Why you need to have an FSA ID
An FSA ID refers to a username and password that is used to access Federal student aid websites e.g. StudentLoans.gov and fafsa.gov. You can also use it on the myStudentAid mobile app. It is a means of identifying you as someone who needs to access the information available on these websites.
If you want to apply for student aid, you must have an FSA ID. Your parents must also apply for it if they require a PLUS loan.
An FSA ID helps when appending your signature on the loan application forms. This simply means that you can apply and submit the application forms electronically.
You shall not share the ID with your parents, and both you and your parent will have unique ID’s for recognition. This is your signature and cannot be shared. However, if you are a parent with more than one child applying for financial aid, you can use the same ID on all the applications, but each child must have their own ID’s.
When applying for an FSA ID, you must input your mobile number and email address, which are associated with only one ID, which means that you cannot use same mobile number with two FSA ID’s. This will not work.
Previously, students used to use the Federal student aid PIN, but have recently changed to FSA ID. This is a more secure login process compared to the PIN and will eliminate the need for parents and students to provide personal information such as DOB, name and social security number any time they need to submit a FAFSA form.
What is a FAFSA form?
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. If you are a student requiring financial aid, you must start by filling this form. Submitting it to your college will open for your many doors for getting financial aid.
You cannot do much without this form, i.e. when applying for grants and other forms of financial aid. You will also need it when applying for student loans issued by the federal government and other lenders that are willing to help with your tuition.
To show you just how serious this form is; In 2017, more than $2 billion student loans was unclaimed simply because parents and students failed to fill in the FAFSA form.
Now, let me give you a small tip; The earlier you fill out this form, the better it shall be for you, because most institutions will issue loans on a first come first served basis, and if you delay, you may find that the funds allocated for student loans have already been exhausted and you have not received anything.
But you need to know that you must have your parent’s cooperation with the form. Assuming that you are one of their dependents, the form will require you to disclose certain information about your parents such as their income, assets, and taxes. All of this is used to determine your aid worthiness.
This information should not worry you. They are not trying to put them on the hook, but rather trying to understand how desperately you need aid.
Let’s go back to FSA ID.
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Here’s how to create an FSA ID
The image above shows what you will find on the website when you log in. Follow the following steps to create your new FSA ID.
- Click on ‘create new FSA ID’ link, which will take you to the above page.
- You will then be required to verify that you are at least 13 years of age.
- Then, you will choose your login information, which includes a username that you shall be using every time you log on to the federal websites, and a password that shall give you access to your personal and other types of information.
- Next, you will need to feed the system with your personal information such as your name, social security number, your address, date of birth, etc. It is also mandatory to input your mobile number and mailing address as these will be your unique identifiers.
- Select a language preference.
- Complete the challenge questions and answers.
- You will then need to confirm and verify your account and also agree to all the terms and conditions associated with the account.
Websites that are accessible with an FSA ID
|Website||What you can do:|
|MyStudentAid app|| |
|My Federal Student Aid – Access this at StudentAid.gov/login, or through the NSLD – National Student Loan Data system.|| |
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about the FSA ID
Do I really need to have an FSA ID?
Well, if you will require student aid for financing your college education, then an FSA ID is a must. This is what will give you access into the Federal websites that provide student loans.
In addition, the FSA ID not only acts as a unique identifier, but it will also act as a way for you to append your signature on any forms you submit while applying for your loans. This means that you can submit loan application forms online.
For anyone planning to go to college, there are high chances that you will require financial aid. It is always a good idea to get your FSA ID long before you even go to college and apply for financial aid while still in high school so that when you receive your college admission letter, it can be attached with your qualification for a loan.
Is my FSA ID activated immediately?
The answer to this question is both yes, and not.
Yes, because when you receive your FSA ID, you will be able to access your FAFSA loan electronically. This means that if you had applied, or you wish to apply for a federal loan, having your FSA ID, allows you to access this information immediately you receive your log in details.
The no part of the answer is because you will not be able to use your FSA ID with other purposes such as signing a promissory note and will have to wait at least 2-3 days for this to become possible for you.
What can I do if my Date of Birth and social security number listed on my FAFSA forms do not match with my FSA ID?
It is important to note that these personal details such as your mobile phone, address, date of birth and social security numbers must always match on whichever forms you are trying to access.
However, it is common to have errors every now and then during the process of information collection. One of the main problems could be that you input your information in the parent field, instead of the student fields.
So, if this happens, do not worry, follow the following steps;
- Click on ‘manage my FSA ID, on your FSA ID website.
- Enter your FSA ID, i.e. your username and password.
- Select the button that says ‘continue.’
- The next page will show you your personal details such as name, SSN, and DOB. Keep this window open, as you open the next window.
- On the next tab, log on to fafsa.gov, and then select the button that says “LOG IN” so that you can be able to access your FAFSA form that contains the disputes.
- If this is your account, you must select the “I’m the student” option, in order to verify that it is indeed your account, and then log in with your FSA ID credentials, the username, and password. If your parent is filling in for you, they should select “I am the parent” option, on the right side of the page, and then use the student’s FSA ID details to log into the account.
- If asked, ensure to enter the ‘Save’ key.
- Then, as you move to and from the FAFSA page, verify the details that need verification, your Name, DOB, SSC, etc. These details must match what you have on your FSA ID at all times.
What happens if I forget my FSA ID?
This is quite normal, and if it happens do not worry, the website provides options for you to be able to recover your login details. On the log-in page, you will find options that say “Forgot my password” and “forgot my username” click on these links so you can start the process of recovery.
Here is a point to note
As mentioned earlier, you need to use a unique mobile phone number, email, and address when creating your FSA ID. Well, the address may not help much if you need to reset your username and password, but the mobile phone number and email address will be used by the website in order to help retrieve your login details.
You must, therefore, ensure to verify your mobile number and email address at the point of creation.
In order to retrieve your details, they will have to send a code to your email or mobile number. In addition, you may need to answer the challenging questions they asked when you were creating the FSA ID. If you cannot remember these, then you must call The Federal Student Aid Information Center number; 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243; or use this 1-800-437-0833 for the hearing impaired.
When you call the numbers above, an agent will be there to guide you through the process of retrieving your login details.
If calling still doesn’t resolve your problem, then you will be required to send in copies of your identification. This process, however, will take a lot longer, around 7-10 days, from the moment you send in your details, for you to receive an email prompting you to change your username and password.
Once you are able to gain access back into your account, you are encouraged to come up with a password that you can easily remember, and then use the procedure I have laid out above in order to verify your email address and phone number so that in future you can be able to easily retrieve your password.
Getting an FSA ID is not something you should put off for when you need a federal student loan. You should ensure that you get one as soon as you receive your college admission letter, and in fact, I have already told you that you can do it while still in college.
Most smart kids will start their student aid application while in high school so that they can secure their funding as soon as possible. Remember that funding is on a first come first served basis, and therefore, ensure to be among the first, so that you can get what you need in good time