The only private loan currently available to US students at foreign schools is the Sallie Mae Student Loans.
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.
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, our team will see that you have submitted an application for a Sallie Mae loan and will be able to access your 'Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification' form.
Providing you have a course offer for UEA and we have your SAR we can make an assessment for you at this time and send you an Offer of Funds for Financial Aid. The amount you have requested and been approved for must be within your Cost of Attendance (COA) maximum, set out on your Offer of Funds.
If we receive your application and cannot proceed with an Offer of Funds we will email you further details of what is required.
If you have not heard within a week, please send an email to our UEA Financial Aid Administrators so we can check that everything is ok with the application you made.
Once we have the loan amount agreed we will be able to certify your Sallie Mae loan. We will email you confirmation of the disbursement dates and amounts set up for the year ahead. Sallie Mae will also send you confirmation of the loan which, if required for visa purposes, will be sufficient proof that you have a private loan.
Please note: 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.
Helpful information can be found on the Loan Application and Solicitation Disclosure page on the Sallie Mae website.
Receiving your Loan
The Offer of Funds will show the full disbursement schedule for when Sallie Mae will release loan money within the Academic Year, usually in September and January.
UEA is partnered with Convera in order to facilitate the timely processing of the Sallie Mae Loan funds. This will be in two disbursements provided as a funds transfer for which you must have a UK bank account. The first disbursement will be processed once you are fully registered on your course. For Convera to process the disbursement you will be asked to share your bank account information securely.
Please be aware that your Sallie Mae Loan disbursements will be converted from US Dollars ($) to GB Pound Sterling (£) by Convera, therefore, the amount you receive for each disbursement will be dependent on the exchange rate used on the day of processing.
The disbursement date is when the funds are processed and released by Sallie Mae in the US, and not when you physically receive funds to your account, however, you will have them within a few days as it is a very efficient process.
If you have delays in setting up a UK bank account or would simply rather receive a cheque for your disbursement, this is also an option available to you. The cheques are sent from Convera in GB Pound Sterling (£) and usually received within 3 working days. We then arrange to meet with you for this to be issued. It is your responsibility to pay into a bank account of your choice.
As the Sallie Mae loan comes directly to the student, it is your responsibility to pay any outstanding tuition fees or accommodation charges (if applicable) to UEA.
You have a right to cancel/amend your loan, in line with the terms and conditions of your loan set out by Sallie Mae.