FSA ID Frequently Asked Questions

Important

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.
  • You are much more likely to lose access to your FSA ID if someone else creates it for you. To use your FSA ID, you need to know the username, password and answers to challenge questions. Plus, you need access to the e-mail account associated with the FSA ID. Without these, you can easily lose access to your FSA ID and be unable to log in to Federal Student Aid websites.
  • An e-mail address cannot be used with more than one FSA ID. You can use e-mail to unlock an FSA ID, retrieve a forgotten username or reset a password. For security reasons, only the FSA ID owner should have these capabilities.

On May 10, 2015, FSA ID replaced the Federal Student AID PIN. The PIN, which had been in use since 1998, was a four-digit numeric code used together with personally identifying information (such as Social Security number, name, and date of birth) to log in to FSA websites. Because the FSA ID does not require you to provide sensitive personal information when logging in it is more secure. In addition, we have taken other measures to modernize the FSA ID and make it more secure to ensure that we protect the personal information of the millions of students, parents and borrowers who interact with Federal Student Aid websites each year.

If you have not logged in to a Federal Student Aid website—such as FAFSA, StudentLoans.gov, or the National Student Loan Data System—since May 10th, you will need to go create an FSA ID. Your PIN will no longer work.

If you are not sure whether or not you have an FSA ID, see “How can I tell if I already have an FSA ID?,” below.

No; an e-mail address is not required to create or use an FSA ID. However, we strongly recommend that you do enter your e-mail address when you create your FSA ID. If we have your e-mail address on file, it’s easier for us to help you if you get locked out of your account or forget your username or password. Also, your e-mail address can be used as an alternative to your username when you log in to fafsa.gov, StudentLoans.gov, or certain other websites.

Remember: An e-mail address can be associated with only one FSA ID. Why? The FSA ID is used to electronically sign documents such as loan promissory notes (which establish the binding legal obligation for the loan debt). Therefore, it is extremely important that any communications related to those documents or that FSA ID go to the correct person. Similarly, make sure you don’t let anyone else know your FSA ID or create it for you because you’ll be putting yourself at risk of identity theft or—at the very least—at risk of not knowing how to sign into your own accounts.

Common Issues

There are two ways to unlock your FSA ID. You can either use your e-mail or answer some of your challenge questions.


To start:

  1. Go to the "Edit My FSA ID" tab.
  2. Log in using your username and password. You will receive the message, "Your FSA ID is locked. To unlock it, use one of the following options." Select one of the two options.
Option 1: E-mail

  1. Click the e-mail button. You will be taken to a page that says "Unlock Your FSA ID – Using Email." A secure code will be sent to your e-mail address that's on record with your FSA ID.
  2. Open your e-mail in a different browser tab or window or from another device. Do not close the FSA ID web page while accessing your e-mail.
  3. Once you receive the e-mail, enter the secure code on the FSA ID page in the box that says "Secure Code." The secure code expires after 10 minutes.
  4. Click on the submit button. Your account is unlocked and you will be taken to a page to change your password.
  5. Follow the instructions to create a new password.
Option 2: Challenge Questions

  1. Click the "challenge questions" button. You will be taken to a page that says "Unlock Your FSA ID – Using Challenge Questions."
  2. Answer three of your five challenge questions shown on the screen. Your answers must match the ones you entered when creating your account. The answers are not case sensitive.
  3. Click on the verify button. If you answered your challenge questions correctly, your account is unlocked and you will be taken to a page to change your password.
  4. Follow the instructions to create a new password.

You can enter your e-mail address, if you verified it, instead of your username when logging in to websites that use the FSA ID.


To retrieve your username:

  1. Go to Edit My FSA ID
  2. Click “Forgot My Username” underneath the “Username” field.
  3. Choose the option to receive a secure code via e-mail (open your e-mail in a different browser window or device) or to answer challenge questions. Follow the instructions on the screen.
  4. After successfully entering the secure code received by e-mail or by answering your challenge questions, the username will be displayed on screen.
  1. Go to Edit My FSA ID
  2. Click “Forgot My Password” underneath the “Password” field.
  3. Choose the option to receive a secure code via e-mail (open your e-mail in a different browser window or device) or to answer challenge questions (30 minute delay). Follow the instructions on the screen.
  4. After successfully entering the secure code received by e-mail or by answering your challenge questions, you will be taken to a screen that will let you create a new password.

Note: For security purposes, if you unlocked your FSA ID using your challenge questions, then you must wait half an hour before you can use your 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, then you probably do not have an FSA ID even if you submitted a FAFSA earlier in the year.

To check to see if you have an FSA ID, go to Edit My FSA ID. Enter your FSA ID username and password. If you verified your e-mail address during account creation, you can enter your e-mail 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, then you need to create an FSA ID. Go to Create an FSA ID to make an FSA ID. Only the FSA ID owner should create and use the account.

If you request self-service functions and indicate you want to use your e-mail, a secure code is sent to you to be entered into your Web page. The secure code e-mailed 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 e-mail to make sure you are using the most recent secure code that was e-mailed to you. If you cannot find a recent e-mail 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 e-mailed to you.

