FSA ID Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Most Viewed Questions


An FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on ED systems such as the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form or the myStudentAid mobile app.

It’s important to understand that the student and the parent may not share an FSA ID: Your FSA ID is your signature, so it has to be unique to you. If you are a parent of a dependent student, you will need your own FSA ID if you want to sign your child’s FAFSA electronically. If you have more than one child attending college, you can use the same FSA ID to sign all applications, but each child must have his or her own FSA ID.

When you create your FSA ID, you will be required to provide your email address or your mobile phone number. It is important to remember that a mobile phone number or email address can be associated with only one FSA ID.

For example, if you are a dependent student, you and your parent would not be able to provide the same email address or phone number when you each create your own FSA ID.

The FSA ID replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN on May 10, 2015. If you have not logged into a Federal Student Aid website since May 10, 2015, then you probably don’t have an FSA ID even if you submitted a FAFSA form earlier that year.

To check to see if you have an FSA ID, go to the "Create an FSA ID" page. Enter your FSA ID username and password. If you verified your email address during account creation, you can enter your email address instead of your username.

If you are able to log in and see your FSA ID profile, then you have an FSA ID. If you cannot log in, try these troubleshooting tips.

You can create an FSA ID when logging into certain ED websites, including this one. Create an FSA ID now.

The FSA ID process consists of three main steps:

  1. Enter your log-in information.
    1. Provide your email address, a unique username, and a password.

  2. Enter your personal and profile information.
    1. Provide your name, date of birth, and Social Security number (SSN).
    2. Enter your mailing address.
    3. Select whether or not you would like to register your mobile phone number for account recovery using text messages.
    4. Provide your mobile phone number.
    5. Select your language preference.
    6. For security purposes, complete the four challenge questions and answers.

  3. Submit your FSA ID information.
    1. Agree to the terms and conditions.
    2. Verify either your email address, your mobile phone number, or both.

If you’ve forgotten your username or password, don’t worry; we provide options for you to recover your account information. On most of our log-in pages, you’ll find links that say something like “Forgot My Username” and “Forgot My Password” so you can start the process of recovering your information.

Important: To retrieve your username or password, you’ll either need to have a code sent to your mobile phone or your email address, or you’ll need to answer your challenge questions. If you haven’t provided and verified your mobile phone number or email address in your FSA ID account, and you can’t remember the answers to your challenge questions, you will have to contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243; TTY for the deaf or hard of hearing 1-800-437-0833). An agent will walk you through self-service options. If that does not resolve the situation, you will need to go through the FSA ID account recovery process. You’ll send in copies of identification, and an email address you have access to, and your account will be reset to include that new address. This process takes 7–10 days from the point at which you send in your documentation.

Once you regain access to your account, we strongly encourage you to provide and verify both your email address and phone number so that in the future you can retrieve your username or password on your own.

Recovering Your Username

Click the “Forgot My Username” (or similar) link on the site you want to log in to, and select one of the following options:

Option 1: "Text a secure code to my mobile phone" (your mobile phone must be verified to use this option).

  • Enter your mobile phone number and the month and day of your birthday.
  • Enter the secure code from your mobile phone.
  • Your username is shown on the screen.

Option 2: "Email a secure code"

  • Enter your email address and the month and day of your birthday
  • Enter the secure code from your email.
  • Your username is shown on screen.

Option 3: "Answer my challenge questions"

  • Enter your SSN, last name, and date of birth.
  • Answer your challenge questions correctly.
  • Your username is shown on screen.

Recovering Your Password

Click the “Forgot My Password” (or similar) link on the site you want to log in to, and select one of the following options:

Option 1: "Use my username or verified email address."

  • Enter your username or verified email address and the month and day of your birthday.
  • Select one of the three options for recovery:
    • Text a secure code to my mobile phone
    • Email a secure code
    • Answer my challenge questions*
  • Create a new password.

Option 2: "Use my mobile phone number"

  • Enter your verified mobile phone number and the month and day of your birthday.
  • Select one of the three options for recovery:
    • Text a secure code to my mobile phone
    • Email a secure code
    • Answer my challenge questions*
  • Create a new password

*Please note that for security purposes, if you use the challenge question option to reset your password, there’s a 30-minute delay before you can use your FSA ID.

The information you provided when creating your FSA ID must match the information entered in other ED websites.

