The Department of Education is in charge of issuing federal loans to college students, but once repayment time rolls around, it often relies on third-party servicers to collect the monthly payments. If you have a federal student loan, the Oklahoma Student Loan Authority (OSLA) may be your servicer.
Here are a few things you should know about OSLA student loans and how they help student loan borrowers.
Oklahoma Student Loan Authority review
Whether you went to college in the 1970s or more recently, OSLA may have serviced your federal student loan. Created in 1972 as a “public trust by the Oklahoma legislature for the benefit of the State of Oklahoma,” according to OSLA’s website, the organization has focused their efforts on servicing college students’ federal student loans (130,000 accounts to be exact) and their dedication shows.
It has been recognized as one of the best in the country for their top-notch customer service, ranking in the 90th percentile among federal student loan servicers. The Department of Education even referred to them as an Exceptional Performer in 2006-07 for “meeting and exceeding the standards established for participants in the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program by the Department.”
But the servicer did receive some negative reviews online. A reviewer on the Better Business Bureau website said the “employees were rude and awful” and it was their lack of assistance that sent the loan to collections. Meanwhile, another reviewer claimed it was “impossible to get ahold of a customer service representative” when dealing with a loan issue.
No student loan servicer is perfect, though it’s possible these negative reviews are the result of a few disgruntled borrowers. Either way, if OSLA is your servicer, you can’t change it — so read on to find out how to make the most of your relationship with them.
How the Oklahoma Student Loan Authority works
OSLA is a public trust overseen by five trustees appointed by the governor of Oklahoma. Though it’s non-profit, the organization doesn’t receive any funds from the Oklahoma government. Rather, the money it makes from managing student loans covers their operating expenses.
Like other student loan servicers, OSLA acts as a middleman between borrowers and the Department of Education by managing repayment of federal student loans. The organization only services Federal Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL). In fact, it was one of five non-profit loan servicers chosen by the Department of Education to service these types of loans. OSLA originated FFEL loans prior to July 1, 2010, but have since discontinued that service.
While it acts much like any loan servicer by accepting borrowers’ payments, figuring out alternative payment options, and handling things such as forbearances, it prides themselves on exceptional customer service. This is done through an easy-to-use website, multiple points of contact for borrowers to have their questions answered, and a staff that averages seven years’ experience in servicing student loans.
How OSLA helps student loan borrowers
One of the main ways OSLA helps student loan borrowers is through their “default aversion initiatives.” If a borrower is having trouble with maintaining the repayment schedule, it proactively reaches out to understand and rectify the situation.
Through a customer service agent, the borrower will learn about the various options to stay on top of their payments and avoid default at all costs. This includes cautioning borrowers about third-party student loan debt relief offers and outside credit repair services.
In addition, it communicates via their website and individual correspondence with borrowers about how to manage sudden changes in a borrower’s personal situation. For example, if a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster is declared, OSLA quickly makes borrowers in that location aware of their Disaster Forbearance options.
OSLA is also open about the variety of options to student loan borrowers beyond just their bread-and-butter of servicing loans. It provides information on potentially beneficial borrower programs, such as consolidation, Total Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and Teacher Loan Forgiveness.
There are also specialists and a special section on the website for U.S Military Service Members to understand if they can receive any additional benefits.
Lastly, OSLA student loans offers a number of repayment options for borrowers in addition to the Standard Repayment Plan, such as Income-Based Repayment and Pay As You Earn.
Types of repayment programs OSLA has for student loan borrowers
OSLA helps student loan borrowers by figuring out which repayment plan works best for them. Here is the variety it offers.
- Standard Payment: This is the basic 10-year repayment plan for borrowers who have a federal OSLA student loan. Automatic payments can be set up and there are no additional fees from OSLA.
- Graduated Repayment: Available to Direct Loan borrowers, this plan has lower initial payments, but they increase in the future. That means the total interest paid will be higher than if you opted for the standard plan.
- Extended Repayment: A borrower can take a standard or graduated plan and extended the repayment term up to 25 years. Only loans that have been disbursed on or after October 7, 1998, qualify. In addition, you must have more than $30,000 left to pay on your FFEL loans or Direct Loans.
- Income-Sensitive Repayment: Borrowers can adjust their payment plan each year based on changes in their monthly incomes and the total amount of student debt. This plan is available up to five years.
- Income-Based Repayment (IBR): Available to both FFEL and Direct Loans, borrowers’ payments are determined by how much you make, how many people are in your family, and how much you still have to repay on your student loans. After 20 or 25 years of making qualifying payments, the loans are forgiven.
- Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR): This is similar to the IBR with adjusted gross income, family size, and loan balance taken into consideration, but it’s for Direct Loans only and after 25 years of payments your loans are forgiven.
- Pay As You Earn (PAYE): This option is only available as of 2012 and is similar to IBR. The difference is to be eligible you must be a new borrower (taken out a loan after Oct. 1, 2007) and collected a Direct Loan disbursement after Oct. 1, 2011.
- Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE): Available starting in 2015, the plan is similar to PAYE except that there is no stipulation as to when you borrowed the money.
These options ensure that you’ll be able to find a way to pay back your student loans even if your financial situation changes. It’s just important to keep a line of communication with the servicer if you are having trouble making payments to your OSLA student loan.
How to contact the Oklahoma Student Loan Authority
Borrowers can reach OSLA in several ways and it depends on the type of loan you have.
- There are two websites available to borrowers whether you have a Direct Loan or FFEL Loan. You can access both at public.osla.org.
- You can reach OSLA by phone at 866-264-9762 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST, between Monday and Friday. Or, you can email them at DLcustserv@osla.org.
- Military personnel can call 844-835-7484 or email MilitaryBenefits@osla.org.
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.59% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.27% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.89% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of August 15, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/15/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
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3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
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Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
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Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.37% effective July 10, 2019.
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