Federal Perkins Loans, in Plain English | 04.26.10
Fear not loyal readers, I did not forget the last piece of the federal financial aid puzzle: the Perkins loan. Perkins loans are a bit different than your garden variety Stafford loans because they actually come from your school, not from the government.
“But wait… didn’t you just say they were federal loans?” Yes, you’re absolutely right… I did. The quirk about Perkins loans is this: your school (if Title IV certified) receives a certain amount of money from the Department of Education each year, but the school’s financial aid department is the body that is actually responsible for deciding who gets a dip from that Perkins aid pool.
What some quick facts about Perkins loans?
- They currently are pegged at 5% interest
- Perkins loans are designated for students with “exceptional” financial need
- They are deferred through your degree program just like Stafford loans
What else should I know?
This may go without saying, but when your grace period (9 months following graduation or a drop to less than half-time enrollment) is over, your repayment will actually go to your school. Many colleges use a third-party billing company to facilitate your repayment, so watch your mail for any type of invoices or notifications from unfamiliar loan companies.
If you miss a payment because of not realizing that piece of mail was your first student loan bill, it *will* count against you just like being delinquent on any other federal or private student loan. Be vigilant.
Have more questions? Feel free to post them in our financial aid forum, or leave a comment below!
Scholarship Points Code: PERKINSLOAN
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