People’s biggest challenge filling it out is they don’t know all the financial information they’re asked for.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A new Debt.com survey reveals that almost one in three Americans who fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) struggle doing so.
The biggest challenge, 44 percent said, was not knowing all the financial information FAFSA asked for. The second-biggest challenge was not having any help filling it out, 28 percent said.
The majority of student loans are federal loans, which means filling out FAFSA is how most students can afford college. Debt.com chairman and CPA Howard Dvorkin says because FAFSA is so important, you should go into it prepared. With the FAFSA deadline on June 30, that should be sooner than later.
“FAFSA doesn’t just offer you loans, it offers you grants and other amounts you don’t have to pay back,” Dvorkin says. “If you go into it without all the information you need, you could be leaving free money on the table.”
Some of the other findings include:
89 percent said they thought their child or themselves qualified for financial aid, but only 68 percent actually qualified.
Other challenges people faced while filling out FAFSA were receiving an error message (18 percent), not creating an FSA ID beforehand (7 percent) and not knowing the deadline (3 percent).
34 percent said they felt the Pell grant would involve taking on more debt.
One in three people struggling to fill out FAFSA is too many, Dvorkin says. “FAFSA is too important to leave until the last minute or not use any resources for help,” he says. “Fill it out early so you can identify the issues you’re having and solve them quickly. You might end up in even more debt if you don’t.”
ABOUT: Debt.com is the consumer website where people can find help with credit card debt, student loan debt, tax debt, credit repair, bankruptcy, and more. Debt.com works with vetted and certified providers that give the best advice and solutions for consumers ‘when life happens.’