Mapping Your Future: The key to receiving financial aid – your FSA ID


The key to receiving financial aid – your FSA ID

By Catherine Mueller

January 15, 2024

An FSA ID is the first step to receiving money for college and it's critical to many actions related to federal financial aid.

Students and parents interested in applying for financial aid need to know what an FSA ID is, how to create one, and when it is used.

The key thing to know about an FSA ID is that it is simply the login – your username and password – to your account and the terms – FSA ID and login – might be used interchangeably.

While it’s easy to establish a account, it may take a few days before your account is verified. The U.S. Department of Education will verify your information with the Social Security Administration. The verification step is necessary to make sure information is accurate before you can perform some actions related to financial aid, such as completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

In addition to completing the FAFSA, you will need to login to your account to complete a promissory note if you decided to borrow federal student loans, to apply for a different repayment student loan payment if the standard repayment is not a good option, and, in some cases, to apply for student loan forgiveness.

To establish a account, the student and parent will need to have their name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number. To speed up the verification process, make sure everything matches your Social Security card. Parents without a Social Security number will be able to create an account by matching their information with a credit reporting bureau.

A couple of important tips about your FSA ID (or login):

  • Use a personal email address (not a school or work email address). Because your login will be yours forever, you are going to want to use an email address that you will have access to in the future.
  • Each student and at least one parent of a dependent student will need to create their own FSA ID. A student and parent cannot share an FSA ID ( account).

You should keep your FSA ID in a safe place. However, if you happen to forget it or lose it, does provide an option to reset your username or password.