Perkins Loans Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Perkins loan?
How is my Perkins loan different from my other loans?
What are the terms of the Perkins loan?
Who is my Perkins contact?
What is the Master Promissory Note?
When can I sign my Perkins Promissory Note?
If I am attending classes off the main Ellensburg campus, how can I sign my Promissory Note?
Can I have the Perkins Promissory Note faxed or emailed to me?
What is Entrance Counseling?
What is Exit Counseling? Why do I need to attend Exit Counseling? When do I attend?
When is my Perkins loan payment due?
Where do I make my payment?
Can I use bill pay to make my monthly payment?
What forms of payment are accepted?
Is there a penalty for paying early?
What happens if my payment is late?
What if I can’t make a payment?
How do I get a deferment?
How can I qualify for cancelation of my Perkins loan?
Because I’m a teacher, can my Perkins loan be canceled?
Do you report my Perkins account to the credit bureaus?
Can I consolidate my Perkins loan?
Can my Perkins loan be canceled if I am disabled?
What happens if a Perkins borrower dies?
If I go through bankruptcy and am discharged will my Perkins loan be discharged?
When will I get my Perkins tax information?
The federal Perkins loan is a low-interest loan for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need. CWU distributes the loans among students with the greatest need. The university acts as the lender for the loans and collects loan payments from students according to federal regulations. Students are automatically considered for the Perkins loan if they apply for financial aid. If you are awarded a Perkins loan it will appear on your financial aid award notice.
One of the primary differences between your federal Perkins loan and other federal loans is repayment. Your Perkins loan installments are paid directly to Central Washington University at the Cashiers Office in Barge Hall. (Other federal loans are paid to the loan servicer). CWU collects your Perkins payments and loans the money back out to other students. Note – As a Perkins borrower it is important (and your responsibility) to communicate any changes to your address or phone number with the CWU Student Accounts Office to ensure that you receive your monthly statement. (Borrowers do not have access at this time to view the status of their Perkins loan in MyCWU or to make changes to their contact info online.)
- 5% fixed interest
- Repayment is deferred and there is no interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time
- Nine-month grace period before repayment begins
- Minimum monthly repayment is $40
- Students must complete a Perkins Loan Master Promissory Note & entrance counseling before the Perkins loan is disbursed into their student account. By signing the MPN, the student agrees to the Perkins Loan Rights and Responsibilities
- Deferment and cancelation provisions can apply to Perkins borrowers
- Perkins borrowers must complete exit counseling through CWU’s Student Accounts Office
- If your last name begins with the Letter A – L, please contact Laura Hecker at 509-963-3565 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- If your last name begins with the letter M – Z, please contact Mary Tosch at 509-963-3593 email@example.com
The Perkins Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a document that authorizes CWU to credit the loan funds to your student account. To receive your loan funds you must sign the MPN the first time you are awarded a Perkins loan. After signing the MPN the first time you will not need to sign it again while attending CWU (unless the period exceeds 10 years). Note the Perkins MPN is different than the promissory note for any other federal direct loan and needs to be signed in addition to any other MPN.
The Perkins Promissory Note will be available for you to sign in the CWU Student Accounts Office starting mid-September when you arrive on the Ellensburg campus for fall quarter classes. Please come to the Student Accounts Office in Barge Hall, Room 104. We are open Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM.
Please contact Student Accounts at 509-963-3546 and we will mail the Perkins promissory note to you to complete and return through the mail. You may also email Student Accounts at firstname.lastname@example.org to request that the note be mailed to you. Please include your address so that the note is sent to the correct address. We will include a return envelope for your convenience in returning the form to our office.
No. The promissory note cannot be faxed or emailed and we cannot accept faxed or emailed signed Perkins promissory notes. It must be returned to our office either in person or through the mail.
Entrance counseling occurs when the student comes into the CWU Student Accounts Office to sign the Perkins Loan Master Promissory Note and information sheet. Students also receive their Rights and Responsibilities and References Form. Any additional questions that the borrower has are answered at this time.
Exit Counseling is a required part of the Perkins loan process. At the exit session students complete required paperwork, are notified of their rights and responsibilities as Perkins borrowers, and are given an opportunity to ask questions about their Perkins loans. By law, all Perkins borrowers who are enrolled less than half-time, graduate, or leave school must attend an exit interview. Until the interview is completed a hold will be placed on the student’s account, which restricts access to the student’s diploma and/or transcripts. If the Perkins borrower is unable to attend a Perkins exit interview in person, the CWU Student Accounts Office will send the exit paperwork by certified mail to the student's last known address. The paperwork must be signed and returned to the CWU Student Accounts Office before the hold will be lifted.
