Perkins Loan Cancellation

Perkins Loans are created out of combination of funding from your college and the U.S. Department of Education. If you have a Perkins Loan, you have a variety of cancellation options, which means the U.S. Department of Education may pay down up to 100% of your Perkins loans under certain conditions.

Examples of qualifying work:
  • Teacher
  • At elementary or secondary low-income school determined by the federal government
  • Of special education for infants, toddlers, or youth with disabilities (classroom must be 100% special education)
  • In mathematics, science, foreign language, or bilingual education or in any other field of expertise in a designated subject shortage area
  • Staff member for Head Start Program
  • Staff member of state licensed or regulated pre-kindergarten or child care program
  • Military servant in a hostile fire or imminent danger pay area
  • Law enforcement official
  • Corrections officer
  • Peace Corps/VISTA volunteer
  • Early Intervention Services employee serving infants and/or toddlers under the age of 3
  • Child/Family Services Agency representative to high-risk children from low-income communities
  • Public defender
  • Nurse or medical technician
  • Firefighter
  • Tribal college or university faculty service official
  • Librarian serving Title I school
  • Speech language pathologist serving Title I school

You have to work full-time and, in most cases, you need to complete an annual application for cancellation with your lender (your former school) or their servicer.

It may take years to qualify for 100% cancellation. For instance, if you are eligible for cancellation based on a qualified teaching position, cancellation works like this:

  • 15% of the original principal loan amount plus accrued interest will be cancelled for the first and second years of service.
  • 20% of the original principal loan amount plus accrued interest will be cancelled for the third and fourth years of service.
  • 30% of the original principal loan amount plus accrued interest will be cancelled for the fifth year of service.

You will need to contact your Perkins lender or servicer for the appropriate cancellation form.