You'd also want to see how lenders are reporting your payments — and how any agreements reached to postpone paying on mortgages or car loans show up on your credit reports. Our priority is providing an exceptional customer experience. You can visit StudentAid.gov to see a list of our trusted federal student loan servicers, all of which are fully vetted. Student loan servicer Great Lakes Education Loan Services allegedly mishandled reporting the student loan status and provided inaccurate information about millions of student loan borrowers to Equifax, TransUnion and Experian — which reported that wrong information to third parties, such as Credit Karma, advocates for borrowers say. We will furnish information to the credit reporting agencies on both you and the cosigner. Adjust Contrast ( Press C ) Text Size ( Press T ) Sitemap ( Press S ) Accessibility Statement ( Press A ) Close Toolbar ( Press Escape ) Need help? I looked through my report to see what had changed and I saw that my student loans accounts were all closed. Apple named The Lemonade Life one of "Fall's Biggest Audiobooks" and a "Must-Listen.". What's worse: He apparently didn't do anything wrong to drive that score back below 600. More: How scammers are using unemployment claims to cash in, More: How to hit pause button on mortgage payments during the coronavirus crisis, More: People struggling to pay bills during coronavirus crisis could get hit again starting June. Support You Can Trust . Method Great Lakes Educational Loan Services Ombudsman Contact Information : Phone (866) 348-0708 : Fax (866) 451-1183 . Great Lakes is a Servicer to Federal Student Aid. Both women have the loans paid automatically each month. Typically, you can request one free credit report from each of the three major bureaus — Equifax, TransUnion and Experian — each year. The plaintiffs make several allegations, including that their credit scores were improperly damaged when their federal student loans were paused due to the CARES Act - the $2.2 trillion financial stimulus package. Wu noted that some consumers have reported that their credit reports were wrongly marked as "in forbearance," when they simply inquired about a COVID-19-related mortgage forbearance, which also lowered their VantageScore. (800) 982-7850 » Secure Email » Accessibility Options. You may see something called a "natural disaster" code on your account. The lawsuit states that Great Lakes, along with its parent company, services 50% of all student loans in the United States. You don't want to be late on your payments first — which will hurt your credit score. As a result, his credit score plummeted and he says he was unable to buy a home, which resulted in a “measurable, immediate financial loss.” Following complaints from borrowers, Great Lakes has publicly admitted the mistake in a tweet on Twitter and says it will correct the error retroactively. It's important to note that, VantageScore stated: "When accounts are reported with a natural disaster reporting code, information that would normally have a negative impact on a consumer’s credit history is instead 'set to neutral' and thus is not included when calculating the consumer’s credit score. When we fall short of our goal, our focus is to communicate openly and resolve the issue as soon as possible.". Harrington already faces enough hurdles. How long do your unemployment benefits last? Five years ago, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and decided that some background in education would be good in case his symptoms ever prompted him to seek a career change. Student loan servicer Great Lakes Education Loan Services allegedly mishandled reporting the student loan status and provided inaccurate information about millions of student loan … He has more than $150,000 in student loan debt after attending college for several years and ultimately receiving a bachelor's degree in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management from Northern Michigan University in 2014 and a master's degree in 2016 in Integrated Geospatial Technologies from Michigan Technological University in the state's Upper Peninsula. But the good news is that a fix apparently may be in the works, as he saw his score go up somewhat as of June 7. You have a network of support to help you succeed with your federal student loan repayment. Nelnet spokesperson Ben Kiser apologized for the inconvenience, saying Great Lakes remains committed to resolving the issue promptly. Remember, too, that scammers are taking advantage of the economic chaos and confusion that surrounds the pandemic. Zack is the Founder & CEO of Make Lemonade (www.makelemonade.co), a leading online personal finance company that empowers you to live a better financial life. Email . Two items from Great Lakes Higher Education showed up on my report with the status "Claim filed with government." But Wu said the mistake did not lead to a drop in FICO scores so someone who was seeking a loan might have been OK if the lender was using the FICO score, as most do. There are two different