The U.S. Department of Education recently made a big change in the way borrowers, parents, and students alike access their information on financial aid websites such as StudentLoans.gov and the National Student Loan Data System.
In the past, students would use the Federal Student Aid (FSA) PIN, which utilizes a borrower’s Social Security number as well as other personal information, to log in. This information was required every time a borrower would need to sign loan documents, access their student loan info, etc.
As you can imagine, providing sensitive information each and every time you log in increases the risk of personal information being stolen.
In a move to keep up with best security practices, the U.S. Department of Education is moving away from the Federal Student Aid PIN.
In its place? The new FSA ID.
What is an FSA ID?
The FSA ID is a username and password that gives you the unique benefit of logging into your accounts — while removing all personally identifiable information.
The FSA ID is your new official Federal Student Aid ID, which you will use to log in to use FSA websites like FAFSA, StudentLoans.gov, and more.
The new FSA ID ushers in a secure way of accessing your information while providing borrowers easy access to manage and update their information.
How Does this Affect You?
The new FSA ID will be used on websites like FAFSA, StudentLoans.gov, the National Student Loan Data System, StudentAid.gov as well as the Agreement to Serve website. The FSA ID will play a big role for students looking to apply for financial aid and gather information on their loans.
Graduates can use their FSA ID on Federal Student Aid websites to do a variety of things, including:
- Exit counseling
- Retrieve student loan info, such as lender information and total balance
- Apply for Direct Consolidation Loan
- Apply for an Income-Driven Repayment Plan
If you need to do any official business with one of the Federal Student Aid websites, you will need to create an FSA ID.
How Do I Create an FSA ID?
The good news is that it only takes a few minutes and a few simple steps to creating an FSA ID. To get started, take the following steps:
- Go to the Create a New FSA ID page.
- Enter your email address and create a new username and password.
- Enter your Social Security number, date of birth, and full name.
- Link your Federal Student AID PIN to your new account. You can create an FSA ID without your PIN. However linking your PIN to your new FSA ID can expedite the approval process.
- Create several “Challenge Questions and Answers.”
- Review your profile information and accept the terms and conditions.
- Verify and confirm your email address.
- Your FSA ID has been created!
If you do not link your Federal Student Aid PIN to your FSA ID, it will take the Social Security Administration (SSA) 1-3 days to verify your information. You will receive an email confirmation once your account has been verified.
If you need to change your username or password, you can go to the Edit My FSA ID tab on the login page. In the event you feel your information has been compromised, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) immediately.
One thing to note is that your username does not expire, but you will be asked to update your password every eighteen months.
The new FSA ID is bringing more security to the financial aid process so that you can access the information you need, without using sensitive information every single time.
How Does This Affect Student Loan Hero Accounts?
Existing Student Loan Hero users that want to refresh their loan information should create an FSA ID and update their accounts to do so.
If you don’t yet have a Student Loan Hero account, creating one is easy and takes only a few minutes to set up.
Simply enter your email and password, and then sync your student loan data as instructed. Previously, you would have used your Federal Student Aid PIN to retrieve and sync your data.
With this new update, which helps increase security, you will use your new FSA ID username and password to sync your student loan data.
If you don’t have an FSA ID, you will need to create an account, which should only take a few minutes using the steps mentioned above.
We’re excited about this new level of security, and hopefully this makes it easier for borrowers to access their information in a simple, secure way. We’ll keep you up-to-date on any future changes.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2019!
|1 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB). Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions, and certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of Turnstile Capital Management (TCM) and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.
* Application times vary depending on the applicants ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
2 Important Disclosures for College Ave.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
Information advertised valid as of 4/1/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
3 Important Disclosures for Discover.
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
4 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
5 Important Disclosures for SunTrust.
Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. To view and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans, visit https://www.suntrust.com/loans/student-loans/private.
Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue this loan program without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.
SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. ©2019 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.
6 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Additional terms and conditions apply. For more details see LendKey
7 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
A government loan is made according to rules set by the U.S. Department of Education. Government loans have fixed interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on a government loan will never go up or down.
Government loans also permit borrowers in financial trouble to use certain options, such as income-based repayment, which may help some borrowers. Depending on the type of loan that you have, the government may discharge your loan if you die or become permanently disabled.
Depending on what type of government loan that you have, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in exchange for performing certain types of public service. If you are an active-duty service member and you obtained your government loan before you were called to active duty, you are entitled to interest rate and repayment benefits for your loan.
A private student loan is not a government loan and is not regulated by the Department of Education. A private student loan is instead regulated like other consumer loans under both state and federal law and by the terms of the promissory note with your lender.
If your private student loan has a fixed interest rate, then that rate will never go up or down. If your private student loan has a variable interest rate, then that rate will vary depending on an index rate disclosed in your application. If the interest rate on the new private student loan is less than the interest rate on your government loans, your payments will be less if you refinance.
If you don’t pay a private student loan as agreed, the lender can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.
Remember also that like government loans, most private loans cannot be discharged if you file bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate that repayment of the loan would cause you an undue hardship. In most bankruptcy courts, proving undue hardship is very difficult for most borrowers.
8 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|4.24% – 13.24%1||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.07% – 11.32%2||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.84% – 13.49%3||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.50% – 11.35%*,4||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.25% – 13.25%5||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|6.08% – 7.22%6||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|3.95% – 9.81%7||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.45% – 12.42%8||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|