The FSA ID | Federal Student Aid

The FSA ID is your electronic passport to federal student aid online.

If you’re ready, you can create an FSA ID now.

 

The FSA ID

Students, parents, and borrowers are required to use an FSA ID, made up of a username and password, to access certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity when accessing your financial aid information and electronically signing your federal student aid documents. 

If you want to create an FSA ID now, go for it!

If you’d like more information first, keep on reading…

About the FSA ID

What is an FSA ID?
What happened to the Federal Student Aid PIN?
Where can I use my FSA ID?
When should I get an FSA ID?
How do I get an FSA ID?
Do I need to have an email address to create my FSA ID?
Do parents need FSA IDs?
Can I create an FSA ID for my child, parent, or spouse?
When can I use my new FSA ID?
How can I tell if I already have an FSA ID?
After I get an FSA ID, will I still be required to use my Federal Student Aid PIN?
Does my FSA ID expire?

Common Issues With the FSA ID

What if I forget my FSA ID username or password?
What do I do if I get a message saying my FSA ID is locked?
What if my FSA ID was lost or stolen?


What is an FSA ID?

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®) 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 email address.

Your FSA ID is used to sign legally binding documents electronically. It has the same legal status as a written signature. Don't give your FSA ID to anyone or allow anyone to create an FSA ID for you—not even your parent, your child, or someone helping you fill out the FAFSA. Sharing your FSA ID is like teaching someone to forge your signature; and it could put you at risk of identity theft!

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What happened to the Federal Student Aid PIN?

The FSA ID replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN on May 10, 2015. (Read a post on the Department of Education blog providing an “obituary” for the PIN, explaining its history and introducing the FSA ID.)

If you haven’t logged in to a Federal Student Aid site (such as fafsa.gov or StudentLoans.gov) since May 10, you will need to create an FSA ID before you can log on in the future. 

If you already have a PIN, you can link your information to your new FSA ID by entering your PIN while registering for your FSA ID. (This will save you time when registering for your FSA ID.) If you’ve forgotten your PIN, don’t worry; you can either enter the answer to your PIN “challenge question” during the FSA ID registration process to link your PIN, or you can just create your FSA ID from scratch.

A PIN is not required to create an FSA ID.

Wondering why the FSA ID replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN? The main reason we made the change was to increase security. Having a username and password is much more secure than a PIN that you enter in conjunction with personally identifiable information (your Social Security number, name, and date of birth). The fewer times you have to enter personally identifiable information over the Internet, the safer you are.

We were also able to improve usability. The PIN was launched in 1998, and while it served students and their families well for 17 years, a lot has changed in that time. The modernized experience available with the FSA ID includes features such as resetting forgotten passwords with email, using an email address instead of a username to log in, and compatibility with more browsers and devices.

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Where can I use my 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:

Website

What You Can Do at the Site

fafsa.gov

  • Electronically sign your (or your child's) FAFSA.
  • Import your tax information from the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Prefill data in this year´s FAFSA if you filed a FAFSA last year. That's called filling out a Renewal FAFSA.
  • Make online corrections to an existing FAFSA.
  • 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.

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When should I get an FSA ID?

You, and your parent if you're a dependent student, should get an FSA ID as soon as possible. You can apply for an FSA ID at any time, but in some cases, you’ll need to wait up to three days before you’re able to use your FSA ID, so we recommend registering early. If you don't have one by the time you fill out your FAFSA, you will be prompted to apply for one. However, if you think the Social Security Administration (SSA) might have the wrong name or date of birth for you in its records, go to ssa.gov now to find out how to correct any errors. Your information must be correct with the SSA before your FAFSA or FSA ID can be processed.

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How do I get an FSA ID?

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.
  • Provide your email address, a unique username, and password, and verify that you are at least 13 years old.
  1. Enter your personal information.
  • Provide your Social Security number, name, and date of birth.
  • If you have a Federal Student Aid PIN, you’ll be asked to enter it or the answers to your PIN challenge questions.
  • Include your mailing address, email address, telephone number, and language preference.
  • For security purposes, provide answers to five challenge questions.
  1. Submit your FSA ID information.
  • Agree to the terms and conditions.
  • Verify your email address. (This is optional, but helpful. By verifying your email address, you can use your email address as your username when logging into certain ED websites. This verification also allows you to retrieve your username or reset your password without answering challenge questions.)
     

