Do I Qualify for Perkins Loan Cancellation?

Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Teacher Loan Forgiveness apply to federal student loans that you’ve borrowed, but not to any Perkins Loans. The Perkins Loan program was discontinued in 2017, but you might still be eligible for loan cancellation programs if you have Perkins Loans.

Perkins Loan Cancellation through Teaching

To have your Perkins Loans forgiven for teaching, you must provide services directly related to classroom teaching at the elementary or secondary level. If you’re a guidance counselor or librarian at aschool libraries, you can also qualify for Perkins Loan cancellation. You need to be a full-time employee of the school. You also need to fulfill at least one of the following requirements:

  • your school serves low-income families
  • you teach special education
  • you teach math, science, bilingual education, or foreign language
  • the state has labeled your district or school as a shortage area

Each full year that you teach, you can have a portion of your Perkins Loans cancelled. For the first two years of teaching services you can have 15% canceled per year. The third and fourth years, you can have 20% canceled per year. In the fifth year, 30% can be canceled.

It’s possible to defer your loans while you’re working towards cancelation. Contact your Perkins Loan servicer to learn more. If you are not sure who your Perkins Loan servicer is, you can always contact the financial aid office at the school you attended when you borrowed the Perkins Loans.

Other Eligible Professions for Perkins Loan Cancelation

In addition to teaching, there are other professions that can qualify you for Perkins Loan Cancellation. These include early childhood education provider, firefighter, law enforcement officer, nurse or medical technician, and public defender. See a complete list of employment and volunteer service that qualify.

The amount of your Perkins Loans that you can have canceled depends on the type of work that you do. Some occupations are eligible for cancellation of up to 50% of your Perkins Loans borrowed, while others qualify for 100% cancellation of your Perkins Loans. Find out more and see if you qualify.


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