Loans available to American Students

There are three types of loans available to American students studying at the University of Birmingham; Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans and Private Loans (via Sallie Mae). 

Federal vs Private Loan

Students are advised to take any Federal Loan they are entitled to before considering any other type of loan due to the competitive interest rate and repayment benefits they offer.  A detailed comparison of Federal and Private Loans is published via the Federal Student Aid website.

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Federal Direct Stafford Loans

The Federal Direct Stafford Loan has a low interest rate (fixed by the US government) and is available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. The loan is divided into two parts: subsidized and unsubsidized. There are annual and aggregate limits in place which determine how much you can borrow.

Federal Direct PLUS Loans

PLUS loans are federal loans that graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay for college or career school. PLUS loans can help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid.

Private Loans

The only private loan currently available to students attending a foreign university (outside of the USA) is the Smart Option Loan from Sallie Mae. There are no origination fees and the interest rate will depend on your credit history and that of a co-signer. For more detailed information, visit our dedicated private loans page.

To apply for any of the loans listed above, you will need to follow the University's application process.

Other loans and grants

Current Federal legislation prohibits US citizens enrolled at a foreign university (outside of the US) from receiving Pell Grants, SEOG, Perkins Loans and Federal Work Study Funds.