You won’t see the section requesting your Federal Student Aid PIN unless our records indicate that you have a PIN. If you don’t remember your PIN or the answers to your PIN challenge questions, you should skip this. However, if you do remember the requested information, you should enter it so that you won’t have to wait one–three days before using your FSA ID for anything more than an original FAFSA.

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Do I need to have an email address to create my FSA ID?

No; an email address is not required to create or use an FSA ID. However, we strongly recommend that you do enter your email address when you create your FSA ID. If we have your email 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 email 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 email 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.

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Do parents need FSA IDs?

Yes, a dependent student will need to have one of his or her legal parents sign the student’s FAFSA, so the parent needs an FSA ID as well. Find out which parent’s information should be listed on the FAFSA. 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.

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Can I create an FSA ID for my child, parent, or spouse?

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 to allow you to reset your username or password. For security reasons, you don’t want that code being sent to someone else.

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

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When can I use my new FSA ID?

If you already have a Federal Student Aid PIN, you can link your PIN to your FSA ID. This allows you to immediately use your FSA ID to access your personal information on any of the ED websites that require an FSA ID.

If you never had a PIN and are now creating your FSA ID, or if you don’t link your FSA ID to your PIN, you may use your FSA ID to sign an original (first-time) FAFSA, but nothing else (not even a Renewal FAFSA).

To start a Renewal FAFSA or to make corrections to an existing FAFSA, your information (name, Social Security number, and date of birth) will need to be confirmed with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Once your information is verified with the SSA (one–three days from the date you apply), you will receive an email indicating that the process is complete. At that time, you will be able to use your FSA ID to fully access your financial aid information.

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How can I tell if I already have an 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 that 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 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, 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.

Prior to the implementation of the FSA ID on May 10, 2015, you may have created a password when starting a FAFSA. This FAFSA password was used to save a partially completed FAFSA or FAFSA correction and return to it later. It was also used to share a FAFSA between a parent and child who were not together geographically. If you created a password for a FAFSA or FAFSA correction, you should enter that password when you are asked for your Save Key.

Your FSA ID password is not the same as the former FAFSA password, which is now known as the Save Key.

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After I get an FSA ID, will I still be required to use my Federal Student Aid PIN?

No. Your FSA ID will replace your PIN as the way to confirm your identity when accessing your financial aid information through certain ED websites. When logging in to these websites, you will be required to enter only your FSA ID username and password.

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Does my FSA ID expire?

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

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What if I forget my FSA ID username or password?

If you have forgotten your username or password, don't worry. On our log-in pages, you'll find links that give you the option of retrieving your username or password through your verified email address or by successfully answering your challenge questions.

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What do I do if I get a message saying my FSA ID is locked?

An FSA ID is locked after three unsuccessful authentication attempts. There are two possible solutions. You can either have a secure code sent to your email address or you can answer your challenge questions.

If you have received the message, "Your FSA ID is locked. To unlock it, use one of the following options," start with these two steps, and then choose one of the options described below.

  1. Click on the black "Log In" button at the top of this page and select "Create or retrieve your FSA ID now."
  2. Once you have attempted to log in, you will be taken to a page that says, "Your FSA ID is locked." You will be given two options to unlock your FSA ID—email or challenge questions. 

 

Option 1: Email

You can unlock your FSA ID by following these steps:

  1. Click the email button.
  2. You will be taken to a page that says "Unlock Your FSA ID – Using Email."
  3. A secure code will be sent to your email address that's on record with your FSA ID.
  4. Once you receive the email, within 10 minutes you must enter the secure code in the box that says "Secure Code" and click on the submit button. (The secure code expires after 10 minutes.)
  5. You will then be taken to a page that says, "Success!"
  6. Once your FSA ID is unlocked, you will need to reset the password for your FSA ID. Select the "Forgot My Password" option on the "Edit My FSA ID" tab, and follow the instructions to reset your password.
     

Option 2: Challenge Questions

Your other option for unlocking your FSA ID is to use your challenge questions:

  1. Click the "challenge questions" button.
  2. You will be taken to a page that says "Unlock Your FSA ID – Using Challenge Questions."
  3. You will be taken to a page that will ask you three of your five challenge questions.
  4. You will need to answer all three questions and then click on the verify button.
  5. If you answer your challenge questions correctly, you will be taken to a page that says, "Success!"
  6. Once your FSA ID is unlocked, you will need to reset the password for your FSA ID. Select the "Forgot My Password" option on the "Edit My FSA ID" tab, and follow the instructions to reset your password.

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What if my FSA ID was lost or stolen?

If your FSA ID is lost or stolen, you must update your username and password by selecting "Edit My FSA ID" from the 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.

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