Go to the "Manage My FSA ID" tab on the FSA ID site and enter your username and password. There are three things you should check to make sure your FSA ID is fully functional:

  1. Do you have the correct username and password? If your username and password do not allow you to access the site, click on “Forgot My Username” or “Forgot My Password” to try these account recovery options.
  2. Is your FSA ID matched with the Social Security Administration (SSA)?
    1. If the status is “Pending,” your FSA ID is still being matched with the SSA and you should try to use your FSA ID in a day or so. (It takes one to three days from when the FSA ID was created to match with the SSA.)
    2. If the status is “Not Matched,” your information did not match with the SSA. Click on the “Update Account Information” button and check to see that your name, SSN, and date of birth are entered exactly as they appear on your Social Security card. (If you changed your name, be sure that you are using the name on file with the SSA.)
    3. If the status is “Matched,” your information matched with the SSA
  3. Is your FSA ID is enabled? If the status of your FSA ID is disabled and you did not disable it, please call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

Once you are sure your FSA ID is fully functional, make sure that the information you’re entering into the ED website matches what was used to create the FSA ID:

  • If you are a student trying to sign your FAFSA form and your FSA ID is not working, check that the name, Social Security number, and date of birth on that form exactly match the information in your FSA ID account.
  • If you are a parent trying to sign your child’s FAFSA form and your FSA ID is not working, check to make sure that you are signing in the correct parent field that matches your information.

If none of these tips works, please contact one of the following:

  • Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) for help accessing “My Federal Student Aid,” fafsa.gov, the myStudentAid mobile app, and the NSLDS site, or
  • Student Loan Support Center at 1-800-557-7394 for help accessing StudentLoans.gov.

Common Issues with the FSA ID


An FSA ID is locked after three unsuccessful log-in attempts. You will be taken to a screen that says “Unlock Your FSA ID.” At that page, if you have a verified mobile phone number and/or verified email address, you can request that we send you a secure code to your verified mobile phone number or email address. Or, you can use your challenge questions.

On the “Unlock Your FSA ID” page, you can unlock your FSA ID by following these steps:

  1. Enter the month and day of your birth
  2. Select one of the options for unlocking your account:
    1. Text and email
      1. Click “Text a secure code to my mobile phone” or “Email a secure code.”
      2. A secure code will be sent to your mobile phone or email address.
      3. Enter the code within 20 minutes in the “Secure Code” box.
      4. Click “Submit.”
      5. Once your FSA ID is unlocked, you will need to reset the password for your FSA ID.
    2. Challenge Questions
      1. Answer your challenge questions.
      2. Once your FSA ID is unlocked, you will need to reset the password for your FSA ID.

The name, date of birth (DOB), and Social Security number (SSN) you list on your FAFSA form must exactly match what you listed when you registered for your FSA ID.

An error often occurs because an applicant puts the student's FSA ID in a parent field or the parent’s FSA ID in a student field. That's the first thing you should check. This is one reason that it’s important you do not use anyone else's FSA ID.

If mixing up the student and parent FSA IDs is not the problem, you (the person whose FSA ID caused the problem) can check to see if your FAFSA form and FSA ID information match up by following these steps:

  1. Go to the "Manage My FSA ID" tab on the FSA ID site.
  2. Enter your FSA ID username and password.
  3. Click the “Continue” button.
  4. The page that appears will show your name, DOB, and SSN. Keep this browser window open and open a new window or tab.
  5. In the new window or tab, go to fafsa.gov and select the “LOG IN” button to access your FAFSA form.
  6. If you're the student, select “I am the student” on the left, and then enter your FSA ID username and password. If you're the parent, select “I am a parent, preparer, or student from a Freely Associated State” on the right, and then log in using your child’s name, SSN, and DOB.
  7. Enter the save key if asked.
  8. Verify that the name, DOB, and SSN listed for you match what shows in your FSA ID account.

If you checked and the information does match and you're still getting an error, the owner of the FSA ID can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 for FSA ID assistance.

If you didn’t verify your mobile phone or email address when you registered for your FSA ID, you will not be able to use it to retrieve your username, reset your password, or unlock your account.

You can verify your mobile phone number or email address by going to the "Manage My FSA ID" tab on the FSA ID site. At the site, enter your username and password. In the “Contact Information” box, click on the link to register your mobile phone number or email address. If you are registering your mobile phone number, you will be asked to agree to register by clicking “yes” and to confirm your mobile phone number. If you are verifying your email address, you should receive an email with your secure code. On the following page, you will see a box to enter your secure code.

