Who can borrow these loans?
Undergraduate and graduate students with financial need
How much can I borrow each year?
$5,500 for undergraduates
$8,000 for graduate students
How much can I borrow in total?
$27,500 for undergraduates
$60,000 for graduate students
What's the current interest rate?
Am I responsible for paying the interest?
Dig Into The Details
Who Can Borrow These Loans?
Perkins loans are for undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need. Only eligible students will be able to borrow these loans beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year.
All undergraduate borrowers can receive Perkins loans through September 2017, as well as any remaining disbursements for the 2017-2018 academic year. Undergraduate borrowers with Perkins loans may receive a new Perkins loan only after exhausting all of their subsidized Stafford loan eligibility. Undergraduates without existing Perkins loans can borrow these loans only after exhausting all of their subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loan eligibility.
Note: The student may decline all or part of the Stafford loan awards and still receive the Perkins loan amount.
As of October 1, 2016, graduate student Perkins loans will be limited to current graduate Perkins loan borrowers continuing their current course of study. These borrowers can receive Perkins loan disbursements for the remaining time of the 2016-2017 academic year.
These graduate students may also be eligible for the Perkins loan if the most recent Perkins disbursement was for a lower degree level of the same academic program. For example, the student is now enrolled in a Ph.D. program after a master's program.
Perkins loan borrowers who received disbursements for the 2016-2017 academic year prior to October 1, 2017 may receive the subsequent disbursements for the remaining academic year.
No new Perkins loans will be disbursed as of October 1, 2017.
How Much Can I Borrow?
Undergraduates can borrow up to $5,500 each year and cannot exceed $27,500 in total.
Graduate students can borrow up to $8,000 each year and cannot exceed $60,000 in total.
What's The Current Interest Rate?
The interest rate is fixed at 5% for both undergraduate and graduate students.
Am I Responsible For Paying The Interest?
Yes—but only during certain periods. Interest does not accrue while you are in school at least half time, in an approved deferment, or in your grace period.
Be Money Smart
Perkins loans come with repayment benefits that other loans don't:
- Exclusive forgiveness options.
- Special deferment options.
- The federal government pays your interest while you're in school, in certain postponements, and in your grace period.
If you consolidate your loans, you could lose these Perkins-specific benefits—and your 9-month grace period. However, you don't have to include all of your loans in a consolidation. If you want to retain these benefits, just be sure to exclude your Perkins loans if you consolidate.
Want to learn more about repaying Perkins loans? Check out this article.