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Perkins Loans: Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Perkins Loan?

A Perkins Loan - one of several types of federal educational assistance loans - helps pay the education costs of students with exceptional financial need. At Holy Cross, Perkins Loans are made up of a combination of Holy Cross and federal government funds. Holy Cross is the lender, and the loans are managed by Holy Cross and Heartland/ECSI formerly Campus Partners, an agency with which the College contracts to service the loan.

What is the interest rate on a Perkins Loan?

Perkins Loans offer a low interest rate -- just five percent simple interest.

Will I be charged a fee for a Perkins Loan?

There is no fee for taking a Perkins Loan. However, if you skip a payment, pay late or pay less than a full payment, you may have to pay a late charge plus any collection costs. Late charges will continue until your payments are current.

How will my loan be disbursed?

Holy Cross will credit your account in two disbursements, half on the fall bill and half on the spring bill.

What if I need to cancel my loan?

Please contact the Financial Aid department, (508) 793-2265, if you wish to cancel your loan.

Because of the differences in loans from one student to another, as well as the complexity of eligibility requirements, information on Perkins Loan cancellation policies is quite extensive. For more details, please contact the Bursar's Office at (508) 793-2521.

How soon must I begin to repay my Perkins Loan?

After you graduate or leave Holy Cross your loan will begin a nine month grace period. During this time no interest will accrue on the loan. After nine months interest will begin to accrue and three months later your first payment will be due. The Federal Perkins Loan is billed quarterly.  Please go to to manage your loan. The College of the Holy Cross school code is W26. If it is your first time logging into the Heartland ECSI website please contact customer service, 1-888-549-3274, to obtain your Heartland Key. 

How long do I have to repay the loan in full?

You may be allowed up to 10 years to repay.

What is a deferment?

During a deferment, you are approved to temporarily postpone payments on your loan, and no interest accrues. You might apply for a deferment, for instance, if you planned to attend graduate school or enter an organization such as the Peace Corps, or if you were unemployed for an extended period. For further details, see the Deferments and Forbearance section.

What is forbearance?

Forbearance is an alternative for borrowers not eligible for a deferment. During forbearance, your loan payments are postponed or reduced for a limited time. Interest continues to accrue. For further details, see the Deferments and Forbearance section.

What is loan cancellation?

Under certain conditions, you may have all or part of your loan canceled. This means you will never have to repay the canceled portion of the principal you borrowed or the accrued interest. Please contact the Bursar Office for more information, 508-793-3493.