Skip to main content

About us

We're the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

Learn how the CFPB can help you

What is a Perkins loan?


A Perkins loan is a type of federal student loan based on financial need. 

Perkins loans are available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. A Perkins loan is a subsidized loan, meaning that the federal government pays the loan’s interest while you are in school.

How do I apply for a Perkins loan? 

You can apply for a Perkins loan by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at . Not all schools participate in the federal Perkins Loan Program, so check with your school’s financial aid office to see if your school participates. 

How much can I borrow? 

Your school’s financial aid office determines the amount of your Perkins loan. The Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website has the most up-to-date information on Perkins loan limits.

 What do I need to know about repaying my Perkins loan? 

Unlike other federal loans, your school is the lender for Perkins loans. This means you will work with your school or a company hired by your school to repay these loans. Once you start to repay your Perkins loan, you may have a different loan servicer for this loan than the rest of your federal loans. You will typically start paying back your loan nine months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment in school. The longest repayment term for Perkins loans is 10 years.

If you’re not sure if you have a Perkins loan, find out by signing into the National Student Loan Data System

Was this answer helpful to you?

Please do not share any personally identifiable information (PII), including, but not limited to: your name, address, phone number, email address, Social Security number, account information, or any other information of a sensitive nature.

The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. The CFPB updates this information periodically. This information may include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. There may be other resources that also serve your needs.