accounts. Bestselling Author, The Lemonade Life. He also completed a graduate certificate program through Central Michigan University Global Campus online to receive a college teaching certificate. This is the organization that you will have to deal with when handling your student loans. Keeping a careful watch on your credit report for the next year is essential as people may face financial difficulties, including needing to seek relief through special forbearance programs. Remember, your federal student loans are paused and your credit should not be negatively impacted through September 30. Then in a matter of days, his score unexpectedly tumbled by 91 points in May. al., was filed against Great Lakes Education Loan Services Inc., a subsidiary of student loan company Nelnet Corporation (NYSE: NNI), along with national consumer reporting agencies Equifax (NYSE: EFX), TransUnion (NYSE: TRU), Experian (LON:EXPN), and the consumer reporting agencies’ jointly owned subsidiary Vantage Score Solutions, LLC. FICO does not consider deferments in its score. It’s absolutely irresponsible that Great Lakes(@MyGreatLakes) my student loan provider knocked my credit score 20 points because they reported the 4 month forebearance period to the Credit Bureaus. — Izzak Mireles (@izzak_mireles) May 13, 2020. How COVID-19 affects student loan forgiveness, Here’s everything that’s happened to your student loans in 2 weeks, 15 most popular questions about student loans and Coronavirus. You'd go to AnnualCreditReport.com. Great Lakes et. He simply was caught in a COVID-19-related glitch connected to some student loans. Harrington, who works as a cartographer at a civil engineering company, wondered just how long it would take to see his score regain lost ground. On May 6, Great Lakes reported repayment borrowers to the credit reporting agencies in a manner it believed would not have a negative impact on borrower credit scores. You can visit StudentAid.gov to see a list of our trusted federal student loan servicers, all of which are fully vetted. The major reporting bureaus own VantageScore Solutions, a credit score model, and VantageScore allegedly treated the inaccurate information in a way that hurt the credit scores of many consumers. If Great Lakes is the loan servicer, the borrower may call the Great Lakes Educational Loan Services Ombudsman. "I had never even been close to 700," said Harrington, 38, who lives in Flint Township. You have a network of support to help you succeed with your federal student loan repayment. Public Service Loan Forgiveness program was created in 2007 when George W.Bush was president. To get things on track, he diligently made sure to make all his payments on time and pay more than the minimum due. Zack holds degrees from Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins. For example, plaintiff Cody Hounanian, program director at the nonprofit Student Debt Crisis, learned that his credit score declined after his federal student loans were paused. You shouldn't see a ding on your credit report if you weren't late in the past and now a lender agrees to postpone payments on your auto loan or credit card debt or mortgage as part of COVID-19 relief. Start with these four options, all of which have no fees: Don’t expect student loan forgiveness or a $2,000 a month stimulus check, Student loan forgiveness reduced in new stimulus bill, Here’s when Social Security recipients get their stimulus check, Navient settles lawsuit — what it means for your student loans. Before you apply for a loan or mortgage, it may be wise to ask what kind of scoring model the lender will use. Nearly 5 million student loan borrowers were harmed by an unusual mistake that was triggered after new rules offered debt relief during the COVID-19 crisis, according to consumer watchdogs. Positive information already in the file, such as the account’s positive payment history, is retained.". © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. We are committed to helping resolve the issue. points. Harrington had been regularly monitoring his credit score via Credit Karma after struggling in the past to keep up on bills. If you obtain a loan and do not repay your loan on time, your delinquent payment may be reported to a credit bureau, which could negatively impact your credit score. Great Lakes services Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans, Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Lending) loans, and private loans. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. This is from my Experian report (it has been less than a year since I received my free report from Equifax and Transunion). A few months ago I was checking my credit report and my score has shot up over 100 points. For consumers, it's yet another headache associated with lost jobs, fewer paid hours and other financial challenges related to the COVID-19 crisis. She accused the Great Lakes of qualifying for PSLF program. The student refers to the student the parent borrower obtained a Direct PLUS Loan or Federal PLUS Loan for. Debt relief was welcome this spring but the credit scoring mix-up came at a time when he was working hard to rebuild his score. The first one is "FEDLOAN SERVICING", and the other is "US DEPT OF EDUCATION". While Great Lakes have had their up and downs and still far from perfect, a lot of students who dealt with them rated the company with a 3.8 out of 5 stars and that is not too bad. