Great Lakes Student Loans Reviews

Posted by

Great Lakes student loans servicer is one of the biggest federal loan servicers in the United States responsible for managing over 40% of student loan. A Great lake Educational loan services was acquired by Nelnet on February 7, 2018 but the loan servicer was established in 1967. Great lakes is generally regarded as Great Lakes Educational Loan services and one of the ten loan servicers authorized by the U.S. Department of Education before its contract ended.

Great lakes ended its contract with the U.S. Department of Education in December 2020 after few borrowers file a complaint about the loan servicer mishandling their payments and supplying inaccurate credit information. In other words, Great lakes no longer manage any federal student loans again but still process private student loan for other lenders. Despite not attached to federal loans again, Great lakes still manage the loan account of over 6,000 schools and millions of students nationwide.

According to reports gathered from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau student loan ombudsman, most of the complaints lodged to them were about Great lakes. Plus, the Great lakes Educational loan servicer has been engaged in a lawsuit related to CARES Act pandemic relief efforts. However, if Great lakes still remain your federal loan servicer, you can reach out to the loan servicer on questions about your loan forgiveness, repayment plans, and forbearance or deferment.

What Great Lakes can Do For You?

If you are using Great lakes as your loan servicer, Great lakes can help you with the following;

  • Process Public Service Loan Forgiveness: if you work full-time in a non-profit or government agency and you want to process your Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Kindly notify Great lakes and it will transfer your loans to FedLoan servicing, a loan servicer in charge of PSLF.
  • Student Loan Consolidation: Great lakes can help you consolidate your loans with a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan. This will reduce your payment and it is applicable to borrowers with more than one federal loans with different monthly payments and due dates.
  • Student Loan Repayment: to make your monthly loan repayment, you can sign up for automatic payment via Autopay or direct debit. You can also sign up for additional student loan payment online, by contacting customer service or through the mobile app.
  • Alternative Repayment Plans: if you are struggling to make your monthly payment, quickly contact Great lakes and explain why you can’t afford it. Great lakes or your new loan servicer can help you apply for an income-driven repayment plan. This plan will be based on monthly payment on your family size or income. However, your payment could be reduced significantly depending on the circumstances surrounding you. In some cases, some borrowers qualify for $0 monthly payments.
  • Process Forbearance and Deferment:  if you lost your job or having any serious health issues that has resulted in any financial hardship. Quickly contact Great lakes. You can apply and qualify for Deferment or forbearance and Great lakes can temporarily postpone your payment.

How to Make Great Lakes Payments

You can make Great Lakes payment by using the following methods;

  • Online Payment: You can make your monthly payment online by nline. 
  • Phone: You can make payments over the phone by calling 1-800-236-4300. 
  • Mobile app: You can also make payment on your mobile device by downloading the MyGreatLakes app on your device from either Apple App Store or Google Play store depending on your device.
  • Mail: If you want to make your payments via mail, you can either send a check or money order to to Great Lakes. However, the mailing address depends on where you live. To know Great lakes payment mailing address, kindly log in to your account to find out where you should mail your check. 
  • Autopay: you can also make payment using Autopay to set up a one-time recurring payment, this will automatically deduct the money from your account but with a low interest rate of 0.25%.

Step by Step to Make Great Lakes Online Payments

  • To make your payment online, it is important you create an account first at the official website of Great Lakes – When you visit the website, sign up for a new account by clicking on the “Sign up” button in the top-right corner of the page. On the next page, type in your Social Security Number and date of birth. Then, the site will require you to create a username, password and PIN number.
  • Once you have successfully registered your account and you are sure it is verified. You can now choose your loan account and schedule a payment. You can also choose to make a one-time payment or choose to set up a recurring automatic payment. When you set up an automatic payment, this means you have to enroll in autopay and your payment will be deducted automatically from your bank account but one interesting thing about this is that you will get a n interest rate of 0.25%.

How to Contact Great Lakes Customer Service

You can reach out to any Great Lakes Customer Support Representative by contacting the following;

  • Phone: Call (800) 236-4300 or (608) 246-1700 for local/international.
  • Email:, or submit a web form here.
  • Working Hours: Great Lakes Representatives are available Monday-Friday 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Central Time, but you can make a payment using the automated phone system 24/7.
  • Fax: Call Toll-free (800) 375-5288, or (608) 246-1608 for local/international faxes
  • Mail: The Mail address for general correspondence is below. If you’re mailing a payment, you’ll need to find the right mailing address when you login to your account. 

        Great Lakes
        PO Box 7860
       Madison, WI 53707-7860

  • Social media: As mentioned above, you can contact Great Lakes via Twitter or Facebook.

Is Great Lakes Federal or Private? 

Since the contract ended between Great Lakes and U.S. Department of Education, Great lakes do not manage federal student loans and all loans account of borrowers are transfer to other loan servicers. But Great Lakes provide private loan processing for other lenders, it’s primarily termed as a federal loan servicer. Currently, Great Lakes services offer the following private loans;

  • Direct Subsidized
  • Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans
  • Federal Direct Loan Program loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized
  • Direct Consolidation
  • Direct PLUS


Before December 2020, Great Lakes is known to be one of the largest loan servicers but the loan servicing company has faced some serious issues over the years. Reports gathered from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) 2020 Student Loan Ombudsman, the CFPB handled 3,600 federal student loan complaints between September 2019, and August 2020. Few of those complaints were about Great Lakes, making it one of the less-complained about federal loan servicers.