Private Education Loans

Find out what private loan options might be available to you.

Taking out a private loan

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 their terms and conditions 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.

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?


The lenders 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.

Sallie Mae offer a range of student loan options:

The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) provides fixed-rate Vermont Advantage student and parent loans for Vermont residents. 

The Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) is offering a loan (NJCLASS Loan) for New Jersey residents.

Earnest offer low-interest student loans. 

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 you can download a copy of the Private Education Loan Self-Certification Form [DOC 82KB].

To complete section 2 of the form please send a secure email to 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 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)

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 by secure email. If you do not send us your MPN we cannot certify your loan for you.

Sending secure emails

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

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

Create your free Egress email account here.

Confirmation letter

Once the University’s Financial Aid Administrators have certified your loan they will send you a confirmation letter. 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.

Receiving your loan

To receive your loan you must be registered (enrolled) at the University. Online Registration opens on 1 September


As you will not receive your loan at the immediate start of the academic year, we would advise you to ensure that you have brought sufficient funds with you to cover travel to the University, plus expenses, for a minimum of 6 weeks from the beginning of Semester One.

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.

Loan excess refunds

After the University has taken your tuition and, if applicable, accommodation fees, any loan excess will be refunded to you by funds being transferred electronically to your UK bank account. If you are eligible to receive a refund, Student Accounts will send an email to your Sussex email account. Refunds are issued in pounds sterling and it may take up to 14 days before any loan excess can be refunded to you.

To have any loan excess refunded, you will need to enter your UK bank account details into your Sussex Direct account by 1 October. Click on the ‘Personal’ tab and select ‘Financial’ from the drop down menu. On the ‘Financial’ page click on the button that says Bank Account, click ‘Add’, enter your eight digit UK account number and six digit sort code, then click ‘save’.

If you will not have a UK bank account open before your loan is due, please contact to provide the details of your international bank account. Please note international refunds will be processed within two weeks from the date your student account is credited with your loan disbursement, but may take a further two to four weeks to clear into your international bank account.

If you have any questions regarding the disbursement of your loan(s) or your University student account, please Student Accounts on +44 800 849 4979 or email


The Financial Aid Office are responsible for administering Federal Direct Loans at the University of Sussex. Get in touch by emailing:

You may also be interested in: