FSA ID: Everything You Need to Know

You must create an FSA ID through the Federal Student Aid website to submit the FAFSA electronically.
Anna Helhoski
By Anna Helhoski 
Updated
Edited by Alexandra Rice

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🤓Nerdy Tip

Is the new FAFSA available? After a weeklong "soft-launch" period, the redesigned FAFSA for the 2024-25 academic year is now available 24/7 at FAFSA.gov. Due to major processing delays, you won't be able to make changes to your submitted FAFSA until mid-March, at the soonest.

You can still submit the 2023-24 FAFSA until June 30, 2024.

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. You and your parents will use the FSA ID 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.

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

You don’t need an FSA ID to access and fill out the FAFSA online. However, you do need one to sign the form so it can be processed electronically.

Without an FSA ID, you’ll need to print, sign, and mail the FAFSA signature page to the address provided so the Federal Student Aid Office can fully process 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.

To create an FSA ID, visit StudentAid.gov. Navigate to “Apply for Aid Using the FAFSA Form.” Once you select the option to start the form for the current award year, you can then “Create an FSA ID.”

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.

You can apply for an FSA ID anytime. If you decide to wait until you fill out your FAFSA, you will be prompted to apply for one before starting the form.

Yes and no. You can use your FSA ID right away to fill out, sign and submit your FAFSA electronically. However,  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 (PIN), you can link it to your new FSA ID and start using it immediately.

If you’re applying for financial aid as a dependent, one of your parents is required to sign the FAFSA. They will need a unique FSA ID to sign electronically. Not sure if you’re considered dependent or independent? Find out with these dependency status questions.

Navigate to any login page on any Federal Student Aid or loan website. Select the “Forgot Username” or "Forgot Password" button.

You can use your email or mobile phone number instead of your username. If you opt to recover your username, the website will prompt you to get a secure code via an authenticator app, text or email. Alternatively, you can answer security questions.

To recover your password, search for your account using your email, phone or FSA ID username. Enter your birth month and year. You’ll then have the option to be emailed or texted a security code or answer security questions.

Yes. You should update your details as soon as possible if your email, mailing address or contact phone number changes. Visit StudentAid.gov and log in to your FSA ID account.

Then, find your name in the upper right-hand corner and select "Settings" from the dropdown menu. From there, you can change your account information, including updating your challenge questions, changing your password or deactivating or activating your FSA ID.

Your username and password do not expire. You’ll only need to change your password if there is a security event or you become locked out of your account.

The Department of Education retired the personal identification number, or PIN, in 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 link your PIN to 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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