How Do I Reset My FSA ID: Lost FAFSA® Login & Password Guide

💡 The Frank Takeaways:


Losing or forgetting your FSA ID is more common than you think. These are numbers and passwords you use once a year. Luckily, there are ways to retrieve this information if you lost it. Take a look at Frank’s step-by-step guide to getting back into your FSA account.

FSA ID Refresher — What is an FSA ID?

When you’re applying for 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 Federal Student Aid online system. 

You also need an FSA ID if you want to check the status of your online app or make corrections to an existing FAFSA® application.

Why do you need the FSA ID?

Creating an FSA ID verifies your identity with the FSA and federal government. By verifying your identity, you can easily sign the FAFSA® with your unique ID when the time comes. This is an essential part of your FAFSA® application and will be required several times during the financial aid process.

Keep in mind that your FSA ID is not required to submit your FAFSA® application. However, the ability to sign your ID digitally allows the FAFSA® to process quickly.

In addition, using your FSA ID is the only way that you can change or correct any information on your FAFSA® application or pre-fill a FAFSA® form using information from the previous year.

How to Create Your FSA ID

There are several pieces of information 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

While it is not required to have a mobile phone number or email address, it is highly recommended. Email and phone numbers allow you additional support when trying to retrieve a lost FSA ID or password.

Keep in mind that each email address and/or mobile phone number can only be used for a single FSA ID.

How to Deal with a Forgotten User ID or Password

Your FSA ID is tied to you directly, so it’s important to set your username and password as something you’ll remember. If you do lose either one, there are options to retrieve it.

However, keep in mind that the FSA limits the number of incorrect authentication attempts before they lock you out of your account. Avoid making random password guesses and try some of the troubleshooting suggestions in this article.

Using “Forgot My Password” or “Forgot My Username”

There are options, including Forgot Password and Forgot Username, on many of the login pages where you would enter your FSA ID.

Reset your FSA ID and Sign your FAFSA®Reset your FSA ID and Sign your FAFSA®

On each of these links, you will be able to request a code. This code allows you to either reset your password or get your Username. You’ll need to change either one before the code expires.

If you choose to get a code, it will go to the phone number or email address that has been verified on your account. Otherwise, you may be asked to answer challenge questions.

Resetting Your FSA ID Username

Your options for resetting your Username will vary depending on what information you included when you created your FAFSA®.

If you don’t recall precisely what information you shared with the FSA, try some of the options with your current information. If the information does not match what the FSA has or if you did not have it, try a different option. It is generally recommended to try the mobile number or email username retrieval first before trying the challenge questions, as students and parents find this to be the most frustrating and difficult option.

The screenshot below illustrates the FSA ID username retrieval screen that you will see after you click Forgot Username.

Resetting Your FSA ID Password

If you know your FSA ID but forgot your password, you will not have the option of answering challenge questions. You will need to verify your identity using your email or mobile number. (And be sure to check your spam or junk mail folder in your email, if you’re having trouble finding it.)

What To Do If You Can’t Retrieve Your FSA ID With Email, Mobile, Or Challenge Questions

If you cannot retrieve your FSA ID online, you still have options to get into your account, but there may be more effort required on your end.

You can get your account back by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.

If you cannot verify by phone, you may need to go through a manual verification process by mail. In this option, you’ll have to send physical documentation, which may take a week or more. You can learn more about your options in this scenario here.

What To Do If You Made Too Many Login Attempts?

You will need to reset your FSA ID password to get back into your account.

Troubleshooting Authentication FSA ID Issues

Your Username or Password Is Correct, But It’s Still Not Working

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 are typing your username or password from another place or a password manager, check and see if there is a space in front or back of the password that may be counted as a character.