1. Federal Student Aid (Studentloans.gov)
StudentLoans.gov is a site operated by the U.S. Department of Education and is designed to help students in the U.S. find their best options for financial aid. To use StudentLoans.gov, students generally are encouraged to complete the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which can grant them access to all that StudentLoans.gov has to offer-from free scholarships to highly rated private loans.
 
To provide easier access to these financial resources, the U.S. Department of Education has compiled much of the necessary information online. This information makes StudentLoans.gov a great resource for resolving student debt.
 

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The Good

  • Be Informed
  • Easy First Step
  • Free Financial Aid

Be Informed

StudentLoans.gov emphasizes the importance of being fully informed and requires several debt counseling courses to be completed before an individual can move ahead with federal loans. This is a great learning method that is often only offered by private companies. Knowing how to graduate with low debt and understanding how to obtain the best loans possible makes a huge difference down the line. By holding students accountable to learn about financial aid before applying for loans, StudentLoans.gov is preparing them for a brighter financial future.

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Customer Review: Eddie Rios

"Federal Student Aid is a fantastic service that allows to better handle student debt. A ton of options, guides, and tools. All designed to help people get out of student debt. It has helped me better manage my loans. It is a jewel!"

Easy First Step

While filling out the FAFSA itself may be more time consuming than other companies' applications, it is free and opens the door to many valuable federal services. Additionally, StudentLoans.gov offers several resources designed to help students resolve their student debt at the federal level. Many students may still need to apply for private loans, but nevertheless, StudentLoans.gov will help to provide reasonable federal support. The need to borrow less from private lenders could potentially mean less time in debt and less interest needed.

Free Financial Aid

Not only are all of the Department of Education's resources free, they can also help students to find out if they qualify for additional government assistance for their education. While many loan companies won't be able to help individuals without well-established credit or a cosigner, the Department of Education's tools are designed to help these individuals find a viable way to pay for college. Having access to free grants and scholarships will help lower eligible students' dependence on loans, and ultimately, their student debt.

The Bad

  • Not as Flexible
  • Time
  • Complicated

Not as Flexible

The FAFSA and other government aid is generally less flexible than most private loan companies. For example, borrowers are likely to have a fixed rate APR without having the option of a variable APR. Additionally, private and federal loans are not generally consolidated together, so finding a consolidation loan down the line may be harder to navigate. That being said, if students can work out a way to receive all of their financial aid through federal programs, they won't have to worry about consolidating private loans down the line.

Time

Unlike private loan consolidation companies who benefit financially from their customers, the FAFSA and federal loans are designed as a privilege for students who need financial aid. That means that instead of a "quick, three-minute pre-approval quiz," as you are likely to see on private loan sites, acquiring federal student aid requires more time. For example, there are mandatory counseling sessions that must be completed by anyone looking to apply for a federal loan. Each session is about half an hour long.

Complicated

Obtaining federal loans and financial aid is typically more complicated than private loans. In addition to the aforementioned counseling, the amount of documentation that potential borrowers will need to present is exceptionally large. Those who fill out the FAFSA expecting it to be a quick and simple process will likely be disappointed.

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Customer Review: Nikki Caple

"Getting signed up and the loan was simple. Paying it off has been a pain. For some reason we keep having issues with my bank account routing number. I’ve gone months at a time thinking I’m on auto pay and I haven’t been paying at all. Frustrating that I have to keep logging in and reentering my bank info."

The Bottom Line

StudentLoans.gov is a great resource for students looking for financial aid. Not only will filling out its forms, such as the FAFSA, give students access to different types of financial aid, students may even find that they are eligible for free grants from the government. However, students who plan on applying for the FAFSA should prepare for a lengthy, complicated process.

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User Reviews

Star Rating

3.8
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30 Reviews

Review Breakdown

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Tyler Strieby

October 8th, 2020 Lehi, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Federal Student Aid has been eager to answer questions and help with my concerns every time that I have called. They have been supportive and helpful, especially in setting up achievable loan pay off schedules.

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Tiffany Baines

March 6th, 2020 Akron, OH

Haven't been able to access my account due to needing verification on old phone number and old email they had years ago. No other way to log in it check my private loan info because I've changed my number and can't access that old web site. Even after I answered all my security questions right to change my password! I'm stuck, locked out, and probably will end up having to be on the phone for an hour to fix it. Easy to understand an read and see what info you need to when logged in. Very informative on options out there offered and what programs there are to help repay loans or apply for forgiveness or eliminating debt with other qualifying requirements for any and all options to the student!

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Eddie Rios

February 6th, 2020 Ogden, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Federal Student Aid is a fantastic service that allows to better handle student debt. A ton of options, guides, and tools. All designed to help people get out of student debt. It has helped me better manage my loans. It is a jewel!

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Mary

January 14th, 2020 Toledo, OH DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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This has to be the worst company ever! The took a hit to my credit score, and knocked it down 58 points! Please do NOT USE THIS SERVICE !!

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SH

September 26th, 2019 DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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As long as everything goes smoothly, your fine. If there are any mistakes made, on the agency's part, or your own, you can expect NO help or EMPATHY from the Department of Education. An example of a response to THEIR error: CSR advised caller the issue still has NOT been resolved, advised caller it has been sent up to our development team and they are still researching the issue, advised caller we do NOT have a time frame for when the issue will be resolved

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Anna B

June 30th, 2019 Minneapolis, MN

Horrible website. I’ve been working on the FAFSA website to get a loan for about four hours. We kept having to reset our password and when we would, the website would claim to not have the new password in the system. It wouldn’t let me find my password for the forgot password and when I tried the options for email, or text to retrieve it, it said it didn’t match. This has been a horrible experience. My parents and I have used this website for my sister and me all four years of college and each time has been awful. I highly suggest not using this website.

