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Federal Perkins Student Loans

What Is a Federal Perkins Student Loan?

Loans made through the Federal Perkins Loan Program are often referred to simply as Perkins Loans. They are low-interest (5%) federal student loans available to both undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional financial need. Your school acts as the lender and contributes a share of the loan, though it is made primarily with government funds. You typically repay Perkins Loans directly to your school.

You can borrow up to $5,500 for each year of undergraduate study, totaling no more than $27,500.

Graduate students can borrow up to $8,500 each year, totaling no more than $60,000—including the amount you borrowed as an undergraduate.

Starting after you graduate, leave school, or shift your enrollment to less than half time, you will have a nine-month grace period to begin repaying your Perkins Loans. If you are still attending school but it amounts to less than half time, you should check with your school to find out how long your grace period will be, as you might need to start making repayments sooner than expected. As with some other federal student loans, you are allowed up to 10 years to pay off these Perkins Loans.

Please note that under federal law, schools are no longer permitted to offer Perkins Loans to students, meaning students can no longer receive Perkins Loans as part of their financial aid package. The Federal Perkins Loan Program ended on September 30, 2017, and final disbursements were allowed to continue through June 30, 2018.

If you have specific questions about managing or repaying your existing Perkins Loan, please contact your school or loan servicer for details.