We realize that student loans are complex and can be quite confusing. If you have any questions regarding any aspect of student loans, the repayment process, or your student account, we are here to assist you. Please feel free to contact us during office working hours, if you need assistance.

Perkins Loan Financial Aid

A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed before applying for a student loan

  • Perkins funds are limited. Students must complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 each year in order to receive priority consideration.
  • Perkins Loans are low-interest (5 percent) loans for students with financial need. Awards at La Sierra University normally range up to $2,000. No fees are deducted from this loan; interest and repayment begin nine months after graduation or separation from the University, or when enrollment status falls below half-time. There is a ten year repayment period.
  • The lender of Federal Perkins Loans is La Sierra University. All borrowers of Federal Perkins Loans repay the loan to La Sierra University.
federal Annual Award Limits
Undergraduate Student$5,500 maximum
Graduate Student$8,000 maximum
federal Cumulative Limits
Undergraduate Student$27,500
Graduate Student$60,000 (includes undergraduate amounts)

The amount that is available for a student to borrow is listed on the student's award letter each year. This amount may be less than the federal annual maximums of $5,500 for undergraduates and $8,000 for graduates.

For any questions regarding the Perkins Loan, please contact the Accounts and Loans office at 951-785-2238.

How Do I Receive My Perkins Loan?

Once you accept this award and return the award statement to the Office of Student Financial Services Office, you must go to the Accounts and Loans Office to complete an entrance interview and sign the Master Promissory Note for the Perkins Loan. Your loan proceeds are then directly applied to your student account.

When Do I Pay Back My Perkins Loan?

If you have an outstanding principal or interest owing on any direct loan (Perkins/NDSL) prior to July 1, 1987, you begin paying six months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time status. If you are a new borrower who has no previous outstanding principal or interest owing on any loan as of July 1, 1987, you begin repayment nine months after you graduate, leave school or drop below half time status. You may be allowed up to 10 years to repay your loan. The amount of your payment depends on the size of your debt, but usually you must pay at least $40 per month.

What Happens If I Don't Pay Back My Loan?

If you default on a Perkins Loan and the school is unable to collect, it will harm your credit rating and the federal government may take action to recover the loan. You cannot receive further financial aid if you are in default status.

See this page: Defaulting on Federal Perkins Loan

Can I Defer (Postpone) Repayment Of My Perkins Loan After I Leave School?

Certain conditions may allow you to defer your Perkins Loan payments. Contact the Office of Accounts and Loans to find out your eligibility status (951-785-2238 or 951-785-2247). *

These conditions include:
  • at least half-time enrollment at a post-secondary school
  • volunteer work in Peace Corps or ACTION Programs or comparable full-time volunteer work for a tax-exempt organization
  • active duty in the U.S. armed forces, Commissioned Corps of US Public Health Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps
  • temporarily totally disabled or you cannot work because you are caring for a temporarily totally disabled spouse or other dependent
  • working at an eligible internship
  • currently unemployed, and mother of preschool-age children who is going to work (or back to work) at a salary of no more than $1 over the minimum wage).
Are there conditions where repayment of my Perkins Loan may be canceled?

Yes. For example, your loan will be canceled if you die or become totally and permanently disabled. Contact the Office of Accounts and Loans to find out your eligibility status (951-785-2238 or 951-785-2247)

* Other conditions are listed below:

Cancellation Criteria

Part of your loan will be canceled for each complete academic year you are a full-time teacher of disabled children, or for each complete academic year you teach full-time in a designated elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students. In both of these cases, your entire loan will have been canceled after the fifth consecutive year of teaching. To find out whether the school you are teaching in is a designated school, go to this website: https://www.tcli.ed.gov/CBSWebApp/tcli/TCLIPubSchoolSearch.jsp

Part of your loan will be canceled for each year of full-time work in specified Head Start programs. After the fifth year, your entire loan will have been canceled.

Up to 70 percent of your loan can be canceled for service as a Peace Corps or VISTA volunteer--30 percent during the first two years, 40 percent during the next two years. (This deferment applies only to Perkins Loan borrowers, not to National Direct Student Loan [NDSL] borrowers).

If you serve as an enlisted person in certain selected specialties of the US Army, the Army Reserves, the Army National Guard, the Department of Defense will, as an enlistment incentive, repay a portion of your loan. If you think you may qualify, contact your recruiting officer.


Returning Students