Contact Us |  

Search form


Perkins Loan

A Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest loan for students with financial need. UC Berkeley is your lender. The loan is made with government funds, and Berkeley contributes a share. You repay this loan to Berkeley. 

If you have left the university and have questions about your Perkins Loan, please send them to

You can  compare the Perkins Loan with other types of federal loans.

If you have been awarded a Perkins Loan, you can accept by following these steps.

What's the Interest Rate?

The interest rate for a Federal Perkins loan is 5.0%.

How Much Can I Borrow for a Perkins Loan?

For eligible Dependent California and Non-CA residents, your annual borrowing limit depends on your education level as an undergraduate. For example: 

Education Level Borrowing Limit

First year


Second year $1,200

Third and Fourth year with a prior year disbursed Perkins Loan at UC Berkeley


For eligible Undergraduate Non-Resident Juniors and Seniors with a family Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of less than $80,000:

Education Level Borrowing Limit

New Transfer or Non-Resident Juniors and Seniors


Eligible Undergraduate Independent students, your annual borrowing limit is $4,000.00

For All Undergraduate Students 2017-2018 Perkins loan must disburse on or before September 30, 2017

How Do I Apply for a Perkins Loan; When and Where Does it Pay? 

Once you’ve decided to borrow a federal student loan, you'll need to complete required processes before the loan can pay (disburse).

You can also print a Federal Perkins Loan Checklist for Students to help you in the process.


File a FAFSA at

Accept your loan in My Finances on Cal Central.

You will receive an email from ACS in 2 to 3 days, after you have accepted your Perkins loan, advising you to complete the next steps. If you try to complete the next steps before receiving the email, you will get an error message at the MPN stage.

Complete Entrance Loan Counseling at

After you complete Entrance Counseling, a separate window will appear for you to complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN).

​​If you cannot successfully complete the online MPN, please follow the instructions below to complete it manually.  If you are still having issues, please contact us for assistance by opening a case with Cal Student Central. Be sure to include your Berkeley student ID.


After 2 to 3 business days, your Electronic Master Promissory Note and Entrance Loan Counseling will be received by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office.

If you need to submit a paper Master Promissory Note (MPN) because you were unable to complete the online MPN, PRINT the Promissory Note, write your Student ID number at the top, then sign and date in the appropriate areas. If you exit the process without printing, you will have to start over at the Entrance Loan Counseling step.

Deliver your original, wet-ink signed Promissory Note in one of two ways:

Mail (PREFFERED METHOD):        
UC Berkeley
Attn: Account Consultant
140 University Hall #1111
2199 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA 94720-1111

UC Berkeley
Cal Student Central
Attn: Loan Document Processing
120 Sproul Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720

After verifying that you do not have any holds and that your student file is complete, the loan will disburse to your account. 

If you experience difficulty accessing the paper Promissory note, you may dowload a blank Promissory Note at:



Your loan disburses to your student billing account in CalCentral and pays for any outstanding charges that you have.

If there is no outstanding balance on your student billing account when the loan is paid, or if your loan disbursement is larger than your student billing balance, you will receive a refund.

If you are going to receive a refund, you will get a notification from Billing and Payment Services.

What Happens After I Leave School or Graduate?

Before leaving school or graduating, be sure to complete your Perkins Exit Interview.

Keep your contact information up-to-date with Berkeley so that you receive important information about your repayment.

Toward the end of your 9-month grace period, you should receive information about beginning repayment. If you have not received anything at the beginning of the 9th month of your grace period, contact Berkeley at

Nine months after you leave school, you begin repayment.

You can prepay your loan without penalty. This means that the faster you pay your loan, the less interest you pay over time.