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OSLA, or the Oklahoma Student Loan Authority, is a federal student loan servicer with more than 40 years of experience helping students manage and repay their student loans.
OSLA was established by the state of Oklahoma as a public trust in 1972 specifically to benefit Oklahomans, but the company has serviced Federal Direct and Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) for more than 130,000 student borrowers all across the country and might be your servicer regardless of your location.
Continue reading to learn more about what OLSA does, and how they can help you successfully manage and repay your federal student loans.
What does OSLA do?
OSLA, as a federal student loan servicer, is a sort of middleman between the Dept. of Education and borrowers of federal student loans, responsible for processing student loan paperwork, collecting payments, and helping borrowers manage their loans.
Though these are its core duties, the company is also responsible for performing a number of other services as required by the federal government, including:
Though many student loan servicers support both private and federal student loans, OSLA only services federal student loans. Very specifically, they only service Federal Direct Loans and loans disbursed through the (now defunct) Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program.
This means that OSLA may be your servicer if you:
How to make OSLA student loan payments
If your federal student loans are serviced by OSLA and you would like to make a payment, it is important to understand that your payment options are different depending on whether you have a Direct Loan or an FFEL Loan.
If you have a Direct Loan serviced by OSLA, you can log in through this portal to access your student loan account and make payments online. You can also make payments by signing up for OSLA’s automatic payment system called KwikPay, or by mailing a check.
Alternatively, if you have an FFEL Loan serviced by OSLA, you should log in using this portal. Like with Federal Direct loans, you can pay online, by check, or by signing up for EZ Pay, the automatic payment system for FFEL Loans.
Not sure whether your student loan is a Direct or FFEL Loan? Here’s an easy way to tell:
What to do if you can’t make your student loan payments
Borrowers who are having difficulty managing their student loan payments have a number of options available to help make paying back their loans easier.
1. Change the due date
If you are unable to make your student loan payment due to other monthly obligations like your rent, credit card, or other payments, you may be able to change your due date so that it falls at a different point in the month, when you know you will have the funds and fewer obligations.
To request a change of due date, simply contact OSLA’s customer service department and explain your situation.
2. Change your payment plan
Like other federal student loan servicers, OSLA offers a number of different repayment plans to borrowers that are designed to make repayment easier.
Keep in mind that some of these are available to all borrowers, while some are dependent on your income levels.
Payment plans available to all borrowers include:
Payment plans that are available based on income, family size and other eligibility requirements include:
3. Place your loans into deferment or forbearance
Students who are experiencing true financial hardship may decide that they need to place their student loans in deferment or forbearance, two options available to all borrowers with federal student loans.
Student loan deferment is a process in which you can temporarily stop making your monthly payments on federal student loans.
If you have federal student loans, you can qualify for deferment by meeting certain eligibility requirements such as:
If your loans are federally subsidized, you won’t need to worry about interest accruing while your loans are in deferment.
If your loans are unsubsidized, though, you’ll either need to pay off the interest as it accrues or at the end of your deferment—or it will be added to the balance of your loan as principal, where it can begin accruing interest of its own.
Student loan forbearance is more or less the same thing as deferment—an option to pause your student loan payments. The main differences are that during forbearance, students are responsible for paying all interest that accrues (even on subsidized student loans) and eligibility requirements.
Before using deferment or forbearance to stop making payments, it’s very important that you do your research to figure out whether your interest will continue to accrue and how much each option will cost you over the life of the loan.
Very often, outside of true economic emergencies, you’ll find that an income-dependent repayment plan may be more beneficial than deferment and forbearance.
What are the interest rates and fees for OSLA student loans?
Though you may think that OSLA is in charge of the interest rate for your loans, the reality is that interest rates on federal student loans are set by the U.S. Congress.
Not sure what the interest rate is for your student loans being serviced by OSLA? You can find that information in a number of ways:
Though your student loan servicer does not set your interest rate, in some cases you may be able to lower your interest rate by signing up for direct debit (or automatic payments).
Unfortunately, though OSLA offers automatic payments for both Direct and FFEL Loans, signing up will not lower your interest rate. That means that if your loans are serviced by OSLA and you’d like to lower your rates, you’ll need to consider refinancing your student loans.
Refinancing your OSLA student loan
Refinancing your student loans is the process of taking out a new loan to pay off the existing loan, and is often done to:
Depending on the terms of your original loan and your new loan, refinancing your student loans has the potential to help you save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. It could also make paying back your student loans easier by, for example, reducing your monthly payments to more manageable amounts.
Wondering if it’s worth it for you to refinance your student loan? If interest rates have fallen significantly since you took out your loan, you have significantly improved your credit score, or you’ve improved your debt-to-income ratio since taking out your loans, refinancing is likely to be beneficial
It’s important to keep in mind that if you refinance a federal student loan, it ceases to be a federal student loan. It becomes a private student loan, and that means you’ll be giving up valuable benefits like deferment and forbearance options, forgiveness eligibility, and more. It’s important that you keep the trade-offs in mind before deciding either way.
If you’re not interested in refinancing your student loans to achieve a lower interest rate, but instead simply want to make your student loans simpler to handle, then consolidating student loans might be a better option for you.
While similar to refinancing in some regards, consolidation, and refinancing are different in some pretty important ways, so it would be wise to fully understand both options before settling your plan.
OSLA student loan reviews
Generally speaking, unless a borrower decides to refinance their federal student loan with a private lender, they don’t have any control over who their student loan servicer will be. That decision is made by the federal government.
Still, borrowers should be armed with all of the information they need in order to be able to make an informed decision about their servicer, including whether or not they should stay or consider refinancing with a different lender. It’s also important that you understand what your servicer is and isn’t allowed to do.
Reading reviews from other customers is one way to gain some valuable insight into how OSLA operates. That being said, as with any financial organization, OSLA has received many reviews from borrowers, both positive and negative, so it is important to take any review with a grain of salt.
Looking at both the Better Business Bureau and Yelp will reveal predominantly negative reviews, with complaints largely focused on the company’s customer service, loan collection practices, and lack of communication.
But according to an internal survey conducted by OSLA, customer satisfaction has been consistently high across a number of areas.
Where OSLA stands out
As one of only nine organizations approved to service federal student loans, OSLA has had to meet strict requirements.
Some examples of what OSLA does well include:
Where OSLA falls short
Though OSLA excels in many areas as a servicer, there are some areas where it could stand to improve:
How to contact OSLA to discuss your student loans
If you find yourself needing to contact OSLA to discuss your federal student loans, you can do so in a number of ways: By logging into your account online, by phone, by email, and by mail.
To speak to an OSLA representative by phone, you can call 866-264-9762. The hours of operation for their call center are Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 5 pm CST.
If you’d prefer to contact OSLA’s customer service online, you can either email them at DLcustserv@osla.org or log into your online account.
For members of the military
If you are a member of the US military looking for information about your benefits, you have some additional options available to you.
If you’d like to reach out to OSLA by mail, you can send correspondence related to Direct Loans to:
P.O. Box 18475
OKC, OK 73154-0475
OSLA also has a presence on Facebook, which it uses to both distribute information and communicate with borrowers.
With more than 40 years of experience helping students navigate the world of federal student loans, OSLA has earned a reputation as a trusted federal student loan servicer.
That being said, there are countless reasons that college graduates whose loans are serviced by OSLA may decide to refinance or consolidate their loans with another lender.
Only Credible lets you instantly compare the best student loan refinancing rates from OSLA as well as other top lenders. With Credible, you can compare the best options with no hidden fees, without affecting your credit score, and the assurance that your data is totally secure.