FAQs

Finance

Are Peace Corps Volunteers paid?

Peace Corps Volunteers receive a monthly living allowance. The specific amount of the stipend will vary by country, and is determined by a number factors. The allowance is intended for Volunteers to live at a level similar to the people in their community. The Peace Corps will arrange local banking services for Volunteers upon their arrival in country.

Can I have debt of any sort (e.g., tuition for my children, credit card debt, mortgage) and still serve in the Peace Corps?

Yes. You can serve in the Peace Corps with outstanding financial obligations if the debts can be managed and/or paid in a timely way during service. Candidates are expected to take responsibility for their financial obligations throughout their service.

What are my options for managing student loans during service?

You are responsible for your student loans during service. Depending on the type of loan you have, there may be benefits available to you, including income-driven repayment, deferment, partial cancellation, or forgiveness. Learn more about student loan information.

I am still within my grace period for my student loan and haven't started making payments. If I plan to defer my student loans, should I send in the request now or wait until the grace period is over?

Contact your lender to find out when they will accept your application for a deferment. If your lender says you must wait until the grace period expires to send in your application for deferment, wait until that time. Bring the paperwork with you to service and submit at the right time from there, or leave the paperwork with your power of attorney to submit on your behalf.

I’ve chosen to defer my student loans and my lender told me I need to reapply for deferment of my student loan after one year. What do I need to do?

To renew your loans for deferment, you will need to submit a new deferment application with your loan provider shortly before the deferment expires. This application will also need a certification letter from the Peace Corps. You can request this certification letter from Peace Corps staff in country or by emailing [email protected].

If I’ve chosen to defer my student loans, can interest accrue on them?

In some cases, yes. Check with your lender to discuss what will happen with your loans once they are deferred. Volunteers might have to pay interest on unsubsidized loans during service, including Stafford Loans, Federal Consolidation Loans that include unsubsidized loans, and Federal Direct Loans.

I need a letter certifying that I’m a Peace Corps Volunteer. How can I get that?

Two months before your departure, you will have the opportunity to download and print Peace Corps service certification letters. You can also request certification during service from your in-country staff or you can email [email protected].

Can I pay bills with my Peace Corps allowance during service?

You may request an allotment or multiple allotments of up to 75 percent of your monthly readjustment allowance to make payments on bills during service. These allotments must be paid directly to the company that holds the debt. These allotment payments do not go into effect until you have completed training and have sworn-in as a Volunteer, so you will need to plan accordingly. Two months before your departure, you will have the opportunity to set up such allotments, or you can set them up once you are in-country. For more information on Volunteer allowances, see Benefits or About Service FAQs.

How do I designate a financial contact to whom the Peace Corps can release financial information?

Two months before your departure you will have the opportunity to designate a financial point of contact. This gives the Peace Corps the ability to discuss and release financial information to the designated individual while you are serving as a Volunteer. This is different from a power of attorney. A third party, like a lender, may need you to assign a power of attorney so that someone can speak to them on your behalf.

Will I owe taxes on my Peace Corps allowances? How will I pay my taxes?

Your readjustment allowance and a portion of your monthly in-country living allowance are considered taxable income. You will receive W-2 forms in country. You can file your taxes yourself or have someone else file them. Two months before your departure for service, you will have the option to designate a financial point of contact to whom the Peace Corps would release a copy of your W-2. Consult a tax adviser for additional information.

I have dependents. Can I support them during my service?