Federal Perkins Loan

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Student loans in the U.S.
Regulatory framework
Higher Education Act of 1965
U.S. Dept. of Education · FAFSA
Cost of attendance · Expected Family Contribution
Distribution channels
Federal Direct Student Loan Program
Federal Family Education Loan Program
Loan products
Perkins · Stafford
PLUS · Consolidation Loans
Private student loans

A Federal Perkins Loan, or Perkins Loan, was a need-based student loan part of the Federal Direct Student Loan Program, offered by the U.S. Department of Education to assist American college students in funding their post-secondary education. The program was named after Carl D. Perkins, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Kentucky.

Perkins Loans carried a fixed interest rate of 5% for the duration of the ten-year repayment period. The Perkins Loan Program had a nine-month grace period, so that borrowers began repayment in the tenth month upon graduating, falling below half-time status, or withdrawing from their college or university. Since the Perkins Loan was subsidized by the government, interest did not begin to accrue until the borrower began to repay the loan. In the 2009–2010 academic year, the loan limits for undergraduates were $5,500 per year with a lifetime maximum loan of $27,500. For graduate students, the limit was $8,000 per year with a lifetime limit of $60,000 (including undergraduate loans).

Perkins Loans were eligible for Federal Loan Cancellation for individuals choosing to work in a number of different public service occupations including early childhood education, elementary and secondary school teaching, speech therapy, nursing, law enforcement, librarian, public defense attorney, fire fighting and certain active duty military postings.[1] Depending on the field of employment, further restrictions on the setting of employment may apply. For example, forgiveness for teachers may be restricted to designated low-income schools or specific teacher shortage areas such as math, science, and bilingual education and forgiveness for nurses requires employment at a non-profit medical facility. A percentage of the loan was cancelled for each year spent teaching full-time (as long as the loan remains in good standing). This cancellation also applies to Peace Corps Volunteers. Cancellation typically occurs on a graduating scale: 15% for year 1, 15% for year 2, 20% for year 3, 20% for year 4, 30% for year 5. These percentages were based on the original debt amount. Thus after 3 years of service, one would have 50% of their original debt cancelled.[2]

On September 30, 2017, the Federal Perkins Loan program failed to renew in Congress, thus effectively ending the loan program.[3]

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External links[edit]


  1. ^ US Dept. of Education. "Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge Summary". studentaid.ed.gov. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge". Federal Student Aid. 2018-11-07. Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  3. ^ Hutchins, Arianne (2019-07-24). "What Happened to the Federal Perkins Loan?". U.S. News. Retrieved 2020-06-09.