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Private US Loans

Private student loans are non-federal loans, borrowed from a private lender such as a bank or other corporation. When considering a private student loan please compare the interest rates and terms with the Federal Direct loan to see which is better for you.

Student Loans (Direct Loans, private loans or a combination of both) cannot be certified over the maximum value of your Cost of Attendance.

The University will work with whichever private lender you decide to use, if they are willing and able to work with us. At the time of publication of this document, there is only one Private Education Loan provider that we currently work alongside who provide loans to students at Foreign Schools which is Sallie Mae. Click on the following link to Sallie Mae Student Loans and apply online.


Eligibility for Sallie Mae education loans is determined by Sallie Mae. If Sallie Mae approves loans for you, Durham University is then asked to certify your loan amount. In order to do this, Durham University needs to assess your Cost of Attendance; this will be sent once we receive notification of your loan request from Sallie Mae. 


Durham University will not certify loans without this spreadsheet being completed. Sallie Mae has different rules on eligibility, and some of the restrictions of Federal Student Federal Aid do not necessarily apply (residency, distance learning etc). Durham University is unable to advise on the Sallie Mae rules of eligibility, but Durham University does get notified if Sallie Mae considers you to be eligible and create a loan for you. Some post-study disbursements may also be possible if applied for in time with Sallie Mae.

How do I get my Funds?

Sallie Mae disburses loans through Western Union who then pay the university direct.  The funds are then paid to the student through their bank account. . Please also be aware that the United States has currency regulations regarding the re-importation of monetary instruments (Sallie Mae provide information with each disbursement, concerning the latest rules, Durham University cannot give advice on this).

Unless you advise Durham University otherwise, we shall by default, set a single disbursement for each Sallie Mae loan request, even if the Sallie Mae system indicates more than one disbursement.

If you are in receipt of both private loans and federal loans you should be aware that your federal loan disbursements may be on different dates to your private loan disbursements.

It is also strongly recommended that you plan on having sufficient funds available for accommodation, books, supplies and any other personal expenses during the first four to six weeks of classes in light of the timeframes outlined above or in the event that there is some delay in your financial aid arriving from the USA.

Can I Borrow a Federal Loan as well as a Private Loan?

You may borrow a combination of private and federal loans but the combined total of loans between the two sources cannot exceed the maximum value of Cost of Attendance CoADurham23 (less any scholarship/award income).

The Terms and Conditions in force at Durham University for recipients of Sallie Mae Private Educational Loans are available from here:

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Durham University makes every effort to ensure that the information published on this page is accurate. However, the University cannot guarantee the information may not be altered owing to circumstances beyond the University's reasonable control. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) change in Government policy, or change of law. Any changes will be incorporated into the University's website as early as possible. Any person wishing to obtain confirmation of any particular item should contact the University via