FSA ID: Everything You Need to Know

You must create an FSA ID through the Federal Student Aid website is necessary to submit the FAFSA electronically.

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Dive deeper into FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is your gateway to federal student aid — and the FSA ID is the key to that gateway.

Your FSA ID consists of two elements — a username and a password — that you and your parents will use to log in to federal student aid services, such as the FAFSA application, the National Student Loan Data System and My Federal Student Aid. You’ll also use it to electronically sign the FAFSA and promissory notes, and signal the completion of entrance and exit counseling.

Here’s what else you should know about the FSA ID:

Do I need an FSA ID?

You don’t need an FSA ID to fill out the FAFSA, but you do need one to sign and submit the form electronically. Without one, you’ll need to print, sign and mail the FAFSA signature page to submit your application, a much longer process.

You also need an FSA ID to access your student loan records and make changes to your FAFSA online.

How do I get an FSA ID?

To create an FSA ID, simply visit studentaid.gov. You’ll need to provide an email address, select a username and password and enter your full name, date of birth and Social Security number.

When should I get an FSA ID?

You can apply for an FSA ID at any time, so there’s no need to wait until you fill out your FAFSA. If you do wait until then, however, you will be prompted to apply for one before you submit the form.

Is my FSA ID activated immediately?

Yes and no. You can use your FSA ID right away to sign and submit your FAFSA electronically, but you’ll need to wait a few days to use it for other purposes, such as signing a promissory note. If you already have a FAFSA personal identification number, though, you can link it to your new FSA ID and start using the ID right away.

Do parents need an FSA ID?

If you’re applying for financial aid as a dependent, one of your parents will be required to sign the FAFSA. In that case, he or she needs a unique FSA ID to sign electronically. Not sure if you’re considered dependent or independent? Find out with these dependency status questions from the federal aid site.

What if I forget my username or password?

No problem. Just go to the login page on any of the federal student loan websites and select “Forgot Username” or “Forgot Password” to reset your credentials. From there, you can either answer three challenge questions or request a secure code. If you choose the latter, the code will be sent to the email provided when you created your FSA ID.

Can I change my FSA ID information?

Yes. And you should update your details as soon as possible if your email, mailing address or contact phone number changes. Just visit StudentAid.gov and select “Edit My FSA ID.” You can also use this tab to update your challenge questions, change your password or disable or enable your FSA ID.

Does my FSA ID expire?

Your username does not expire. But your password expires every 18 months if you haven't changed it.

What about my FAFSA PIN?

The Department of Education officially retired the personal identification number, or PIN, on May 10, 2015. If you haven’t logged in to the FSA website since then, your PIN will no longer work and you’ll need to create a more secure FSA ID. If you associate your PIN with your new FSA ID, you’ll save the one to three days that it usually takes for the Social Security Administration to verify your information.

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