Perkins loans were low-interest student loans for both undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need. Perkins Loans were originated and serviced by participating schools and repaid to the school. For now, there are no new Perkins loans being made. The Department has posted information about the winding down of the Perkins program.
Perkins loan cancellations (full or partial) are available if you are a:
- Full-time teacher in a designated elementary or secondary school serving students from low-income families
- Full-time teacher at any school of math, science, foreign languages, bilingual education, or other fields designated as teacher shortage areas
- Full-time special education teacher (includes teaching children with disabilities) in a public or other nonprofit elementary or secondary school
- Full-time qualified professional provider of early intervention services for the disabled
- Full-time employee of a public or nonprofit child- or family-services agency providing services to high-risk children and their families from low-income communities
- Full-time nurse or medical technician
- Full-time law enforcement or corrections officer
- Full-time staff member in the education component of a Head Start Program
- Vista or Peace Corps volunteer (up to 70%)
- Active duty servicemember in the U.S. Armed Forces (up to 50% in areas of hostilities or imminent danger)
The Department has a post listing the various Perkins cancellations.
If you think you might be eligible for one of these cancellations, it is a good idea to gather more information and discuss this option with your loan holder before consolidating with the Direct Loan program. You will not be eligible for the special Perkins loan cancellations if you consolidate your Perkins loan along with your other federal loans.