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.
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