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FAQ regarding Federal Perkins Loan

What if I have concerns about the terms of my loan that cannot be resolved by talking to my lender?

The Department of Education has established an ombudsman to work with student borrowers to informally resolve any loan disputes or problems. If you have concerns about the terms of your loan that cannot be resolved by talking to your lender, you are encouraged to contact the Ombudsman Customer Service Line at 1-877-557-2575.

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How many credits must I be enrolled for?

You must enroll for a minimum of 6 credits per semester to be eligible to borrow during that semester. If you indicate on your award notification that you will be a full-time student (12 or more credits) you should remain a full-time student for that semester. If you indicate that you will be part-time (6 or more credits), then you should remain at least part-time. If you do not enroll as indicated on your award notification your loan may be reduced or canceled.

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When do I begin repayment?

You must begin to repay for Perkins loan nine months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time. No payments are required and no interest will accrue during this nine-month grace period. Your minimum monthly payment will depend on the size of your debt, but it will be no less than $40 a month. You are given up to 10 years to repay your debt.

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Can my Perkins loan ever be canceled?

Your loan can be canceled if you die or become totally and permanently disabled. You may also qualify for up to 50% cancellation if you served in the Armed Forces in a hostile or dangerous area, and up to 100% cancellation under certain conditions such as:

  • Full-time teacher in a low-income community or in a field short on teachers
  • Full-time special education teacher
  • Full-time provider of early intervention services for the disabled
  • Full-time law enforcement or corrections officer
  • Full-time nurse
  • Full-time staff member in a Head Start Program
  • Volunteer with VISTA or Peace Corps

 

Federal Perkins Loan Forgiveness for Teachers

For every full, consecutive, uninterrupted year of full-time employment, in any of the eligible professions listed below, you may qualify for cancellation benefits on your Federal Perkins Loan. You must file a deferment form at the beginning of each full year of employment and a cancellation form at the end of each full year. Cancellation percentages are processed as follows: 15% for each of the 1st and 2nd years, 20% for each of the 3rd and 4th years, and 30% for the 5th year. It is possible to have 100% of your loan cancelled over a five year period.

Eligible Teaching Related Positions

Teacher in a low-income school eligible for funding under Chapter 1 of the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981.

 

Teacher of handicapped students, including teacher of infants, toddlers, and children or youth with disabilities in a public or non-profit school or agency.

 

Teacher of mathematics, science, foreign languages, bilingual education, or any field of expertise determined by the state education agency to have a shortage of qualified teachers.

 

Teaching service in a school or location, operated by an education service agency, that has been determined to have a high concentration of students from low-income families



 

Additional Information

If borrower teaches at a school that does not qualify as a low-income school in a subsequent year, the borrower remains eligible for loan cancellation as long as the borrower continues to teach full-time at the school.

Infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities are defined in Section 602(a)(1) and 672(2) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

It is the borrower's responsibility to notify the lender of shortage areas recognized by their state.

Upon making a properly documented written request to the holder of the loan, you are entitled to have up to 100% of the original principal amount of your Federal Perkins Loan cancelled for qualifying teaching service that includes August 14, 2008, or begins on or after that date, in a school or location, operated by an education service agency, that has been determined to have a high concentration of students from low-income families. An official Directory of the designated low-income schools and locations operated by educational service agencies is published annually by the Department.



Other Cancellation Benefits:

For every full year of full-time employment as a Head Start member you are eligible to have 15% of your loan cancelled. You must file a deferment form at the beginning of each year of employment and a cancellation form at the end of each year. You may be eligible for cancellation of 100% of your loan.

Upon making a properly documented written request to the holder of your loan, you are entitled to have up to 100% of the original principal loan amount cancelled for qualifying service that includes August 14, 2008, or begins on or after that date, as a full-time staff member in a Pre-Kindergarten or Child Care program that is licensed or regulated by the State and that is operated for a period comparable to a full school year in the locality if your salary is not more than the salary of a comparable employee of the local education agency.

This information is to be used for reference only. If you have any questions regarding a particular cancellation benefit, please call 715-836-4817. Loan Services will provide you with a copy of the Federal Regulations as printed by the Department of Education.

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Do I have to complete Exit Counseling for my Federal Perkins Loan?

Yes.  If you received a Perkins Loan while enrolled at UW-Eau Claire, you must complete an exit interview when you become enrolled vor less than half-time credits at UW-Eau Claire.  If this status is a result of gradation from UW-Eau Claire, you will be sent a letter during the last month of your graduating semester, inviting you to attend a group meeting to complete your exit interview.  The exception to this is during the summer graduation term, at which time we mail the material to you rather than have a formal meeting.

If you withdraw from UW-Eau Claire, transfer to another school, or drop below half-time credits (From UW-Eau Claire) or any other reason, you must complete an exit interview.  Stop by the Loan Services Office in Schofield Hall room 110, to request an exit interview.  Stop by the Loan Services Office in Scholfield Hall, room 110, to request an exit interview.  If you cannot come to our office, call us at 715-836-4817 to arrange for the material to be mailed to you. 

The Perkins Loan Exit Interview is considered complete once you have signed the repayment scheule and questionnaire provided to you at the time of the exit interview.

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