What is a Federal Perkins Loan?

If you need a low interest loan in order to attend college then you will want to apply for a loan in the Federal Perkins Loan Program. These loans are reserved for students who need financial aid when it comes to postsecondary education. As a student who want so apply for a Federal Perkins loan, you will need to be sure that it is offered from the postsecondary institution that you wish to attend. Currently, there are seventeen hundred participating institutions that offer Federal Perkins loans to their students.

The History of the Federal Perkins Loan

The Federal Perkins Loan, Perkins Loan for short, was originated to help needy students by offering them a loan from the United States Department of Education. This type of loan is only available to American students attending college in order to fund their postsecondary education. A United States House of Representatives member from Kentucky, Carl D. Perkins, is the person in which the program is named.

There is an interest rate specifically attached to this type of loan that lasts for the length of ten consecutive years.The interest rate, which is fixed, is in the amount of five percent. This program was created to help students and graduates and includes a nine month grace period following graduation. After the grace period has expired, the graduate is expected to begin to pay the loan back. Payment is expected immediately upon withdrawal from school or if a student falls below the half time status.

Since the Perkins Loan is government subsidized, the interest is not accrued until the borrower has started to repay the loan. There are loan limits that can change annually. Certain limits pertain to undergraduates and differ from the limits for graduate students. Perkins Loans are also authorized for Federal Loan Cancellations for educators in low-income schools that have been designated as such. This also applies for areas that have teacher shortages in subjects such as science, bilingual education and math.

The recipient can expect a percentage of their Perkins Loan to be canceled for every year they spend teaching full time in these types of areas.Peace Corps Volunteers can also expect this type of cancellation. After three consecutive years of service they can expect to have fifty percent of the debt cancelled.The Perkins Loan is meant to help those that need financial aid. If you need financial aid in order to go to school or to continue your education, check to see if your school accepts Perkins Loans.

What to Expect with a Perkins Loan

When a school participates in the Perkins Loan Program, they use ongoing activities to replenish the funds. Some of the activities are collections made by the school for outstanding loans that are Perkins loans. If you wish to apply for a Perkins Loan then you can ask for an application from your school or you can complete the application online by looking up the Federal Pell Grant Program or Federal Student Aid on the internet. The name of the application is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is only part of the loan process. You will also be expected to complete a Perkins promissory not so you may receive one of their loans.

Perkins Loans are a great way to get started with your secondary education. Being able to defer your payments while you are enrolled in school takes a lot of stress off of a student so they may focus on their continuing education instead. If for any reason you have trouble paying back your Perkins Loan after graduation, it is advisable to contact your school and discuss alternative options such as forbearance and deferment.  


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