If you’ve taken out a federal student loan, be prepared for a call from the Great Lakes Student Loan Company when your loan is due. Great Lakes is a loan servicer for student loans and their work is to handle some of the loans issued by the government. That work includes receiving payments, updating student records and approving students for deferments and forbearance.
Great Lakes Student Loan Company was incorporated in 1967 and has worked with numerous clients throughout the years. They do not charge students for their services as their clients are the government and educational institutions. Additionally, the company appears to be doing well due to their client relationships with more than 6,000 colleges and universities, and over 1,000 private student lenders.
But all is not well with the Great Lakes Student Loan Company despite their history and the number of colleges and universities they deal with. They have come under fire from students due to their practices when it comes to handling the repayment of student loans. Our editors have looked into what problems students are having and the findings are below.
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What Does The Great Lakes Student Loan Company Do?
This company is the second-largest student loan servicer in the US, and they are right behind the American Education Services (AES). They currently handle at least 23% of all federal loans and have dealt with more than 8 million borrowers whose loan debts amount to more than $200 billion.
While that is a large amount to deal with, it really isn’t a sign of their operational efficiency, because students don’t get to choose the company they end up with, rather, the government allocates service companies to students randomly, and you really cannot do anything about it.
Great Lakes usually manages federal student loans. Their main task is to open accounts for students, receive the monthly repayments, communicate with students who are in default and also assist students with any issues that concern their federal student loans. Please note that they do not approve students for loans, neither do they disburse the student loans.
Why Are Students Complaining About Them?
This company deals with plenty of students, and as such, they are usually challenged when it comes to proper management of their customer’s needs. Many students have complained of the problems they have had to encounter when dealing with them, and in this review, we take a look at two main problems and how you can solve them as a student.
Errors with repayment plans
The fact that it takes a very long time to process repayment plans is one of the biggest complaints we have heard from students. The company requires you to provide them with your most current tax documents and other forms which are at times difficult to find. Now, if you are married, it is even more difficult.
According to students, the income-driven repayment plan is one of the most difficult to deal with. This is a plan that is allegedly designed to make it easy for a student to repay their loan if their debt to income ratio is very high. You must first complete the form available on their site, and then wait for it to be effected. In most cases, it never does get affected. In fact, in some cases, these forms end up getting lost in the process, leaving the student in a fix.
As a student, if this happens, just ensure to keep in contact with the company and keenly follow up on the process so you can be assured of it going through. Also, before submission, call them often to check up on the status of the application.
Turning Auto-pay off
This is a major problem that many students have talked about. The company will sometimes just turn-off your auto-pay repayment plan without your consent. The auto-pay system helps students stay up to date with their repayments, as it is an automated system that deducts the funds directly from your bank account at a specified date each month. By switching this off, the student who relies on its automation will end up being in arrears, and not only will they default on their student loan, but they shall also negatively affect their credit reports.
What can you do to sort this out?
Well, one of the most important things to do as a student who is repaying their federal loan is to ensure you constantly check on your account. Keep abreast of everything that happens and constantly monitor your credit report. This will help you notice anything that is out of sync and raise an alarm on the sport. If you do not do this, you shall end up with bad credit and your credit score shall also be affected. Always confirm with the company whenever you notice anything amiss.
The Problem With Great Lakes Student Loan Company Conclusion
Great Lakes Student Loan Company is simply a loan servicer, and students do not receive any loans from them. This company will only call you when you have defaulted on a loan, or when you have received an approval for a forbearance. The fact that their services are free of charge to you means that you should keep your side of the bargain and be vigilant at all times. Although students have had trouble dealing with the company, as long as you stay on top of them and your repayments, you’ll have everything paid off and never have to deal with them again.