Federal Student Aid (Studentaid.gov) Logo

Federal Student Aid (Studentaid.gov)

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77 User Reviews

8.0

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LAST UPDATED: April 15th, 2022
Federal Student Aid (studentaid.gov) is 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 reap all the benefits of studentaid.gov, students should complete the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which can grant them access to all that studentaid.gov has to offer - from free scholarships to highly rated federal student loan options.
 
If you are a first-time student loan borrower it is widely encouraged to look into funding options through Federal Student Aid first, as there are more resources and flexible repayment options available to borrowers than you would find otherwise with a private student loan.
 
Continue reading for pros and cons, and studentaid.gov reviews from real customers.
 

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The Good

  • Free Financial Aid
  • Helpful Educational Resources
  • Lower Your Payments
  • Student Loan Forgiveness

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.

Helpful Educational Resources

Studentaid.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, studentaid.gov is preparing them for a brighter financial future.

Lower Your Payments

If you are just beginning to repay your student loans or have been in the repayment process for a while, studentaid.gov outlines various options available to you if you need to lower or suspend your student loan payments for any reason.

One of the these repayment options includes an Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Plan. Applying for an IDR can make your monthly payments more affordable because they will be based upon your income and not solely on interest rates. Enrollment in an IDR plan lasts for one year, and you must recertify your income before they year ends to stay on the plan. If you experience a drop in income, you can recertify early.

If an IDR is not the best option for you, you can apply for deferment or forbearance, allowing you to pause your loan payments or reduce your monthly payment amount temporarily. It is important to note that interest still accrues during deferment or forbearance. 

These repayment options are generally not available with private lenders, and are thus a perk of taking out a federal student loan through studentaid.gov.

Student Loan Forgiveness

Student loan forgiveness means that you no longer need to repay some or all of your loan, and is unique to federal student loans, as the majority of private lenders do not offer this service.

There are different types of loan forgiveness as outlined on studentaid.gov. It is important for you to understand the difference between them, especially if you need to apply for student loan forgiveness at some point. Types of federal loan forgiveness include:

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness
  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness

In addition to student loan forgiveness, Federal Student Aid offers loan cancellation and discharge, which are similar to loan forgiveness, but have some small differences. Essentially, forgiveness or cancellation is made available to borrowers who can no longer make payments due to job loss, whereas loan discharge is available when a borrower's school is closed or they experience permanent disability.

It is important to note that certain types of forgiveness or discharge are only available with specific types of federal loans.

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The Bad

  • Lengthy Application Process
  • No Refinancing Services

Lengthy Application Process

Obtaining a federal student loan in the first place can be a more involved process. 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. Thus, if you were hoping for a quick and simple approval process, you will find that this is not the case.

No Refinancing Services

Federal Student Aid does not offer refinancing services. If you would like to refinance your federal student loans you will need to look into other private lenders that offer student loan refinancing.

It is important to note that although you can get lower rates and better terms by refinancing your federal student loans, you will forfeit any loan deferment or forgiveness options that are offered through Federal Student Aid. Therefore, it is important that you carefully assess your needs and your ability now and in the future to make payments on your student loans.

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The Bottom Line

Federal Student Aid (studentaid.gov) should be your first stop if you are in need of a student loan. Although many private lenders offer student loans, federal student loans offer more repayment flexibility. Through Federal Student Aid you have the ability to apply for loan forbearance, forgiveness, cancellation, or deferment. Student loan forgiveness is not an option with most private lenders.

However, if you would prefer to refinance your loans, this can only be completed through a private lender, and you will forfeit any other repayment options/benefits of your federal student loan if you choose to refinance through a private lender.

Currently, studentaid.gov reviews are limited. If you have a federal student loan, please tell us about your repayment experience by leaving a review.

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Star Rating

4.1

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77 Reviews

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Jaci Rhoades Bryant, AR

I'm very happy with my this company. Due to family life, I have had to stop and start my career three different times. They have always worked with me to continue my education. Working on finishing my doctrine now.

3 months ago

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Chelsi Day Ghiorzi Columbus, OH

Ok so as far as lenders go, its hard to love them. But FSA has been so much easier to work with than any others. The website is user friendly, I've found their phone reps to be kind and helpful, the online portal is smooth. They are proactive with info and don't feel like they're trying to jam you. I'm having as positive of an experience as I could hope for.