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S Suguturaga

February 12th, 2019 Orem, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I do not recommend student loans but this product made the process smooth and I was able to complete my education because of it.

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JR Suguturaga

February 12th, 2019 Orem, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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After going through debt process, I do not recommend anyone go into debt. However, if someone decides to this process went smoothly.

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Lauren Jorgensen

February 5th, 2019 Salt Lake City, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Although I hate my student loans I do like Federal student Aid. The app makes making my monthly payments very quick and easy.

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Dasha Directo

January 17th, 2019 Provo, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Federal Student Aid doesn't give you that much aid for your college finances. I am now in debt and they haven't done a good job at helping me plan how to pay it off.

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Magaly De Avila

December 18th, 2018 Provo, UT

I've had a pretty successful experience with FAFSA. I do wish there was more money that could be given but I'm satisfied so far.

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Grant

December 6th, 2018 American Fork, UT

The student loans my family has taken out have all been through Federal Student Aid. They are simple to apply for online, and the ease of transferring them to each specific college is quick and easy.

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Fernando Delgado

December 6th, 2018 Tempe, AZ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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The site was very thorough and helped me understand what information it needs to provide me the right numbers. The FAQ answered all my questions about how I qualified and for how much. It's lengthy to go through but the end result is a sigh of relief that you know there are options to help pay for school.

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Katie Howard

December 5th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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This is one of the best ways to get financial aid for college, aside from scholarships. If you're lucky, you'll qualify for a Pell Grant and you won't have to pay the money back. But if you have to get a subsidized loan, you will have the interest deferred until you're done with school, which is about the best deal you can get on a loan. It's a huge pain to fill out the paperwork, though. That's the cost of working with the government. We have had several government-subsidized student loans over the years. The key is to pay them off as quickly as possible before the interest starts adding up.

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Rashida Laumatia

August 24th, 2018 Saint George, UT

Grateful for all their help with helping me pay back my student loans. But when they took my tax returns when they weren’t suppose to, was very frustrating. I didn’t get my refund til September. They were so quick to take my funds and so slow to return them.

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Thomas Hullinger

August 24th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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They offer a much needed service in this industry. I like their ease of application and being able to pay easily online. They are very easy to work with.

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Mallory Millett

August 21st, 2018 Lindon, UT

I have a small student loan with this company. It was pretty easy to defer for graduate school and very reasonable.

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Reena Kivlehen

July 25th, 2018 Phoenix, AZ

Very trustworthy. Great customer service. Easy to use web experience.

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Cody Linden

July 18th, 2018 Lehi, UT

Relatively easy to use, dependable and extremely helpful when trying to focus on school.

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Foote

July 8th, 2018 Queen Creek, AZ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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This solution has helped me be able to afford college and the process was not bad at all.

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Trent Allen

July 5th, 2018 Queen Creek, AZ

Easy to apply and navigate. Money went directly to the school so it was a smooth process to get our tuition paid for.

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Jeff Martin

April 19th, 2018 Layton, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Great place to get student finance assistance. I used it when I was in college and had a great experience. A lot of different options and they give you a lot of help.

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Chase H

April 18th, 2018 Provo, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Thank goodness for FSA. I am very grateful for the help that pell grants have provided my wife and I while finishing school. It has made it possible for me to devote my time to my studies. Also, try to get a federal student loan before any other options. Great rates!

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Trent

April 17th, 2018 Provo, UT

FAFSA has saved our lives! We have been able to get through school with minimal impact to our budgets

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Christopher M

February 26th, 2018 Manchester, CT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Fed Aid offers a *lot* of ways to pay off higher education. The rates are pretty bad however, but the fact you have official protection from being hounded for money and a generous amount of options to repay, this is the first go-to to get higher education funding, period. Get these loans first before any other!

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Alicia

December 13th, 2017 Salt Lake City, UT

It as been hard on me to get it paid off but they have not hounded me to make a payment

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Kylee Carpenter

December 12th, 2017 Tooele, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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It was time for me to pay. I was moving States, was pregnant, and didn’t have a job at the time. They were absolutely amazing and found a program for me to make low payments! So grateful they were willing to work with me.

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Nikki Caple

December 12th, 2017 Idaho Falls, ID DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Getting signed up and the loan was simple. Paying it off has been a pain. For some reason we keep having issues with my bank account routing number. I’ve gone months at a time thinking I’m on auto pay and I haven’t been paying at all. Frustrating that I have to keep logging in and reentering my bank info.

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Lindsey

December 6th, 2017 American Fork, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I've used Federal Student Aid for receiving financial aid from the government. I think it could be more user-friendly. The website is more just trying to get the job done.

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Cassidy Gundersen

December 4th, 2017 Orem, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I took out all of my student loans through federal student aid and would not recommend it to anyone! The customer service was terrible and they were less than helpful every time I reached out for help. Their rates may seem good, but there are better rates out there with companies who are more willing to work with you. Because this it is government run- there is no incentive to provide good service. I left the country in the middle of my college career for a service mission for my church. I reached out before leaving to ensure I would not be penalized for late payments. They assured me I wouldn't. Upon returning- I found that they had given me late payments for the entire duration of my trip and my credit score was significantly affected. After spending hours via email and phone to rectify the issue they said it was their mistake but they would not do anything to fix it.

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