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Federal Perkins Loan Program - FAQ

What is a Federal Perkins Loan?

A Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest rate loan for both undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need. Loans are offered through the Financial Aid Office based upon available funding.

How do I apply for a Federal Perkins Loan?

File a Free Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). (website)

Who can qualify for a Federal Perkins Loan?

Undergraduate and Graduate students who meet the general student eligibility requirements and have not borrowed the maximum amounts allowed.

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • must be eligible for financial aid as determined by the completion of the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid
  • enrolled at least half time in a degree program.
  • willing to repay the loan
  • not in default on any Title IV loans
  • have a good credit history.

How much can I borrow?

Annual loan limits are $5,500 for undergraduate students and $8,000 for graduate students. Aggregate loan limits are $27,500 for undergraduate students and $60,000 for graduate students.

When do I receive my Federal Perkins Loan?

You must sign a promissory note and complete an entrance interview. Your loan will be applied to your student account and refunded accordingly.

When do I begin repayment of my Federal Perkins Loan?

Repayment of a Perkins Loan begins nine months after the date the borrower drops below half-time enrollment or separation from Western Illinois University.

Can my Perkins Loan payments be postponed?

You would have to request a deferment of payments. See deferment options.

Can my Perkins Loan be cancelled?

Yes, some Perkins Loans can be cancelled. Please refer to the page on Cancellation to see if you qualify.

What is exit counseling?

When a borrower leaves school, the school must conduct an exit interview, during which a repayment schedule is provided to the borrower.

What is a grace period?

A grace period is the period of time before the borrower must begin or resume repaying a loan.

What are the consequences of default?

If a borrower fails to repay the student loan on a timely basis, they will be considered in default and could encounter the following consequences:

  1. The remaining balance and interest will become due immediately. Your credit rating could be tainted for up to 7 years and will be reported to all credit bureaus.
  2. Late charges will be assessed.
  3. Access to institutional records will be restricted.
  4. You could be declared ineligible for further federal and state financial aid.
  5. The loan will be placed with an attorney or collection agency. Any fees that are acquired for collection of the loan will be charged to the borrower.
  6. You could be sued in court to compel you to repay the loan. The borrower will also be charged any attorney fees if judgment is not in the borrowers favor.
  7. Your wages may be garnished to repay your loan.
  8. Your income tax refund may be seized to repay part or all of your debt.

What is the Federal Perkins Loan Rehabilitation Program?

Federal Perkins Loan Rehabilitation is a program for defaulted borrowers. Borrowers may only utilize the program one time. A loan is considered in default when a payment is late. A defaulted loan will be considered rehabilitated after the borrower makes 9 consecutive on-time monthly payments, as determined by Western Illinois University.