Federal Perkins Loan
Getting a federal loan to help pay for your postsecondary education is a great option since the government offers low-interest rates and significant repayment flexibility with their loans. The Perkins Loan is a federal, low-interest loan available to both undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need.
How Does It Work?
You will apply for a Perkins Loan through your school’s financial aid office, filing a FAFSA (Free Application for Financial Student Aid). The loan is federally funded but you will borrow directly from your school and when you repay the loan, you will make payments directly to the school as well. Your school will pay you, usually twice during the academic year and by check. Sometimes the loan is applied straight to your school bill.
How Much Can I Borrow?
A Perkins Loan allows you to borrow up to $4,000 an academic year as an undergraduate, not exceeding $20,000. The funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis and priority is given to those students with the greatest financial need.
Repaying Your Perkins Loan
It is common for students to be given grace periods, or a set period of time where you do not have to make payments on the loan. The grace period with a Perkins Loan is 9 months from the time you graduate, leave school or fall to less than a half-time status. After 9 months, you must begin repaying the loan. It is your responsibility to know deadlines when it comes to managing your loan so do not shy from contacting your financial aid office with questions since you do not want to get behind on payments.