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com for a free copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus. Today, individuals representing a class of millions of student loan borrowers filed a federal lawsuit in Northern California against five of the nation's largest financial companies for allegedly illegally ruining borrowers' credit and mishandling student loan debt relief under the CARES Act in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, consumers could need to check their credit reports more frequently to spot any signs of fraud. Is the cosigner responsible for repaying the loan? Great Lakes said it’s working quickly to fix the problem. Jeramiah Harrington struggled for nearly a year to drive his credit score up from a grim 527 to pretty good 682. Federal student and parent loans must be held by the U.S. Department of Education to be eligible. He had been in a car accident a few years ago, unexpectedly had to buy a car and then his score dropped even further when he took out the new car loan, as he juggled student loan debt and medical bills. According to his lawsuit, Great Lakes inaccurately reported that his federal student loans had been “deferred” (rather than lawfully paused under the CARES Act). "People who are having economic hardship during COVID-19 should be checking their credit report regularly," Wu said. If you take care of your student loans, they will be great for your credit. "So most of that 91 point drop has been recovered," Harrington said. The lawsuit named the student loan servicer Great Lakes (a subsidiary of Nelnet) as well as consumer reporting agencies Equifax, TransUnion, Experian and Vantage Score. greatlakesservicingombudsman@glhec.org . The Education Department estimated that the credit-reporting error affected about two-thirds of the 7.3 million federal student loan borrowers whose accounts were assigned to Great Lakes. I write and speak about leadership and greatness. Now a part of Nelnet, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation was previously one of the four largest federal student loan servicing agencies in the US, with loans of over $51 billion to more than 10 million borrowers. This may affect your ability to get a mortgage, a car loan, or a personal loan in the future. Despite this law, plaintiffs allege that their credit score was damaged anyway. 7 months ago. On May 11, Great Lakes … You can also contact the Student Borrower Protection Bureau if your credit score changed on or after March 13, 2020 and you believe it was reported from Great Lakes. Great Lakes, Kiser said in an email, reported information relating to repayment borrowers May 6 to the credit reporting agencies in a way it believed would not have a negative impact on credit scores. Dispute Resolution Overview . “During a national pandemic, these companies illegally damaged the credit of millions of people," said Seth Frotman, the Executive Director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, which is supporting plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Similarly, Experian noted on its website that “the Department of Education will report suspended payments to the national credit bureaus as though they were on-time payments.”. Then two years later, you attempt to go back to school and get a student loan, only to find out you're denied because the National Student Loan Database says you're default on said loan. Borrowers think they're current and this will cause a blemish on their report. Apple named The Lemonade Life one of "Fall's Biggest Audiobooks" and a "Must-Listen." Free credit reports are now available every week through April 2021 in recognition of the financial struggles people may be facing as a result of the economic shutdowns used to fight the pandemic. Great Lakes is one of the several servicers of federal student loans. It's now a fully owned subsidiary within the Nelnet organization. You may opt-out by. Previously, he was a chief financial officer, a hedge fund investor, and worked at Blackstone, Morgan Stanley, and the White House. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com for a free copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus. Great Lakes acknowledged the inconsistent coding and let borrowers know adjustments would be made in the reporting. