Types of loan and borrowing amounts

Any loans that you take plus any additional financial aid (awards, bursaries, scholarships etc.) must not exceed the yearly 'Cost of Attendance' (US regulations).

Direct loans

Subsidised loans are awarded to students based on financial need – the loan is subsidised because the US Government pays the interest while you are in University. It also pays the interest during any authorised period of deferment of the loan, and for the six-month grace period after you leave university.

Unsubsidised 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 authorised 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 university.

The proportion of subsidised loan that you are eligible for is dependent on your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) which is on your Student Aid Report. We calculate your eligibility by subtracting your EFC from your costs of attendance. In most cases the majority of students will be eligible for the full subsidised amount.

Dependent Undergraduates

Subsidised Direct Loan

Unsubsidised Direct Loan

Annual Loan Limit

Year 1

$3500

$2000

$5500

Year 2

$4500

$2000

$6500

Year 3 and above

$5500

$2000

$7500

Independent Undergraduates

Subsidised Direct Loan

Unsubsidised Direct Loan

Annual Loan Limit

Year 1

$3500

$6000

$9500

Year 2

$4500

$6000

$10500

Year 3 and above

$5500

$7000

$12500

Graduates or Professionals

Subsidised Direct Loan

Unsubsidised Direct Loan

Annual Loan Limit

Each Year

$0 - with effect from July 1 2012 no longer eligible for Subsidised Direct

$20500

$20500

Dependent or independent student

A student's dependency status is determined from information provided on the FAFSA. It affects the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and the aid that you may be eligible to receive.

For purposes of Title IV aid, a student is considered independent if he or she meets one or more or the following criteria:

  • The student is at least 24 years old by 31 December of the award year
  • The student is an orphan or ward/dependent of the court, or was a ward/dependent of the court until he or she reached age 18
  • The student is a veteran of the US Armed Forces
  • The student is working on a master's or doctorate programme at the beginning of the award year for which the FAFSA is completed
  • The student is married as of the date the FAFSA is completed
  • The student has at least one child who receives more than half of his or her support from the student
  • The student has a dependent, other than a spouse or a child, who lives with the student and receives more than half of his or her support from the student at the time the FAFSA is completed, and through June 30 of the award year
  • The student is currently serving on active duty in the US Armed Forces for purposes other than training.

The student is considered dependent if he or she does not meet any of the preceding criteria for an independent student, unless the financial aid administrator determines that the student is independent on the basis of special circumstances and performs a dependency override.

Plus and private loans

Direct (Graduate) Plus

These types of loans are available to graduates, and borrowers should first apply for the Direct Loan before applying for the Direct Plus Loan. The Direct Plus Loan can be the difference between the Direct Loan and the cost of attendance less any other financial aid. You don't have to make any payments while you're enrolled in school at least half-time, and for an additional six months after you complete your studies, withdraw or drop below half-time enrolment.

During any period when you're not required to make payments, interest will accrue on your loan(s). You may choose to pay the accrued interest or allow the interest to be capitalized (added to your loan principal balance) when you have to start making payments. Your loan servicer will notify you when your first payment is due.

Direct (Parent) Plus

Parents of dependent undergraduates can take out a Direct (Parent) Plus Loan under their name to pay the entire cost of attendance less any additional financial aid. If a Direct Loan has been taken, the maximum Direct (Parent) Plus Loan can be the difference between the Direct Loan and the cost of attendance less any other financial aid.

We will require a statement from parents who apply for a Direct (Parent) PLUS Loan without first completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid to confirm that the student and parent will use the Direct (Parent) PLUS loan funds for educational expenses. If you are a parent borrower, you'll generally be expected to start making payments on your Direct (Parent) PLUS Loan once your loan is fully disbursed (paid out).

However, you may request a deferment while your child is enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after your child completes their studies, withdraws, or drops below half-time enrollment. You should have the option of requesting a deferment as part of the loan request process. You can also contact your servicer to request a deferment. During any period when you're not required to make payments, interest will accrue on your loan(s).

You may choose to pay the accrued interest or allow the interest to be capitalized (added to your loan principal balance) when you have to start making payments. Your loan servicer will notifiy you when your first payment is due.

Private loans – Sally Mae

Students who are unable to take out US federal loans or who do not meet the criteria for a US federal loan can borrow from private lenders in the US. For instance, students on distance learning courses based in the US but enrolled on a UK degree course at UWE Bristol may use a private loan to cover the cost of their tuition fees.

