FSA ID Frequently Asked Questions

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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 websites such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) site at fafsa.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. 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. Please note: Each FSA ID user must have a unique mobile phone number and/or e-mail address.

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 e-mail 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 your mobile phone number. (This is optional, but helpful. This verification allows you to retrieve your username or reset your password without answering challenge questions.)
    3. Verify your e-mail address. (This is optional, but helpful. By verifying your e-mail address, you can use your e-mail address as your username when logging into certain ED websites. Also, we’ll be able to notify you by e-mail of changes to your account. This verification also allows you to retrieve your username or reset your password without answering challenge questions.)

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–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 websites, depending on what you need to do:

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) at www.fafsa.gov:

  • Electronically sign your (or your child’s) FAFSA® form.
  • Prefill data in this year´s FAFSA form if you filed a FAFSA form last year.
  • Make online corrections to an existing FAFSA form.
  • View or print an online copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR).

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.

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.

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 e-mail address, you’ll receive an e-mail once your information is matched with the SSA (one–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 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.

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 e-mail account.
  • Your mobile phone may be more accessible than your e-mail account.

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

If you want to check the SSA match status of your FSA ID, go to the Manage My FSA ID page. Enter your username and password. On this page, 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 your SSA match status is Not Matched on your account profile page, your information didn’t match with the SSA. Click on the “Update Account Information” button to make sure 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.)

If the information provided is correct, you will need to contact the SSA at 1-800-772-1213.

Yes, a dependent student will need to have one of his or her legal parents sign the student’s FAFSA form, so the parent needs an FSA ID as well. 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.

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 e-mail 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 e-mailed 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 e-mail address and mobile phone number.

No, a permanent address, mobile phone or an e-mail address is not required to create or use an FSA ID. However, we strongly recommend that you do enter your mobile phone number and your e-mail address when you create your FSA ID. If we have your mobile phone number and 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. Your e-mail address will also be used to protect your FSA ID by communicating important messages about changes to your account.

Remember: A mobile phone number and 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.

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.

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 Manage 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.

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 Manage 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.

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:

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

FSA IDs require that the information provided when creating the FSA ID matches the information entered in other ED websites.

Go to the Manage My FSA ID page. 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 SSA? If the status of your FSA ID 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.) If your match 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. 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:

  1. 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 exactly match the information in your FSA ID account.
  2. 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 work, please contact one of the following:

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

If you didn’t verify your mobile phone or e-mail address when you registered for your FSA ID, you will not be able to use them to retrieve your username, reset your password, or unlock your account. You will need to answer your challenge questions.

You can verify your mobile phone number or e-mail address after creating an account by going to Manage My FSA ID page. Enter your username and password. In the “Contact Information” box, click on the “Register” link to register your mobile phone number or the “E-mail me a secure code” link. 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 e-mail address, you should receive an e-mail with your secure code. On the following page, you will see a box to enter your secure code.

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.

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 and the month and day of your birthday.
  • Select the 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 the 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.

An FSA ID is locked after three unsuccessful authentication 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 e-mail address, you can request that we send you a secure code to your verified mobile phone number or e-mail address. If you didn’t verify or provide this information, 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 E-mail
      1. Click “Text a secure code to my mobile phone” or “E-mail a secure code.”
      2. A secure code will be sent to your mobile phone or e-mail 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. “Answer my 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.

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 page.
  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.

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.”

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.

If your FSA ID is lost or stolen, you must update your username and password by selecting “Manage My FSA ID” from the FSA ID log-in page. 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.

If you request self-service functions and indicate you want to use your e-mail or mobile phone number, a secure code is sent to you to be entered into your web page. The secure code e-mailed 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 e-mail 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 e-mail 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.

To update your FSA ID, go to the Manage My FSA ID page. On this page, you will see two green buttons:

  • The “Update Account Information” button is for updating your personal information if you changed your name and/or incorrectly entered your SSN or date of birth.
  • The “Update Contact Information” button allows you to update your e-mail address, mobile phone number, mailing address, and language preference. Remember, if you change your mobile phone number or your e-mail address, you’ll need to reverify the information by entering a secure code.

It is important to keep your information up-to-date. To notify us of a change to your personal information, select the Manage My FSA ID tab on the FSA ID home page. Log in to your FSA ID profile and then select the Update My Account Information link.

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

Your username does not expire, but your FSA ID password will expire every 18 months unless you change it.

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.

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 Español.

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.

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 Edit My FSA ID tab, or
  • disable your FSA ID so that no one can use it by selecting Disable My FSA ID under the Edit My FSA ID tab.

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.

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