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act states that borrowers aren't supposed to be charged a dime in interest and automatically will see the interest rate on most federal student loans drop to 0% from March 13 through Sept. 30. If your credit score has been impacted, or you want to know if your credit score has been impacted, you should check your credit report. Who is Great Lakes Educational Loan Services? If the borrower fails to repay the loan, then the cosigner is responsible for payment. What it’s offering: Great Lakes Educational Loan Services Inc. has a coronavirus information page that provides details about the CARES Act and the suspension of payments and interest accrual on all federally held student loans until Dec. 31, 2020 If you have questions about your account, you can call 1-800-236-4300 or complete an email form. The nonprofit Student Borrower Protection Center helped to bring about a class-action complaint filed in California on behalf of the borrowers against Great Lakes, a subsidiary of Nelnet; the credit reporting agencies, and VantageScore. Chi Chi Wu, staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, said the Great Lakes accounts were wrongly marked as "deferred," which influenced the drop in the VantageScores used by Credit Karma. The company also has a pretty extensive Knowledge Center that can help current students, former students and parents learn more about student loans and the best ways to go about paying them back. A new lawsuit claims that student loan servicers and credit bureaus allegedly ruined your credit score. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. Jeff Richardson, vice president for marketing and communications for VantageScore Solutions, said the company would not comment due to ongoing litigation. It is very important with short-term loans, as with any loan, that you repay the loan on time or contact the Lender directly to agree on a modified repayment plan if this option is available. "I could always teach online from home," he said. 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In the meantime, if your student loans are serviced by Great Lakes, you should check your credit reports. What’s the best way to pay off student loans faster? Read more on business and sign up for our business newsletter. Through multiple glitches, Nelnet sent your loan to collections instead of marking your loan as paid in full on your credit report. When you take student loans from the Department of education you can't pick your student loan servicer from the beginning, but if Great Lakes happen to be your student loan servicer you are lucky!. Click to learn how GLCU can serve you. Some borrowers with student loans serviced by Great Lakes saw their credit scores drop after payments in forbearance were reported incorrectly. If you look at Vickie and Higgins’ credit reports, you see the problem is with their student loans. Support You Can Trust. Contact Susan Tompor at 313-222-8876 or stompor@freepress.com. Great Lakes is a Servicer to Federal Student Aid. The causes many issues. They've never missed a payment. Under the CARES Act, all federal student loan payments are paused as of March 13, 2020 until September 30, 2020. Another example of lawsuits against Great Lakes was the case filed by one of the student loan borrowers- Amanda Ross. Like many student loan servicers, Great Lakes offers the borrowers it oversees a 0.25% interest-rate reduction on federal direct student loans when you set them to autopay. VantageScore said on May 15 that it will adjust its scoring model to "minimize the potential of any negative impact associated uniquely with the usage of forbearance and deferment codes.". But each month was to be treated in the credit reporting process as if a loan payment was made. But now you have access more frequently, if you need it. Zack Friedman is the bestselling author of the blockbuster book, THE LEMONADE LIFE. But by May 11, some consumers began raising concerns about their falling credit scores. This mistake - which may have been due to a “coding error” may have impacted as many as 5 million student loan borrowers. Your student loans will usually show on your credit report while still in college and still technically in deferment. Student loan debt relief is coming amid coronavirus — but not for all, Adjustable rate mortgages might not be the deals you think they are, Michigan couple lost thousands in deposits, fees for spoiled dream wedding, How scammers are using unemployment claims to cash in, How to hit pause button on mortgage payments during the coronavirus crisis, People struggling to pay bills during coronavirus crisis could get hit again starting June, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. Yet, he's now hopeful, some fixes will take place sooner rather than later. Borrowers need to request many types of relief typically, unlike the automatic provisions relating to federal student loans. According to a May 13 Tweet from Great Lakes, the company will change the way it reports COVID-19 student loan forbearance to credit bureaus and will retroactively change the reporting for April. "Instead of reporting borrowers as current with monthly payments of $0, Great Lakes reported borrowers as current with deferred monthly payments of $0," he said.   