StudentLoans.gov is operated by the U.S. Department of Education and was founded to help students navigate their way through the pitfalls of student loans and financial aid. To gain complete access to www.studentloans.gov, you need to complete the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Once you do then you will have access to free scholarships, private loans, and plenty of resources that can help you when looking for both of these things.
We have reviewed a lot of debt consolidation, debt management and debt settlement programs on this website. We've also covered our fair share of student loan lenders. StudentLoans.gov is none of those things. If anything, it's a site very much like ours, because it's one that puts helpful information center stage and is not there to take your money or to get you to invest in their programs.
Just like DebtReviews, where you can find guides on student loans, the best forgiveness programs and more, the goal of StudentLoans.gov is only to educate and help. Because StudentLoans.gov works a little differently to the companies we usually review, we've taken a alternative FAQ route for this About section:
Can StudentLoans.gov be Used Outside the US?
The information provided within StudentLoans.gov will be useful to international students looking to study within the United States, but it only relates to the US system, so if you live and study in another country then it's unlikely that there will be anything of use to you here.
However, other countries tend to have their own sites. We know this is the case in the UK, for instance, even though the student loan systems in the UK and US differ quite considerably.
Does it Cost Anything?
Some of the services recommended by StudentLoans.gov may cost you, but the information provided on the site itself does not and you should not be required to pay money to signup either.
Can I Contact Someone?
There is a phone number and a Live Chat feature on the StudentLoans.gov website, and these operate from 8am to 11pm Eastern Time. You just need to visit the site to use the Live Chat, and you can contact them by phone using the following number: 1-800-557-7394
Our StudentLoans.gov Review
StudentLoans.gov may have guidance in mind, but it's still something that can be used by those looking for student loans, it's still a resource that takes your time and requires membership, so it's still something we have chosen to review.
Debt Counseling Courses
StudentLoans.gov is very thorough in its approach and this is good to see. Anyone looking to secure a federal student loan is required to complete multiple debt counseling courses, helping them to understand their options and to gain a firm understanding of how the loan process works.
This requirement should help to reduce the amount of issues that loanees face in years to come. Of course, the majority of students will skip through this process without paying any attention and just hurry to the end, and they won't learn anything as a result, but it's still nice to see that StudentLoans.gov have implemented something like this.
Variety of Resources
Studentloans.gov has a lengthy, free application that takes some time to fill out and tries to drum important information into the loanee. The benefits to going through this application process are also extensive, opening up a host of opportunities, including access to a diverse range of resources to help minimize debt.
It is important to note that although the federal services are fantastic, many students will still need to apply for private loans to cover tuition and other expenses. In such cases you should checkout our reviews of companies like Wells Fargo and WSFS, among others.
Free Federal Aid
Studentloans.gov offers free financial support (this comes direct from the government) to cover education costs for those who qualify. Unlike other student loan options, the Department of Education has tools created specifically to help students pay for their college education. By acquiring grants and scholarships, many students do not need to take out many loans, leading to reduced debt upon graduation and an easier financial future. After all, a lot of the problems that American debtors face in later life begins with student debt.
Unlike many other private loan companies, FAFSA is not nearly as flexible and its options are not nearly as diverse. For example, many students using government aid cannot choose a variable APR, and will instead be forced to have a fixed APR. Some may prefer this, but for others it will be a concern.
It is also difficult to consolidate private and federal loans together, and if you would like to consolidate your loans to reduce expenses down the line, you may not be able to do so. With that being said, if all of your financial aid is through Studentloans.gov, then you will not need to worry about consolidating your loans.
Lengthy Application & Requirements
Private loan companies rely on people using their services. It's the lifeblood of their companies. FAFSA, however, is considered a gift, something that a student should be delighted to receive and not something that can they get at the drop of a hat.
As a result of this, FAFSA has many more requirements and steps than you will find on private loan companies. One of the biggest of these is the 30-minute counseling sessions required by anyone applying to FAFSA. And even if you are prepared to go through all of these additional stages, you have to consider that the loans may still not be available for you, or you may not get as much money as you need to cover your education.
The FAFSA application process is complex, and that would be putting it lightly. There is extensive paperwork and documentation to fill out when applying, and this is the sort of thing you just won't get with private loan companies. If you're hoping for a quick process that can be completed in a matter of minutes and give you the money you need just as quickly, then prepare to be disappointed.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking forward to a costly education then we would advise taking a look at Studentloans.gov, applying for their student loans, and absorbing as much information as you can.
This resource can help you to avoid the pitfalls typically associated with student loans, while also getting you the money you need to get through college. There is no guarantee, and it's far from a straightforward process, but it will not cost you anything but a few moments of your time and the benefits that you get from those moments could set you up for a lifetime of benefits. And we're not even exaggerating there, because if you take this information onboard and keep it in mind throughout your education, then it really can stop you from suffering with massive debt problems later in life.
Studentloans.gov is not an instant meal ticket. It's not going to answer all of your problems and get you all of the money you need. But it might, and in our opinion that makes it worthwhile.