If you get an email message that says "Your request for a Federal
Student Aid ID cannot be processed because the Social Security Number
(SSN), name, or date of birth that you provided on your FSA ID
application does not match your information on file at the Social
Security Administration (SSA)... If you are sure that the SSN, name,
and date of birth used to apply for the FSA ID are correct, you must
contact the SSA to resolve any problems with their records." What
should you do?
— Erika B.
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The Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID is used to sign the Free Application for
Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) electronically, correct errors on the
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Student Aid Report (SAR), review the student's financial aid history
at the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), access entrance and
exit counseling for the Direct Loan program and sign electronic
promissory notes for the Direct Loan program.
An FSA ID may be obtained at www.fsaid.ed.gov
using the student's Social Security Number, name and date of
birth. This information is compared with Social Security
Administration (SSA) records and must be an exact match, per section
484(p) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and the regulations at 34
CFR 668.32(i) and 34 CFR 668.36. The data match typically takes 1-3
days. If there is a mismatch, the application for an FSA ID will be
A mismatch can occur because of an error in the information the
student supplied in the FSA ID application or because of an error in the
Social Security Administration database.
Double check to make sure your name, Social Security Number and date
of birth are an exact match for the information on your Social
Verify that there aren't any typos in the Social Security Number, such
as a digit transposition or substitution. Also double check that the
student is submitting his or her Social Security Number, not the
Social Security Number of a parent or sibling.
The name on the FSA ID application must match the student's full legal
name as it appears on the student's Social Security card. Do not use a
nickname, altered spelling or any other name. Use the full name, not
initials. (For example, a student whose legal name is Kristina Carol
must submit the FSA ID application with her full legal name, not K.C. or
Casey.) Sometimes students don't realize that their legal name is
different from the name they've been using, so it is best to retrieve
the Social Security card to verify the spelling of the name. If a
student has changed her name because of marriage or divorce, but has
not yet updated her name with the Social Security Administration, she
will need to either update her name with Social Security
Administration or file the FAFSA with her legal name. Unless and until
you change your name with the Social Security Administration, you have
to use that name to obtain an FSA ID and complete the FAFSA.
Verify that the student's date of birth is entered correctly. Common
errors include submitting the current date instead of the birth date
or the current year instead of the birth year. Sometimes students
submit the date with month and day swapped.
The FSA ID application will be rejected if the Social Security Number
record includes a date of death. This problem will need to be
corrected with the Social Security Administration.
The FSA ID application will also be rejected if some information is
missing, such as the student's last name or date of birth.
Fixing Social Security Number Mismatches
Resubmitting the FSA ID application with the correct Social Security
Number, legal name and date of birth will address the most common errors.
If all of the information is an exact match, the student will need to
contact the Social Security Administration to find out why the
student's information failed the match. Sometimes this is caused by an
error in the database (e.g., wrong date of birth) and sometimes
because of identity theft.
If the problem is due to an error in the Social Security
Administration's database, the student will need to visit a
local or regional
office of the Social Security Administration (SSA) to correct the
problem. Call 1-800-772-1213 or visit
www.ssa.gov to find the local
Social Security Administration office. The US Department of Education
cannot correct errors in Social Security Administration records. The
Social Security Administration database must be updated or the FSA ID
application will continue to be rejected.
The FSA ID application can also be rejected if the Social Security Number
is already in use. If a FAFSA involves the same Social Security Number
and the same first two letters of the last name as another student, it
is assumed to be a duplicate application. If the Social Security
Number is already in use by another student, but you are the correct
owner of the Social Security Number, you will need to obtain a
correction application by calling the US Department of Education at
If you filed the FAFSA with an incorrect Social Security Number, you
will need to file a new FAFSA using the correct Social Security
Number. The college will not be able to disburse financial aid if the
Social Security Number does not pass a data match with the Social
Changes this year allow for the assignment and use of a permanent pseudo Social Security number from any previous application cycle to help Pacific Islander applicants apply easily each year for Pacific Islander applicants. There is also now an easier, more user-intuitive login for applicants from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Palau.