Are my payments due immediately?
Is it OK to make payments ahead of schedule?
Can I shrink my monthly payments?
Can I postpone repayment with a deferment?
Will the government pay the interest during the deferment?
Can I find these records online?
Dig Into The Details
When Do My Payments Start?
Nine months after you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment.
Who Do I Pay?
Most likely, your school—which will also determine how often (monthly, quarterly, bi-monthly) and how much your payments are. The minimum payment for Perkins loans is $40, though your actual payment may be more than that.
Unlike other types of federal loans, Perkins loans have few repayment options. For instance, you do not have the ability to extend your monthly payments beyond 10 years. Only standard repayment and graduated repayment plans are available (unless the loan is consolidated), and the process for changing your payments is also different from other federal loans. Reach out to your school’s bursar or student accounts office to find out who you need to speak to change your repayment plan. Some schools manage their Perkins loan program on their own, and some may use a servicer.
Still, talk to your school if you are having trouble making payments, as you may be able to set up a different plan with them.
How Do I Know If I Have Perkins Loans?
Check the U.S. Department of Education's National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®) for info on these federal student loans. NSLDS will tell you:
- If you have Perkins loans.
- How much you owe on them.
- Whom you should contact about repayment.
Note: As of October 1, 2015, only some current Perkins loan borrowers are eligible to receive new Perkins loans. In addition, no further Perkins loans will be disbursed after September 30, 2020.
Be Money Smart
Perkins loans come with repayment benefits that other loans don't:
- Exclusive forgiveness options
- Special deferments
- The federal government paying your interest while you're in school, in certain postponements, and in your grace period
If you're thinking about consolidating your loans, know that you could lose these Perkins-specific benefits—and your 9-month grace period.
Learn more about student loan repayment options with the Salt® Repayment Navigator.