Perkins Loan Forgiveness – Eligibility and Application.
Perkins Loan Forgiveness: Canceling your student loan is as true as you can get, which is possible if you’re a Perkins Loan holder. You can get your entire student loan canceled or discharged with the Perkins Lon Forgiveness plan.
Federal Perkins Loans are no longer being distributed. The program expired on Sept. 30, 2017. If you have a Perkins Loan from before the program ended, it was made by your school based on financial need.
You can check to see if you have a Perkins Loan by logging into the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). If you do have one, below is everything you need to know to get Perkins Loan forgiveness.
Perkins loan forgiveness are subsidized loans for undergraduate and graduate borrowers with extreme financial need. The loan program was eliminated Sept. 30, 2017, after renewal efforts failed in Congress. However, you can still pursue forgiveness for existing Perkins loans if you qualify.
The total amount of Perkins loans that borrowers could take out as an undergrad was $27,500; as a grad student, borrowers could get an additional $32,500. Perkins loans, unlike other federal loans, always carry a 5% interest rate and don’t have fees.
To be eligible for Perkins Loan cancellation, you must be working full time in an eligible public service role. The following occupations are eligible:
Teachers, including special education teachers, librarians and school counselors. According to Perkins Loan cancellation, a teacher is anyone who provides students direct services related to classroom teaching.
Early childhood education provider
Employee at a child or family services agency
Faculty member at a tribal college or university
Law enforcement officer
Military service of any kind
Nurse or medical technician
Professional provider of early intervention (disability) services
Speech pathologist with a master’s degree at a Title 1 school
Volunteer service for AmeriCorps VISTA or the Peace Corps
Percentage of Perkins Loans That Can Be Cancelled
The type of public service job you have determines the amount that can be canceled. In most cases, you’re eligible for 100% cancellation of a Perkins Loan. You must be working full time in any occupation to be eligible for cancellation.
Perkins Loan cancellation doesn’t happen all at once. It occurs incrementally over a period of time. Most cancellation periods are five years, with the cancellation broken down as follows:
15% of the original principal loan amount for each of the first and second years
20% of the original principal loan amount for each of the third and fourth years
30% of the original principal loan amount for the fifth year
Each amount includes the interest that accrues during that period. If you’re on a cancellation program for either seven or four years, the incremental breakdown can be found in the above chart.
Each year, you’ll need to file your annual cancellation paperwork, just as you did when you first applied.
The application process for Perkins Loan cancellation isn’t operated by the U.S. Department of Education. Instead, your school or loan servicer has a specific application to be completed. For this reason, there’s not a streamlined process for every Perkins Loan cancellation candidate.
Below are basic steps to consider when requesting for Perkins Loan Forgiveness program;
Check Eligibility Requirements
You must hold a specific public service job, but your current employer also needs to meet certain requirements.
Check with your place of employment to make sure it meets the requirements for you to be eligible. For example, teachers need to look at their school’s specifications.
Find Your Perkins Loan Details
Log into the NSLDS and review your Perkins Loan. You’ll be able to find your loan servicer and the school that gave you the Perkins Loan on this page. It will look something like this:
Contact Your School or Loan Servicer
Once you have all the details on your Perkins Loan, you’ll want to reach out to your school first. Call the financial aid department. They will let you know if you need to complete an application with them or if they’re running applications for Perkins Loan cancellation through the loan servicer.
Complete the Perkins Loan Cancellation Application
The application will look a little bit different with every loan servicer but generally asks for the following:
Personal contact information
Perkins loan account number
The type of service you’re currently in
Employer certification with a signature and/or seal
The beginning and end date for the complete year of service you’re requesting a cancellation for
Submit a Request for Cancellation Annually
You’ll need to complete this form annually for the required four to seven years to receive cancellation.
Certain loan servicers require you to submit an “Anticipation of Cancellation” form at the start of the year and a “Request for Cancellation” at the end of the period. You can see this option on the same form in the image above. If this is the case, after your first year, send in the Anticipation form and Cancellation request at the same time for each subsequent year.
When completing any paperwork regarding your student loans, it’s important to do so correctly and be in communication with your loan servicer or school throughout the process.
Circumstances for Perkins Loan Discharge
Perkins Loan cancellation is specific to your occupation. Perkins Loan discharge is available for those who encounter serious financial difficulties or life circumstances that allow for discharge.
Circumstances for Perkins Loan discharge include:
School closure (before completion of the program of study)
Service-connected disability for veterans
Spouse of a victim of the events of 9/11
Total and permanent disability
If you have Perkins Loan, you probably have additional student loans as well. You can’t get these canceled, but you may be able to have them forgiven. Continue making payments as you start looking into student loan forgiveness programs.
Here are some mistakes you have to watch out for while on the Perkins Loan Forgiveness application;
Mixing up the beginning and ending dates
Not having proper employer verification
Mistaking the lending institution with your loan servicer
Filing the same form when your loan servicer changes