About Perkins Loans

  • The Federal Perkins Loan is available to both undergraduate and graduate students and is awarded by the Financial Aid Office on the basis of need.
  • Funds come from the federal government, and USD is the lender.
  • The Perkins Loan is a subsidized loan; the government pays the interest on the loan while the borrower is in school.
  • When borrowers leave USD or drop below six credit hours, they must complete exit counseling for the Perkins Loan. Students have a nine-month grace period on the loan after they leave school, and interest does not accrue during this grace period. There are no origination fees when the loan is disbursed.
  • It is the borrower's obligation to keep the lender (USD) informed about changes in his or her status. Changes to a borrower's name, address, phone number, or Social Security number must be reported immediately.

New Perkins Borrowers

Students who have been awarded and have accepted a new Federal Perkins Loan will have an email sent to their USD email account from Signmyloan. This email will inform the student to login to www.signmyloan.com to complete entrance counseling and sign the Master Promissory Note. This must be completed in order to receive the loan.

Borrowers Leaving USD

1. Exit Counseling

All Perkins loan borrowers must complete exit counseling when they do any of the following:

  • graduate from USD
  • drop below six credit hours for the Fall or Spring semester. Graduate students who drop below six credit hours and are enrolled in thesis or dissertation coursework will have their loan deferred. Exit counseling is not required for these students until they stop taking thesis or dissertation coursework.withdraw from USD at any time
  • transfer to another school

To start exit counseling, go to Perkins Exit Counseling. If you have questions regarding loan repayment or the exit counseling procedure, contact our office.

2. Repayment Information

All Perkins loans must be repaid within ten years. The minimum monthly payment is $40.00; the actual amount the borrower will pay depends on the total amount borrowed. There is no penalty for paying off the loan early. USD uses University Account Service (UAS) as a billing service for Perkins loans. For 24-hour access to loan account information, call 800-999-6227. Please have your account number and your social security number available.

3. Deferment

A deferment allows the borrower to cease making payments on a Perkins loan. Interest on the loan does not accrue during the deferment period. Deferments are available for borrowers who are: Enrolled and in attendance as a regular student in at least a half-time course of study in an institution of higher education. Enrolled and in attendance as a regular student in an approved fellowship program or approved rehabilitation training program for disabled individuals. (This does not include a medical internship or residency program, except a residency in dentistry.) Engaged in services which are eligible for Cancellation benefits. Serving in a residency program in dentistry. Deferment Eligibility.

4. Forbearance

A forbearance also allows the borrower to cease making payments on a Perkins loan. Interest on the loan accrues during the forbearance period. Borrowers may pay this interest during the forbearance period, or in a lump sum at the end of the forbearance period. Borrowers are eligible for a forbearance if their monthly Title IV loan burden is over 20% of their total monthly gross income, or if they are unemployed and unable to find a job. Borrowers who are unable to make their regular payments due to a disability may also be eligible for either a forbearance or a reduction in their payments. Forbearances are renewable at intervals of up to 12 months for periods that collectively do not exceed three years.

5. Cancellation

Borrowers who perform services in certain occupations may be eligible to have portions of their Perkins loan canceled. Please contact our office if you have been employed in the following occupations after graduation: Full-time teacher in an elementary or secondary school with a high concentration of students from low income families Full-time special education teacher in an elementary or secondary school Full-time teacher in an elementary or secondary school in the fields of mathematics, science, foreign languages, bilingual education, or any other field of expertise that is determined by the State Department of Education to have a shortage of qualified teachers. Full-time qualified professional provider of early intervention services in a public or nonprofit program Full-time law enforcement or corrections officer Full-time nurse or medical technician Full-time employee of a child or family service agency Full-time staff member in the educational component of a Head Start Program Member of the Armed Forces in an area of hostilities Volunteer under the Peace Corps Act or Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973. Cancellation Eligibility