Get Out of Debt Guy - Steve Rhode

GREAT LAKES – CFPB Complaint

1-844-335-1967

Date Received: 2017-06-01T00:00:00

Product: Federal student loan servicing

Issue: Struggling to repay your loan

Consumer Consent Provided to Share Complaint: Consent provided

Consumer Complaint: For reference, this complaint involves all of my federal loans serviced through Great Lakes, and my attempts to renew my Income Based Repayment Plan. This began back around XXXX of XXXX, when I first tried to do my annual IBR renewal. For some reason, they said my renewal application could n’t be processed online, and I had to mail in my application, which I did. After that, I waited weeks for my paperwork to be processed, but continued to receive notices that I needed to provide said paperwork. As my first payment date post-IBR approached with no word on the renewal, I called them around the end of XXXX or beginning of XXXX. They said they had received my paperwork, but it was n’t due to be processed until after the first post-IBR due date in early XXXX, and offered a 1-month forbearance so I would n’t become delinquent ( I could n’t afford a non-IBR payment ). I agreed to this. Fast-forward a few weeks, and I still had n’t heard anything about my paperwork being processed, and was still receiving e-mails saying I needed to provide more paperwork. So I give them a call back in late XXXX, and they tell me that they HAVE processed my paperwork, and it had been determined I would have a lower monthly payment on Pay as You Earn than IBR, and I had marked that I wanted the lowest payment possible, but before they could switch me over I had to pay a {$5.00} fee. ( NB : I had NEVER received this information in any e-mail correspondence, it was completely news to me! ) I was running really tight on money till my next paycheck, so I said I would call back closer to my first due date in XXXX to switch onto that plan. So, I call back right around when the XXXX payment is due, and pay the {$5.00} fee to switch onto Pay as You Earn. However, they said it would n’t be processed fast enough to lower my XXXX payment so it was back to an income-driven level, and suggested yet again I put in for a temporary forbearance. I agreed to this, again, and said I would forbear until starting repayments on the Pay as You Earn in XXXX. Which brings us up finally to now. I check my total due in XXXX last week, and four things seem to be very wrong still with my account : 1 ) My total monthly payment is {$250.00}, which is much higher than I expected. My understanding has been that Pay as You Earn is calculated as 10 % of your discretionary income. My AGI for XXXX was only XXXX, and working the same jobs as last year with a slight increase in hours over the year, I expect my AGI to be somewhere around XXXX for XXXX. So somehow my discretionary income, according to Great Lakes, is either higher than my AGI will be, or at the very least calculated to be my total income! And needless to say, my gross income is not discretionary in total. ( And to be clear : I sent in current pay stubs for both my jobs with my renewal application. ) 2 ) The {$5.00} fee they had me pay to switch programs is not noted in the online documentation I have as a fee in any way. Instead, it shows up as just a {$5.00} payment toward a Direct Stafford loan. This seems to be at odds with what was described over the phone.
3 ) I still have a link on their web site under the ” Things To Do Now ” heading labelled ” View the status of your income-driven repayment application ” with what appears to be some sort of alert symbol. When I click on this link, I still see a message that says ” We ‘ve encountered an error processing your income-driven repayment application. We ‘ll contact you regarding next steps. Please make sure your contact information is correct. ” This is the same message I have seen on the site throughout this entire process, and whenever I ‘ve called about it, the representatives I ‘ve spoken to all claim that there actually is n’t an error with my account. And yet, here we are. 4 ) My loans, which are all supposed to be on the same PAYE plan, have different due dates. XXXX of them are due XXXX XXXX, and XXXX are due XXXX XXXX.

Company: GREAT LAKES

State/Zip: FL 336XX

Company Response to Complaint: Closed with explanation

Was Company Response Timely: Yes

Did Consumer Dispute Company Response: N/A

Complaint ID: 2499368

The above data is from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Keep in mind that every company will get a complaint from time-to-time, even the great ones. But there are a few key data points that will give you an idea about how well the company values their customers and handles consumer issues.

Look at the item Company Response to Complaint: and Did Consumer Dispute Company Response: to get a better idea of how this was resolved. And the field Consumer Complaint: can give you some context of the issue.

In particular what you are looking for was that the company response was timely and that the consumer did not dispute it. The posting of complaints has proven to be a valuable resource for both companies and consumers.