What OSLA student loan borrowers need to know

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OSLA, or the Oklahoma Student Loan Authority, is a federal student loan servicer. While it’s based in Oklahoma, not all borrowers need to be located in the state to have OSLA as their loan servicer.

If you have federal student loans, OSLA might be your assigned student loan servicer from the U.S. Department of Education. Here’s what you need to know about the servicer.

What is OSLA and what does it do?

The Oklahoma Student Loan Authority (OSLA) has been servicing loans for more than 40 years. As a federal student loan servicer, it’s a third-party company that handles student loans administered by the federal government. It’s serviced the loans of more than 130,000 borrowers.

If the Department of Education assigns OSLA as your loan servicer, OSLA will handle things like:

Is OSLA a federal student loan?

OSLA isn’t a federal student loan, but rather, the company that services your federal student loans. It services federal Direct Loans and FFELP Loans.

Federal student loans you can currently borrow include:

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans.
  • Direct PLUS Loans.
  • Direct Consolidation Loans.

Is OSLA a good loan servicer?

OSLA has been around for decades but has only serviced the loans of about 130,000 borrowers. Navient, one of the largest student loan servicers in the country, has serviced the loans of more than 12 million borrowers — including more 6 million federal student loans.

But even though OSLA has only serviced a fraction of the loans that Navient has, that doesn’t mean the company isn’t qualified. The Better Business Bureau gives OSLA an A+ rating, with 22 customer complaints filed in the last three years, so the vast majority of borrowers are happy with OSLA.

What types of student loans does OSLA service?

OSLA handles two different types of federal loans: Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Loans Program (FFELP) loans. FFELP loans were discontinued in 2010, but if you borrowed one before then, OSLA might be your servicer.

What are OSLA’s interest rates and fees?

OSLA doesn’t set interest rates on student loans; those decisions are made by Congress and change every year. Your interest rate depends on when you took out your federal student loans and the type of loans you have.

For instance, interest rates on Direct Subsidized Loans for 2016-17 was 3.76 percent. For 2017-18, the rate for the same loans was 4.45 percent.

How do I make my OSLA student loan payments?

If OSLA is your student loan servicer, you’ll need to go to OSLA’s website and sign up with your account information. From there, you’ll be able to log in every month and make payments or sign up for autopay. You can also mail a check to the Department of Education.

Is my loan a Direct or FFEL Loan?

OSLA services two different types of loans and has different logins for each of them. Your account number will tell you what kind of loans you have.

If your account number begins with F or 8 and is followed by eight or nine numbers, you have a Direct Loan and you log in here.

If your account number begins with a 0 and has no alpha letters, you have FFEL loans and you’ll log in here.

Pros and cons of OSLA

Like other student loan servicers, OSLA has its share of perks and downsides. Here’s what to expect from the servicer.

Pros of OSLA

  • Most federal loan payment plans available. OSLA services a range of repayment plans, including the standard repayment plan, the extended repayment plan, the graduated repayment plan and income-driven repayment plans.
  • Option of automatic payments. You can set up automatic payments every month so you don’t have to worry about logging in by a specific date to make a payment.
  • Learn about federal offerings. If you need to put your loans into deferment or forbearance or you’re looking for loan forgiveness or discharge, you can explore those options through OSLA.

Cons of OSLA

  • No autopay discount. Some loan servicers, like Navient, offer an autopay discount. This is a win-win, because you get a little bit of a discount on your monthly payments and the loan servicer gets paid every month. But OSLA doesn’t offer this perk.
  • Outdated user experience. OSLA has a very old website and interface, making it difficult to find everything you need in one place.

The bottom line

OSLA is a student loan servicer that handles loans for hundreds of thousands of federal student loan borrowers. While it isn’t the only servicer — or the largest — it might handle your loans.

If OSLA services your loans, you can log in to make payments, manage your account and explore repayment options that best fit your financial circumstances. But the old website and interface mean it might take you longer to find what you need.

Learn more:

Written by
Dori Zinn
Contributing writer
Dori Zinn has been a personal finance journalist for more than a decade. Aside from her work for Bankrate, her bylines have appeared on CNET, Yahoo Finance, MSN Money, Wirecutter, Quartz, Inc. and more. She loves helping people learn about money, specializing in topics like investing, real estate, borrowing money and financial literacy.
Edited by
Student loans editor