Great Lakes Student Loans Refinancing

Great Lakes is a Federal Student Loan service provider, where a student can avail Federal student loan, consolidation and refinance service. which provides attractive benefits to students

Updated by Deepu M on 12th June 2019

When a student has several Federal Student Loan, they easily get confused with the repayments and information related to it. If you're thinking of refinancing your Federal loans, you can get relieved by tracking your numerous loan bills, thereby paying one single amount to all your other loans.

If a student has a Federal Student Loan, then they must have a loan servicer. Great Lakes is one of the major service provider used by the Federal Government to service Federal Student Loan. They act as an intermediary between borrowers and the Department of Education.

This service provider administers the loan, handles repayment, customer service, etc. Great Lakes was recently acquired by another Federal Loan servicer called Nelnet, still, it works on its original name.

List of Contents

Great Lakes Federal Student Loan Servicer

Great Lakes is a Federal Student Loan service provider that provides opportunities to student borrowers to avail Federal student loan funded by the US Department of Education. If a student has multiple Federal loans, he/she gets an option to combine all the loans together, to pay one single monthly repayment for all Federal Student Loans. It is basically taking out another new loan to pay off all your Federal Student Loan for you, by replacing multiple Federal loans with a single new loan.

Great Lakes does not provide federal loan borrowers the services like consolidation and refinance. These services can be availed by Federal Student Loan borrowers with Direct Consolidation Loan with Private Lenders.

Refinancing Federal Student Loan

There is no option to refinance your Federal Student Loan by Great Lakes, but it can be done by private lenders. When you refinance your Federal Student Loan with a private lender, this loan will be converted to a private loan.

Benefits of refinancing federal student loan

There's a great benefit when refinancing with a private lender. You could get refinance with a lower interest rate. Refinancing with the private lender is the only way to lower your interest rate on Federal Loan. There is a chance of lowering your interest rate because interest isn't set based on the credit score in the case of a Federal Loan. Irrespective of credits, all borrowers get the same interest rate.

Unlike Federal Student Loan, when you refinance your loan with a private lender, your interest rate will be fixed based on the credit score and financial position. In a situation where a borrower has a high credit score, the lender tends to charge a low-interest rate.

Refinancing with private lenders

Federal Student Loans cannot be refinanced by Federal Loan servicers. It can only be refinanced by Private Lenders. This option can be chosen by the borrowers not only to consolidate the loan but also to reduce the interest rate payable.

By refinancing these loans, you get to consolidate multiple loans with single monthly repayment, wherein Direct Consolidation Loan can combine multiple Federal loans, but refinancing helps to consolidate both Federal and Private loans.

Terms and interest rate

Refinancing would not only provide an option to choose terms but also help to lower the interest amount payable. Fixation of interest rate mainly depends on borrowers credit score and financial position. In cases where the borrower has less credit score and get unqualified, there are options for such borrowers to have cosigner whose credit score is good to avail refinancing.

This benefit of refinancing at a low-interest rate is that it ultimately reduces total cost, and the option of reframing terms is the main reason why borrowers refinance Federal Student Loan. This refinancing helps to choose loan terms. Some borrower does choose a long term to reduce monthly repayment while others tend to choose a short term to get debt free earlier than the actual period.

Refinancing made feasible

Refinancing Great Lakes Students loan with a private lender is very much easy. This is done by evaluating many lenders since one of them would be chosen to refinance your loan. Thus comparing several refinance service provider helps borrowers to determine the best refinancer with borrower-friendly features.

Steps to Refinance Loan

The borrower must be wise in deciding the private lenders by comparing the interest rate they would offer.

1. Criteria

Lenders have their own criteria to be fulfilled by the borrowers to enjoy comparatively less interest rate, but the borrower can compare the interest rate of the various lender by using online loan calculator at the same time

2. Filling

Online lenders would have a process to fill all related information on an online application, the borrower has to fill in details of current student loan and information of work and salary.

The lender makes detailed checks on borrower's financial position and credit score to make an initial offer. Once your refinance gets approved with a private lender, all communication-related to refinance will be done with Great Lakes.

Advantages and Disadvantages


A great benefit you get by refinancing is that the borrower has an opportunity to lower the interest rate payable and this could bring down the monthly repayment.

A borrower who refinances may save up to $253 per month as this could be a great option to lower total cost. An average borrower who refinances can save about $16,000 over the life of the loan.

