Information for University students from the USA about Federal Direct Loans and other types of loans that can complement a Federal Direct Loan.
Subsidized loans are awarded to students based on financial need – the loan is subsidized because the US Government pays the interest while you are in University. It also pays the interest during any authorized period of deferment of the loan, and for the six month grace period after you leave University.
Unsubsidized loans are not based on financial need and you are responsible for paying the interest from the time the money is disbursed. The interest may be paid as it comes due, or it may be postponed and allowed to accumulate while you are in University, during any authorized period of deferment, and for the six month grace period after you leave University. If you choose to postpone the interest payments, you won’t make any payments while you are in University, but this option adds to the amount you will have to repay on your loan when you leave.
Graduate PLUS: These types of loans are available to graduates, and borrowers should first apply for the Federal Direct Loan before applying for the Grad PLUS. The Grad PLUS can be the difference between the Federal Direct Loan and the cost of attendance less any other financial aid. You may defer principle and interest payments on this loan whilst you are enrolled. There is no six month grace period after completion of the course.
Parent PLUS: Parents of dependent undergraduates can take out a Parent PLUS loan under their name to pay the entire cost of attendance less any additional financial aid. If a Federal Direct Loan has been taken, the maximum Parent PLUS can be the difference between the Federal Direct Loan and the cost of attendance less any other financial aid. We will require a statement from parents who apply for a PLUS loan without first completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid to confirm that the student and parent will use the PLUS loan funds for educational expenses. Payments are normally due within 60 days after the loan has been fully disbursed, and deferment of payment may be available through selected lenders.
Private Loans: These are not part of the Federal Loan programme. The type of loan offered will depend on your credit rating, and a co-signer may be required. The maximum private loan can be the yearly cost of attendance less any other financial aid (loans, awards, bursaries, scholarships etc.). Please note that federal loans are often cheaper and most American students are eligible for them. US private student loans do not enable you to borrow more funds than US federal loans. You can compare federal and private loans on our Loan Types and Loan Amounts pages.
A self-certification form for private loans may be of use to students applying for this type of funding. If you require information on how to complete the form, please email the US Funding team.
The University will work with whichever lender you choose, however, Sallie Mae is the only US lender we are aware of that is willing to lend to students at a foreign school, therefore the details on this page relate to the Sallie Mae application process.
We do not process PELL grants as they are only available for study in the US.