Since FSA IDs are used once per year, it is easy to lose or forget the Username or Password. This step-by-step guide will walk you through getting back into your FSA account.
FSA ID Refresher
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. The FSA ID is also needed if you are seeking to check the status of your online form or if you need to make corrections to an existing FAFSA® application.
What You Need The FSA ID For
When you create an FSA ID, you’re verifying that you are who you have stated you are, and you’re allowing the ID to be used as your signature on your financial aid application. This is an essential part of your FAFSA® application and will be required several times during your application and awarding processes.
Keep in mind that your FSA ID is not required to submit your FAFSA® application, but it is the quickest way to not only submit your application but also have it processed.
In addition, using your FSA ID is the only way that you can change or correct any information on your FAFSA® online. This ID is also used if you want to pre-fill a FAFSA® form using information from the previous year.
How Your FSA ID Is Created
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 attached to your FSA ID, it is highly recommended. This gives you additional support when trying to unlock an ID that you have forgotten, allowing you to retrieve your username or reset your 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
Because this ID is tied to you directly, it’s important to set your Username and password as something you’ll remember. But there are options for retrieving your Username or resetting your password.
However, keep in mind that the FSA limits the number of incorrect authentication attempts you can try before they lock you out of your account and make you reset your password for security. 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.
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, which you will need to change before the code expires as a security measure.
Keep in mind that if you choose to get a code, it will go to the phone number or email address that has been verified to 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.