The only private loan currently available to US students at foreign schools is the Smart Loan from Sallie Mae.


This option is available to all students, although some students may require a co-signer. Loans are based upon credit history and interest rates will vary.

As Federal Loans generally have more favourable terms and conditions than private loans, we suggest that you check interest rates, compare terms and conditions and thoroughly investigate the possibility of taking out a Federal Loan before applying for a private loan.


Application Process

To be able to process your Sallie Mae loan, we ask that you first complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

When completing your FAFSA you will need the UEA's Federal Direct Loan School Code, which is G10915. Please note, we can only access your Student Aid Report (SAR) if you have included our School Code as one of your choices.

Watch this video for information on how to complete your FAFSA.

Once completed, the US Department of Education will process the information and send you a SAR which can be viewed, printed and retained for your records. Please check all information provided to make sure that it is accurate.


How To Apply for a Sallie Mae Smart Loan

You can apply online on the Sallie Mae website.  Once completed, please send a copy of your e-signed Promissory Note to the UEA Financial Aid Administrators. You should not apply for a Sallie Mae Smart Loan more than 180 days before the disbursement date (i.e. for a loan disbursement in September, do not apply before April) as the loan will become invalid.

We will then certify the amount you have requested and been approved for, providing it is below your Cost of Attendance (COA). Please note that before we can certify and process a private loan you will also need to have completed and sent in a signed and dated  'Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification' form.  A scanned copy sent by email will be acceptable.

Once your private loan has been certified, Sallie Mae will send you a letter of confirmation which, if required for visa purposes, will be sufficient proof that you have a private loan.

Helpful information on Sallie Mae Loan Application and Solicitation Disclosure can be found on the Sallie Mae website. 


Receiving your Loan

Sallie Mae will send the University a USD ($) cheque in a minimum of two instalments, usually in September and January. The University will process the payment, deducting any tuition fees and University accommodation fees due for that period. Any funds left over will be disbursed to you by cheque in GBP (£).  You will be notified when to collect this from the Finance Office.

During the disbursement process, your Sallie Mae Smart Loan will be converted to GBP (£) and currency conversion costs will apply. Therefore, the actual amount the University will receive for each disbursement will vary, as it will be dependent on the exchange rate on that date.