Goodbye, Federal Student Aid PIN. Hello, FSA ID!

FSA ID Blog Post Image

If you’re a student, parent, or borrower and you’re logging in to a U.S. Department of Education (ED) website – like, the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®) at,,, and Agreement to Serve (ATS) at – you will be asked to create new log-in credentials known as the FSA ID.

The FSA ID – a username and password – benefits you in four ways:

  • It removes your personally identifiable information (PII), like your Social Security number, from your log-in credentials
  • It creates a more secure and efficient way to verify your information when you log in to access to your federal student aid information online
  • It gives you the ability to easily update your personal information, like your phone number, e-mail address, or your name
  • It allows you to easily retrieve your username and password by requesting a secure code be sent to your e-mail address or by answering challenge questions

Creating an FSA ID is simple and only takes a few minutes. You’ll have an opportunity to link your current Federal Student Aid PIN to your FSA ID. Doing so allows you to use your newly created FSA ID almost immediately to log in to the five ED websites listed above. Even if you’ve forgotten your FSA PIN or don’t have one, you can still create an FSA ID.

The final step in creating an FSA ID is to confirm your e-mail address. You’ll be sent a secure code to the e-mail address you entered when you created your FSA ID. Once you retrieve the code from your e-mail account and enter it – to confirm your e-mail address is valid – you’ll be able to use this e-mail address instead of your username to log in to the five ED websites, making the log-in process EVEN simpler!

Remember, your federal student aid account information is valuable. Only the owner of the FSA ID should create and use the account. And you should never share your FSA ID.

For more information about the FSA ID, please visit

April Jordan is a senior communications specialist at Federal Student Aid.


  1. I just got off the phone with a very nice lady at FAFSA. I had been incorrectly checking the box for “parent 1” when, on the FAFSA I was “parent 2”. This is why my information did not match up. For all of you that are experiencing problems, I suggest you go back to your “Parent Demographics” page on the FAFSA and make sure all the info is the same as your FSA ID.

  2. When I first signed up for the FSA ID a month ago it wouldn’t recognize my PIN. Submitting and error report yielded no results. It wasn’t until a few days ago when it finally took my PIN but only if I used my maiden name; a name I updated to my married one over 10 years ago. Now, I’m receiving emails from FSA saying my FSA ID is locked. I unlocked it two days ago, when I attached my PIN to my account, it sent me 3 emails in the span of an hour to tell me my account was locked and sent me two security unlock codes twice. I did not request those codes. Something is going on as either someone is trying to get into my account, or as I am reading in these comments, the system is still in Alpha and they need to fix it. I for one was fine with the PIN system. Why change what isn’t broke?

  3. This FSA id stuff is GARBAGE. There were no problems with the old system! And even after my mom made her account so she could sign, her account has been locked and unlocked 20 times, with the stupid application saying “Doesn’t match” every time we tried to sign it.

    I wonder how many thousands of kids aren’t going to be able to afford school this year because of this.

  4. I have never seen a more frustrating, ridiculous process in all my life. Every year we have to go through this application only to find more changes (“improvements” NOT), new IDs to create, never ending issues with not recognizing usernames, emails, passwords, etc. This year we now have to create a FSA ID not to be confused with a FAFSA ID and something called the “Save Key” in addition to your PIN number. Calls are not answered, students are caught in limbo and the clock keeps ticking toward the start of the semester with people not being able to successfully file their FAFSA or make corrections. Not sure what to do next?

  5. My page/email address has incorrect mailing address and security questions. I don’t know if the database is a mess or someone is using my ID, and the phone wait time is too long at the moment to wait all day to maybe talk with someone. Can anyone address/acknowledge the multiple problems people seem to be having?

  6. I’ve been trying to do my FAFSA for over a month hoping that when I click FAFSA Renewal and enter in a “save key” that it would work, no it doesn’t. Every time I log in with my FSA ID it works but as soon as I try to renew my FAFSA and after I enter in my “save key” it gives me an error “The FSA ID you provided does not match the student information provided on the FAFSA. Click Forgot User Name if you have forgotten your FSA ID.” How is this possible if I just logged in. Also when I try to IRS data retrieve my moms information is says the same thing. I need to get my FAFSA done ASAP or I won’t be eligible anymore.

