Perkins Loan - Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I attended the University of Massachusetts at Boston, why am I being billed by the Amherst campus?
A. The Amherst campus handles all repayment issues for the Federal Perkins Loan Program for both the Boston and Amherst campuses.
Q. Who is ACS?
A. ACS is the company that the University uses to process and maintain payment records.
Q. When do I have to begin repayment of my loan(s)?
A. The Federal Perkins Loan program allows the borrower a 9-month grace period, whereas the FFEL loans only allow a 6-month grace period.
Q. How often are payments due?
A. For most loans, payments are due on a quarterly (4 times a year) basis. A borrower can request in writing that payments be made on a monthly basis if they wish.
Q. I haven't graduated, so why am I being billed?
A. When a borrower leaves school for whatever reason, or falls below half-time status, the loan is entered into repayment. If you have returned to school at least half-time, you must either file a deferment form with us or your school must report academic enrollment through the National Student Clearinghouse. In either case, it is ultimately your responsibility to see that your loan is deferred.
Q. I transferred to another school, why am I being billed?
A. If you are at least a half-time student at an accredited institution of higher learning, you are required to file deferment forms on at least a yearly basis. If your current institution verifies enrollment on a semester by semester basis, you will need to file an in-school deferment form with us each and every semester until you graduate. If your school reports enrollment to the National Student Clearinghouse (NSLC) we should get verification of your enrollment some time after add/drop.
Q. I returned to the University of Massachusetts Amherst or Boston, why am I still being billed?
A. Unfortunately, there is no connection between the Registrars' files and our billing servicer's system (ACS). We have no way of knowing you have returned/are returning to the University until your enrollment history is reported to us by the National Student Clearinghouse (NSLC).
Q. Who is the National Student Clearinghouse?
A. The National Student Clearinghouse (NSLC) is the nation's most trusted source for student degree and enrollment verification. To see if your school currently utilizes NSLC, click here.
Q. When will my enrollment be reported to the National Student Clearinghouse?
A. Most schools including the University do not report enrollment to NSLC until after add/drop so this office will not receive an update from NSLC until sometime after that. If you are being billed you can always provide us with your enrollment status by completing an in-school deferment form, having the Registrar's Office complete Part II of the form and returning it to our office.
Q.What do I do if I cannot make my regularly scheduled installment payment?
A. Anytime you encounter temporary financial difficulties, you can contact us in writing or by telephone and we can explain which options are available to you. You can also check out this web site for information on forbearance or the various deferment options.
Q. To Whom do I make my check payable?
A. The University of Massachusetts. Please be sure to include your complete student account number on your check for accurate and timely processing.
Q. May I make payments on my loan(s) during periods where payments are not due?
A. Yes, you may make payments, but no billing statements will be sent to you. Please include your full account number on your check and send these payment to the address listed at the bottom of this page or you can click on the payments link for instruction on making alternative payments.
Q. Will I be subject to a penalty if I choose to pay off some or all of my Perkins loan(s) early?
A. No, for federal student loans (Perkins, National Direct Student Loans), there is no penalty for prepayment.
Q. How is interest calculated on my loan?
A. The Perkins Loan utilizes a simple interest calculation based on the principal balance at the time of billing.
Q. How are my payments applied to my loan?
A. The payment hierarchy is as follows:
- Collection Costs (if your loan is with an outside collection agency)
- Late/Penalty Fees
- Past Due Interest
- Past Due Principal
- Current Due Interest
- Current Due Principal
Q. Can automatic payments be made toward my loan(s) so that I don't have to worry about them?
A. Yes, ACS (our billing servicer) offers a program called ACH where installment payments are automatically withdrawn from your checking/savings account. You will need to link to ACS directly by clicking here.
Q. How do I obtain information regarding the status of my account(s)?
A. You can check your account online by linking to ACS (our billing servicer). You will be required to establish a user name and password. ACS link