Oklahoma Student Loan Authority or OSLA is a reputable Federal student loan servicer that has over forty years of expertise and has helped different students in managing their student loans as well as repaying it.
It was established by the Oklahoma state as a charitable trust in 1972, however, they have been involved in servicing Federal Direct and Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) for over one hundred and thirty thousand students borrowers across the country and even it may be your servicer based on the location you're in.
List of contents
- What are the OSLA activities?
- Making payments for your OSLA student loans
- Problems in making payments
- Interest rates
- Refinancing your student loan
- Loan forgiveness
- Pros and cons
- History of complaints
- To whom can I complain about OSLA
- Ways to solve a dispute with OSLA
- How to contact OSLA
What are the OSLA activities?
OSLA is a Federal student loan servicer who acts as a middleman between the Department of Education and the student loan borrowers. They are chargeable for the process of student loan from the paperwork to the gathering of payments as well as helping the individual in managing loans.
Even though the major duties performed by OSLA involves servicing of student loan, they are also responsible for performing a number of alternative services for the federal government.
The activities are -
Helping the borrowers on the discharge and forgiveness of their loans and checking whether or not they qualify for it.
Helping the borrowers on deferment and forbearance when their loan goes into default
Giving assistance on management and payments
Providing the students with various income-driven repayment plans which are given by the federal government.
Is the Oklahoma student loan authority legitimate?
This servicing company solely provides legitimate and the federal government approved services for Federal student loans. These are particularly made for the service of Federal Direct loans and loans disbursed through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program.
OSLA services a student loan if the loan is beneath the FFELP that was terminated in 2010. The loan could either be a Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, Consolidated or PLUS loans.
Making payments for your OSLA student loan
If the federal student loan of yours is serviced by OSLA then you're more likely to make payments directly to OSLA. It is necessary to agree that the payment choices are different and do support the loans you have either being a Direct Loan or an FFEL Loan.
A Direct Loan that is serviced by OSLA may easily be accessed by browsing through their portal. You should be able to pay online for your student loan and also you’ll able to make payments by signing up for the OSLA Auto Payment System called KwikPay.
If you have an FFEL loan that is being serviced by OSLA then you'll be able to log in to their portal just like the Federal Direct Loans. You will be able to make online payments or sign up for EZ Pay through the automated payment system designed for FFEL Loans.
How to find the difference between Direct (or) FFEL Loan?
Finding out the difference between the two is easy, here is how -
Check your account number. If it starts with a number eight or letter "F" then it is a Direct Loan.
If the account number of yours starts with a number "0" with no alphabet then it's an FFEL loan
Problems in making payments
As a borrower, you're bound to face the problems and difficulties of managing student loan payments. There are a number of decisions out there to assist and to make the payback of your loans much more comfortable.
Revise the due date
If you're in a problem and finding it difficult to pay your student loan dues due to commitments some like rent, credit card or different payments, you can change your due date, making it come back at a specified timeline within the month suitable for you to make payment for your funds.
To change the due date simply contact OSLA's client care service department and update them concerning the situation.
Revise your payment plan
Similar to the other federal student loan servicers, OSLA provides you a large variety of various repayment plans (to choose from) that are designed to make the repayments easier for the borrowers.
Also, do keep in mind that a few of the programs that are out there for all borrowers are based on the income level. The payment plans are out there for all borrowers.
1. Standard repayment
In this repayment plan, you're required to pay a similar amount for each month throughout the life of your loan.
2. Graduated repayment
Under this repayment plan, you can create small payments at the beginning of your loan repayment as this payment will grow slowly over the time of the loan.
3. Extended Repayment
This repayment plan can assist you to cut back on your monthly payments but you may end up paying an additional amount on the long-term. These payment plans are based on income, family size, and other eligibility necessities.
4. Income-Based Repayment (IBR)
IBR plan is completely created for FFELP and Direct Loans. If your loans have existed on or after the first of July 2014 then you're expected to pay 10% of the after-tax income and you may be creating payments for a period of 20 years.
After the elapsed time, the remaining amount is going to be forgiven. If your loan is before the date then you may be paying 15% of your taxable income and you need to constantly pay for 25 years to get forgiveness.
5. Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR)
This plan is specifically meant for the Direct Loans and other loans where you get to pay 20% of your after-tax income but no more than what you may be paying under a standard repayment arrange. After a period of twenty years, the balance of your loan is forgiven.
6. Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
The PAYE program is specifically for Direct Loans. Whenever you are supposed to pay 10% of your after-tax income, it should be a little bit over what you would normally pay for on the standard repayment. After a period of twenty years, the loan can be considered for forgiveness.
7. Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)
This is an exclusive plan for Direct Loans, where you will be paying 10% of your after-tax income, and the remaining balance on the undergraduate loans are going to be forgiven after twenty years.
For the graduate loan, it'll be forgiven after a period of twenty-five years with the past qualifying payments. The forgiven amount is taxable as it has been forgiven under the income-based program.
These repayment plans have their own eligibility necessities and are out there for borrowers with pending federal student loans.
Deferment or Forbearance
Students who are facing financial hardship might need to place the student loan of theirs under deferment or forbearance. These pair of choices are largely out there for all of the borrowers with federal student loans
This student loan deferment may be a long method in which you'll be able to quickly hold the making of your monthly payments to federal student loans.
Conditions to be considered for forbearance
Have been enrolled at least as a half-time student
Prove an economic hardship like unemployment, you'll be able to extend up to thirty years
If you are on active military duty, at a war, national emergency or military operation
Disabled or taking care of people who are disabled
Leave on maternity due or taking care of a newborn kid or adopted kid
If the loans of yours are federally subsidized then you do not have to be concerned about the interest that's accumulated at the time of postponement.
If the loan of you're unsubsidized then you're expected to pay off the interest because it accumulated at the end of deferment period (or) it'll be carried forward to the balance of your loan as principal wherever it starts accumulated interest of itself.
The student loan forbearance is similar to deferment as it provides you a choice to pause the student loan payment. The key distinction here is whereas the forbearance takes place the student is in charge of paying off his interest that has accumulated and also the eligibility necessities.
Before entering into deferment or forbearance to hold your payments, it's quite necessary to make an exploration of yourself to find the interests that are going to be charged and how much it would cost you over the lifeline of your loan.
More often individuals notice that income-dependent repayment plan is additional helpful than the deferment and forbearance choices.
You may be wondering whether or not OSLA was the one who set the interest rate to your loans. However, the interest rate is set by the U.S. Congress on all of the Federal student loans.
How do I know what my interest rate is?
Analyze your monthly student loan statement
Get into the National Student Loan Database (NSLDS) to get a view of your student loan
Access your accounts and get to the loan details to get information
Get in contact with the OSLA student loan statement
If you are confused as to whether or not your student loan servicer has set your interest rate, under some case, you may be able to get a lower rate of interest by signing up for an auto-debit payment.
Since OSLA offers automatic payments for each the Direct and FFEL Loans, by signing up for it, the rate of interest may be lowered. It means that if your loans are being serviced by OSLA you'll be able to get your rates lower.
Refinancing your student loan
Refinancing is the process of going for a brand new loan and paying off your existing loan in order to get -
Lower interest rate
Reduced and lower monthly payments
Shorter-term of the loan
Changing from variable-rate to fixed-rate
To get combination advantages
Based on the terms of your original loan and also the new loan, a financed student loan has the chance of getting you help from spending thousands of dollars over the lifespan of the loan. It may assist you with the payment of student loans easier by creating a reduced monthly payment to get a better hold of your amounts.
You may be wondering whether or not the refinancing of your student loan is worthy or if the rate of interest accrued has considerably lowered from the time you took a loan.
Also, a very important thing to keep in mind is that refinancing a federal student loan will remove all the benefits of a federal student loan. It becomes a private student loan, which implies that you are going to be loosing all the valuable advantages like forbearance eligibility and possibility, and plenty of other different services.
If you're not willing to refinance your student loan then get a lower rate by going for consolidation which makes the loan less complicated to handle and it'll be a higher option.
Consolidation may look similar to refinancing however they're totally different. So, it's better to get hold of all the data and choices before getting down with it.
OSLA helps federal student loan borrowers with consolidation, TPD, public service, and teacher loan forgiveness.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness: Mostly, federal student loans qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The list is below.
1.Federal direct subsidized Stafford/Direct loans
2.Federal direct unsubsidized Stafford/Direct loans
3.Federal Direct PLUS loans
4.Federal direct consolidation loans
PSLF program: You are eligible for this loan forgiveness after making 120 consecutive repayments and working in the public sector. Federal loans like Direct Stafford Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, and Direct Consolidation Loans are forgiven under this program. Employees in federal and other government organizations are eligible for this program.
Loan forgiveness for teachers: Teachers are eligible for loan forgiveness for the amount 175000 and above. But you are eligible only if you have worked consecutively for 5 years with low income in an elementary school. Teachers with high qualification, teaching in schools, and served full time for 5 years are qualified for loan forgiveness for teachers.
Also note that if your loans are serviced by OSLA, during a natural disaster you receive forbearance helping you grace time for 90 days.