  7. I created an FSA ID and confirmed it via email. However, when I try to log into the FAFSA with the username and password that WORK on the FSA ID website, the site claims I’m entering the wrong information. Super frustrating because I need to enter the ID and username to sign the damn thing. Seems like a major error in the system.

  8. Yeah, this is a boondoggle. None of the ID reset functions seem to work, no response from phone calls, school can’t help … etc. etc. The levels of incompetence here are mind-blowing. I think some people at this department should be forced to sit with parents who are doing something as (should-be) simple as resetting or editing an ID and see how impossible it is.

  9. “Easier than ever”……not in my book. We are under the gun to get things done by July 1st……not sure that is going to happen. What is happening here?

  10. Same issues as above now across months and months. This screams private vendor fraud and pork. Get rid of the private vendor. Indemnify for a simpler process or just fund the breaks stop prioritizing budget, a working system will have some security breaches- get used to it so that its at least workable. You will have some liability it can be eliminated with this type of bs.

  11. I too have been working on this for HOURS and still can’t link to the IRS! I’m up against a time limit here! Are you deliberately sabatoging our efforts to submit these forms? Why would you change the process at the busiest time of the year?

  12. Help!! Have repeatedly tried to transfer IRS data to FAFSA with no success and also doesn’t recognize new ID or email. We’ve had 3 children attend college so FAFSA has consistently been a part of our lives for a few years. I have never had any problems with FAFSA until now. It’s been a nightmare. Very frustrating!

  13. From FAFSA – “TIP: The application process is faster if you use your FSA ID to sign your application electronically.” Hard to believe anything could be slower than using FSA ID. Nowhere to enter parent’s FSA ID on FAFSA but can’t be signed by parent because FSA ID used to sign does not match the parent information provided on the FAFSA. Going to have to print, sign and mail which will still be faster.

  14. So I think I’m going to go ahead and say this implementation of FSA ID/password was poorly executed and the support number is a joke. I just hope my tax dollars aren’t paying for the salary of whoever decided to create this laughable process. A college student could have done better than what is presented now.

  15. This process is not simple. Very frustrating!!! The PIN system worked. I create a user ID and password and I’m told it’s invalid. My college asked me to use the IRS data retrieval tool even though I have already corrected the info after my taxes were done. Unable to access the IRS due to the invalid Fasfa ID. Now it shows I never submitted a fasfa. This is a nightmare!!! Fix it!!

  16. Our daughter is a senior and this is her 4th Fafsa. We never had an issue using the old logon system.

    Her Fafsa for this year was completed and submitted, no problem, using the old system. We also used the retrieval tool in March 2015, old system, no problem. But we just found out now (June 2015) that her school did not receive the IRS data. No problem right? Just logon and use the retrieval tool again…

    WRONG! For two nights we have been trying to crack the new system. We entered all the student info correctly and created what we thought was a parent ID, linking it to the pin my wife previously used.

    After a day, the new ID worked . . . except . . . IT NOW THINKS MY WIFE IS THE STUDENT AND WANTS TO START A NEW FAFSA!!!!

    All over the help area it talks about a parent ID . . . But I can’t find anyplace to create one . .. only a student ID. In the meantime, the school sends out invoices next week, AND WE CAN’T ACCESS OUR OWN ACCOUNT!!!!

  17. The database seems a tad out of sorts. As a student worker for my college, I have sat countless hours with students both old and young and have had my life threatened a few times…[in french, so you know its severe.] All jokes aside- the website isn’t very user-friendly, and seems unable to work on even its best days. I am thankful students can still print out a signature page for signing it, and to my current knowledge can still mail the FAFSA in if need be. A note of concern; for disabled students, primarily those with low vision complain on the color scheme, lettering and coloring of the lettering. Not too much of a smart move to have white against grey… Perhaps a more accessible website across the board is being asked for here. It smells a lot like the instance with the Health care website that had happened earlier this year…

  18. I am a counselor at a college. My student has been having so many problems with this new FSA ID process. She has tried multiple times resetting her FSA ID and calling for assistance and nothing seems to be working. The weird thing is that it allows her to login to her FAFSA just fine with the FSA ID, but once she gets to the sign/submit page that is when she is having problems. She tries signing with her FSA ID and it keeps giving her error messages, her mother signs as well and same thing happens. It is really frustrating because she missed the deadline for this month’s enrollment all because FAFSA was not letting her sign application.

