Pop Quiz – Is There a Wait Time to Use an FSA ID?


School XYZ was assisting a parent and student with the FAFSA application process and directed the parent to the FSA ID site. After obtaining the FSA ID, the parent attempted to sign the FAFSA and received an error message. Are applicants able to use the FSA ID right away?


No. The Social Security Match with the Social Security Administration takes time. The parent should wait 24-72 hours for the match to be completed and then, try to sign the FAFSA again. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available for the 2018-19 FAFSA application and a FSA ID is required to use the tool.


Publication Date: 11/29/2017

Michael B | 11/30/2017 11:6:15 AM

This is the information on StudentAid.gov/fsaid below.

When can I use my new FSA ID?
You may immediately use your FSA ID to sign an original (first-time) FAFSA form, but nothing else (not even a Renewal FAFSA form). All other activities require that we match your information with the SSA.
If you verified your email address, you’ll receive an email once your information is matched with the SSA (one–three days from the date you apply). Once the process is complete, you will be able to use your FSA ID to fully access your financial aid information.

Tonya C | 11/29/2017 11:58:38 AM

According to the E-announcement dated April 18, 2017:

The option to link a Federal Student Aid PIN to the user’s FSA ID will be removed. In the past, a PIN expired after 18 months of nonuse. As we approach the two-year anniversary of the FSA ID replacing the PIN, all PINs that have not been linked to an FSA ID by May 14th will be treated as expired and will no longer be linkable to an FSA ID.

Shelby G | 11/29/2017 10:37:01 AM

According to the study materials for the NASFAA U Application Process course, if a student links their FSA ID to their previous FSA PIN, access is granted immediately. If a student or parent chooses not to link to the FSA PIN or creates a new FSA ID, they will have limited access to FSA sites for 1-3 days while SSA verifies their identity.

Arlesha C | 11/29/2017 10:8:10 AM

Very helpful. Thank you

Kenneth C | 11/29/2017 9:28:43 AM

There isn't always a delay. It has been my experience in many FAFSA workshops that the FSA ID can be used immediately upon creation. There are different scenarios that could prevent it from working immediately.
1) There is difficulty verifying the e-mail or phone number;
2) There is a recent change to any information within the FSA ID;
3) The password is changed for the FSA ID (30 minute wait)

Otherwise the FSA ID should be usable immediately. The SSA Match doesn't occur immediately. When the FAFSA is submitted with the "umatched FSA ID" it is on a suspension for 24 hours. if a mismatch occurs the FAFSA is rejected.

Sometimes students and parents can create problems that cause the FSA ID problem. This can results in them trying to correct the FSA ID, which causes it to be inactive for 24 hours.

The most common FSA ID problems are:
1) Student and Parent trying to use the same e-mail address or phone number;
2) Name, SSN or DOB on FSA ID and FAFSA do not match;
3) Home address or E-mail address on the FSA ID and FAFSA do not match;
4) Mis-entering the password repeatedly, locking the FSA ID.

How can you best assist them to prevent this delay?

1) Before they start, make sure they have access to a cell phone and e-mail address, and remind them they must be using a different e-mail addresses and phone numbers;
2) Have them create the FSA ID before the FAFSA.
3) f there is an error, have them check the demographic data on both before they try to change the password on the FSA ID;
6) For the parent, make sure they select the correct parent for the FSA ID (parent 1 or parent);
7) If 1 parent's FSA ID fails, let the other parent (if available) create one

Before October each year, send your current students an e-mail reminding them to make sure they know their FSA IDs and if any corrections need to be done, to do so immediately.

I hope this helps.

-Ken Cole

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