New FSA ID replaces FAFSA pin code for log in

Written by Marie Mayer from Garretson Financial

Effective immediately, the Dept. of Education will no longer use PIN numbers to electronically sign the FAFSA.  There is a new FSA ID, made up of a username and password, to access certain U.S. Department of Education websites. This newsletter will be entirely dedicated to address these changes and guide you through the process.

What is the FSA ID and Who Needs to Get One?

The FSA ID replaces the Federal Student Aid PIN that you previously used to confirm your identity when accessing your financial aid information.  The FSA ID will also be used to electronically sign your Federal Student Aid documents.  The FSA ID is more secure than the PIN and eliminates the need to provide personal identifiers such as your Social Security number on financial aid documents.

As with the previous PIN, EVERY STUDENT, and ONE PARENT of a dependent student must obtain an FSA ID.

How do I get an FSA ID?

I have included step by step instructions below, including screen shots of most web-pages you will encounter. I suggest that you read the instructions thoroughly before starting the process. This is not difficult, but there are some tips below that will make the process easier.

  • Access the FSA ID Website at:
  • Select ‘Create An FSA ID
Create FSA ID
  • Enter an email address unique to the student or parent applying for the FSA ID. For example, if a student uses a parent’s email address in his or her application, the parent cannot use the same email address for the parent application.
  • It is important to have access to your inbox for this email address during the application process. A secure code will be emailed to you during the process.
  • Create a USERNAME. Your user name will be unique to you and you will be alerted to the availability of the username you have selected.
Username Taken
Username Available
  • Create a PASSWORD. Your password must contain between 8-30 characters, include numbers, upper and lower case letters and may include special characters. You will be alerted when your password meets all criteria, then you will be required to enter it a second time.
  • Write down your Username and Password and keep this information in a secure location.
  • Confirm the age of the applicant and select CONTINUE.
  • On the next screen you will be required to enter your Social Security Number, Date of Birth, and Name. Enter the information in the required format and select CONTINUE.
security ID
  • If you already have a PIN number, you will be prompted to enter your current PIN number. Since all active PIN numbers have been verified, this serves as an immediate verification of the information you have entered.
Pin verification
  • In the next screen, new applicants will be asked to input your address. For applications with a PIN, information from your current PIN will be imported. Verify the imported mailing address. Input of a phone number will be suggested, but is not mandatory. When complete, select CONTINUE.
  • You will be required to establish answers to 4 security questions. 2 questions will be from a bank of pre-selected questions, 2 questions will be created by the applicant. Enter a significant date in your life. Select CONTINUE.
Security Questions FSA ID
  • Review and accept the Terms and Conditions in the next screen. Select CONTINUE.
  • An email will be sent to the email address you entered in the application. You will be asked to verify the email address by entering a 6 digit numeric code contained in the email. Enter the code in the email and select CONTINUE.
Email security code
  • SUCCESS! Now that you have successfully completed the application AND verified your email address, you may use either the FSA ID or your email address as the User Name when logging into certain U.S. Dept. of Education websites.

Where Can I Use My FSA ID?

After your name, Social Security number, and date of birth are verified with the Social Security Administration (SSA), you can use your FSA ID to access these Federal Student Aid systems:

Free Application for Federal Student Aid at

  • Electronically sign your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®; [your parent can sign with his or her own FSA ID].
  • Pre-fill data in this year’s FAFSA if you filed a FAFSA last year.
  • Make online corrections to an existing FAFSA.
  • View or print an online copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR).

The National Student Loan Data System at

  • View a history of any federal student aid that you have received.
  • Look up your loan servicer information. at

  • Complete Entrance Counseling.
  • Electronically sign a master promissory note (MPN).
  • Complete PLUS loan requests.
  • Complete Exit Counseling.

Agreement to Serve (ATS) at

  • Sign your ATS for the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program.

My Federal Student Aid at

  • View a history of any federal student aid that you have received.
  • Look up your loan servicer information.

Exerpted from

The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Entities or persons distributing this information are not authorized to give tax or legal advice. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

The information contained is for general use and it is not intended to cover all aspects of a particular matter.

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