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Updated on Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Oklahoma Student Loan Authority (known as OSLA) Servicing is a not-for-profit company that began servicing federal loans in July 2012.
The U.S. Department of Education transferred Direct Loans that were previously assigned to the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) and in repayment status to OSLA. It also services FFELP loans.
Overview of OSLA Servicing
At first glance, OSLA’s website looks a bit outdated. It’s not as user-friendly as some of the other federal loan servicers. That doesn’t mean there isn’t useful information contained on the site.
One of the first things you might notice at the top of the page is the alert: “Approach with caution 3rd party debt relief offers.”
This links to a valuable blog post the U.S. Department of Education wrote on the subject, which we’ve also covered. In short, if you’re contacted by a third party company offering to relieve you of your student loan debt burden for a fee, walk away. You can do everything they’re offering you on your own for free.
As you can see, right above that notice is a tip on how to identify what type of loan you have. OSLA primarily services Direct Loans, but it also services FFELP loans, which have a separate login page. The Direct Loan login is right underneath that warning.
If you’re looking for any type of form for your student loans, OSLA has one page for all of them. This includes forms to request a certain repayment plan, to apply to an Income-Driven Repayment Plan, to request forbearance or deferment (there are different forms for each reason), and to request forgiveness or discharge. There are also two separate forms specifically for FFELP loans as well. It’s nice to have the forms located on one page so you don’t have to search around on the U.S. Department of Education website for them.
OSLA has some information on Public Service and Teacher Loan Forgiveness here, so you can see which requirements you need to meet before applying.
What Borrowers Are Saying
OSLA has a customer service satisfaction survey on its site, although it doesn’t provide the number of people surveyed or how the results were received.
For the most part, borrowers surveyed said the customer service they received was either good or excellent.
How do actual reviews compare? There aren’t many out there compared to the other student loan servicers.
There are two Better Business Bureau profiles, one for OSLA Student Loan Servicing and one for Oklahoma Student Loan Authority. The first has 13 complaints closed with the BBB in the last 3 years, 2 of which were closed in the last 12 months. The second has 2 complaints in the last 3 years, none of which were in the past 12 months.
Only 3 complaints are written out, and all pertain to payments not being credited to the account. In all cases, OSLA communicated with the borrower, and admitted when it was at fault. In the first case, a borrower’s account showed as delinquent even though she had sent the payment in. Unfortunately, OSLA misinformed her as to which payment was missing, and there was confusion on both ends until the payment was traced and posted.
In the second instance, the borrower mailed the payment to the incorrect address, and also had the incorrect account number associated with the payment. OSLA assumed her loans had been transferred and that she was using her previous servicer’s information. In cases like this, OSLA states it takes 60-120 days to retrieve the original payment because it has to be routed through the US Treasury Department and the Department of Education.
In the third case, OSLA was at fault, as they neglected to post a payment for the borrower. He had to call a second time to request that the payment be processed, and OSLA responded that it was posted in June (even though the payment was originally made in March).
These complaints were all filed in 2013, shortly after loans began transferring to OSLA. During this transition phase, it’s possible there was some confusion among borrowers and even customer service representatives with the new system. There have only been 2 complaints in 2015, with one negative review left in February 2015 about incorrect tax information being provided.
Resolving a Dispute With OSLA Servicing
Just because there are a lack of complaints doesn’t mean you haven’t had a hard time communicating with OSLA. Before you can submit a complaint with the Student Aid Ombudsman Group, you must try contacting OSLA first.
Unfortunately, OSLA doesn’t make its contact information public. You must log in to view it. The only information available is a phone number: 866-264-9762, and email ([email protected]). Customer service hours are between 8AM – 5PM CT.
The address listed on the bottom of the website is as follows:
Oklahoma Student Loan Authority
525 Central Park Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
However, if you can log onto your account, you should double check to make sure there isn’t a different address for specific correspondence.
Our advice is to keep calling and emailing until you receive a helpful response. You may not have any luck on the first or second try. It’s a hassle, but so is having an unresolved student loan issue.
When to Get Help from the Student Aid Ombudsman Group
If you’ve successfully contacted OSLA, but it hasn’t helped you yet (and you’ve spent weeks or months trying to resolve your problem), then you can call in the Student Aid Ombudsman Group. Why do you have to wait? This checklist of steps must be completed before contacting them (it says so right on the page). Use this checklist as a guide to prepare.
After completing the checklist, you should have all the information you need to submit a complaint, which you can quickly do online. Alternatively, you can mail that form to this address:
U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman Group
830 First Street, N.E., Mail Stop 5144
Washington, DC 20202-5144
You can also call to speak with an Ombudsman at 1-877-557-2575, or fax documents or forms to 202-275-0549.
Please note that you’re free to submit a complaint if you think you’ve taken appropriate action and OSLA isn’t holding up its end of the agreement. Don’t think your complaint is too trivial if it has caused you a lot of stress. Other people may be experiencing the same problem, and the more complaints that are submitted, the more attention it will get.
Make Your Voice Heard
You shouldn’t be getting wronged by student loan servicing companies. While no industry is perfect, student loan servicers are garnering more and more attention as wrongful practices surface. That’s only happening because borrowers are speaking up. You have a right to let your concerns be heard as long as they’re reasonable. If you’ve been struggling to get an issue resolved, let it be known and file a complaint with the Ombudsman so the appropriate action can be taken.