What is a Perkins loan?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,803
    Financial advisor Brad Barnett discusses what a Perkins loan is.

    Brad Barnett

    Brad received his Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Arkansas University, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Business.  He furthered his education by graduating from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, specializing in Mental Health.  He has been involved in the financial aid and/or rehabilitation professions for the past 15 years. Brad, a Past President of the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA), currently serves as the Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships for James Madison University.  Immediately prior to JMU, he served as an Assistant Director of the Financial Aid Office at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Brad has presented numerous sessions at state, regional, and national conferences, and has served on a variety of association committees.  In addition to speaking at professional conferences, Brad has conducted an abundance of workshops and presentations in non-conference environments, including teaching a credit based financial literacy course at JMU entitled “Dollars and Sense.”  Many of the topics Brad’s speaks on include communication, leadership, values, financial aid policies and procedures, financial literacy, and saving for college.  He has also facilitated strategic planning and value development retreats.

    Host: What is a Perkins loan?

    Brad Barnett: Perkins loan has been considered for many years as probably the best student loan out there. It is a Federal Student Loan. It has a fixed interest rate of 5%, so it's not going to change regardless of what happens in the economy and it's completely deferred until 9 months, after the students starts going to school at least half time and you don t charged any interest during that period. You only start getting charged interest when go into repayment. So, if take at out a loan, your Freshman year and you go through school at least half time and then you graduate and then 9 months later, you will start paying it back.

    Now, the important thing to know with Perkins loan is, it's a limited fund. Some schools don t even have Perkins Loan Money available, but if you are going to an institution and they offer you a Perkins loans and you need a loan, then you want to consider a Perkins before you look at anything else and you probably want to try to accept it as quickly as possible before the school runs out of money.