If your FSA ID is lost or stolen, you must update your username and password at the "Manage My FSA ID" section of the FSA ID site. Contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) if you are concerned that your FSA ID has been misused.

Occasionally, a user will incorrectly enter his or her information. If you are worried that someone has created an FSA ID in your name, there is a simple way to check:

  1. Go to the "Manage My FSA ID" tab on the FSA ID site.
  2. Click the “Forgot My Username” link.
  3. Select the “Answer my challenge questions” option.
  4. Enter your SSN, last name, and date of birth.
  5. If there isn’t an FSA ID with your information, you’ll see the following message: “The personal identifiers you entered (Social Security number, last name, and date of birth) do not match the information we have on file. Delete the response you entered and try again, or select Help for more details.”
  6. If there is an FSA ID with your information, you will see a page that says “Retrieve Your Username With Challenge Questions.” Contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) and report that you believe someone has created an account using your SSN.

About the FSA ID


Students:

You’ll need one in order to electronically sign your FAFSA form and to fill out a FAFSA Renewal.

Borrowers:

You’ll need one to electronically sign a Master Promissory Note, complete entrance and exit counseling, apply for an income-driven repayment plan, and more.

Parents:

You or your spouse will need one if you have a dependent student. A dependent student will need to have one of his or her legal parents sign the student’s FAFSA form. Parents also need an FSA ID to apply for a Direct PLUS Loan on StudentLoans.gov.

It’s important to understand that the student and the parent may not share an FSA ID: Your FSA ID is your signature, so it has to be unique to you.

You can use your FSA ID immediately to complete and electronically sign your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®; www.fafsa.gov) [your parent can sign with his or her own FSA ID].

Once your information is verified with the Social Security Administration (one to three days from the date you apply), you will be able to use your FSA ID to access your personal information on any of these ED online systems, depending on what you need to do:

Online System What You Can Do
fafsa.gov
  • Electronically sign your (or your child’s) FAFSA form.
  • Prefill data in this years FAFSA form if you filed a FAFSA form last year. That's called filling out a Renewal FAFSA form.
  • Make online corrections to an existing FAFSA form.
  • View or print an online copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR).
myStudentAid app
  • Electronically sign your (or your child's) FAFSA form.
  • Fill out a FAFSA Renewal.
  • Manage your FSA ID.
  • View your federal student aid history using the myFederalLoans service.

“My Federal Student Aid” at StudentAid.gov/login or the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®) site at nslds.ed.gov

  • View a history of any federal student aid that you have received.
  • Look up your loan servicer's contact information.
StudentLoans.gov
  • Complete entrance counseling, the Financial Awareness Counseling Tool, or exit counseling.
  • Electronically sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN).
  • Complete PLUS loan requests.
  • Estimate your student loan payments using the Repayment Estimator.
  • Apply for an income-driven repayment plan or a consolidation loan.
  • Cosign an Income-Driven Repayment Plan Request for your spouse.
Agreement to Serve (ATS) at
StudentLoans.gov/myDirectLoan/launchTeach.action
  • Sign your ATS for the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program.

Your username and password do not expire. You will be prompted to change your password only during account recovery or because of a security event.

We recommend using the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, or Google Chrome.

You must be at least 13 years old to have an FSA ID under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. See our Privacy Act page by clicking on the Privacy link at the bottom of your web page.

Creating an FSA ID


Help is available throughout the FSA ID site by clicking the question marks next to every question. Additionally, answers to common questions can be found on this page, “FSA ID Frequently Asked Questions.”

Additional assistance with the FSA ID is available; please contact one of the following:

  • Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) for “My Federal Student Aid,” fafsa.gov, the myStudentAid mobile app, and the NSLDS site, or
  • Student Loan Support Center at 1-800-557-7394 for StudentLoans.gov.

If you provided an email when you applied for an FSA ID, then we will send a verification email to that address. The email will contain a secure code that you will need to enter into your web page to complete the process you were performing.

You should have received the email message immediately after you applied. However, in some instances these email messages are perceived as unsolicited email (“spam”) and are directed into bulk mail or junk mail folders. If you do not receive your email message within 24 hours, check all folders in your account. Also, check to make sure you entered your email address correctly.

Some email providers require that you add an email address to your address book before you can receive any email from that address. To ensure that our messages can be delivered to your inbox, enter our originating email address, FSA-ID@ed.gov, into your address book.

