How do I reset my FSA ID: a lost FAFSA® login and password guide
Losing or forgetting your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID is probably more common than you think. This is information you may only use once a year, after all. Luckily, there are ways to retrieve this information if you find yourself in this situation.
FSA ID refresher: what’s an FSA ID?
When you’re completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), one of the most important things you’ll do is create an FSA ID. Your FSA ID acts as a legal signature and allows you access to the U.S. Department of Education’s online systems.
You also need an FSA ID to check the status of your online application or make corrections to an existing FAFSA® application.
Why do you need an FSA ID?
Creating an FSA ID verifies your identity with the federal government. By verifying your identity, you can quickly sign the FAFSA® with your unique ID when the time comes.
Keep in mind that your FSA ID isn’t necessarily required to submit your FAFSA®. However, signing with your ID electronically usually allows the FAFSA® to process more quickly.
In addition, using your FSA ID is the only way to change or correct any information on your online FAFSA® or renew your FAFSA® online using prefilled information from the previous year.
How to create an FSA ID
There are several pieces of information that are required when creating an FSA ID, including:
- Your full name
- Your Social Security number
- Your date of birth
- A unique and memorable username
- Your password
- Answers to challenge questions
You must also set up two-step verification (using text, email, or an authenticator app) during the “Create an Account” process. Once two-step verification is set up, you’ll receive a secure code each time you log in to StudentAid.gov.
What to do if you forget your FSA user ID or password
Your FSA ID is only associated with you, so it’s important to make your username and password something you’ll remember. If you do lose either one, there are options to retrieve it.
Keep in mind that there are a limited number of incorrect authentication attempts you can make before you’re locked out of your account. Avoid making random password guesses and try some of the troubleshooting suggestions in this article instead.
Using “forgot my password” or “forgot my username” on the FSA website
There are options, including “Forgot Password” and “Forgot Username,” on the FSA login page where you enter your FSA ID.
Visit these links, and you’ll be able to request a secure code. This code allows you to either reset your password or get your username.
If you choose to use a code, it’ll be sent to the phone number or email address verified on your account, or you can enter a secure code from your authenticator app. Be sure to check your spam or junk mail folder in your email if you select to receive your code via email and you’re having trouble finding it.
If you don’t wish to use a code, you may be asked to answer specific “challenge” questions to proceed. It’s generally recommended to try the mobile number or email username retrieval first before trying the challenge questions.
What to do if you can’t retrieve your FSA ID with a code or challenge questions
If you can’t retrieve your FSA ID online, you still have ways to get into your account, but there may be more effort required on your end.
You can try to get your account back by calling the FSA Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.
If you can’t verify your identity by phone, you may need to go through a manual verification process via email. With this option, you’ll have to send requested documentation.
What to do if your username and password seem correct, but you still can’t log in
When this occurs, it’s usually due to a data entry error. If you’ve checked that your credentials include the correct characters and are in the correct case (capital letters and lower-case characters), there might be an issue if you’re copying and pasting from another location.
If you’re typing your username or password from another place or a password manager, check and see if there’s a space in front or back of the password that may be counted as a character.
If you lose your FAFSA® login or password, don’t panic, there are ways to retrieve them. Some methods do require more effort than others, though.