Although the Department of Education is the largest issuer of federal student loans for borrowers in the United States, they do not often service the loans issued to individuals after funds are disbursed. Instead, the Department of Education transfers loan balances and payment information to one of many federal student loan servicers, like Oklahoma Student Loan Authority, or OSLA.
The Oklahoma Student Loan Authority has been helping student loan borrowers access and manage their federal student loan balances and payments since 1972. The organization is a registered non-profit, established by the Oklahoma legislature in an effort to benefit the State of Oklahoma and its students who currently have federal education debt.
Who OSLA Works With
The Oklahoma Student Loan Authority mainly services federal student loan portfolios owed by students who attended a college or university in the state. However, since opening up its loan services in 2009, any borrower with federal student loans may have OSLA assigned as their servicer. To date, the Oklahoma Student Loan Authority has serviced more than 130,000 student loan borrowers.
When OSLA was created, the student loan servicer focused primarily on servicing FFEL Program loans issued by the federal government. The organization also originated loans before July 2010, and it operated as a secondary market for FFEL loans through a network of 44 lenders partnered with the OSLA Student Lending Network. Currently, the Oklahoma Student Loan Authority services Direct Loans and FFEL Program loans through its website.
Student loan borrowers with private loans cannot use OSLA to service their loans, nor can they transfer loans to OSLA. The organization only services federal student loans, including consolidated loans through the federal government.
Benefits of Working with OSLA
Federal student loan borrowers who have the Oklahoma Student Loan Authority as their loan servicer have several benefits they can tap into over the life of their loans. First, OSLA provides easy access to standard loan servicing requests online, including the forms necessary to change payment information, a loan’s due date, or to make an additional payment to a loan. The organization also provides quick access to several Department of Education links, including the direct loan consolidation page and information pages about various repayment programs offered.
OSLA student loan borrowers also have access to all the repayment programs made available to federal student loan borrowers. This includes the standard repayment plan, which requires principal and interest payments over a ten-year timeframe. Income-based repayment plans are also available through the Oklahoma Student Loan Authority, giving student borrowers an extended repayment term and a lower, more manageable monthly payment. Just like with other student loan servicers, OSLA helps student loan borrowers determine which repayment plan works best for their financial circumstances.
One of the most touted benefits of working with OSLA for federal student loan servicing is its highly praised customer service. The organization has repeatedly been recognized for the excellent customer service it provides to its student loan borrowers. From 2006 to 2007, the organization received the Exceptional Performer recognition directly from the Department of Education, based on its ability to meet and exceed standards established for servicing FFEL Program loans. OSLA offers servicing directly through its website, as well as over the phone and via e-mail.
Recent OSLA News
Earlier in 2017, the Oklahoma Student Loan Authority's business came into question, alongside the other private companies currently servicing federal student loans. The Education Secretary proposed streamlining the student loan servicing process by shedding all but one federal student loan servicer. So far however, this hasn't come to be, and the idea has received quite a bit of criticism.