Perkins loan cancellations are available in limited circumstances. Perkins loans are low-interest student loans for both undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need.
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 posted a chart 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. Note that you must have at least one FFEL or Direct Loan to qualify for federal loan consolidation. This means that you cannot consolidate if you have only Perkins loans, but you can include Perkins loans along with other federal loans and apply for consolidation.