Before applying for a private loan you should exhaust your Federal Loan eligibility. Private loans may be used to supplement your Federal loans but only up to your maximum Cost of Attendance. They are normally subject to credit rating and you may be required to have a co-signer. Lenders offer these private loans at commercial rates. Sallie Mae offers private educational loans that are commonly utilized by students at Queen’s University, Belfast. However you are not required to use this lender.
If you have already borrowed Federal Loans up to your full Cost of Attendance, we will be unable to certify a private loan. The decision on which loan you take out is ultimately yours, please read all of the available information about Stafford, PLUS and Private Loans before deciding which best suits you. Federal loans generally have better benefits and lower, fixed interest rates.
For further information on Private Loans: Smart Option Student Loan
For a summary of the 2013-14 Smart Option Student Loan for Undergraduates and Postgraduates see here
Please notify the US Federal Loans Administrator if you plan to apply for a private loan. Once you have applied for your loan, your lender will normally contact the University to ask us to confirm your Cost of Attendance and certify your loan.
The Truth in Lending Act specifies that students borrowing private loans must receive three required disclosures from their lender with the loan application, after loan approval and at the end of the loan process. In addition to receiving the disclosures, student borrowers must complete a Self-Certification Form as part of the loan application. This form must be completed and submitted to International Student Support by email before loans are processed.
To meet new UKBA requirements, private loans will be disbursed in full at the start of the year from September 2013. You must have received an unconditional offer to study at Queen’s and be registered before we can disburse your loan. The disbursement date used is the date that private lenders issue the cheques in the US. Therefore it may take up to 10 days to be received by Queen’s.
Federal Loan disbursements are only paid in UK Pounds Sterling and transferred directly into a UK bank account. Therefore on arrival you will need to open a local bank account and complete the direct payment form. Please bring this form to the Income and Student Finance Office, within the Student Guidance Centre before your loan disbursement is due.