How to get FREE financial aid services

You don't have to pay websites for FAFSA

PHOENIX - When it comes to college, just about the only thing you don't have to pay for is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA.

But there are plenty of official looking websites that you to pay them instead.

Andy Furman found one of those sites when he was looking for financial aid for his college bound son.

"When I googled FAFSA, I got," said Furman.

The names sound so similar, he couldn't tell the difference.

But it's those last three letters that matter most.

"I had no idea there was another website," said Furman.

The website he actually wanted is It's the Official US Department of Education site, where parents can put in their financial information and see if they qualify for grants or loans. It's supposed to be free.

But Andy made the mistake lots of parents make--going to financial aid websites that sound official.

Non-government sites like and are legitimate, but they are also businesses that charge for their services.

"There's a charge for $118 and I was told by the university it should be a free site. So I really got upset," said Furman.

We found prices up to $300 on one site. But both mention that they have no government affiliation.

Eventually Furman was able to get his money back.

But it's something you don't have to pay for in the first place, if you go to .

Here's a link for other ways to avoid paying for free services.

If you need help or need to warn others about a consumer problem or scam, let me know at or by going to my  "Let Joe Know" Facebook page.


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