    I do not understand why there are so many issues with this new process, especially for DEPENDENT students. It should not be this challenging to apply for financial aid. I miss the old process. Students choose to utilize Title IV funding because they have the desire to go to school and better their education. However, this new system could scare them away from the process because it is discouraging. Please read all the comments provided and how so many people are having issues with this new process and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

  19. I’ve been trying to sign my FAFSA through the FSA ID Username and Password, and yet it keeps popping up that there is an error saying that my FSA ID doesn’t match my FAFSA info. This is probably the 100th time I’ve tried to sign. I’ve even tried with different emails too. This is ridiculous. I had the same problem last year with the PIN but this is insane. We’re all trying to receive financial aid here, and yet FAFSA won’t let us.

  20. After many failed attempts to log in, I tried changing my password. I put in the right user name and new password and I’m still unable to log in. Not understanding the issue but it needs to be fixed ASAP. Kind of frustrating

  21. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever tried to do. All I want to do is update our tax info and we cannot log in. It just circles you around and around locking you out at every turn! Thanks Government for another failure!

  22. The system still does not work. I tried to create my FSA Id, but when I got to the name field it would not accept all of my name. How weird. Has anyone else had this problem?

    It looks like someone was responding to the earlier complaints but not lately. Maybe they realize how broken the system is and don’t know what to say. The last time a “customer service” representative, i.e. “April Jordan,” responded to a complain posted on this board was almost a month ago.

    I’ve had the same reaction, this is ridiculous, and the timing couldn’t have been worse.

  23. FASFA Folks:


  24. I have been trying to make an fsa I’d for the past week but this new thing won’t accept my birthday. I’ve had the same birthday nice I was born and have never changed it so why is this new thing saying I am not using the correct birthday. All I want is to go to school and make a better life! But this is not helping.

  25. After repeatedly reaffirming the fsa id and password, the fafsa site continues to fail to recognize the fsa id/password credentials. Another federal IT project clown car

  26. I cannot get through the process to create and FSA ID. This process is horribly broken. Seriously, can’t the government implement anything web-related?

  27. I’m completely locked out of the Fafsa, although I’ve followed all the instructions for the FSA ID so many times I want to throw the computer across the room. I can’t link the fafsa to the IRS return and I’m locked out of the college app process. infuriating at all levels.

  28. Thanks to your new system, my FAFSA is now late. Goodness, have you ever heard of “If something isn’t broken, don’t fix it!” Every time my mother goes to login in with her brand spanking new “FSA ID”, it won’t work.

  29. We have been working for HOURS trying to electronically sign our FASFA to submit, but it won’t recognize my username or email or password even though we have reset everything!

    • Trust me, you’re not alone. We’ve reset the password together over five times and it still says invalid information. This is a true nightmare.

      • I have a similar story. I was able to submit my FAFSA by printing out the signature page and mailing it in. But, because I’m a graduate student I need to also apply for a Grad PLUS loan. In order to do that I need to use my FSA ID. Every time I try to sign in with my FSA ID the website tells me that my account is locked. When I go through the process of unlocking the account, the FSA website immediately tells me that my account is locked again. So I’m basically stuck in an infinite loop of insanity. When I call the help line and try to speak to a human being, the recording hangs up on me…Every.Single.Time. Why in the world would the Feds think that this was a good idea?

  30. I have tried and tried to create my fsa id but everytime it tells me that I am using an invalid email address and the email I am using is the one given to me by my school. What is the deal because I know this is a valid email address because I have been using it for 3 years now!

  31. so, i have the secure code, what do i do with it? because there’s no link, no space to enter it, this is ridiculous. the prior system worked, period. waste of taxpayer time and money.

  32. The PIN could not have possibly been worst than this FSA ID. I’ve been attending school for over 3 years and have never had an issue with the PIN. It is really frustrating that there would be a glitch that is affecting so many people who are trying to access important information that is most likely detrimental to them attending school. It should have been fixed a month ago!

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