Are Great Lakes student loans federal or private?

student loan types

Great Lake is the 2nd largest federal student loan service provider and handles more than 40 percent of the unpaid debt held by student borrowers.

Great Lakes is known as the federal loan programme, but provides the processing of private loans to other lenders.

The Great Lakes currently represent both the Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and the Federal Direct Loan Programme. Other than that, the Great Lakes still represent four other types of loans, and these are as follows:-

  • Direct Subsidized
  • Direct Unsubsidized
  • Direct PLUS
  • Direct Consolidation

What is Private Loan and Federal Loan?

Federal Loan

Loans financed by the government at relatively low interest rates and flexible repayment options are referred to be federal loans.

What types of federal student loans are available?

student loan types

There are four types of Direct Loans available:

Direct Subsidized Loans: –

These are the types of loan that are eligible to undergraduate students who need financial help for their higher education at universities or high school.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans: –

These are the types of loan that are eligible for undergraduate and professional students, but they are not eligible on the basis of financial need.

Direct Plus Loans: –

The eligibility for these loans are based on credit check and not on financial needs. Students those who have good credit history can easily apply to these loans. These loans are available for graduate or technical students and parents of dependent undergraduate students to help provide for college expenses that are not covered by other financial assistance.

Direct consolidation: –

It enables you to merge all of your qualifying federal student loans into a single loan with a single loan service provider.

Private loans

Extra help in education is always needed even after scholarships, grants, and federal loans. If any student needs it then private loan is always an option available.

Students can borrow private loan either from bank or from a school itself. These loans have high interest rates and less flexible repayment options when compared to federal loans.

Great Lakes do not initiate any of the loans but it act as the intermediary and guarantor between the borrower and lender.

What Is Great Lakes Educational Loan Services?

Always remember that loan servicer is not loan lenders. When you get any federal Loan then the department of Education is your lender. Your loan service provider is a corporation assigned by the Department of Education to manage billing and customer service issues. You cannot have your own loan servicer—one is chosen for you after your loan has been disbursed.

A Great Lake Educational Loan services which is often known as Great Lakes is one of the eleven organizations that are presently approved to serve federal student loans.

Being of the largest student loan service provider, today Great lakes is in touch with six thousand schools and millions of students around the country.

What Can Great Lakes Help You With?

federal student-loan-repayment

Great lakes can help you with many issues and these are described as follow:-

Student loan repayment:

Great lakes can help students with monthly payment, they can sign up for automatic payments, or make an additional student loan payment, they can do it easily online through mobile app and they can even call customer support.

Alternative repayment plans: –

Great Lakes can help you get alternative repayment plans and only thing you need to do is contact them and explain your situation. It depends on your situation that up to what amount your payment can be reduced. There are chances that some of the applicants can even $0 monthly payments.

Loan Forgiveness: –

Great Lakes can help you get loan forgiveness if you work for a non-profit organization or government agency full-time. You just need to call them and let them know you like to pursue Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

How much money can I borrow in federal student loans?

The amount depends on whether you are a college student, a graduate student, a professional student or a parent.

In general, undergraduates can borrow up to $12,500 annually and $57,500 total in federal student loans.

Graduate students can borrow up to $20,500 annually and $138,500 total. For the parents of dependent undergraduate student, Direct PLUS loan is available.

Why should I take out federal student loans?

Just like other investments, federal student loan is also investment in your future. You should not worry while taking federal student loan but you should be smart enough about it.

There are number of benefits that student loan offers when compared to other options you may consider when paying for college:

  • Federal student loans are available at very low interest rates and even lower that your credit card interest.
  • Most of the federal loans are available without credit check or without a cosigner which is a great deal for many borrowers.
  • The most important factor about federal loan is that borrower doesn’t need to pay it until they leave college or drop below half time.
  • These loans are available with more flexible repayment plans and there is always an option to postpone your loan payment when things get tough for you financially.
  • Under certain conditions there are chances of loan forgiveness such as when you get any disability, certain type of job etc.

How do I get a federal student loan?

You must first complete and file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form to qualify for a federal student loan.

Your college or career school will give you a financial aid bid, which could include federal student loans, based on the results of your FAFSA form. You will be told by your school how to take all or part of the loan.


Yes, the Great Lakes student loan is a federal and comes with many benefits that all other federal loans come with. Before you take any federal loan you must be beware about the terms and conditions. Always take the loan amount according to your needs and not according to your wants.


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