Perkins Loans are a type of federal student loan that were given out by a college or university. Colleges could only give out Perkins Loans to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrated financial need. These loans were often for smaller amounts with a low-interest rate that were paid back to the school after you graduated. Perkins Loans stopped being issued in 2018.
If you still have old Perkins Loans, you may be able to get those loans canceled if you work in certain public service jobs.
Note: Perkins Loans are generally not eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) unless you consolidate the Perkins Loan into a Direct Consolidation Loan. If you work in public service, it may be worth seeing if you are eligible for Perkins Loan cancellation first before you consolidate, as there are downsides to consolidation. For more information, see our PSLF and consolidation pages.
Which Jobs are Eligible for Perkins Loan Cancellation?
If you work in one of these public service jobs, you may be able to have all or part of your Perkins Loans canceled:
- Teacher (including school guidance counselors and librarians),
- Early childhood education provider,
- Employee at a child or family services agency,
- Faculty member at a tribal college or university,
- Law enforcement officer,
- Librarian with master’s degree at Title I school,
- Military service,
- Nurse or medical technician,
- Professional provider of early intervention (disability) services,
- Public defender,
- Speech pathologist with master’s degree at Title I school, and
- Volunteer service (AmeriCorps VISTA or Peace Corps).
You typically have to work in these jobs for a certain period of time to be eligible to have your Perkins Loans canceled (4-7 years), but you may be eligible to have part of your loan canceled after each year you complete.
For more information about which jobs qualify and how many years you have to work in the job before you’re eligible for cancellation, see the Perkins Loan cancellation on the Federal Student Aid website.
How Do I Apply for Perkins Loan Cancellation?
If you meet the requirements, contact your college or university that holds your Perkins Loans to ask for the application. You have to apply for Perkins Loan cancellation by submitting the application to your college or university.