Beware The Fake Student Loan Application FAFSA Website.

Back when my wife was applying for student loans, she called me in our office one day to look at a website. She was going to start filing her FAFSA forms (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) with the government, but had ended up on a site that was charging students at least $79 to file the forms. Turns out, she was on FAFSA.com instead of FAFSA.ed.gov, the official government student loan site. In yet another example of companies taking advantage of people (like the alternate “free” credit report sites), FAFSA.com bought the domain that was so close to the government domain in order to have people use their paid service instead of the free one. There are a lot of people who are not too internet savvy who have probably used FAFSA.com to file their applications that should have been free. Really, it is quite ingenious…and tricky.

The sneakiest part of all of this is that FAFSA.com, the fake site, still goes by FAFSA. But instead of it standing for “Free Application for Federal Student Aid”, it stands for “File your Application for Federal Student Aid”. Way down below the fold it says “Please note that this site is not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education or the FAFSA on the Web site. FAFSA.com (Student Financial Aid Services, Inc.) completes, submits and tracks FAFSA applications”. These guys are sneaky – don’t let them fool you or anyone in your family. It is free to file for government-backed student loans and you should never pay for the service!

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Comments (20)

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  1. It’s a shame sites like that are allowed to exist! You would think the gov’t would know about this and shut it down. Thanks for the info!

  2. The resourcefulness of scoundrels never ceases to amaze me.

  3. It is pretty dastardly on multiple counts: a) to charge money for something that should be free, b) to take advantage of people (parents and children trying to secure funding for education) and c) the obscured- or non-disclosure of the fact that when you file directly through the proper http://www.fafsa.ed.gov site, that *they* don’t charge you a fee.

    It’s layers of deception and uncharitable business practice aimed at a very vulnerable slice of the population.

    The foundation I work for is an odd hybrid – a non-profit student loan lender. We couldn’t conscience doing such a thing; we even have a an entry in our myspace blog discussing the basics of financial aid pointing out that there are companies and websites our there that do this.

    There are a whole host of companies, ours included, that will provide in-person assistance with the completion of the FAFSA (as well as other daunting forms!) who do *not* charge a fee.

    Families looking to locate free assistance should look first to see who their state Guarantee agency is – there is one per state – to see if there are college planning counselors to assist them with the whole process. Each state department of higher education should be able to provide information on who to call. Guidance counselors at your child’s high school are usually excellent resources, too.

    After working here for over four years and absorbing a lot of technical info on student loans, my son and I still benefited from our own in-house college planners!

    Thank you for helping to get the word out on issues like this. The financial aid process is stressful enough without having to worry about getting taken advantage of!

  4. Mrs. Micah says:

    Thanks for sharing that. Very sketchy…and what’s worse is that .com is so instinctive.

  5. […] get the free money you might be entitled to for your child’s education. From dealing with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application to to when to file your taxes, the article […]

  6. Jacob says:

    My girlfriend applied on that fucking website and they have all of her identity shit do u think they will try to steal it or do they just make people pay for that dam fee

  7. Jacob says:

    my girlfriend applied to that fucking website and they have all her identity shit do you think they will steal her idenity or do they jusy make people pay for that fee

  8. David says:

    I think they just make people pay.

  9. […] Beware The Fake Student Loan Application FAFSA Website. Back when my wife was applying for student loans, she called me in our office one day to look at a website. She was going to start filing her FAFSA forms (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) with the government, but had ended up on a site that was charging…… […]

  10. […] money. First I tried looking for financial aid. After starting to fill out the application on the fake FAFSA site (assholes), I corrected my mistake and started the search. I was very disappointed to find the […]

  11. Elizabeth says:

    i fell for it, i need help. are they going to steal our identities or did they just want the $80. i hate that i wasted $80 but if they steal my moms identity and my identity that is even worse. what do i do?

  12. Bjorn says:

    Thank you so much for the warning.

  13. Frank says:

    If you go back to the site and delete your social and such. Press finish later that’s what I did(Although I didn’t finish before I started thinking and looking up if it’s a fake or not)

    Unless you already submitted

  14. Michael E says:

    Is there a way to report this website to recover this fraud? They could easily use identity theft. Take money, ruin credit. My girlfriend got 95% done with this and all her information along with my 23% is done. Help!

  15. Rei A says:

    yeah, does anyone know if they use your SSN or anything like that? i filled out all that info for my mom and i. i didn’t finish. i got to the payment but didn’t fill that out. kinda stressing pretty hard right now. lol

  16. Maria says:

    almost fell for it. i was applying for my fafsa, that i had previously made 2 years ago and then forgot it. i came on the site and it looked different…i thot they just changed the look. i tried logging in, but my account didnt seem to exist. i asked them, and they actually anserd, and said ru sure u filed with us nd watever. didnt know they were fraud tho. thieves. glad i didnt pay the bastards

  17. June says:

    This faked website must be stopped. My son was almost submit his application and I stopped him just in time. We should report this website to somewhere that can stop them. I’m worried about the identity theft also.

  18. MissyL says:

    I went to that site but since I’ve filed for FAFSA before two years ago, I thought something was fishy when I got to the final page. So I went through and changed all of my information. I am now Mrs. Scammers U Notkewl, I live in St. Louis, AL, was born in January of 1902, and my DL is runutz555. Idk if you can actually change anything or if they have your original information that you posted. Hopefully not. They should really be taken off of the internet and charged for fraud.

  19. MissyL says:

    Hubby says they’re probably just a shady business, like tax preparers for student aid. If you have issues with stolen identity, at least you’ll know where to start looking. 🙂

  20. ScammedToHeckq says:

    OK, it’s a scam. But say I fell into it. (I did). Does the paper work still get to who it should?