Federal Student Aid (Studentaid.gov) Logo

Federal Student Aid (Studentaid.gov)

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35 User Reviews

6.1

Overall Score

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

3.9

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35 Reviews

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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.

2 months ago

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Bethany Rockville, MD

Federal Student Aid is very helpful to our family! My daughter is taking loans for her college without interest until her college graduation. Thanks FAFSA!

2 months 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.

6 months 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.

8 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!

1 year 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!

1 year 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!

3 years ago

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Ryan Larsen Logan, UT

I have had my student loans with Federal Student Aid for the past ten years. We have never had any payment issues. It always takes a while to contact customer service but we get our questions answered once we get connected.

8 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.

3 years 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.

2 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.

2 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!

3 years 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.

3 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.

3 years ago

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Tyler Strieby Lehi, UT

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.

9 months 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.

2 years 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

1 year ago

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Anna B 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.

2 years ago

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Thomas Hullinger Pleasant Grove, UT

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.

2 years ago

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Nikki Caple Idaho Falls, ID

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.

3 years ago

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Rashida Laumatia 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.

2 years ago

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Jeff Martin Layton, UT

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.

3 years ago

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Lauren Jorgensen Salt Lake City, UT

Although I hate my student loans I do like Federal student Aid. The app makes making my monthly payments very quick and easy.

2 years ago

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S Suguturaga Orem, UT

I do not recommend student loans but this product made the process smooth and I was able to complete my education because of it.

2 years ago

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JR Suguturaga Orem, UT

After going through debt process, I do not recommend anyone go into debt. However, if someone decides to this process went smoothly.

2 years ago

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Magaly De Avila 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.

2 years ago

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Mallory Millett Lindon, UT

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

2 years ago

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Trent Provo, UT

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

3 years ago

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Alicia 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

3 years ago

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Cody Linden Lehi, UT

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

3 years ago

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Trent Allen 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.

3 years ago

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Mary Toledo, OH

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 !!

1 year ago

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Dasha Directo Provo, UT

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.

2 years ago

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Reena Kivlehen Phoenix, AZ

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

3 years ago

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Foote Queen Creek, AZ

This solution has helped me be able to afford college and the process was not bad at all.

3 years ago

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