Student Life Centre

Private Education Loans

You may choose to take out a private loan through a private education lender. You should, however, in the first instance check out your eligibility for federal Direct Loans as the terms and conditions of these loans may be more favourable than those for private education loans.

Private education loans must be certified by the University and may not be certified for more than your Cost of Attendance. Private education loans will be subject to credit rating. If you have already borrowed up to your full Cost of Attendance through Direct Loans, you cannot apply for any other loans, not even a private education loan.


The lenders listed below offer private education loans to students studying at the University of Sussex. They are not endorsed or recommended by the University of Sussex. There may be other private education loans available to you and you are not required to select a lender from the list.

  • The Smart Option Student Loan by Sallie Mae is available to students at schools outside of the United States. The Sallie Mae Parent Loan is also available to parents, family members, and other individuals who want to help a student achieve their education goals. Download loan application and solicitation disclosure here.
  • The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) is offering a fixed-rate private education loan (The Vermont Advantage) for Vermont residents. Download loan application / solicitation disclosure here.
  • The Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) is offering a loan (NJCLASS Loan) for New Jersey residents.

Choosing A Lender

Areas to research and consider before selecting a lender and the best loan option for you include:

  • What are the requirements for borrower eligibility, including the underwriting criteria for the loan? What are the qualifications for receiving a loan without a co-signer?
  • What are the repayment terms?
  • What are the loan deferment and / or forbearance options? Does the loan require that accrued interest be paid during the time that you are in school?
  •  What are the loan fees and how are they charged (for example, up-front, deducted from your disbursement, added at repayment etc.)?
  • What are the minimum and maximum loan amounts?
  • Are there any borrower benefits? How are they earned?
  • How is the interest rate for the loan determined?
  • Are there provisions to release a co-signer? Does the lender offer private loan consolidation?

How You Apply

Application Form
Complete an on-line application form through your lender’s website. 

Self-Certification Form
You are required to complete a self-certification form for a private education loan as part of the application process. Your lender may provide you with a copy of the form or it is available to download here.

To complete section 2 of the form please send a secure email to the University’s Financial Aid Administrators requesting your cost of attendance. You must include in your email request whether you will be receiving a grant, scholarship, bursary, studentship or any other funding for the 2018/19 academic year.

Once the form is complete you must return it directly to your lender and not to the University’s Financial Aid Administrators.

Master Promissory Note (MPN) (Loan Agreement)
It is essential that you complete and agree to the terms and conditions of your loan by signing a Master Promissory Note (MPN) (Loan Agreement). You must send a PDF scanned copy of your e-signed and dated MPN to the University’s Financial Aid Administrators by secure email. If you do not send us your MPN we cannot certify your loan for you.

Secure Email Service 

The University uses a secure email service called Egress Switch. The easy-to-use encryption ensures that sensitive information is protected, controlled and exchanged securely.

All applicants will need to use this service to submit all documents and information to the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office will be unable to accept documents from or correspond with applicants who are not using this secure email service due to data protection restrictions.

To create your free email account please click on the “create it for free” link in the Switch Secure Data Exchange Web Access Sign In web page.

Confirmation Letter
Once the University’s Financial Aid Administrators have certified your loan they will send you a confirmation letter in the post. You will need to contact your lender directly to obtain confirmation documentation that you can use as proof of funding when applying for your student visa. 

How You Receive Your Loan

To meet UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements your private education loan will be disbursed in full at the start of the academic year.

Your loan will be sent by electronic transfer to the University’s bank account. The University will take your tuition and your accommodation fees (if you are in University accommodation) from your loan, before returning any excess to you. Your tuition and if applicable accommodation fee payments will be credited directly to your University student account.

After the University has taken your tuition and if applicable accommodation fees, any loan excess will be refunded to you by cheque. If you are eligible to receive a refund cheque, Student Accounts will send an email to your Sussex email account detailing where and when you can collect your cheque. Cheques are issued in pounds sterling and are produced by Western Union on behalf of the University. We would advise you to ensure that you have brought sufficient funds with you to cover a month's worth of expenses, as it may take up to 14 days before any excess can be refunded to you.

Financial Aid Administrators

Financial Aid Office
Student Life Centre
Bramber House, Level 1, North Side
University of Sussex
Falmer, East Sussex


Marie Hopkins 
T +44 1273 877307

Mandy Healy
T +44 1273 873838

Katy Viflic
T +44 1273 678915