You can request another verification email by logging in to your FSA ID profile using the “Manage My FSA ID” tab on the FSA ID home page and then selecting the “Resend My Verification Email” link found on the bottom right side of the “My FSA ID Profile” page.

Note: Federal Student Aid does not send unsolicited email (“spam”). See our Privacy Act page by clicking on the Privacy link at the bottom of your web page to see how your email address may be used by Federal Student Aid.

No. Only the owner of an FSA ID should create or use the account. Here’s why:

  • The FSA ID serves as a legal signature and should not be shared with anyone, including family, school personnel, loan servicers, or contact center agents.
  • By creating your own FSA ID, you’re more likely to remember your username, password, and the answers to your challenge questions. Without these, you can lose access to your account and be unable to log in to Federal Student Aid websites.
  • An email address cannot be used with more than one FSA ID. If you forget your username or password, you can request that a secure code be emailed to you, allowing you to reset your username or password. For security reasons, you don’t want that code being sent to someone else.
  • A mobile phone number cannot be used with more than one FSA ID. If you forget your username and password, you can request that a secure code be texted to your mobile phone, allowing you to retrieve your username and reset your password.

So, as you can see, you’ll need access to your (and only your) FSA ID and associated email address and mobile phone number.

You may immediately use your FSA ID to sign an original (first-time) FAFSA form, but nothing else (not even a Renewal FAFSA form). All other activities require that we match your information with the SSA.

If you verified your email address, you’ll receive an email once your information is matched with the SSA (one to three days from the date you apply). Once the process is complete, you will be able to use your FSA ID to fully access your financial aid information.

It is important to include an email address with your FSA ID because:

  • We use email to communicate important information about your account to you,
  • You can use your email to get your username or password if you forget them, and
  • You can use your verified email address instead of your username when logging in to FSA systems.

It is important to include a mobile phone with your FSA ID because:

  • Providing a mobile telephone number is the fastest way to use self-service and allows you to retrieve your username or reset your password without answering challenge questions or going into your email account.
  • Your mobile phone may be more accessible than your email account.

Federal Student Aid (FSA) does not send unsolicited email (“spam”) or texts. See our Privacy Act page by clicking on the Privacy link at the bottom of this page to see how your email address or mobile phone number may be used by FSA.

If you request self-service functions and indicate you want to use your email or mobile phone number, a secure code is sent to you to be entered into your web page. The secure code emailed or texted to you is active only while your web page is open and active. If you enter a secure code into the Secure Code field and receive messaging that the code has expired, then you are using an old secure code. Check your email or mobile phone to make sure you are using the most recent secure code that was sent to you. If you cannot find a recent email or text with a secure code, and you are on a screen that has the option to send another secure code, then select this option. Another new secure code will be sent to you.

Providing challenge questions and answers adds an extra level of security to your FSA ID. You can use your challenge questions to retrieve your account information if you forget it. Choose questions and answers that are easy for you to remember, but hard for others to guess.

Managing My FSA ID


To update your FSA ID, go to the "Manage My FSA ID" tab on the FSA ID site, and enter your username and password. On the next page, you will see two green buttons. The “Update Account Information” button is for updating your personal information if you changed your first name, last name, or middle initial, and/or incorrectly entered your SSN or date of birth. Note: Any update you make to your personal information will require reverification of your information with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The reverification process takes one to three days.

The “Update Contact Information” button allows you to update your email address, mobile phone number, mailing address, and language preference. Remember, if you change your mobile phone number or your email address, you’ll need to reverify the information by entering a secure code.

Check the SSA match status of your FSA ID at the "Manage My FSA ID" tab on the FSA ID site. At the site, enter your username and password. Then you will be able to see your account profile. In the top box under your name, you will see text that says “SSA Verification” and a status of “Matched,” “Not Matched,” or “Pending.”

If you are not going to use your FSA ID for an extended period and you are worried that someone else might gain access to it, you should consider disabling it. Disabling your FSA ID restricts all online access (including your own) to your Federal Student Aid information.

If you disable your FSA ID and want to begin using it again later, simply log in using your username and password and you will be prompted to reenable your FSA ID before proceeding.

It is important to keep your information up-to-date. To notify us of a change to your personal information,log in to your FSA ID profile using the “Manage My FSA ID” tab on the FSA ID home page.

It is also important to change your username and password, if you believe someone else has accessed your account.

