Federal Perkins Loans, in Plain English | 04.26.10

Posted in FAFSA, Financial Aid By Student Loan Network Staff

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

5 Most Recent Student Loans Blog Posts:

The Student Loan Help blog is sponsored in part by:

15 Responses to “Federal Perkins Loans, in Plain English”

  1. Dee says on May 25, 2010 at 7:25 am:

    Good ques jen

    Reply To This Comment
  2. Matthew Dickey says on May 17, 2010 at 2:49 pm:

    I like this too!

    Reply To This Comment
  3. chase says on May 13, 2010 at 5:06 am:

    good to know!

    Reply To This Comment
  4. yad says on May 10, 2010 at 1:50 pm:

    is there a gpa requirement?

    Reply To This Comment
  5. Angela says on April 29, 2010 at 12:09 am:

    It sounds good, but does one have to star paying while at school or after a certain grace period? I plan to be a full time student so money is tight.

    Reply To This Comment
    • Evan Jacobs says on April 29, 2010 at 1:07 pm:

      @ Angela – Nope! It's a federal student loan, so they remain deferred for six months after you either graduate or drop to less than half-time enrollment.

      Reply To This Comment
      • Kim says on May 24, 2010 at 11:08 pm:

        Perkins is deferred for 9 months after graduation/half time enrollment.

      • Evan Jacobs says on May 25, 2010 at 1:34 pm:

        @ Kim – You're absolutely right. I had it up in the article and for some reason wrote something differently here in the comments. 9 months is the grace period.

  6. Jen says on April 28, 2010 at 7:46 pm:

    Is this a need based loan?

    Reply To This Comment
    • Kim says on May 24, 2010 at 11:24 pm:

      As stated above … "Perkins loans are designated for students with “exceptional” financial need".

      Reply To This Comment
  7. Darryl says on April 28, 2010 at 6:53 pm:

    I need this!

    Reply To This Comment
  8. Brenda says on April 27, 2010 at 6:55 pm:


    Reply To This Comment
  9. Rita anastacia says on April 27, 2010 at 6:17 am:

    great way to fund education

    Reply To This Comment
  10. Katelyn Jean says on April 26, 2010 at 8:20 pm:

    I like this!

    Reply To This Comment

Leave a Reply

By clicking 'Submit Comment', you agree to the Edvisors Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.