Great Lakes Educational Loan Services

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Great Lakes Higher Education Corp. is one of seven businesses that track and collect payments for federal loan debt. Another federal student loan servicer, Nelnet, is taking over Great Lakes’ portfolio as it is in the process of doing so. Great Lakes was acquired by Nelnet in 2018, but the two companies handled servicing independently. It is unclear how long the entire move will take.

Beginning in March 2022, loans were transferred from Great Lakes to Nelnet. If Great Lakes is your servicer, you can anticipate hearing two weeks before your transfer date that your account will be transferred. Once the transfer is finished, Nelnet will also notify you and issue you with a new federal student loan account number.

After your loan transfers, Great Lakes will still forward payments to Nelnet for at least 120 days, but you’ll need to create a new online account with Nelnet. Youll have to set all new payment preferences with Nelnet.

If Great Lakes is your servicer, the following actions can be taken to get ready for the transfer:

  • Download and save your payment history from your online account or request a copy from your servicer.
  • Update your contact information with your most recent address, phone number and email address.
  • Here are some things it can assist you with after your loan transfers to Nelnet.

  • Register for online access to your account. Once you have access you can contact Nelnet, access your monthly billing statements and pay bills.
  • Enroll in autopay. Nelnet can deduct your payments automatically from your bank account. Signing up for autopay will reduce your interest by 0.25 percentage point.
  • Sign up for income-driven repayment. You can request income-driven repayment, which limits your student loan payments to a percentage of your income, by completing a paper form with Nelnet. (You can apply online on and then recertify your income each year online as well.)
  • Process deferment and forbearance requests. Nelnet can help you temporarily stop making payments or reduce your payment amount if you qualify. This helps you stay in good standing to avoid default. But during any periods of deferment or forbearance, interest can continue to build.
  • Process monthly payments and extra payments. Nelnet will track and collect your payments. If you want to make additional payments, you can instruct Nelnet (online, by phone or by mail) to apply extra payments to your current balance. Otherwise, it may apply the additional amount to next month’s payment instead.
  • Your loan servicer is assigned by the U.S. Department of Education when your loan is disbursed to your college for the first time. The name of the company sending you a federal loan bill every month is your servicer. If your loan payments haven’t begun or you’re not sure which company is your servicer, log in to My Federal Student Aid to find out. You can also get in touch with any of the loan servicer contact centers by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID.

    Although servicers are there to assist you, they might make recommendations that are best for the business rather than the borrower. That means they are unable to alter the way payments are handled and cannot always recommend the best possible repayment plan for you. Knowing your options for repayment is crucial so that you can ask the right questions.

    If Great Lakes reported your account in error during auto forbearance

    Because their debts were incorrectly reported to the major credit bureaus during the automatic six-month forbearance that started in March 2020, nearly 5 million borrowers whose federal student loans are serviced by Great Lakes may have seen their credit scores drop.

    Due to a coding error, your paused payments may have been reported as “deferred.” The payments that were paused ought to have been recorded as though you had made them. The status should be “current” if, for instance, you were current when forbearance started. ”.

    The most popular credit scoring models, FICO, do not consider deferred status when determining credit scores. Deferred status, however, can result in lower VantageScore scores, which are typically given to consumers for free in order to track their credit histories.

    According to Great Lakes, it is collaborating with credit reporting agencies to fix the errors. Credit scores should not be impacted once the underlying credit report’s data is accurate.

    Borrowers should visit AnnualCreditReport to review their credit reports from each of the three credit reporting bureaus. com, the free, government-run website.

    If a borrower’s credit report is inaccurate, Great Lakes requests that they contact the company directly. Call 800-236-4300. Find out more about how to contact Great Lakes customer support or how to file a complaint here.

    How to reach Great Lakes customer service

    Great Lakes contact number: 800-236-4300

    Great Lakes hours of operation: Monday – Friday 7 a. m. to 9 p. m. CT.

    Great Lakes address for loan payments:

    Processing and Servicing of ED-Held Loans by the Great Lakes Department of Education

    Lender-Held FFELP Loans Processed and Serviced by Great Lakes

    Great Lakes P.O. Box 3059

    Great Lakes address for general correspondence:

    Great Lakes website:

    Fill out the online form or send an email to [email protected] for the Great Lakes.

    How to complain about Great Lakes

    Start by complaining directly to Great Lakes’ ombudsman if you have a problem with them that you haven’t been able to resolve. It’s the servicer’s highest customer service office. Call 866-348-0708 or email [email protected]. You can also submit a complaint by logging into your Great Lakes account.

    If your problem is not resolved, you can also file a grievance against the Great Lakes with:

    Ensure that you keep notes on all of your conversations, including the day, hour, and customer service representative you spoke with. Save copies of any correspondence, statements, or emails regarding your account.

    How to settle a dispute with Great Lakes

    You can get in touch with the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group if filing a complaint is ineffective. The federal student aid office advises against using this approach except as a last resort. Here’s how to get in touch when you’re prepared:

    Phone: 877-557-2575

    By mail: U.S. Department of Education

    You can also reach out to a student loans nonprofit such as The Institute of Student Loan Advisors, which provides free dispute resolution.

    The seven federal student loan servicers

    Learn more about the functions and contact information for each of the federal loan servicers.

    Anna Helhoski is a writer and an expert on student loans for NerdWallets. The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today have all published her articles. Read more.

    Great Lakes Educational Loan Services