Perkins Loan Quick Facts:
||Eligibility||Interest Rate||Maximum Award||Deferment|
|Medical SchoolsUp to 10 years to repay||Must be enrolled at least half-time in schoolAmount awarded depends on financial need
||Fixed 5%Interest subsidy available depending on financial need||Up to $6,000 per year Maximum $40,000||Payments don’t begin until 9 months after graduation3 years for deferment unemployment 3 years deferment for financial hardship|
What you need to know about the Perkins Loan
The Perkins loan is a low interest rate (5 percent) loan subsidized by the federal government. The Perkins Loan allows you to borrow up to $6,000 per year, maximum $40,000. This loan is an attractive option because you don’t pay for any interest while you are enrolled in medical school, and the interest rate is quite low (5 percent) compared to other medical school loans.
However, the Perkins Loan is awarded only to students who experience the greatest financial need.
You must repay the Perkins Loan within 10 years. This is one of the faster repayment schedules for a medical school loan, but the total amount awarded is much lower than other loans.
Read “How to Pay For Medical School Part 2: Loans” for more information on the different ways to finance medical school.
You must apply for a deferment, so don’t assume that you can begin a deferment period whenever you want it to. If you are beginning to experience difficulties, contact your school as soon as possible to begin the deferment process and avoid any late penalties.