For borrowers with Granite State Management & Resources (GSM&R) as their loan servicer, you need to pay attention to your loans. Granite student loans can be a source of frustration for many people. Although it’s smaller than other federal loan servicers, it isn’t immune to complaints.
Making and sticking to a plan for your student loans is tough if your servicer isn’t doing its part. What are the top complaints about Granite student loans? Are the complaints enough to change your repayment strategy? Here’s what to keep in mind.
What is Granite State Management & Resources?
Granite State Management & Resources is a student loan servicer located in New Hampshire. It’s a nonprofit organization that services federal and private student loans.
Established in 1986, it’s part of the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation (NHHEAF) Network. GSM&R has since become one of nine loan servicers used by the federal government to service federal loans. It claims that it has been nationally recognized for its loan servicing expertise.
As a loan servicer, GSM&R assists borrowers with loan repayment. It provides support through its website and by phone. Granite’s website features information on student loan repayment options, as well as other financial tips for borrowers.
Not only does GSM&R support borrowers, but it also helps service members with benefits. These are options for borrowers in the military and include interest caps and waivers, loan repayment assistance, deferment, discharge and more.
Additionally, if you live in an area affected by a federally declared disaster, GSM&R may be able to provide student loan relief — such as disaster forbearance, which allows you to pause student loan payments — for up to three months.
3 top Granite student loan complaints from borrowers
Despite all the good that Granite claims to do for borrowers, it also gets its fair share of criticism. Most of this comes in the form of consumer complaints through various online outlets.
Federal loan servicers as a whole don’t have a great reputation for customer service. And Granite student loans are no exception. What are the top GSM&R complaints from borrowers?
1. Handling of loan payments
One of the main roles of a loan servicer is handling loan payments. Yet this is one of the major complaints against GSM&R.
One borrower shared on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) website an instance of Granite’s mishandling of loan payments:
They were trying to pay off their loans faster by making monthly payments higher than required. GSM&R applied the extra funds to future payments instead of toward the loan principal. It even changed the online payment form to make the process more difficult for borrowers.
This borrower claimed they had to email GSM&R every month through the online email form so it would apply the extra funds toward the principal.
2. Poor customer service
This is a common theme among federal loan servicers. GSM&R receives numerous complaints about its customer service. Most refer to the company’s poor communication when dealing with loan issues.
For example, in one complaint to the CFPB, the borrower had a loan disbursement issue because of classes that were dropped. They called Granite multiple times to discuss the issue.
Each time, they were told they would receive a call back within 48 hours, but they never received one. Even when the issue seemed resolved, there was no follow up to let the borrower know the outcome.
Problems with student loans happen, but not receiving proper customer service when you need it the most can be infuriating
Misinformation is another common theme with complaints about GSM&R. When borrowers call for student loan support, they expect to receive the right information. Often, this isn’t the case. And this can extend issues longer than desired.
A borrower recently shared with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) their experience of being misinformed by GSM&R. The borrower received a letter earlier in the year that their loan was paid in full. But they were then charged fees for a loan that defaulted 10 years prior.
The borrower made several phone calls to Granite and got different answers each time. In Granite’s response to the borrower, it explained that having multiple loans at varying stages of repayment can be confusing. But it also admitted and apologized for bad information given during the phone calls.
Anytime you speak to a customer service representative, it’s good practice to keep detailed notes from your conversation. Record the date and time of your call, as well as the name and job title of the representative if possible. Information like this can come in handy if you need to follow up at a later date.
Despite having a B rating with the BBB, GSM&R has been a source of frustration for borrowers. Have you experienced any of these complaints? If so, you may want to rethink your loan repayment strategy.
What you can do if Granite State services your loans
It’s frustrating to constantly deal with a loan servicer that doesn’t meet your needs. But what options do you have?
Many borrowers choose to consolidate their GSM&R student loans to a new loan servicer. When you’re first assigned a loan servicer, you have no choice which one you get. But if you consolidate your loans, you get to choose your new federal loan servicer. In this process, your loans are paid off, and you get a new loan with new terms and a new monthly payment.
Be aware that choosing another loan servicer doesn’t automatically improve your situation. Many federal loan servicers have a reputation for poor customer support, and you may end up with a servicer that’s not much better — or even worse.
Federal borrowers can also choose to refinance their loans through a private lender. This strategy could net you a lower interest rate, reduce your monthly payments and cut thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your loans.
But remember, when you refinance federal student loans, they become private loans. You’ll no longer have access to federal programs like:
Are you stuck thinking about what you should do? Student Loan Planner can help you find the right repayment strategy. It’s an important choice that could affect major life decisions. Take time now to get it right if you’re not satisfied with Granite student loans.