from you as they possibly can. Stay away.

12 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 14, 2019

I am irate. This "servicer" continually refuses to apply my extra payments as specified and thus fails to apply payments to principal as I specify. I feel like their actions must be illegal. I am sick of being financially robbed by this company as well as all the other corrupt student loan servicers that have had my loans. I have paid off the majority of the loan I borrowed years ago. I still owe about 120% more!!!! Anyone know a good lawyer? I want to sue the crap out of them. I am done. Class action lawsuit anyone? Let's do this.

18 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 17, 2019

It would be easier, and more convenient to cut off my right arm (I am right-handed) than it is to deal with Great Lakes. I have had only one person that actually assisted. There is no communication between GL and customer. No one knows what is going on, unless you get past the "Borrower Services" branch. Run the other direction, uphill both ways, in a below freezing blizzard until your feet fall off at the ankles. The only reason they got one star is because THEY don't have a ZERO!!!!

8 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 11, 2019

I have auto-payment set up and through my work have been able to make an additional payment every month thinking it would help pay down my loan faster. I thought wrong! My extra payment doesn't go to ANY principal, it ALL goes to interest. When I called to see why they were not putting it towards principal they gave me some gibberish about the day of month I pay it (which I have no control over). So even though I am trying to not only make my payments on-time, every month, I am making extra payments that are just going into Great Lakes' pockets and not helping my student loan balance AT ALL. To me this should be illegal. If I would have known this I would have NEVER taken out student loans with them. Totally crooked. They don't want you to pay down your students loans. They just want to screw you so they can get more money out of you.

13 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 21, 2019

I have sent them my tax return TWICE, and I have the screenshots saying the submission was successful to PROVE it. Yet they don't have it. How do you lose DIGITAL paperwork?? I have followed their instructions EXACTLY since the very first day I was able to and I have called them numerous times to make sure that I was doing everything correctly, and thanks to THEIR incompetence I'm going to have to use some of my forbearance months as punishment to give me extra time to get them the paperwork they supposedly "don't have".

11 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 31, 2019

Do not borrow from these people at all. I’ve asked for help time after time. They are lazy and make a lot of errors. They tell you right off the bat you make too much money to get a revised payment schedule. You are left scratching your head and wondering how you will put gas in your car. This is just too much to bear when life hits you with a traumatic event.

11 people found this review helpful
Rated with 4 stars
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 27, 2019

No company is perfect including Great Lakes, however I have found Great Lakes to be better run and set up to support students in repayment versus other companies out there. While processing my consolidation loan, I had called many times over with questions and concerns, and every time I was met with kindness and understanding. I always hung up feeling heard, receiving the information I needed.

I have also found their Facebook social relations folks to be amazingly helpful and often can get things done more quickly for you. For example, I made a six figure payment so I could bring down my loan amount to a more manageable size, and I was concerned after two days the payment hadn't cleared. I emailed the Facebook folks from Great Lakes and within ten minutes I had a response and an answer (can take an extra day to process if payments are made on weekends). Overall, I would say they are the best of the student loan repayment servicers out there, and are always ready to help when you need them. And yes, there can be a few bad apples in any business but I've only talked to one person with Great Lakes who I felt needed better customer service training.

I think realistically we as students need to be made aware of who is servicing our loans while we are still in college, making sure we set up online accounts so we can track our loan balances and interest accrued. By being aware of this and due dates before graduation we won't be blindsided later on. Personally I had all my servicers known, accounts set up, and due dates written down by the time I left college. I didn't want to wait for email reminding me to do this on the off chance there is an error and an email isn't sent. It is my loan and I should be responsible for it.

8 people found this review helpful
Rated with 3 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 21, 2019

I had my loan reset for repayment based on my income. Never received any documentation in the mail. Very disappointed in their follow up. I missed my first payment & need to work with them again to fix.

Be the first one to find this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 11, 2019

Great Lakes has been great! Consolidated all my loans into one monthly payment. Low interest rate. Great customer service. Receive a monthly email reminding me to make my payment so I have no problems staying current.

4 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 19, 2019

I have a slightly abnormal situation in that I live abroad and I am married to a non US citizen. Every year it takes me MANY HOURS to renew my income based repayment plan. Many emails and phone calls with baffled representatives, repeated requests for my spouse's ss# (he doesn't have one). Every year it ends the same way - A confirmation email that they have received my documentation followed immediately by an email that says I'm getting kicked off the plan for not submitting my documentation. This is typically sorted once I share the confirmation email with another few people (more calls, more emails). The entire song and dance takes about a 4-6 weeks. They are an incompetent company, unable to efficiently perform one of their few duties. It's like this for 6 years.

12 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 14, 2019

In my case, my son calls from the Financial Aid office of his prospected college and says ... "Dad, could you JUST go on this site and JUST fill it out". (My fault for not asking more questions, I guess). So, 2+ years later I get a bill in the mail with MY name on the envelope, for my son's first payment. I then call Great Lakes to see if MY SON could make adjustments to the payment schedule, and the REP says to me, "Oh no sir, this is YOUR loan, not your son's." I've been reluctantly paying this for almost 2 years now and get frustrated every time I make a payment. PARENT ... PLUS WHAT? There is no Plus, other than my son now having a degree and a career.

8 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 30, 2019

Pay on time every month--pay early, in fact. Sent me a letter saying I lost a rebate from my school because I have not paid on time. What the hell? Applied for IBR. Chose my plan. Some girl changed my option because she thought I would like it better. She did this WITHOUT my permission. She was able to change it back, but I accrued several hundred dollars in interest. She said there was nothing that could be done about it. How the HELL can they make these changes WITHOUT my permission? I reapplied for my IBR months ago. Still not reflected on the website. Despite making payments for a year, I still somehow owe 2k more than I did last year.

16 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 30, 2019

Great Lakes is the most lazy loan service company. They don’t seek clients, the government just passes loan information to them. So their customer service skills are sub-par to say the least. Their representatives and account supervisors can’t perform basic math calculations and when you try to explain where they made a mistake they can’t comprehend what is being described to them. I’m going to seek a personal loan from a bank to pay off the Great Lakes student loans so I don’t have to deal with them anymore, and so they can’t collect more interest from me.

11 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 7, 2019

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.

10 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 29, 2018

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.

29 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 stars
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 28, 2018

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!

12 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 27, 2018

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.

16 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 26, 2018

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.

11 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 24, 2018

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!

23 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 16, 2018

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.

19 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 15, 2018

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.

19 people found this review helpful
Rated with 4 stars
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 26, 2018

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.

16 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 25, 2018

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.

6 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 25, 2018

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.

15 people found this review helpful
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Great Lakes Educational Loan Services Company Information

Company Name:
Great Lakes
Company Type:
Private
Year Founded:
1967
Website:
www.mygreatlakes.org