Only PINs with a verified match with the Social Security Administration (SSA) will be allowed to associate their PIN with their FSA ID. By associating a verified PIN with your FSA ID, you do not have to go through the SSA match, which can take up to 1-3 days.

If you have a PIN, but it was not verified (meaning SSA did not have a good match), then you cannot associate that PIN with your FSA ID and your identifiers will be sent to SSA for verification.

You will have limited access to certain applications until your information is verified with the SSA.

Once we complete verification with the SSA (1-3 days), you will be able to use your FSA ID to access your personal information on Federal Student Aid websites.

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, “Frequently Asked Questions.”


Additional assistance with the FSA ID is available:

  • By e-mail at StudentAid@ed.gov (for general inquiries that do not include personally identifiable information)
  • By phone at 1-800-557-7394,
  • By TTY for the hearing impaired at 1-800-730-8913, and
  • By web chat. From fafsa.gov click “Help,” then “Contact Us” and then the LIVE HELP button to initiate a chat.

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

This issue occurs most commonly when the parent and student mix up the parent's FSA ID and the student's FSA ID. That's the first thing you should check. This is why it's very important that you do not share your FSA ID with anyone.

You can check to see if your FAFSA and FSA ID information match up by following these steps:

Check FSA ID Information

  1. Go to http://StudentAid.gov/fsaid.
  2. Click the Create an FSA ID Now button.
  3. Click the "Edit my FSA ID" tab
  4. Enter the FSA ID username and password used when you received the error.
  5. Click the LOGIN button.
  6. Check the name, DOB, and SSN listed, and verify that all three match exactly what appears on your SSN card. If everything matches, proceed to the next step. If not, correct the information and save it. (Note: If you edit your FSA ID information, you may need to wait up to 3 days for that information to process before you can use your FSA ID to sign into FAFSA on the Web).

Check FAFSA on the Web Information

  1. Go to www.fafsa.gov and click the LOGIN button.
  2. Enter your FSA ID username and password. If you're the parent, use the "Enter the student's information" option.

  3. If you have completed a FAFSA:

  4. Select to "View or Print Student Aid Report (SAR)".
  5. Enter the Save Key.
  6. Verify that the name, DOB, and SSN match exactly what appears on your SSN card. If not, you will need to submit a correction.

  7. If you have not completed a FAFSA:

  8. Enter the Save Key.
  9. Verify that the name, DOB, and SSN that display in the section where you receive the error match exactly what appears on your SSN card.

If you're getting this error, it means that either the name, DOB, or SSN from your FSA ID and FAFSA do not match. If you checked and they do match and you're still getting an error, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 for FSA ID assistance.

About the FSA ID

An FSA ID is comprised of a username and password and can be used to login to certain Federal Student Aid websites, such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).

The security of your FSA ID is important. Your FSA ID can be used to:

  • Electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents,
  • Access your personal records, and
  • Make binding legal obligations.

If you are a parent and need to electronically sign your child’s FAFSA, you need your own FSA ID. If you have more than one child attending college, you can use the same FSA ID to sign their applications.

If your FSA ID is lost or stolen, you must:

  • Contact Federal Student Aid’s Customer Service center at 1-800-433-3243,
  • Update your username and password by selecting Edit My FSA ID, or
  • Disable your FSA ID so that no one can use it by selecting Edit My FSA ID and selecting Disable My FSA ID.

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 name, Social Security number, and date of birth are verified with the Social Security Administration (SSA), you can then use your FSA ID to access these Federal Student Aid systems:

Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.fafsa.gov:

  • Pre-fill data in this year's FAFSA if you filed a FAFSA last year.
  • Make online corrections to an existing FAFSA.
  • View or print an online copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR).

The National Student Loan Data System at www.nslds.ed.gov:

  • View a history of any federal student aid that you have received.
  • Look up your loan servicer information.

StudentLoans.gov at www.studentloans.gov:

  • Complete Entrance Counseling.
  • Electronically sign a master promissory note (MPN).
  • Complete PLUS loan requests.
  • Complete Exit Counseling.

Agreement to Serve (ATS) at www.teach-ats.ed.gov:

  • Sign your ATS for the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program.

My Federal Student Aid at StudentAid.gov/log-in:

  • View a history of any federal student aid that you have received.
  • Look up your loan servicer information.

If you do not already have an FSA ID and would like to apply for one, select the Create an FSA ID tab on the FSA ID log-in page.

The FSA ID Application Process consists of 3 steps:

Step 1: Enter Login Information

  • Let us know what log-in information you would like to use. Provide us with a unique username, password and Are you 13 year of age or older? response.

Step 2: Enter Personal Information

  • Let us know who you are. Provide us with your Social Security number, name, and date of birth.
  • (Optional) Include your mailing address, e-mail address and language preference.
  • Provide five challenge questions and answers. This adds an extra level of security to your FSA ID. If you forget your username or password, you can retrieve your username or reset your password by providing answers to your challenge questions.

