College tuition can be a big finanicial investment, but luckily there are loans available to make college a possibility for all income levels. Low-interest government Perkins Loans programs are available to help financially needy students by loaning them money to pay for tuition and other college expenses. There are approximately 1,800 colleges and universities that accept the Perkins Loan. Unlike other federal loan programs, the Perkins Loans is made through a college's financial aid office.
The total amount of the federal Perkins loan available to students over the complete undergraduate program is $4,000 annually. The amounts are higher for graduate students, at $6,000 annually. With its 5 percent interest rate Perkins Loans are seen as a desireable loan.
Benefits of the Perkins Loan
In addition, a student does not require a co-signer to get a Federal Perkins loan, which makes this an excellent first loan. Even with bad credit or if students have not established any credit to date, they still qualify to get this loan. The most attractive benefit of the students Perkins loan is that the federal government pays the interest while students have any kind of Perkins loan deferment period. For the federal government to do this, students must attend school at least half time. The amount of interest money saved before the student starts paying off their loan could end up being thousand of dollars.
Perkins Loan Eligibility
In order to meet the requirements for a Perkins Loan, students must first fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is what the U.S. Department of Education uses to evaluate the student's financial needs. Other eligibility requirements include maintaining an acceptable academic process, must show financial need; be a U.S. citizen or an entitled non-U.S. citizen with a legal social security number; or students between 18 and 25 years old who have filed or registered with the Selective Service. Students must have a GED, high school diploma, or must pass an authorized Ability to Benefit test. Additionally, students that have received a federal Pell Grant have precedence for Perkins Loan.
It is extremely important for students applying for Perkins loans to do this early because Perkins loans are somewhat competitive and have a cap on amount of people the loan is distributed to. In other words, once the funds are gone, there are no more Perkins loans available even if you qualify for the loan.