What is the best advice for creating and using a FSA ID?


My parents and I have been having trouble creating a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID to use in completing the 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). What is the best advice for creating and using an FSA ID?


The FSA ID serves as an electronic signature for U.S. Department of Education documents, including the FAFSA. The FSA ID may also be used to add schools to the FAFSA and make corrections to the FAFSA.

The FSA ID works like an electronic signature or like the username and password (credentials) one uses to access a bank or brokerage account web site. It identifies the person who is completing the FAFSA uniquely, and functions like a wet signature written with a pen. The student and custodial parent must each have their own FSA ID. They should each use their own individual FSA ID, as, otherwise, the federal processor will flag the FAFSA for identity verification.

Do not share the FSA ID with anybody, not even a relative. The FSA ID gives access to private information. It can also be used to sign federal education loan documents.

If the student or parent has not yet applied for a FSA ID, the student and one custodial parent whose information is required on the FAFSA should each go to the FSA ID web site at www.fsaid.ed.gov. Neither the student nor the parent needs to wait to get an FSA ID. Getting the FSA ID as soon as possible provides more time to resolve any questions that may arise. Students and parents can also apply for an FSA ID when completing the FAFSA on the Web, so they should not worry if they have not yet applied for FSA IDs.

Students and parents should create a username and password, and provide their email addresses. To obtain an FSA ID, an applicant should provide his or her name, Social Security Number, date of birth as well as answers to the challenge questions he or she selects and other information on the FSA ID web site. The name, date of birth and Social Security Number (SSN) must be an exact match to the information on the applicant’s Social Security card, or the application for an FSA ID will be rejected.

When choosing a username and password, remember that the FSA ID is an electronic signature used to apply for financial aid and sign loan promissory notes and other legal documents.

The FSA ID username must be at least six alphanumeric characters. The password must be 8-30 alphanumeric characters. The password may not match the individual’s name, Social Security Number or date of birth. Everybody will be required to change their password at least once every 18 months.

Each FSA ID must be associated with a different email address. In particular, the parent and each student must have their own email addresses. Parents may not use their own email address for a dependent student. The student must have his or her own email address. A new, web-based email account can be obtained for free from Gmail.com, Outlook.com or another free email web site. A test email message will be sent to the email address to confirm its validity. 

If you are having problems with your FSA ID, call 1-800-557-7394 (TTY 1-800-730-8913).

Also, be sure to check out Edvisors.com, for more tips on how to create and use an FSA ID.