Until a borrower makes up his/her mind to refinance the federal loan with a private lender, they do not have control over the student loan servicer and all the decisions will be handled by the federal government.
Borrowers can still be enlightened with all the information they need so as to make the right call regarding their servicer, decisions like whether or not they should stay or go for refinancing with other lenders
Looking at the reviews from the different clients can provide you the valuable insight and information needed to know just how the OSLA functions.
For example, the Better Business Bureau can provide you with the major negative reviews, the complaints which are focused on the customer service loan collection practices and the lack of communication between servicers and borrowers.
The internal survey at the OSLA states that customer satisfaction has been high across a wide number of areas. And OSLA has been recognized as one of the best loan servicers in the country for its customer service.
They have successfully been ranked at the 90th percentile among the rest of the Federal loan service providers. They have also been referred by the Department of Education themselves as an 'Exceptional Performer' for the years 2006-2007 for “meeting and exceeding the standards established for participants in the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program by the Department.”
Although OSLA has received these accolades for their service throughout the years they have received some negative reviews online.
One borrower went so far as to call them the worst company she ever had to deal with and called out their customer service as being terrible and even stated that their website was misleading.
Pros and Cons of OSLA
OSLA being one of the oldest organizations in the loan servicing game has a lot to offer but in order to evaluate if they are the best fit for you, it's better to look at all aspects possible, here is a list of pro's and con's of OSLA to help you get a better understanding.
There are only nine organizations that are listed and approved by the federal government to service the federal student loan among which OSLA is one of them, meeting the necessities.
1. Multiple ways to pay
OSLA provides heaps of offers to the borrowers like multiple ways to pay and also helps to manage the student loans. Whether or not the payment is being paid by online, mail or through automatic payments, OSLA makes a wide variety of options.
Along with the various standard communication, it provides like fax, phone, and emails. It also communicates through online social media like facebook presence because it felt that almost all of its borrowers are currently active in these platforms.
3. Conflict resolution
In each state of affairs, once a client files a complaint against them through the BBB, the OSLA offers a prompt response and aims to clarify it or correct it, maintaining its truthful transparency reputation.
There are certain areas this servicer could improve. Below are some of the carefully listed branches and areas
The OSLA's website is lacking in updates of contents, style, and functionalities. The presently running web site isn't mobile-friendly and makes things exhausting to log in and manage payments of yours on the go.
Complicated web layouts
The OSLA has a pair of totally different websites and a payment system where one is for the loan borrowers and another one for FFEL Loan borrowers. This makes it difficult and frustrating for a student borrower who wishes to search out the data that they are trying to find at a particular time.
Covered contact information
It seems like for some reason, OSLA makes it hard for the borrowers to find their contact data information.
A certain number of borrowers are proud of the client service of OSLA however different clients do criticize the company's customer service as a weaker purpose.
History of complaints
1. Some borrowers found themselves in default abruptly with any prior warning, the user was not notified with the loans made to her loan which lead the loan to be in default.
2. Poor customer service.
3. Providing wrong information and misguiding the borrowers.
4. Their servicer website isn't efficient.
To whom can I complain about OSLA
If you have any issues with OSLA's service you can actually file a complaint with the customer service support supervisor. If this complaint stays unresolved then you have the following authorities where you can place further complaints,
Federal Student Aid Feedback system
Your State Attorney General's office
Your State Consumer Protection Officer
Your Congressional Representative
Your complaints and conversations should have proper records. Also, keep records of the bills, letters, and copies of e-mails pertaining to your account.
Ways to settle a dispute with OSLA
When a complaint doesn't fetch you help you can contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group to find a solution to your dispute with OSLA. Complete the Ombudsman Information Checklist before contacting them. The federal student aid office strictly says that this should be your final way to seek a solution for your dispute with your loan servicer. Here are the contact details of the FSA Ombudsman Group,
Mail: U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman Group
P.O. Box 1843
Monticello, KY 42633
To get your disputes with OSLA solved for free you can contact The Institute of Student Loan Advisors.
How to contact OSLA?
If you would like to contact OSLA for discussing the federal student loans, this can be done in a number of ways such as online, phone, mail and fax.
The Oklahoma Student Loan Authority can be reached in the following ways -
Customer service - (866) 264 - 9762
E-mail - DLcustserv@osla.org
Fax - (855) 813-2224
Address - 525 Central Park Drive, Suite 600 Oklahoma City, OK 73105.
Working hours - Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM
The OSLA has been serving for over forty years with expertise in serving the student and navigating them to the federal student loans which have made them a reputable financer and trusted one in the federal student loan servicer
There are uncounted reasons why college graduates whose loans are serviced by OSLA can visit different lenders for consolidation or refinancing.