4 months ago

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DogLover17 Macomb, MI

I have used Federal Student Aid services from 4 years while being a college student. They have helped me navigate financial expenses and provide great resources to avoid greater debts. They’re have an online chat helper which effectively facilitates resolving questions.

4 months ago

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Abi Deen Frisco, TX

Federal Student Aid is a great place to get info on how you can get assistance with your student loans and repayment plans. Whenever I needed info on my loans I was able to rely on them to get the accurate information on my loans. There’s so many great resources on their website, you don’t need to look anywhere else. Thanks Federal Student Aid!-

6 months ago

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Bonnie Cody Atlanta, GA

I used Federal Student Aid for my education at the Florida State University (FSU) to complete and graduate with my Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology. This aid made it possible for me to get and depend on the educational funds so I didn’t worry about them. It was mad energy enough to concentrate on my tough studies there at FSU. Thanks to Federal Aid, I only had to spend $600 from my pocket to clear all financial debt in the 4 years I was at FSU.

6 months ago

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James Goodman Silverdale, WA

Federal Student Aid helped me to achieve my education goals, by allowing me the flexibility while not having to worry about the financial costs day to day. There repayment plans and options gave me peace of mind to focus on my studies. They are a great organization and I highly encourage others to consider them to help make your education dreams come true.

6 months ago

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Jlbfla New Braunfels, TX

When my daughter was entering college, applied and received some money. It was deferred for 1st year and was paid off and applied again for next year. It came in handy so did not have to come up with so much cash up front with books and dorm and all the other extras like food. This was great for us for full college. If not paid in full the interest rate was low.

6 months ago

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Party0f7 Macomb, MI

When I applied to college, I was advised to seek financial services through Federal Student Aid. I’m glad I did as they have provided great service steering me in the right direction of funding my education wisely. They are quick to respond to email questions and provide an online chat box.

6 months ago

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Jmarsh Macomb, MI

I’ve been using the Federal Student Aid website since 2003 as a college freshman. I returned to obtain another degree during the pandemic and have been happy with the customer service and live chat options to help me navigate financing my education and pay back plans.

6 months ago

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Autumn Lewiston, ID

Federal Student Aid is the website I use to fill out the FASFA for college and recertify my PSLF paperwork annually. The website also answers questions about student loans, grants, any questions parents might have, and how to pay for college in general. It is a great resource.

6 months ago

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Andrea Thomas Tacoma, WA

To find out about my student loans were all over the place and trying to make payments, it was too difficult. FSA helped me consolidate and get my payments in order. I am so happy to work with them. In fact my husband uses them now too!

6 months ago

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Nathaniel Scott Bear, DE

Very transparent with keeping me informed about my balance and monthly payments. They provide an easy breakdown of how my payment is split between the principal and interest. I can view statements at any time through Adobe Acrobat and making payments are simple with Direct Debit so I never forget to pay.

6 months ago

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Sharrell Colleton Tallahassee, FL

Federal Student Aid helps me every year to pay for my college tuition and expenses. The website is easy to use and I like that it gives a checklist of what you may need before you start and it also has a financial aid calculator that can be used to estimate how much financial aid may be received.

6 months ago

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Yevgeniy Myalkin Omsk, OMS

I lived in the US for 16 years before relocating to Russia for family reasons, and now I have no way of accessing the website to do anything with my student loans, all because of politics and US government and many other US entities blocking access for IP addresses from Russia. So I am really interested how they expect me to pay when they block me from being able to do so, they should also block my interest from accumulating if they feel like they have to block my access to their services.

5 months ago

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Amy N Sandy, UT

I dislike that my adult children, who are paying for college themselves, are unable to get scholarships without my financial information being loaded into the FAFSA system. If I'm not helping them pay for college then why do they need my financial information?

4 months ago

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MM Largo, FL

They were very accommodating when I was out of work and had to ask for a deferral. They gave me two years befit I had to start with payments, which was then extended due to the pandemic.

4 months ago

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Karen Torino Tallahassee, FL

Federal student aid is the best way to receive money for school. The site provides you a breakdown of your financial information and it is easy to see exactly where you are at. Greatly recommend using this.

6 months ago

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Carolyn Hazleton, PA

When I needed a student loan this was the first company that became highly recommended. Customer service helped complete my application and answered all my questions. I would recommend them for Student Aid.

