Federal Perkins Loan

What is the Federal Perkins Loan?

The Federal Perkins loan program provides low interest financing for needy students. Your school will determine whether or not you are eligible to receive a Perkins loan and how much you will be awarded.  

Borrowing Process for Perkins Loans

In order to get a Perkins loan, you must file the FAFSA and have financial need. If the financial aid award letter you receive from your school’s financial aid office does not list a Perkins loan, you are either not eligible to receive one or the school exhausted the funds available for the Perkins loan program for the academic year in which you applied for aid. Be sure to file the FAFSA early to maximize your chances of receiving a Perkins loan.

  • You must file the FAFSA
  • Your financial aid office will determine your eligibility
  • If awarded, you will need to sign a Perkins loan promissory note
  • Your school is your lender you will repay this loan to your school (or their servicer)

Perkins Loan Limits 

The maximum amount an undergraduate student may borrow is $5,500 per award year; the maximum for a graduate or professional student is $8,000 per award year.  

Perkins Loan Interest Rates

The interest rate on Perkins Loans is fixed at 5%. Your interest rate will not change for the life of the loan.  

Perkins Loan Repayment Plans

You pay no interest while enrolled at least half time. Payment begins 9 months after your graduate, leave school or are otherwise enrolled on a less than half-time basis. If you are having difficulty paying your Perkins loan, contact the school where you received your loan or the servicer (the entity that sends you your monthly statement) to find out if you are eligible for forbearance (temporary suspension of repayment) based on economic or other hardships.