Step 3: Submit Your FSA ID Application

    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.
  • (Optional) Verify your e-mail. By verifying your e-mail, you can use your e-mail as your username when logging into FSA applications.

Once we complete verification with the SSA (1-3 days), you will be able to use your FSA ID to access your personal information on Federal Student Aid websites.

You can use your new FSA ID immediately to complete, sign and submit a new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

If you linked a PIN when you created your FSA ID, your SSA confirmation was carried forward to your FSA ID and you will be able to use it for all tasks right away.

If you did not link a PIN when you created your FSA ID, we will confirm your FSA ID information with SSA. This takes one to three days, and you will receive an e-mail when this is complete. Once SSA confirms your information, you will be able to use your FSA ID for all FAFSA tasks, such as starting a Renewal FAFSA or making a correction, as well as with other Federal Student Aid Web sites such as StudentLoans.gov, NSLDS.ed.gov, StudentAid.gov and teach-ats.ed.gov.

It is important to include an e-mail address with your FSA ID because:

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

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

If you do not believe you have verified your e-mail address, you can request that a new secure code be sent to you by logging in to the Edit My FSA ID tab on the FSA ID log-in page. Beside the e-mail verification field will be an indicator if you have confirmed your e-mail address. If the status shows “Not Verified” then you can select the E-mail Me a Secure Code link to verify your e-mail.

If your e-mail address is confirmed, you do not have to verify, and it can be used as your username.

If you change your e-mail address you will need to re-verify it.

You will not be able to use your FSA ID on Federal Student Aid websites if our records show that the Social Security number, name, and date of birth you provided on your FSA ID application do not match the information on file with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

  • Update your personal information under the Edit My FSA ID tab on FSA ID log-in page if you believe you entered incorrect information when you applied.
  • Contact the SSA if you believe their information is incorrect.

To find your local SSA office, call 1-800-772-1213 or go to the SSA website at http://www.ssa.gov/.

If you have further questions, please refer to the contact support at 1-800-433-3243.

Your password must be changed at least once every 18 months.

You should also change your password if you think someone else knows it. You can choose a new password by selecting the Edit My FSA ID tab on the FSA ID home page. Log in to your FSA ID profile and then select the Change My Password link found on the top left side of the My FSA ID Profile page.

It is important to keep your information up-to-date. To notify us of a change to your personal information, select the Edit My FSA ID tab on the FSA ID home page. Log in to your FSA ID profile and then select the Edit My FSA ID link found on the top left side of the My FSA ID Profile page.

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 (1-3 days), you will be able to use your FSA ID to access your personal information on Federal Student Aid websites.

Your username will not expire.

Your password must be changed every 18 months. If you log in and your password has expired, you will be required to change your password. Once you change your password, you will need to log in with your new password.

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 re-enable your FSA ID before proceeding.

Providing challenge questions and answers adds an extra level of security to your FSA ID. You can use your challenge questions to get your username or password if you forget them.

Choose questions and answers that are easy for you to remember, but hard for others to guess.

If you provided an e-mail when you applied for an FSA ID, then we will send a verification e-mail to that address. The e-mail 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 e-mail message immediately after you applied. However, in some instances these e-mail messages are perceived as unsolicited e-mail (“spam”) and are directed into bulk mail or junk mail folders. If you do not receive your e-mail message within 24 hours, check all folders in your account.

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

You can request another verification e-mail by selecting the Edit My FSA ID tab on the FSA ID home page. Log in to your FSA ID profile and then select the Resend My Verification E-mail link found on the bottom right side of the My FSA ID Profile page.

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

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.

The language preference is used to determine what language to display after you’ve logged in. For example, when you log in to perform self-service or account maintenance activities, if you do not change the language preference, the default will be in English. In addition, all of the e-mails you receive will be based on the language preference in your profile. English will be the default.

The two options for language preference are: English and Espa�ol.

If you have a Federal Student Aid PIN with your current name, Social Security number and date of birth, linking it to your FSA ID eliminates the need for us to send your information to the Social Security Administration for verification. Verifying your information takes 1-3 days, during which time you have only limited access to FSA systems. Linking your PIN gives you full access to your information online immediately.

Also, if you applied for or received federal student aid – loans, grants, or work-study – under a different last name, date of birth or Social Security number than you currently use, you may have additional PINs that you used previously. You must link those PINs to your FSA ID in order for certain FSA systems to ‘recognize’ you. For example, if you have federal student loans under a different last name, you must link the PIN you used when taking out those loans to access that information in the National Student Loan Database (NSLDS) with your FSA ID.

The FSA ID website uses JavaScript, DOM, Java, etc. Therefore, we recommend using the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, or Google Chrome.

If someone else mistakenly enters your username or e-mail address when attempting to unlock an FSA ID, retrieve a forgotten username or reset a password, you will receive a notification as if you had requested it. If you receive an e-mail like this that you did not initiate regarding an attempt to access your FSA ID, you can ignore it.

If you receive an unexpected email that information in your FSA ID has actually been changed, you should log into your account, review your profile information, and change your username and password. This is rare. Contact us (see above) if you are concerned.

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