6 months ago

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Molly Bergman Grand Rapids, MI

It was easy to apply and I received answers to my questions quickly. There needs to be better clarification for which applications one needs to fill out. I had filled out the wrong one and didn't find out until it was sent to my college.

6 months ago

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Tiffany Baines 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!

2 years ago

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Eddie Rios Ogden, UT

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!

2 years ago

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Christopher M Manchester, CT

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!

4 years ago

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Shopman Herriman, UT

Federal Student aid is so easy to use. The directions are simple and straight forward. They are quick to process your claim.

4 months ago

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WT

The process to apply for federal student aid and the PLUS loan was a tedious one, but each time I had a question, I appreciated being able to call to speak to a live person.

6 months ago

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connie gommnzales Stafford, VA

Federal Student Aid representative was very helpful in assisting me to determine the best direction I could go for Federal Student Aid while I was pursuing my Nursing Degree.

6 months ago

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Kylee Carpenter Tooele, UT

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.

4 years ago

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Tiffany I Gaithersburg, MD

I’ve since paid off my student loans but Federal Student Aid was easy to apply for. They worked with me on repayment options because starting out I couldn’t make the regular payments. They worked out an affordable option that fit my income.

1 year ago

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Brad H Gilbert, AZ

I used Federal Student Aid when I was going to medical school. I found that the personnel administering the Federal aid where very knowledgable and would make sure that I understood how much money I would end up paying for the loan during my residency and then when I started a job. We went over all the important documents which allowed me to get the loan and they would explain what these meant so that I would not be in the dark when the loan came due. From the various types of loans you can receive while going. to school I would highly recommend federal student aid.

1 year ago

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Kent Logan, UT

I used Federal Student Aid in college and during the years of repayment that followed. With the help of the university's financial aid office, it was easy to acquire the tuition funds, and once repayment began they had great communication to make sure the expectations were clear.

1 year ago

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Fernando Delgado Tempe, AZ

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.

3 years ago

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Katie Howard Pleasant Grove, UT

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.

3 years ago

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Chase H Provo, UT

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!

4 years ago

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Davis Lopez Seattle, WA

Incredibly slow website. I don’t understand how a government run website can be so terribly made. Every link takes 5 minutes to even begin loading. The autofill options on the website don’t even allow you to continue forward you still have to type everything in anyway.

7 months ago

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Kibsaim Rebollar Austin, TX

This company has recently been updating with emails about my student loan debt. Which is nice because they didn't do it before.

8 months ago

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Shauna Lyons Omaha, NE

Is not user friendly on line. Use very rarely and have to always re set password even on same device. Also have to end up talking to someone even when they send the link

4 months ago

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Ramona Harris Emory, TX

used to get a Bachelor's degree in Biology. Got grants and student loans recommend filling out the paperwork required for help.

4 months ago

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keiontai henry Tallahassee, FL

I am so appreciative of the fact that I am able to attend college debt free, thanks to Federal Student Aid.

5 months ago

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Matt Clark Nampa, ID

Honestly, this is probably the best government website I’ve ever used. I love how easy they make filling out the forms.

6 months ago

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Karen Rapp CA

I was grateful that I qualified for student aid! They even helped me when I had questions about the forms. I appreciate their generosity.

6 months ago

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Lindsey American Fork, UT

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.

4 years ago

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Cassidy Gundersen Orem, UT

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.

4 years ago

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Grant 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.

3 years ago

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Jordan Bell Orem, UT

Studentaid.gov is a great site that lets you keep track of where you have loans and how to contact them.

3 months ago

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Lindsey Haight Logan, UT

Sometimes the site is a little confusing, but it's been a great resource to get me through school.

3 months ago

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Kseniya Brooklyn, NY

No way to reach FSA ID help Desk. Over an hour on hold. still no response.

1 month ago

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Juanita Morrison Columbus, OH

I am able to locate the information I’m looking for with ease. The site is user friendly and staff are helpful and informative.

6 months ago

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Erik Lewis Atlanta, GA

They helped me navigate deferments and work out an accelerated payment plan for some higher percentage loans.

6 months ago

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Cher Hansen Carol Stream, IL

They have always kept me up to date with changes, laws tax preparation etc. Very easy to work with and easy to navigate through the site

6 months ago

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Kelly Stanley Herriman, UT

They are great at communicating with you and it’s nice to have access to money that helps quality of living.

8 months ago

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SH

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

2 years ago