Loan counseling aims to manage student debt in Oklahoma

Micah Thompson

Contributing Writer


Since 2008, the year of the “great recession,” the cost of student loans has skyrocketed. Former students often spend much of their adult lives attempting to pay off student debt, including graduates at Oklahoma universities. Although Oklahoma is ranked sixth overall for having the lowest number of outstanding student loans in the country, it still greatly impacts the household budgets of those borrowers.

In Oklahoma, the $7.25 minimum wage can be a factor when the loans students are paying and the income they are receiving to pay them off is not comparable. 

Mary Anne Evans, vice president of loan management at the OSLA Student Loan Servicing, said that students need to pay attention to how much they are borrowing and how much they are spending. 

“We always try to give them all the information that they need so that they would have what their balances are and reminders to help them not go into debt,” she said.

One of the major reasons students get into unmanageable debt is because they do not budget for all of the amounts they will have to pay off once the bills come due. Evans wants to help to end this problem and help students.

“We try to counsel individuals to only borrow the amount they need and to not borrow extra amounts, because of how fast debt adds up,” she said. “We would also have financial literacy that we would share throughout the life of the loan whenever a borrower had a loan or was taking out a new loan, so that way we would try to educate them about interest accrues on a loan and financially responsible borrowing. Everybody needs to be aware, educated and they need to borrow responsibly. Not go off the deep end with borrowing because it sounds like it’s ‘free money.’”

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