Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge

There are numerous ways a Perkins Loan borrower can get all or a portion of their Perkins Loans forgiven. The following charts list the program-specific cancellation provisions.

The first chart lists Perkins Loan cancellation provisions related to children and teaching, including librarians, special education teachers; and Head Start, pre-K, and childcare programs.

Provisions Related to Children and Teaching
Cancellation Provision Eligible Perkins Loans Maximum Benefit Description
Child and Family Service Agencies Loans made on or after July 23, 1992

Loans made prior to July 23, 1992 for service starting October 7, 1998
100%
  • Full-time employee of a public or nonprofit child or family service agency that provides or is supervising the provision of services to high-risk children from low-income communities and their families (service to the families must be secondary to service to the children)
Head Start Loans made on or after July 1, 1972 100%
  • Full-time staff member in the education part of a preschool Head Start program
Librarian Service performed for a 12 month period including or after August 14, 2008 100%
  • Librarians with a master’s degree in library science who are employed in a Title I eligible elementary or second school or in a public library that serves one or more Title I schools
Pre-K Service Provider Service performed for a 12 month period including or after August 14, 2008 100%
  • Full-time staff in a pre-k or childcare program that is licensed or regulated by the state
Special Education Teachers Loans made on or after July 23, 1992

Loans made prior to July 23, 1992 for service starting October 7, 1998
100%
  • Full-time special education teacher in a public or nonprofit elementary or secondary school system, including systems administered by educational service agencies
  • Speech language pathology and audiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychological and counseling services and recreational therapy may qualify if they are part of the educational curriculum for disabled children and the service provider is licensed, certified or registered by the appropriate state agency
Speech Language Pathologist Service performed for a 12 month period including or after August 14, 2008 100%
  • Full-time speech language pathologists with a master’s degree who work exclusively with Title I eligible schools
Teacher Cancellation Loans made on or after July 1, 1972

Eligible service that includes August 14, 2008 or begins on or after that date
100%
  • Full-time teacher in a Title I eligible public or nonprofit elementary or secondary school serving low-income students, as listed in the Teacher Cancellation Low-Income Directory
  • Full-time teacher in a low-income educational service agency (including special education teachers)
  • Full-time teacher of handicapped students in a public or nonprofit elementary or secondary school
Teachers in State Shortage Area Loans made on or after July 23, 1992

Loans made prior to July 23, 1992 for service starting October 7, 1998
100%
  • Full-time teacher in science, mathematics, foreign languages, bilingual education or other state teacher shortage area in a public or non-profit elementary or secondary school system

The next chart lists Federal Perkins loan cancellation provisions for other occupations.

Provisions Related to Other Occupations
Cancellation Provision Eligible Perkins Loans Maximum Benefit Description
Early Intervention Services Loans made on or after July 23, 1992

Loans made prior to July 23, 1992 for service starting October 7, 1998
100%
  • Full-time provider of early intervention services for the disabled
Faculty at Tribal Colleges and Universities Service performed for a 12 month period including or after August 14, 2008 100%
  • Full-time faculty members at a tribal college or university
Firefighter Service performed for a 12 month period including or after August 14, 2008
100%
  • Full-time firefighters with a local, state or federal fire department
Law Enforcement Loans made on or after November 29, 1990

Loans made prior to November 29, 1990 for service starting October 7, 1998
100%
  • Full-time qualifying service as a law enforcement or corrections officer that is considered essential to the primary mission of an eligible local, state or federal criminal law enforcement or corrections agency
  • Clerical, administrative and maintenance staff are not eligible
Military Service Service performed for a 12 month period including or after August 14, 2008
100%
  • Service in the U.S. Armed Forces in an area that qualifies for combat pay
Nurses and Medical Technicians Loans made on or after July 23, 1992

Loans made prior to July 23, 1992 for service starting October 7, 1998
100%
  • Full-time nurse or medical technician providing health care services
Public Defender Service performed for a 12 month period including or after August 14, 2008
100%
Volunteer Service Loans made on or after July 1, 1987

Loans made prior to July 1, 1997 for service starting October 7, 1998
100%
  • For service in the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps VISTA
  • Must have declined a national service education award

Perkins Loans are also eligible for public service loan forgiveness if included in a Direct Consolidation Loan. Consolidating a Perkins Loan, however, will cause the loan to lose the cancellation and forgiveness provisions listed above and subsidized interest benefits. It may also increase the interest rate on the loan.

The last chart lists Perkins Loan cancellation provisions that are not related to specific occupations.

Provisions Not Related to Specific Occupations
Cancellation Provision Eligible Perkins Loans Maximum Benefit Description
9/11 Survivors Effective September 30, 2006 100%

Not retroactive
  • Surviving spouse of an eligible public servant

    Eligible public servants include police, fire or other safety/rescue personnel and members of the U.S. Armed Forces who died or became totally and permanently disabled as the result of injuries sustained in the 9/11 terrorist attacks

Death All loans 100%
  • Encompasses the deceased student, the deceased student’s estate and the estate of the deceased student’s family
Total and Permanent Disability All loans
100%

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Have you been employed for at least 2 years?
Do you currently have a credit score of at least 680?
Have you defaulted on your current loans?*

* Default = 270 days late/missed payment on a federal loan and typically 90 days late/missed payment on a private loan (contact your lender for exact definition of default).

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