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How do I create an FSA ID to file the FAFSA®?

Published March 12, 2024| minute read

    If you file the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) electronically, you'll be required to have or create a unique Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. This includes students, parents, and other contributors to the form (like a spouse).

    Those with an ID will gain access to the U.S. Department of Education’s online systems, including the online FAFSA®. The ID can serve as an electronic signature for documents that need to be signed electronically to provide to the U.S. Department of Education, and there are other benefits to it as well.

    Continue reading for more information on creating an FSA ID.

    What’s an FSA ID?

    An FSA ID consists of an account username and password for users to access FSA websites — including, where you can access and complete the FAFSA® online. It's used to confirm your identity when you access your financial aid information electronically. It can also function as your legal signature when completing electronic documents on the FSA website.

    You’ll need to use your FSA ID each year you file the FAFSA®, which you need to do every year that you plan to be in school to see if you’re eligible for federal and some other types of financial aid. With all of that said, you’ll only need to create your FSA ID once, and you can continue using the same ID each year. Using an FSA ID allows you to prefill some of your financial information and import information from a previous year’s FAFSA® as well.

    What information do I need to create an FSA ID?

    To create your FSA ID, you’ll need the following:

    • Some basic personal information
    • Your Social Security number (SSN), if you have one
    • A personal email address not linked to another FSA ID
    • A mailing address where you can access the mail reliably

    How do I create an FSA ID for the first time?

    If you’re creating an FSA ID, here are the steps to follow:

    1. Visit
    2. Click on “Create an Account”
    3. Click on “Get Started”
    4. Enter personal information, including your name, date of birth, and Social Security number, and click “Continue”
    5. Enter a username and email address, confirm your email address, provide a password, confirm the password, and click “Continue.” Of note, students and their parents can’t use the same email address
    6. Enter your mailing address and your mobile phone number, then confirm your mobile phone number and click “Continue”
    7. Select your communication preference (email or postal mail) and your language preference
    8. Select and complete four challenge questions that will be used to retrieve your username and password should you lose it
    9. Review your information and read and accept the FSA’s terms and conditions
    10. Enable two-step verification based on several options and create your account
    11. The FSA will verify your information before establishing your FSA ID

    Additional information to know about FSA IDs

    There are a few things to note about FSA IDs as you go about setting one up. Some of those things to note include:

    • Each contributor can only have one FSA ID. Therefore, if your parent or another contributor already has an FSA ID, they don’t need to create a new one since only one FSA ID is allowed.
    • Parents of filers who aren’t U.S. citizens or residents must also create an FSA ID.
    • All new users must set up one or more two-step verification methods (text, email, or authenticator app) during the “Create an Account” process. Once a two-step verification method is set up, users will receive a security code each time they log in to
    • Students can still choose to fill out the FAFSA® and mail the form, but the process may be slower, and it may be more difficult to correct mistakes after submission compared to the online form.
    • It may take one to three days for a newly created FSA ID to be verified. This means you might not be able to use your newly created account right away.

    Final thoughts

    An FSA ID is important to get started on your electronic FAFSA® and to set yourself up to receive federal financial aid you may be eligible for. Create your FSA ID before you’re ready to file the FAFSA® and keep it secure so you’re prepared to complete the form when you want to.