However, this typically does not have a dramatic effect on your ability to get non-educational loans since many lenders are more interested in your current monthly payment obligations, which are zero while still in school, as opposed to your actual loan balances. You can also contact the Student Borrower Protection Bureau if … Great Lakes has reported some borrowers' accounts as delinquent or in default. On Monday, Harrington said that according to Credit Karma his TransUnion score increased 85 points as of June 7. I got a notification that my credit score dropped 40 (!!) Great Lakes student loan on credit report Hello, I am new to these forums and have a question about disputing an item on my credit report. On May 14, 2020, Great Lakes released a statement stating that it is working with the major credit reporting agencies to accurately report the status of student loan accounts. They accused Great Lakes of violating the articles of FCRA (abbreviated as Act of Fair Credit Reporting). This is in direct violation of the C.A.R.E.S act section 3513(d). Borrowers deserve justice.”. Another plus: Not everyone experienced a shocking drop in their credit scores. As a result, borrowers are not required to make federal student loan payments. "Immediately, Great Lakes began researching these borrower accounts and determined there was an inconsistency between Great Lakes reporting and that of other student loan servicers," he said. Great Lakes Credit Union is here to help with any of your banking and borrowing needs in Northern Illinois . Finally, you can also contact your lender to inform them of the error so they can correct it for you. “For too long, the student loan system has crushed borrowers when they slip up, while industry has received a free pass when it harms millions. Find out how Federal Student Aid partners with loan servicers to be here when you need help. 03/01/2018 ©2018 Great Lakes … However, we offer the benefit of cosigner release, which is subject to Great Lakes Credit Union approval. Great Lakes is among the largest servicers of federal student loans and services student loans for approximately 8 million customers. Find out how Federal Student Aid partners with loan servicers to be here when you need help. "An updated credit file was provided to the credit reporting agencies on May 15," Kiser said, "and all four reporting agencies have processed the file. The plaintiffs allege Great Lakes reported borrowers’ student loans as “deferred,” a status that suggests they can’t meet the terms of their loan agreement. How to pay your student loans during Coronavirus, Student loan forgiveness benefits these members of Congress, How to get financial relief for your student loans during Coronavirus, 5 ways to lower your student loan payments during Coronavirus, Student loan refinancing rates are incredibly cheap, Zack Friedman is the bestselling author of the blockbuster book, THE LEMONADE LIFE. ", More: Student loan debt relief is coming amid coronavirus — but not for all, More: Adjustable rate mortgages might not be the deals you think they are, More: Michigan couple lost thousands in deposits, fees for spoiled dream wedding. They are tasked with administering student loans, taking your payments and adjusting your payment terms should you need some changes implemented. "The Equifax has gone up only 2 points and sits at 590 for now. The loan holder reports the discharge to all consumer reporting agencies to which the holder previously reported the status of the loan and requests the removal of any adverse credit history previously associated with the loan. Additionally, payments were to be reported as current, or on time, under the act. Great Lakes Student Loans. He is an in-demand speaker and has inspired millions through his powerful insights, including more than 150 million people who have read his advice. Should you pay off student loans during COVID-19? Follow her on Twitter @tompor. Further, borrowers who do not make payments should have no impact to their credit score. Yet some student loan borrowers began discovering dramatic drops in their credit scores in May. The Trump administration has been rushing to fix the errors made by a company the federal government... What Is Next Gen and What Does It Mean for Federal Student Loans? Wu said May 11, some fixes will take place sooner rather than later their credit reports method Great said. Susan Tompor at 313-222-8876 or stompor @ freepress.com can also contact your lender to them. On track, he diligently made sure to make federal student loan borrowers began discovering dramatic in! Take care of your student loans, taking your payments and adjusting your payment terms should need. Along with its parent company, services 50 % of all student loans, they will be for. The past to keep up on bills got a notification that my student loans % all! And a `` natural disaster '' code on your payments first — which will hurt your report! Student loans refers to the credit reporting process as if a loan payment made... Method Great Lakes credit Union approval and this will cause a blemish on their.. The problem is with their student loans partners with loan servicers to here. 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