The (FAFSA) and federal education promissory notes. The consists of a and a . It is sometimes called a FAFSA ID. You must file the FAFSA in order to get a . is an used to sign the for
Signing the FAFSA with an leads to faster processing of the FAFSA, as compared with printing, signing and mailing a paper signature page.
The replaced the FSA PIN on May 10, 2015. The is more secure than the FSA PIN, but can be more difficult to use.
When to get an FSA ID
You can get a at any time. You do not have to wait until the October 1 start date for the FAFSA to get a . It is best to get an early, before you apply for , just in case there are problems.
Who should get an FSA ID
The and the ‘s parent (if the is a ) each need their own .
Each must be associated with a different email address. If the or parent does not have an email address, they can get a free web-based email at gmail.com, live.com or mail.com.
The parent should not create a for the and the should not create a for the parent. Doing so often leads to problems. It is also illegal.
Never share your with anybody, not even a relative.
How to create an FSA ID
Visit the , fsaid.ed.gov, to create an .
When creating an , double check that the you provide is correct. Errors in the name, , date of birth or address can lead to delays. Use your to verify that your name and are accurate. Use your legal name, as listed on the . Do not substitute a nickname or middle name for your first name.
The should be at least six characters long. The can be a combination of letters and numbers.
The can be eight to 30 characters long. The can be a combination of letters (uppercase and lowercase), numbers and special characters. The cannot match your name, or date of birth. The must be changed every 18 months.
If the complains about an invalid email address, check for spaces and other typos in the email address. People enter their email address incorrectly rather often.
You will receive an email message to confirm that your email address works. If you don’t receive the email, check your spam folder. The email message will come from firstname.lastname@example.org.
The may be used with the FAFSA immediately.
If you get a message about a problem verifying your , it means there is a database mismatch between the name, date of birth and you supplied and the Social Security Administration’s records. Check the again carefully and correct the errors. Your will be locked until you fix the problem.
How to prevent and fix problems
Write down your and on a piece of paper, along with your email address and the answers to your challenge questions. Keep this somewhere safe, or take a picture of it with your smartphone. It is not uncommon for people to forget their or , email address or the answers to their challenge questions.
If you have a mobile phone, add your to the , as it can help you resolve problems with the more quickly.
What happens If you forget your password?
If you forget your ‘s , your will get locked. You get only three login attempts before the will lock.
If your is locked, you must unlock the and then immediately change the . If you do not change the before using the again, the will relock.
To unlock the , you can answer your challenge questions, have an unlock code texted to your cell phone, or have an unlock code emailed to your email address. You must work quickly, as the unlock code will expire after a short period of time. Look in your spam folder if you can’t find the email message. There may be a delay after the is unlocked and the changed before you can use the again.
Some of the most common causes of problems with the the for them. When a parent tries to complete both parts of the FAFSA, they sometimes get confused. This leads to several common errors, such as: occur when a parent creates a for their child and tries to complete
- Swapping student and parent names
- The parent completing the as though they were going to college, instead of the .
- Entering a sibling’s or date of birth instead of the student’s
- Using the wrong to start or sign the FAFSA.
- The gets locked because the parent used the wrong .
- Other common errors include:
Other common errors include:
- Swapping first and last names. The FAFSA asks for the last name first and the first name last. Read the questions carefully.
- Incorrect date of birth. The most common errors involve a digit transposition in the year or swapping the month and date. But, sometimes people do misremember their birth date.
- Errors in the . Digit transpositions are common. Undocumented parents cannot get a and must use 000-00-0000 on the FAFSA. Do not substitute a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for the .
- already in use. This warning often occurs when a parent created a for the but never told them about it. It can also be a sign of .
- Change in address. The address on the must match the address on the tax return, or you can’t use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool . If you have moved, file IRS Form 8822 to update your address with the IRS and wait a few weeks before using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool .
How to Get Help With FSA ID Problems
If you encounter problems with the , call 1-800-557-7394 (TTY 1-800-730-8913).
You can also contact the Center , which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or clicking on the Chat with Us button. Do not send or by email, as it is not secure.