Important Coronavirus Information
Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Great Lakes is working with the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to suspend payments until 9/30/20 for Federal Direct Loan Program (FDLP) and Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) student loans held by ED. There's nothing you need to do at this time. Great Lakes will notify you of your suspended student loan payments within a few weeks. You can log in to your account at any time to check your loan status.
Temporary Relief for Your Federally Held Student Loans
- No payments for 6 months. You will not have to make payments on your federally held student loans for six months (through September 30, 2020).
- No interest will accrue. The interest rate on your federally held student loans was reduced to 0%, effective March 13, 2020 through September 30, 2020.
- Your accounts will be updated soon. Great Lakes will notify you within a few weeks of your suspended student loan payments, the 0% interest rate, the suspension of collection efforts, and that you can still make payments during this time if you choose to do so. You can log in to your account at any time to check your loan status.
Great Lakes is aware of the pending Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. We're working closely with the U.S. Department of Education on next steps. Check back here for updates.
Federal Student Aid's coronavirus (COVID-19) information page is located at StudentAid.gov/coronavirus . The page includes information for students, borrowers, and parents about the interest rate waiver announced by President Trump and availability of an administrative forbearance authorized by Secretary DeVos to provide student loan relief to borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency. Please visit the page regularly for updates.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is providing two types of assistance to help borrowers during the coronavirus pandemic national emergency.
1. Reducing Interest Rates to 0%
ED is temporarily reducing the interest rate to 0% on all the Federal Direct and Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans they own.
As your servicer, we are working as quickly as possible to update the interest rate on your federal student loans with an effective date of March 13, 2020, the day the President announced the reduction. It could take up to four weeks to be reflected on your student loan account.
We're automatically applying a forbearance for loans that are 30 days or more past due.
As your servicer, if your student loan is (or becomes) more than 30 days past due, we will automatically apply a non-interest capping forbearance effective 3/13/2020. There is no need to call or email us to request this forbearance. When viewing your online account, the forbearance will appear to run as long as 3/31/2021; however, ED may change the end date at any time. ED may evaluate the length of the coronavirus forbearance every 60 days. We will notify you prior to the end of the coronavirus forbearance.
ED is providing the ability for all borrowers with a federally held loan to suspend payments for 60 days. If you would like to request a coronavirus forbearance, please log into your mygreatlakes.com account, go to our Contact Us page, to complete an email and fill out the required information. In the "Select a Topic" drop-down, be sure to select Coronavirus (COVID-19) and indicate that you are requesting an administrative forbearance. We will apply the forbearance and send you confirmation when it has been processed. Please allow us up to 30 days to send you confirmation due to the heavy volume of requests we are experiencing.
During this forbearance no payments will be due. Until further notice from ED, interest will not accrue on your account. When we apply the coronavirus forbearance to any account, any unpaid interest that had accrued prior to the 0% interest rate reduction effective 3/13/20, may be added to your principal balance at the end of the forbearance. This is called capitalization, and it increases the overall amount you'll have to pay on your loan.
You may cancel the coronavirus forbearance and resume your payments at any time by calling us. You will be notified when the coronavirus forbearance is about to expire and provided with instructions on how to resume payments.
To save money in the long run, you can make payments anytime and for any amount during the forbearance. Log in to your mygreatlakes.com account to make a one-time payment or pay using the Great Lakes mobile app (available in the iTunes Store and on Google Play). Making a payment on your loan will not cause the forbearance to end and payments to become due again.
IDR and PSLF considerations
NOTE: If your student loan is being repaid under an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan or under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, payments made during this forbearance will NOT count toward forgiveness. Please call us to cancel this forbearance if you want your payments to apply toward forgiveness.
Remember, you can access your account 24/7 on our website, mobile app, or through our automated voice response system.
For more information on how ED is supporting borrowers during the Coronavirus Pandemic National Emergency, go to StudentAid.gov/coronavirus .
The health and well-being of our associates and customers is very important to us. We're closely monitoring the latest reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local health organizations about the outbreak of COVID-19, commonly known as the new coronavirus. To this end, we have been taking proactive steps to protect our associates and communities and to be prepared to serve our customers as the situation progresses.
If You're Impacted
If you're affected by COVID-19 directly or indirectly and need our support, we're here to help you with options to reduce or postpone your payments:
- Change your repayment plan to reduce your monthly payments
- Apply for a deferment
- Apply for a forbearance
We are doing our best to make sure our call centers are staffed, and please know that you can access your accounts 24/7 on our website, mobile app, or automated voice response system to:
- Check your account balance and loan status
- Find out when your next payment is due
- Get confirmation of a recent payment
- Make a payment
- Request a deferment or forbearance
- Request a repayment plan change
- Get your IRS Form 1098-E for the amount of student loan interest you paid last year
- Update your contact information
Find answers to other questions you may have in our Knowledge Center.
It's our goal to provide the best service possible to you. We're in this together, we're here if you need us.