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Great Lakes Customer Service: What It Can Do and How to Contact

Great Lakes is one of nine federal student loan servicers that manage loans and borrower payments.
March 25, 2020
Loans, Student Loans
Great Lakes: Tips for Working with Your Student Loan Servicer
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Student Loan Relief Guide

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Great Lakes Higher Education Corp. is one of nine companies that service federal loan debt by collecting and tracking payments. If Great Lakes is your student loan servicer, here’s what it can help you do.

  • Register for online access to your account. Once you have access you can contact Great Lakes, access your monthly billing statements and pay bills.
  • Enroll in autopay. Great Lakes can deduct your payments automatically from your bank account. Signing up for autopay will reduce your interest rate by 0.25%.
  • 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 Great Lakes. (You can apply online on studentaid.gov and then recertify your income each year online as well.)
  • Process deferment and forbearance requests. Great Lakes 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. Great Lakes will track and collect your payments. If you want to make additional payments, you can instruct Great Lakes (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.

» MORE: Student loan servicers: Who are they and what do they do?

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.

Servicers are there to help you, but they may offer choices that are best for the company, not the borrower. That means they can’t change how payments are processed and may not suggest the most beneficial repayment option for you. It’s most important to know your repayment options so you can know the right questions to ask.

Am I stuck with Great Lakes until my loans are paid off?

Loans are sometimes transferred from one servicer to another by the Department of Education.

You’ll be notified if this happens and you’ll manage payments with the new servicer. All servicers deliver the same options and programs, but customer service may differ from one to another.

Otherwise, you are likely to remain with Great Lakes unless you act to switch servicers. Use this tool to find out what might work for you.

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: 

ED-Held Loans Processed and Serviced by Great Lakes Dept of Education

P.O. Box 530229

Atlanta, GA 30353-0229

Lender-Held FFELP Loans Processed and Serviced by Great Lakes

Great Lakes P.O. Box 3059

Milwaukee, WI 53201-3059

Great Lakes address for general correspondence: 

Great Lakes

P.O. Box 7860

Madison, WI 53707-7860

Great Lakes website: mygreatlakes.org

Great Lakes email: Complete the online form or email [email protected]

Great Lakes social channels: Great Lakes Facebook & Great Lakes Twitter

How to complain about Great Lakes

If you’re having difficulty with Great Lakes that you have been unable to resolve, start by filing a complaint directly with its ombudsman. It’s the servicer’s highest customer service office. Call 866-348-0708 or email [email protected]. You can also log in to your Great Lakes account to file a complaint.

If your issue goes unresolved, you can also make complaints about Great Lakes to:

Make sure to keep records of conversations you have, including the day, time and customer service representative you spoke with. Keep copies of any letters, bills or emails about your account.

How to settle a dispute with Great Lakes

If a complaint doesn’t help, you can contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group. This method should be used only as a last resort, says the federal student aid office. Complete all information on the Ombudsman Information Checklist before contacting. When you’re ready to reach out, here’s how to get in touch:

Phone: 877-557-2575

By mail: U.S. Department of Education

FSA Ombudsman Group

P.O. Box 1843

Monticello, KY 42633

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

The nine federal student loan servicers

Learn more about each of the federal loan servicers, including what they can do and how to contact.

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