Rachel came to $tand By Me because she needed help filing her annual FAFSA. She couldn’t remember creating a FSA ID, but the system had told her that there was already a username and password associated with her social security number.

We called the FSA ID customer service number, and found out that a third-party vendor had created a FSA ID for Rachel without her knowledge or permission. They were able to tell us the date that the account had been created, so I asked Rachel to check her cell phone bill for that date. Sure enough, we found that a toll-free number had called her that day. When we called it, it was the third-party vendor, which was able to give us her username and password. Once we’d logged into the FSA ID system, we changed her password and worked on completing her FAFSA.

Once the FAFSA was taken care of, I reminded Rachel that it’s important not to give personal information to unknown companies over the phone. In the end, she was awarded financial aid, and is now enrolled at Del Tech in the fall.