Perkins borrowers enter a nine-month grace period after exit counseling. After the grace period has expired the borrower enters repayment with payments due to Central Washington University, Cashiers Office on the 1st working day of each month. The minimum monthly payment on a Perkins loan is $40, however the minimum can be greater than $40.00 depending on the amount borrowed. Your monthly statement will indicate the amount of your installment.
- In person at the CWU Cashiers Office – Ellensburg Campus, Barge 104. Payments can be made weekdays from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Credit card payments until 4:30 p.m.)
- By mail – Send your payment to the CWU Cashiers Office, 400 E University Way, Ellensburg, WA 98926-7490. Make sure to allow sufficient time for delivery.
- Online - www.cwu.edu/student-accounts/online-payments Click on the link in the middle of the page for Non-Current Students. This takes you to the payment portal where you can enter the amount of your Perkins loan payment.
- CWU does not accept payments by phone.
- Make sure to always include your name and student ID number with all your payments!
Yes. You can set-up bill pay with your bank to make your monthly payment. Be sure to have the bill pay initiated no later than the 25th of each month since payment is mailed to CWU by your bank and needs to arrive by the 1st of each month. To set-up bill pay, follow the steps outlined by your bank and have the monthly payment sent to:
CWU Cashiers Office
400 E University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7490
In the memo line – include "Perkins payment" and your student ID number.
Accepted forms of payment include cash, check, debit card, credit card (VISA, MasterCard and Discover only), money orders, cashier’s checks, and traveler’s checks.
No. You can make payments on your Perkins loan at any time. By prepaying on your Perkins loan, or paying more than the minimum due, you can reduce the amount of interest you would otherwise have to pay.
Payments that are late are subject to a late fee equal to 10% of your installment payment. If your installment payment is $40.00 the late fee would be $4.00. If no payment is received or late fees go unpaid, your account will be reported as past due to the national credit bureaus.
If you are having trouble making payments you can request forbearance on your Perkins loan. If you request forbearance, interest will continue to accrue on your Perkins loan and it will be due along with your monthly installment amount at the end of the forbearance period. However, depending on your situation, you may qualify for an unemployment or economic hardship deferment.
Various deferments exist for Perkins borrowers. For instance, in-school deferments exist for students enrolled more than half-time. Others include: unemployment deferments (up to three years), economic hardship deferments (up to three years), active military service deferments (no limit), post active duty deferments (13 months), or forbearance (up to three years). Note – with forbearance, interest continues to accrue and there is no grace period. For more details about whether you qualify for deferment or forbearance you can talk to your Perkins contact at CWU.
If you have a Perkins loan and work in an approved field, you may qualify for partial postponement or cancelation. Approved fields include: Law enforcement, Firefighter, Librarian, Service/Peace Corps, Education (Teachers), and Medical. Review your Perkins Promissory Note and your rights and responsibilities for more information. If you think you might qualify for cancelation of your Perkins loan you need to speak with your Perkins contact at CWU in the Student Accounts Office.
Teachers can qualify for partial postponement or cancelation of their Perkins loan. If you work in a low income school or teacher shortage area or as a Special Ed. teacher or in the Head Start program it is likely that you qualify. To verify you will need to speak to your Perkins contact at CWU in the Student Accounts Office.
Yes. Both current and past due accounts are reported each month to the national credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Yes. Your Perkins loan can be consolidated. However, depending on your career path, you may qualify for loan cancelation. You can review your Perkins promissory note for more details and/or talk to your Perkins contact person at CWU.
If you are disabled, you can apply to have your Perkins loan canceled online at www.disabilitydischarge.com or by calling 1-888-303-7818. If you are approved for a total permanent disability discharge, Federal Student Aid will notify CWU and CWU will cancel the remaining balance of your loan. While your disability discharge is under review, your loan will be placed in forbearance.
In the unfortunate event that a Perkins borrower dies, CWU Student Accounts Office can cancel the outstanding balance of the Perkins loan once it receives a certified copy of the death certificate.
No. Perkins loans and other federal student loans are non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. You are not required to make payments while in bankruptcy, but payment begins once the bankruptcy is over.
Perkins borrowers who pay $600 or more in interest in a given year will automatically receive a 1098-E form from CWU by the end of January each year. If you paid less than $600 in interest during the year but would like to know the specific dollar amount you can speak with your Perkins contact at CWU.