9 Myths about the FSA ID

FAFSA® TipsTips for Success3.5 minutes

Your FSA ID is a username and password that gives you access to U.S. Department of Education online systems, such as StudentAid.gov. It provides quick access to eligibility information for federal financial aid programs and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. It can also serve as your legal signature when completing electronic documents.

Sometimes, you may come across information about the FSA ID that’s inaccurate, and this false information could derail your strategy to pay for school. So, let’s debunk some common myths.

1

Myth #1: Creating an FSA ID is a lengthy process.

Creating an FSA ID takes less than 10 minutes. In some cases, you may need to wait for us to verify your information. Watch the “How to Create An FSA ID (Account Username and Password)” video to walk through the process step-by-step.

Creating an FSA ID includes enrolling in two-step verification, which gives your account additional protection. Two-step verification helps us make sure you’re who you say you are and keeps your federal student aid info secure.

2

Myth #2: Only students need to create an FSA ID.

Parents of dependent students will need to create their own FSA ID. This step is necessary in order to keep private information secure. When you set up your account, you will need to provide personal information like your Social Security number (SSN). You will also need to create a password, include contact information, answer challenge questions, set up two-step verification methods, set your communication preferences, and review and confirm your personal details. An FSA ID allows parents to update the FAFSA form with their information and sign the document.

3

Myth #3: Anyone can create or use my FSA ID.

No. Your FSA ID serves as a legal signature used for signing legally binding documents. Giving someone else access to your FSA ID is like having another person forge your signature on a contract.

Don’t let anyone either create or use your FSA ID and don’t give out your two-step verification code to anyone —this includes your parents, school officials, and loan officers.

4

Myth #4: I need a permanent address, an email account, or a mobile phone number to create my FSA ID.

You don’t need a permanent address to create an FSA ID, but you will need to have a verified email address or a mobile phone number.

This contact information will help you

  • access your account for two-step verification and
  • retrieve your username or password if you’re ever locked out of your account.

Plus, we’ll use your email to keep you updated with important information about your account.

5

Myth #5: Parents and students can use the same email address or mobile phone number for their FSA IDs.

You can only associate one email address and mobile phone number with an FSA ID. Students and parents cannot share the same email address or mobile phone number. So, only include your own email address and/or mobile phone number.

6

Myth #6: The FSA ID is necessary to fill out the FAFSA® form.

We don’t require an FSA ID  to sign and submit the FAFSA form, but it does make the process easier and quicker. It can help you access, complete, and/or correct your information on our websites.

7

Myth #7: The Social Security Administration (SSA) needs to verify my information before I can use my FSA ID.

Once you create your FSA ID, you can use it immediately to complete and sign your FAFSA form. However, other activities, such as submitting a renewal FAFSA form or completing other forms on StudentAid.gov, will require you to wait until we verify your identity with the SSA. The verification step can take between one and three days.

If you do not have a Social Security number (SSN), you will not be able to create an FSA ID. Without an FSA ID, you cannot sign the FAFSA form online. Learn about how to sign your FAFSA form without an SSN. 

8

Myth #8: I will have to wait a whole day for an email or mobile phone confirmation.

You will receive an email confirmation and/or verification code on your mobile phone within three minutes. If you don’t receive the email confirmation in your inbox, make sure to check your spam filter. You can avoid delays by either

  • adding the FSA ID email address (donotreply@studentaid.gov) to your contact list or
  • going to your email settings and creating a new filter.

9

Myth #9: I forgot my password, which means I can’t reset it for at least 30 minutes.

You’ll have to wait 30 minutes to reset your password if you use the challenge question option. We do this for security purposes. However, the easiest way to reset your password is to use either your verified email address or verified mobile number. These options will help provide immediate access to your FSA ID.

We have plenty of resources online to help you create and use your FSA ID. Visit StudentAid.gov/fsaid to learn how to manage your account.