Perkins Loans

Federal Perkins Loan Information
The Federal Perkins Loans are low-interest, long-term loans made through the University to help students pay post-secondary educational costs. When a borrower repays a Federal Perkins Loan, the money is returned to the fund and then redistributed to current students as new Perkins Loans. If you are interested in obtaining a Federal Perkins Loan, please contact the Financial Aid Department for qualification requirements. Once you have been awarded a Federal Perkins Loan, you will receive an email when you may electronically sign your Federal Perkins loan at the Heartland ECSI website.

Interest Rate
The annual interest rate charged on the unpaid balance of the Federal Perkins Loan is 5%. The interest rate is stated on the borrower’s promissory note, repayment schedule, and the statement of rights and responsibilities provided to the borrower at the time the loan is disbursed and again at the exit interview.

Grace Period
The term “grace period” refers to the period of time before the borrower must begin repayment of a student loan. Grace periods begin when a student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time, withdraws, or graduates from the university. During a grace period, no interest accrues and payments are not required. Please refer to your promissory note for details.

Loan Repayment
Repayment of a Federal Perkins Loan begins when the grace period ends. At the time a borrower drops below half-time enrollment or leaves Syracuse University, the University must conduct an exit interview. During the interview, pertinent information and a repayment schedule are provided to the borrower. Please visit the Heartland ECSI website for more detailed information. The repayment period may not exceed 10 years.

Heartland ECSI sends monthly statements to loan borrowers. However, payment of your debt is not contingent upon receipt of a statement. If you do not receive a statement, you should mail your payment to our loan servicer, Heartland ECSI. Please include your loan number on the check to insure that it is posted properly to your account. Payment should be mailed to:

Syracuse University
c/o Heartland ECSI
P.O. Box 718
Wexford, PA 15090

A deferment allows you to defer your loan payments for a specified period of time. See a complete list of available deferments on your promissory note. More information on deferments can be found on the Department of Education’s website.

To Apply for a Deferment
You may contact us at 315.443.2181 for assistance with a deferment. You will need to supply documentation to support your request. You must submit these forms in a timely manner. It is important to follow up on your paperwork. If you do not get confirmation from us in a reasonable amount of time, it could be that we have not received your paperwork. For forbearance information, please contact Heartland ECSI at 1-888-549-3274 or log in to your account through the Heartland ECSI website.

It is not our responsibility to follow up on paperwork.

Please note – when you default on your loan, you lose your rights to deferments and cancellations.

  • Important: Be sure to continue making your regular loan payments while your deferment is being reviewed and processed. Late payments may affect your credit rating.
  • Time Limit: The maximum length of time for deferments varies, depending upon your situation and the type of deferment you have. You won’t be able to get another deferment of the same type if you have used the maximum term.
  • Keep a copy of each deferment form and any other deferment correspondence with your records.

The Federal Perkins Loan contains special provisions allowing borrowers to defer payment or cancel portions of the loan for specific services performed by the borrower.

Deferments may be processed for the following reasons:

  • In school at least half-time
  • Graduate fellowship programs
  • Rehabilitation training programs
  • Peace Corps/VISTA/ACTION volunteer

Partial cancellations may be processed for services performed by the borrower in the following fields:

  • Teacher of a low-income school
  • Teacher of handicapped children
  • Teacher of a school funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • Teacher of a shortage area (math, science, foreign language, bilingual teacher, or a teacher in an area certified by the appropriate state agency as a shortage area)
  • Head start teacher
  • Nurse/Med tech
  • Law enforcement/Corrections officer
  • Family service agency (high-risk children/low-income communities)
  • Early intervention (Ages 0-2 years)
  • Peace Corps/Domestic volunteer service
  • Military combat for at least one year in an area of hostility/imminent danger
  • Firefighters
  • Attorney in a public defender office
  • Librarian
  • Speech/Language pathologist
  • Staff at state-licensed or regulated pre-K/child care program

How To Apply
Cancellation forms may be downloaded through Heartland ECSI. You may also call them at 1-888-549-3274. As with a deferment, you will also need to supply documentation to support your request. Please make sure the forms are completed in their entirety.

You must complete one full year of service to be eligible for cancellation of a portion of your Perkins loan. However, if you do not complete your one year of service, you may be eligible for a deferment during that time period.

You must complete an exit interview for your Federal Perkins loan prior to leaving the University. Please click here to complete the exit interview online.