Types of Loan Available to US Students

Students outside the United States are not eligible for grants from the US Department of Education but may apply for loans. The US Department of Education’s student loan programme is called the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. There are three types of Direct Loan available:

Direct Subsidized Loans are awarded to eligible undergraduate students based on financial need, and the US Government pays the interest on your behalf while you are enrolled in University at least half-time. 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.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are made to eligible undergraduate and postgraduate students; these are not based on financial need and the student is 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 enrolled in University at least half-time, 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.

Direct PLUS Loans are made to postgraduate students (Graduate PLUS Loans) and parents of dependent undergraduate students (Parent PLUS Loans) to help pay for educational expenses not covered by other financial aid. Eligibility is not based on financial need, but a credit check is required. Borrowers who have an adverse credit history must meet additional requirements to qualify.
- Graduate PLUS Loans (Grad PLUS) are available to students on postgraduate courses, and borrowers should first apply for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan before applying for the Grad PLUS. The maximum value of the Grad PLUS loan is the difference between the Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the full cost of attendance (less any other financial aid). You may defer principal and interest payments on this loan while you are enrolled in University at least half-time. There is no six-month grace period after completion of the course.
- Parents of dependent undergraduates can take out a Parent PLUS Loan in their own name to pay the entire cost of attendance (less any other financial aid). If Direct Loans have been taken by the student, the maximum Parent PLUS available is the difference between the student’s Direct Loans and the cost of attendance (less any other financial aid). Payments are normally due within 60 days after the loan has been fully disbursed, and deferment of repayment may be available through selected lenders. Parent PLUS loans are the responsibility of the parent and not the student.

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. US private student loans do not enable you to borrow more funds than US Federal Loans. The maximum private loan can be the full cost of attendance for the year less any other financial aid (loans, awards, bursaries, scholarships, grants etc.). Please note that Federal Loans are often cheaper and most American students are eligible for them. The University will work with whichever lender you choose; however, Sallie Mae is the only US private lender that we are aware of providing loans to students at a foreign school.

Federal Grants: We do not process PELL grants as they are only available for study within the United States.

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