Refinancing can help one to replace different Federal Student Loan with one single loan, which helps borrowers to manage the loan and payoff easier.

It helps borrowers to decide in reframing the term of the loan, choosing between lengthening the term to reduce monthly repayment or shortening the term to get debt free sooner, by paying less interest amount with higher monthly repayment.


A borrower has to be very clear or aware of the consequences of refinancing Federal Student Loan by Private Lender.

When a borrower actually refinances Federal Student Loan it ultimately converts into Private loan this process would result in a borrower losing all the benefits from Federal programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness and income-driven repayment plans.

The private lender also provides this similar benefits to its borrowers in the period of hardship, but it's not the same as the Federal government.

Choosing Consolidation or Refinancing

It’s a borrower's decision to consolidate or refinance Federal Student Loan offered by Great Lakes, as this option helps the borrowers to enjoy great benefits.


A federal student loan can be consolidated through Direct Consolidation loan, as this program does not help is bringing the interest rate low, but could help in consolidating more than one Federal Student Loan.


Refinancing Federal Student Loan can help borrowers to lower their total cost and save on the loan payable. This option has its own advantage and disadvantage too. A borrower can choose any of the options they fell feasible for them.

Direct Consolidation Loan

Consolidating loans is a better option for the borrowers who have multiple student loans but the consolidation of Federal Student Loan can be possible only through Direct Consolidation Loan.

Private Student Loan cant be Consolidated under Direct Consolidation Loan, this provides an option to bring all the Federal student Loan as one.

It becomes feasible when the consolidated loan becomes one loan and that one loan bill is paid instead of multiple loans.

Direct Consolidation

This option allows borrowers to choose loan terms, where a borrower can choose a term of 10 years to 30 years. The longer the term, the higher the interest rate the borrower gets to pay and vice versa. Choosing short term helps to get debt free sooner as monthly repayment would be high.

With all these benefits, it is best to choose a service provider based on the low-interest rate to be paid and if a borrower wants to get refinanced with Great Lakes or other Federal Loan service provider, their interest rate must be put into consideration.


Refinancing Federal loan with Great lakes is not possible but loans can be consolidated from them under Direct Consolidation Loan.

It is possible to refinance Great Lakes Student loans through Private Lenders, where borrowers are free to decide the private lender to refinance their loan. Through refinancing the loan, it would get converted to a private loan where the borrower ultimately cannot get benefits from Federal Programs.

Refinancing Great Lakes student loans with private lenders would help borrowers to lower interest amount payable, a borrower gets an option to choose loan terms and can save a huge amount on the total cost.


  How do I refinance my great lakes student loans?

This loan can’t be refinanced with Great Lakes but it can be consolidated by with them under Direct Consolidation Loan, it is possible to refinance this loan with only private lenders. Refinancing with private lenders would ultimately convert into a private loan.

  Does Great Lakes do loan forgiveness?

Great Lakes is one of the Federal Student Loan servicers, they offer loans, with related services like loan consolidation and student loan forgiveness program.

  Can you consolidate Great Lakes loans?

As this is a federal loan service provider, it also allows borrowers to consolidate loan under the Direct Consolidation Loan program.

  What qualifies you for student loan forgiveness?

There are few government programs, where a borrower can actually get forgiveness for their Federal Loan

  • Becoming a school teacher in a low-income area
  • When a person joins the military
  • Applying an income-based repayment plan
  • Joining public non-profit job

  Do student loans get forgiven after 10 years?

A person gets to qualify for loan forgiveness after repaying for 10 years or 120 payments, instead of forgiveness for 20 to 25 standard forgiveness.

  Are Great Lakes student loans federal or private?

Great Lakes acts as a mediator between the lender and borrower, the lender could be Federal or state government, it provides all service related to a student loan.

  Is Nelnet the same as Great Lakes?

Great Lakes being a Federal Loan service provider, it has been acquired by Navient who is also the loan service provider.

  How long does a loan consolidation take?

Great Lakes also provides service like Direct Consolidation Loan, it would take 30 to 90 days to consolidate Federal Loan.

  What happens if you never pay your student loans?

If a borrower does not repay a student loan, their credit score will be affected then the borrower cant avail mortgage, credit card and car loan in future.

  How can I get rid of my student loans fast?

If a borrower is thinking to get debt free sooner, this can be done if they refinance their loan, irrespective of the type of loan. refinancing helps borrowers to reframe the loan term to shorter.