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Perkins Loan

A Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest loan for students with financial need. Although the loan is made with government funds, Berkeley contributes a share and is your institutional lender; hence, you repay this loan to Berkeley.  

If you have left the university and have questions about your Perkins Loan, please send them to Beginning in mid-August 2017, the servier of your loan will be ECSI. More information on your new servicer will be provided soon.

Complete Loan Requirements:  Students accepting a Perkins Loan will be required to complete a Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling.

Due to a transition to a new loan servicer in summer 2017, instructions on how to complete the Perkins requirements will not be finalized until after mid August 2017.  Students who accept the Perkins Loan will receive an email from ECSI, the new loan servicer, in late August with instructions on how to complete the loan requirements.

FEDERAL PERKINS LOAN PROGRAM ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2017: The Federal Perkins Loan program is officially ending on September 30, 2017 unless legislative action extends the program. To receive your 2017-18 Perkins Loan, the fall portion of your loan must disburse no later than Friday, September 29, 2017. If you meet this deadline, we will disburse the spring portion of your Perkins Loan next semester if you meet all other eligibility criteria. If the fall portion of your loan does not disburse by this deadline, your Perkins Loan will no longer be available to you this academic year. Please contact Cal Student Central if 120 Sproul Hall if you have questions. 

You can  compare the Perkins Loan with other types of federal loans.  Click, Student Aid Types of Loans-Interest rates to compare 2017-18 Interest rates.


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? 

If you’ve been awarded a Perkins Loan for Fall 2017 and/or Spring 2018, please follow the steps below:

  1. Accept your loan through CalCentral.

  2. You will receive an email from Heartland ECSI (our student loan servicer) within 24-48 hours advising you to fulfill the next steps. That email will contain the link to ECSI’s website.

  3. You should be able to complete the rest of the process electronically, - OR -

  4. You may receive this error message, after three failed ID authentication attempts:

  5. Continue with the Entrance Interview Counseling and Quiz

  6. View your Rights and Responsibilities, including all links on the page

  7. Submit your personal information, as well as next of kin and two references

  8. Review the Perkins Loan Extension Act of 2015 disclosure

  9. PRINT the Master Promissory Note, complete fields 1-6, 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 Step 1 on the ECSI portal. Electronic signatures will NOT be accepted.

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


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

  1. After 1-2 business days, your MPN and Entrance Interview Counseling record will be received by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office.

  2. If you do not have any blocks and all your Financial Aid Tasks are completed, the loan will disburse to your CalCentral account. ​For more information on financial aid disbursements, see


If you are having trouble accessing the Master Promissory Note as described above, you may download a blank MPN here.



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.