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Financial Aid

Perkins Loan

What is a Perkins Loan?

The Perkins Loan is a federally funded low interest loan for undergraduate and graduates attending school on at least a half-time basis. The school is the lender. Eligibility is based on need.

What is the first step to the application procedure for a Perkins Loan?

To be considered for this type of assistance, a student must:

A FAFSA can be completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

How do I request Perkins Loan funds?

When you complete the FAFSA, simply indicate that you would like to be considered for loans on the appropriate question. The school will consider your request when reviewing your file.

What is the interest rate of a Perkins Loan?

2015-2016 Perkins Loan Interest Rate

  • Annual Interest Rate: 5%*
*Interest does not begin to accrue until 9 months after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time status.

The Federal Perkins Loan has an annual interest of 5 percent. Interest does not begin to accrue until 9 months after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time status. You must begin repaying your loan to your school at the end of your 9 month grace period. Minimum payments of $40 per month are required; the repayment period may be extended up to ten years.

Other than interest, is there a charge to get a Perkins Loan?

No, there are no fees or charges.

How will I be notified of my eligibility?

A student is usually notified of his/her Perkins Loan eligibility through the student's award letter. Initial award letters are mailed to the student. If a change is made to a student's award letter, the student will receive an email from UMFK, asking them to go to MaineStreet to view the change(s).

For MaineStreet assistance, please view our page on using MaineStreet.

How much can I borrow?

Undergraduates are limited to borrowing $4,000 for each year of undergraduate study with a maximum of $8,000 for an associates degree and $20,000 for a bachelor's degree. The actual amount of a Perkins Loan will depend on the extent of the students financial need and funds available for loans. The student's borrowing limit will be indicated on the student's award letter.

The Perkins Loan has been offered to me on my Award Letter, what do I do now?

If you have been offered a Perkins Loan as part of your financial aid package on your award letter, and you want to either borrow/decline the money that you have been offered, you must indicate so on MaineStreet.

If you want to reduce an offered loan, please contact the Financial Aid Office by calling (207) 834-7605, emailing us at umfkaid@maine.edu, or by visiting the financial aid office in Cyr Hall. Reduction or cancellation of a Perkins Loan will not jeopardize other financial aid.

If you want to borrow the Perkins Loan money, you will need to accept the loan on-line on MaineStreet and you will need to complete the Perkins Master Promissory Note (MPN). (Do not confuse this note with your Stafford MPN!) The MPN must be complete before funds can be applied to your student account. Instructions for completing this process are available here.

About the Perkins Master Promissory Note (MPN)

When you sign a promissory note and receive loan funds, you are agreeing to repay the loan according to the terms of the note. Except in cases where the loan is discharged (for instance in the death of a student) the loan must be repaid with interest, even if the student does not complete the program, does not like the program, or is unable to procure employment after completing the program.

Note: This year several Perkins information documents (i.e., the Perkins Loan Disclosure Information and the Perkins Loan Recipient Information Sheet) are combined under one MPN cover.

If the student meets all other eligibility requirements (to be determined by the financial aid office), the financial aid office will disburse your loan money to the business office. This process usually takes one week or less after the completion of the MPN. No funds will be disbursed to a student's account, in the business office, until the Perkins MPN process in completed.

How and when do I get my Perkins Loan money?

Perkins Loan funds are usually credited to a student's University account in two equal disbursements, half of the total amount each semester. Funds are credited to the student's account only when: the student's financial aid file is complete, the Perkins Master Promissory Note is completed, and the student is registered.

Once the loan is applied to a student's account, the student will receive a refund for any semester amount which exceeds indebtedness to the University.

How will I know if my loan funds have been applied to my student account/bill?

To check if your Perkins Loan funds have been received and applied to your UMFK student billing account: 

  • Visit my.umfk.edu
  • Login using your email username and password
  • Click on the MaineStreet icon (located on the left-hand side of the portal homepage)
  • Click on Student Self Service
  • Click on Student Center
  • Go to the Finances section of the Student Center

If "Perkins Loan" is listed with a minus sign under "Payments" the amount shown has been deducted from your bill. Review the amounts for accuracy. If your UMFK bill is paid in full and any balance remains, that balance will be refunded to you. Contact the UMFK Business Office at 207-834-7552 for details.