We advise that if you are eligible for US federal loans, you investigate these before applying for a US private student loan, as federal loans are often cheaper and most American students are eligible for them. Please note that US private student loans do not enable you to borrow more funds than US federal loans.

If you wish to apply for a private US student loan, please email us.loan@uwe.ac.uk. We will email you a Cost of Attendance to inform you of the amount of loan you are able to borrow. We will only issue you with a Cost of Attendance if you have received an offer to study at UWE Bristol and priority will be made to those students who have firmly accepted their offer.

The University will work with whichever private lender you decide to use, however, please be aware that Sallie Mae International is the only lender we are currently aware of that is willing to lend to students at a foreign school. Private loan applications with Sallie Mae must not exceed 180 days between the application date and disbursement date. You are advised to compare the terms, charges, and interest rates before taking out a private loan.

UWE Bristol will certify your Sallie Mae loan application once you have registered. We will request the loan be payable in one instalment and this will be received by cheque. We will advise you to come into the Income Office to collect your cheque. UWE Bristol will allocate any Tuition Fees and Accommodation Fees to be paid from the private loan, and pay the student any remaining funds. If you are distance learning student, providing the amount is less than $10,000, we will post the cheque to you by courier.

 

Subsidised

Aggregate Maximum

Dependent Undergraduate

$23000

$31000

Independent Undergraduate

$23000

$57500

Graduate

$65500

$138500

Repayment

It is important that you understand your rights and obligations when borrowing Federal US Loans. Students are advised to fully research and understand responsible borrowing and repayment before requesting Federal Student Loans. The Federal Student Aid webpage has an estimate calculator where you can calculate your estimated loan repayments.

Entrance Counselling and Exit Counselling is a condition of your loan agreement and should be completed before you start your course at UWE Bristol, and as you are coming to the end of your studies at UWE Bristol. It will inform you about repayment and money management, and advise you how to make the necessary arrangements before and during repayment.

Your Student Loan must be repaid. If you do not meet the loan repayments as required by your loan servicer, you will go into default. You are advised to keep in touch with your loan servicer and discuss your options if you are struggling to meet your repayments. You are also advised to update your loan servicer of any changes to your personal details such as address, phone number, and enrolment status.

Useful guides on repaying loans and default:

 

 

Direct Subsidised loan (federal)

Direct Unsubsidised loan (federal)

Parent PLUS loan (federal)

Private loan

Who is eligible?

Most US citizens (or eligible non-citizens) on eligible undergraduate courses.* Available to dependent and independent students who demonstrate financial need.

Most US citizens (or eligible non-citizens) on eligible undergraduate courses.* Available to dependent and independent students. Not based on financial need.

Parents (biological, adoptive, or in some cases, stepparent) of dependent undergraduate students on eligible courses. Both the parent and the student must be eligible for federal student aid. A credit check is required.

Most US citizens on courses the lender considers eligible. Good credit history is likely to be necessary. A co-signer may be required.

How do repayments work?

No interest or payments required as long as you are enrolled on an eligible course at least half-time.

No payments required as long as you are enrolled on an eligible course at least half-time. Interest accrues whilst you are studying.

No payments required as long as student is enrolled on an eligible course at least half-time. Interest accrues whilst studying.

Variable. You should check the terms and conditions provided to you by your lender. Repayment options tend to be less flexible than federal loans. 

When do repayments start?

Usually six months (known as the 'grace period') after your course finishes or you become less than half-time.

Usually six months (known as the 'grace period') after your course finishes or you become less than half-time.

Repayment period begins on the date of the final disbursement. Unless you receive a deferment or forbearance, the first payment will be due within 60 days of the final disbursement date. 

Variable. Repayment options tend to be less flexible than for federal loans.

Origination fees, default fees and interest rates are subject to change. For the latest information on interest rates and fees, please see the Federal Student Aid website.

Interest rates

Loan Type

First Disbursed on or after July 1, 2018 and before Jul 1, 2019

Direct Subsidized Loans (Undergraduate)

5.05%

Direct Unsubsidized Loans (Undergraduate)

5.05%

Direct Unsubsidized Loans (Graduate or Professional)

6.60%

Direct PLUS Loans (Parents and Graduate or Professional)

7.60%

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