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Don't forget about the Perkins Loan!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

For low-income students, the Perkins Loan can be a major help when paying your college bill. It is likely the best student loan that you can get. In order to be eligible for a Perkins Loan, you must have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Perkins Loan Overview

Money for the Perkins Loan program comes from both the federal government and the schools themselves. However, the program is administered by the schools, not the federal government. Each college or university determines the criteria for granting Perkins Loans at their institution... the one constant being that students with exceptional financial need must be given priority. Undergraduate students can receive up to $4,000 per year in Perkins Loans. Graduate students are capped at $6,000 per year.

Benefits of a Perkins Loan

In addition to the super-low interest rates of 5 percent, the Perkins Loan is subsidized, meaning you don't accrue interest on the loan while you're in school. You also don't pay any origination or default fees, and you get a 9-month grace period when you graduate before repayment begins.

Perkins Loan Forgiveness

For those of you who are considering a career in teaching, there's more good news. You may be able to have all or a portion of your Perkins Loan forgiven... that means, you don't have to pay it back! As an enticement to recruit teachers into low-income areas and into subjects with shortages, the government may cancel or defer your loan payments. You may also be eligible for forgiveness of your Perkins Loan if you work in nursing, law enforcement, for VISTA, the Peace Corps, the armed forces, or as social workers serving high-risk children.

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