What you need to know about paying back your Perkins Loan?

Perkins Loan requires repayment. After a student graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time (i.e., less than 6.0 credits), a student has a nine month grace period before beginning repayment. The interest does not need to be paid during the grace period. Payment is made to the school, the University of Maine (UMS) Loan Processing Center, or to Educational Computer Systems Inc. (ECSI). More information on paying back your Perkins Loan may be found on our Repaying Your Loans page. Additional links and information may also be found under Additional Perkins Loan Resources.

What are my borrower responsibilities after I graduate, withdraw or drop below half-time?

A student who has borrowed from the Perkins loan program during his/her undergraduate career who has either withdrawn from school, left school, dropped to less than 6 credits hours or graduated, is required to complete a Perkins Exit Counseling Session. The session will provide the student with useful information regarding the repayment process (i.e., deferment, forbearance, consolidation etc.). A student who has not completed his/her Exit counseling session will have a "Hold" placed on his/her UMFK student account.

Note: A "Hold" on a student's account (i.e., school records) will prevent a student from obtaining their diploma and official academic transcript, as well as prevent a student from registering for classes at any of the University of Maine campuses.

Loan Processing Center Contact Information

  • Phone: 1-800-308-6148
  • Fax: 207-561-3430
  • Mailing Address:
    Processing Center
    PO Box 412
    Bangor ME 04402

To remove/release Direct and/or Perkins Loan "Exit Hold(s)" the student will need to complete the appropriate (i.e., Direct/Perkins Loan) Exit Counseling session(s). The Perkins Exit can be completed from the UMFK website or at www.ecsi.net. Make sure to follow instructions carefully and complete all the sections provided.

A Perkins Exit Hold on a student's account should automatically be removed once the student's Exit obligations have been met. However, if a Hold is not removed, for whatever reason, and/or if you have any questions regarding a Perkins Hold, you will need to resolve it with the (UMS) Loan Processing Center.

Who is my Perkins lender and how can I contact them?

The University of Maine at Fort Kent is the lender of your Perkins Loan. However, the University of Maine (UMS) Loan Processing Center is who you will contact for information regarding your loan. The Center is available to assist you with your Perkins questions and with the prepayment process. In the future you may be receiving correspondence from the Processing Center regarding your loan.

In addition, The University of Maine at Fort Kent uses ECSI, is a billing service for Perkins Loans. ECSI will also be working with you with the repayment of your Perkins loan.

Contact information for both the UMS Loan Processing Center and ECSI is provided below:

Loan Processing Center Contact Information

  • Phone: 1-800-308-6148
  • Fax: 207-561-3430
  • Mailing Address:
    Processing Center
    PO Box 412
    Bangor ME 04402

ECSI Contact Information

Where can I find more information regarding Perkins Loan Repayment, Consolidation & Deferment?

Information on loan repayment and deferment may be found on our Repaying Your Loans page and under Additional Perkins Loan Resources. Links and information pertaining to loan consolidation may be found on our Consolidation page.

OSFA Ombudsman Information

The SFA Ombudsman is working with student loan borrowers to informally resolve loan disputes and problems. They help borrowers having problems with the following federal loans:

  • Perkins Loan - Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Student Loans, Direct PLUS Loans (for parents), and Direct Consolidation Loans
  • Federal Family Education Loans - Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, FFEL, PLUS Loans (for parents), and FFEL Consolidation Loans
  • Guaranteed Student Loans, SLS Loans
  • Perkins Loan

Ombudsman Contact Information

  • Phone: 1-877-557-2575
  • Fax: (202) 275-2549
  • Ombudsman Website
  • Mailing Address:
    U.S. Department of Education
    FSA Ombudsman
    830 First Street, NE
    Fourth Floor
    Washington, DC 20202-5144

Where Can I Find More Loan Information?

Additional links and resources relating to Perkins Loan may be found under Additional Perkins Loan Resources.