Filing for Federal Student Aid can be a daunting, but necessary, task for many of us. There is a Free Application for Federal Student Aid program. But if you visit FAFSA.com, you’ll discover that there is a $79.99 fee for filing this “free” application. What gives? FAFSA.com is a commercial Internet site; hence the dot-com in its name. FAFSA.com isn’t doing anything wrong. They prominently disclose their lack of affiliation with any public agency, and explain the value they add to the process (preparing your application, error-checking it and monitoring your application’s status after submission). But if you want free, then be sure to visit the U.S. Department of Education site at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. That’s where you can file a student aid application for free. For free help in preparing and filing your free application, click the “Student Aid on the Web” link, near the upper left of the fafsa.ed.gov page.
For the rest of us, who have one or more student loan accounts that we're paying down, the National Student Loan Data System is the place to go to get a detailed listing of all our federal loans.