Student loans are one of life's certainties: besides death and taxes of course. They are a necessary tool, and sometimes the thing standing between you and your coveted degree. But as with many financial commitments, it can be hard to determine what loan or borrower is right for you. There are repayment policies to consider, interest rates to ponder over, and other factors that you have to think about before agreeing to a loan. That's why you should know about Great Lakes Borrower.
With the vast sea of loan companies and fine print it can be hard to distinguish what is a credible and fair contract. We understand the confusion and skepticism that comes with student loans. It's a part of the territory. That is why we've compiled a list of information about the popular student loan corporation, Great Lakes Borrower.
We will discuss Great Lakes, the credibility of the corporation and give you all the information you need to make an informed decision. Here's what you need to know:
What Is Great Lakes?
Contrary to what many may believe, Great Lakes Borrower does not offer loans. The Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation is actually a non-profit company based in Madison, Wisconsin. For over 50 years the group has worked with 1,000 lenders, 60,000 schools, and millions of students to provide the tools that students need to be successful in and after school.
Great Lakes Borrower as a Guarantor
Great Lakes Borrower acts as a guarantor and student loan servicer. As a guarantor, the company oversees the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). A simple way to think of a guarantor is to compare it to a co-signer of sorts. Guarantors essentially give a guarantee that in the event someone defaults on a loan, they will sacrifice their assets or services to pay it off.
As the company manages the Federal Family Education Loan Program for the government, they enforce student loan rules and regulations. Great Lakes is also responsible for counseling borrowers who are unable to make their student loan payments.
Great Lakes Borrower as a Student Loan Servicer
As a student loan servicer, this company does many things. They work with you from the time you receive your first loan disbursement to the time you fully pay off your student loans and counsel you on everything in between. Great lakes Borrower provides all the information, tools, and resources you need to be informed about your debt and make the best financial decisions.
Some services that they offer include keeping track of your enrolment status, as your loans are typically deferred while you are in school. They help you as you work towards paying back your loan, and they even help you establish the best payment plan for your unique situation. The company constantly updates you about your loan and gives you the information you need to guide you smoothly through the process.
Is There a Need for Great Lakes?
College is scary and loans can be terrifying. As a student, you are just entering the real world and it can be daunting to commit to a loan that you may be tethered to for years to come. But that is where Great Lakes comes in to help. Great Lakes Borrower is one of the country's biggest student loan servicers for a reason. The company goes above and beyond at keeping you informed.
Their website provides numerous articles on managing finances and repaying loans. It even has a knowledge center with information on budgeting, taxes, grace periods, interest rates, and so much more. And while loans may still be scary, Great Lakes can be a friendly face.
The company even acts a student loan originator, meaning that they help you with your loan application. This servicer is really there from start to finish, making a process that most find daunting and horrifying a little bit better. As a large and very respected originator, Great Lakes Borrower has repeatedly helped millions of student apply for and receive the loans that they need.
Overall the great thing about Great Lakes is that the company clearly shows their values in all that they do. The non-profit pride themselves on community service and "doing what is right". In fact, up to date, they have provided $130 million in grants, scholarships, and college advising services.
Information on Great Lakes Borrower
So now that we've established just what Great Lakes is, let's explore loan options and payment plans as well as other important information.
Great Lakes is one of the nation's largest student loan servicers with a variety of plans to suit everyone. Great Lakes Services the following loans:
The Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), often called commercially held or lender-held loans, is funded by private lenders. Such lenders include organizations such as credit unions or banks. This type of loan is guaranteed by the federal government, so if a default occurs the lenders will be reimbursed.
Federal Direct Loan
On the other hand, the US government funds the Federal Direct Loan Program, often called Direct Lending. In this case, the United States Department of Education lends borrowers money that is then disbursed through schools. After this, borrowers and their servicers manage the loan.
Private loans, like FFELP loans, are funded by private lenders like banks and credit unions. However, unlike FFELP loans this alternative education loan offers no federal guarantee.
Subsidized vs. Unsubsidized
Another important distinction to consider between loans is what category they fall under because they can either be subsidized or unsubsidized. The main difference between the two is who is responsible for interest. For subsidized loans, the federal government pays your interest as long as you are enrolled in school at least half-time. In contrast, with unsubsidized loans you are responsible as the borrower for paying your loan's accruing interest.
Making Your Payment
When considering a loan, be proactive. Think about paying back your loans back while you are in school because a little goes a long way. Any step towards paying off your loan is a step you should take. It is also in your best interest to keep yourself updated on your loan. Great Lakes offers all the information and resources that you need to successfully manage your finances, so take advantage of the tools.
Remember past due payments can affect your credit score and your ability to obtain loans in the future. And even if you do not get a job after graduating, you are still responsible for repaying your loan.
Great Lakes' Place
As stated, Great Lakes is a servicer and guarantor. The non-profit acts as a helpful middleman. Therefore they do not own your loan, control your interest rate, or profit from you. Instead, lenders like private banks, credit unions, and the United States Department of Education do. Therefore the federal government controls repayment plans and deferment options. You are in charge of being informed about this and making the proper arrangements.
Your loans will automatically be put on a 10-year plan with monthly payments if you do not sign up for a specific plan beforehand. So be informed and consult Great Lakes for more information. On a positive note, payments are easy with Great Lakes Borrower. They do not penalize you with a fee when you sign up for loan consolidation, auto pay, or income-driven repayment plans.
Another wonderful feature of is this servicer is the auto-pay program that reduces interest rates by .25% on Direct Loans. Borrowers also have the option to pay on the website, over the phone, through the mail, or on the app.
Through Great Lakes' user- friendly website, borrowers have the option to reduce or suspend payments. You can also register for income-driven replacement plans. The website offers a wide array of information about all of these features to help you make the most informed decision.
Great Lakes Borrower is an established non-profit, responsible for helping millions find the right loans to pay for school. Established in 1967, Great Lakes has become one of the country's biggest student loan servicers through commitment and hard work. And with a motto of ‘Doing what’s right’, the company has provided $130 million in grants, scholarships, and college advising services.
This company does not offer loans; instead, they are a guarantor and loan servicer. Great Lakes essentially acts as a counselor and resources center for students as they pay back their loans. With their accessible app, user-friendly website, and an abundance of information, Great Lakes makes it easy to make payments and access loan information.
The company goes above and beyond at keeping borrowers informed and financially empowered. In the end, most can agree that no one wants a loan, but they are necessary. So rather than dread the contracts and fear the future, take control of your life. Great Lakes Borrower may be the anchor you need in the tumultuous financial sea.