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Federal Perkins Loans

Important – Under federal law, the authority for schools to make new Perkins Loans ended on September 30, 2017, and final disbursements were permitted through June 30, 2018.  As a result, students can no longer receive Perkins Loans.  Students who received a Perkins Loan can learn more about managing the repayment of the loan by contacting a NMSU Financial Aid Advisor or by contacting our Perkins Loan servicer Heartland/ECSI.

Learn more about Perkins LoansRepayment | Perkins Loan Repayment Chart | Forbearance and Deferment | Perkins Loan Forgiveness

Exit Counseling

Students who plan to stop attending NMSU at least half time in an eligible program (whether due to graduating or a change in your enrollment status), will be sent an email to their NMSU email account from Heartland/ECSI instructing them on how to complete the Exit Counseling process. Exit Counseling will help you learn about your repayment options and what you can expect once you enter repayment.

Exit Counseling is a requirement for students at NMSU who took out any student loan(s).  You must complete Exit Counseling before you can receive your diploma and final official transcript.


The Perkins Loan is a 5% fixed-rate loan with a 10-year standard repayment.  Repayment begins nine months after you graduate, leave NMSU, or drop below half-time attendance.  There is no interest charged until the student enters repayment.  The lender for Perkins Loan is the U.S. Federal Government, but NMSU is responsible for servicing the loan.  NMSU has contracted with Heartland/ECSI to generate your monthly billing statements, process your loan repayments, and handle all determent and forbearance request.

The Heartland/ECSI service enables borrowers to access their accounts online and perform numerous tasks, including the following;

  • Verify when payments have been received
  • Update address and phone information
  • Check account balance
  • Obtain loan payoff amounts
  • Signup for electronic billing

If you don’t make your loan payments, you risk going into default. Defaulting on your loan has serious consequences. Your loan becomes delinquent the first day after you miss a payment. The delinquency will continue until all payments are made to bring your loan current. All loans in delinquent status are reported to the three major credit bureaus. Once a Perkins Loan has reached 4 months delinquent, Heartland/ECSI will send the loan to a Collection Agency for collections, which will result in additional fees owed by the student.

A negative credit rating may make it difficult for you to borrow money – i.e. for a car or home – or sometimes may make it impossible. If you can’t make the payments, contact Heartland/ECSI to discuss other ways to get your monthly payments reduced.

Perkins Loan Sample Repayment Schedule

Use this chart to estimate your monthly student loan payment based on the Standard Repayment Plan. Figures have been rounded to the nearest whole dollar and represent minimum payments at a 5% interest rate over a maximum of 10 years, and do not include interest that may accumulate during periods of deferment or forbearance. This chart is for estimating purposes only. 

Total Debt at Repayment* Monthly Payment Amount Total Amount Paid Total Interest Paid
$1,000 $11 $1,273 $273
$2,000 $21 $2,546 $546
$3,000 $32 $3,818 $818
$4,000 $42 $5,091 $1,091
$5,000 $53 $6,364 $1,364
$7,500 $80 $9,546 $2,046
$10,000 $106 $12,728 $2,728
*Payment calculated using a fixed interest rate of 5% over a 10 year period.

Forbearance and Deferment

If you are unable to make your scheduled monthly loan payments, ECSI may be able to grant a forbearance or deferment for up to one year at a time and a maximum of three years. Forbearance and deferment allows you to stop making payments or reduce your monthly payments temporarily.


You may request Forbearance if you fall into one of the situations below. To request a Forbearance, complete the applicable form found at  Heartland/ECSI Borrower Forms.

  • Your monthly student loan payment is equal to or more than 20% of your total monthly gross income
  • Poor Health


You may request Deferment for any of the situations below. To request Deferment, complete the applicable form found at ECSI.

  • Unemployment: if you are temporarily unable to make student loan payments because you are unable to find work.
  • Graduate Fellowship
  • Economic Hardship: willing but unable to make student loan payments for economic reasons.
  • In School: continuing your education or participating in a qualifying rehabilitation program while enrolled at least half time.
  • Military: members of the Armed Forces and serving on active duty during a way, military operation, or national emergency. Post-active students deferments are also available.

Perkins Loan Forgiveness

If you work in one of the below fields, you may be eligible to have a portion, or all, of your Perkins Loan forgiven. If you are currently in repayment and are interested in Perkins Loan Forgiveness, contact Heartland/ECSI for more information.

  • Full-time Firefighter
  • Full-time Law Enforcement or Corrections Office
  • Full-time Nurse or Medical Technician
  • VISTA or Peace Corps Volunteer
  • Librarian with a master’s degree working in a Title I eligible elementary or secondary school or Public Library serving Title I eligible schools
  • Full-time attorney employed in a federal, public, or community defender organization
  • Full-time employee of a public or nonprofit child- or family-services agency providing services to high-risk children and their families form low-income communities
  • Full-time staff member in the education component of a Head Start Program
  • Full-time staff member in a pre-kindergarten or child care program that is licensed or regulated by a state
  • Full-time qualified professional provider of early intervention services for the disabled
  • Full-time speech pathologist with a master’s degree working in a Title I eligible elementary or secondary school
  • Full-time special education teacher of children with disabilities in a public or other nonprofit elementary or secondary school
  • Full-time teacher of math, science, foreign languages, bilingual educator, or other fields designated as teacher shortage area
  • Full-time special education teacher of children with disabilities in an educational service agency
  • Full-time teacher in a designated educational service agency serving students from low-income families
  • Full-time faculty member at a tribal college or university