Note: If the Social Security Administration (SSA) already verified your information, you will not be able to change your Social Security number. You can make changes to your name or date of birth (DOB). If you make changes to your name or DOB, your updated information will be sent to SSA.As a reminder, you will have limited access to certain applications until your information is verified with the SSA.

Once we complete verification with the SSA (one to three days), you will be able to use your FSA ID to access your personal information on Federal Student Aid systems.

Terms and Conditions


By submitting this application, you agree not to share your FSA ID with anyone. The security of your FSA ID is important because it can be used to

  • electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents,
  • access your personal records, and
  • make binding legal obligations.

If your FSA ID is lost or stolen, you also agree to

  • contact Federal Student Aid’s Customer Service center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243),
  • change your password by selecting “Change My Password” under the “Manage My FSA ID” tab, or
  • disable your FSA ID so that no one can use it by selecting “Disable My FSA ID” under the “Manage My FSA ID” tab so that no one can use it.

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the information that I have provided to obtain an FSA ID is true and correct, and that I am the individual who I claim to be. I have not allowed this information to be provided by an employee or agent of a commercial entity, or other third party, for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain (regardless of whether that commercial entity or third party is providing a service to me). I understand that falsification of this statement may be punishable by a fine, by imprisonment of not more than five years, or both.

Text messaging

How to opt-in for text messaging

To receive text messages from the U.S. Department of Education, log in to your account and select “Update Contact Information”. There you will see an option to opt in or out of text messaging.

How to opt-out of text messaging

To not receive text messages from the U.S. Department of Education, log in to your account and select “Update Contact Information”. There you will see an option to opt in or out of text messaging.

Participation

  • You must be 13 years of age or older to participate in text message alerts from the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Although there is no fee required for participation in text message alerts from the U.S. Department of Education, message and data rates may apply through your mobile carrier. Check your mobile plan for more details.
  • Text messages from the U.S. Department of Education are sent to U.S. phone numbers only.
  • Data obtained from you in connection with the U.S. Department of Education’s text messaging service may include your mobile phone number, your carrier's name, the date, time and content of your messages, and other information you provide to the U.S. Department of Education as part of this service. The U.S. Department of Education may use this information to contact you and to provide the services you request from the U.S. Department of Education.
  • In the event that you change or deactivate your mobile number, it is your responsibility to update your account settings to update your mobile number or opt out of receiving text messages.
  • The U.S. Department of Education reserves the right to remove subscribers from its messaging database at its discretion.

Mobile Carriers

  • Text message alerts are compatible with a variety of mobile carriers, including, but not limited to AT&T, Sprint/Boost/Virgin, T-Mobile/MetroPCS, Verizon Wireless, C Spire Wireless, Carolina West Wireless (CWW), CellCom USA, Google Voice, U.S. Cellular, ACS/Alaska, Advantage Cellular (DTC Wireless), Aio Wireless/Cricket, Appalachian Wireless, Atlantic Tele-Network International (ATN), Bandwidth, Bluegrass Cellular, Buffalo Wireless, CableVision, Cellular Network Partnership (PIONEER), Cellular One of East Central Illinois, Chariton Valley Cellular, Chat Mobility USA, ClearTalk (Flat Wireless), Copper Valley, Coral Wireless (Mobi PCS), Cross Telephone Company (MBO Wireless), Duet IP (Maximum Communications New Core Wireless), Element Mobile (Flat Wireless), Epic Touch (Elkhart Telephone), GCI Communications Corp, Golden State Cellular, i Wireless (IOWA Wireless), Illinois Valley Cellular (IV Cellular), Immix(Keystone Wireless), Inland Cellular Telephone Company, Leaco, Mosaic (Consolidated or CTC Telecom), MTA Communications, MTPCS (Cellular One Nation), Nex-Tech Wireless, Northwest Missouri Cellular Limited, Panhandle Telecommunications Systems(PTCI), Peoples Wireless, Pine Belt Wireless, Pine Cellular, Revol Wireless USA, RINA, Sagebrush Cellular (Nemont), SI Wireless/Mobile Nation, SouthernLinc, SRT Wireless, Texas RSA 3 Ltd(Plateau Wireless), Thumb Cellular, Union Telephone Company(Union Wireless), United Wireless, Viaero Wireless, West Central Wireless (5 Star Wireless).
  • The U.S. Department of Education will not be liable for any delays in the receipt of any SMS messages or undelivered messages. T-Mobile also will not be liable for delayed or undelivered messages.
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