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Sallie Mae Private Loans

Brief description

Private loans are US non-federal loans, granted from banks or other private organisations. The only private loan currently available to students studying at a foreign institution is the Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan, which is available to assist both undergraduate and postgraduate students to finance their education.

Before applying for a private Sallie Mae Loan, the University strongly recommends you first consider a Federal Direct Loan, as Federal Loans tend to have lower and fixed interest rates and more favourable terms and conditions as compared to private loans.

The Federal Aid Student website provides a helpful comparison of federal versus private loans.

Eligibility and certification amounts

Sallie Mae determines an applicant’s loan eligibility, and the University is unable to advise on rules of eligibility. If Sallie Mae approves loans for you, students can borrow up to the cost of education less any other financial aid received. Bath Spa University assesses your Cost of Attendance and eligible loan amounts, and can provide you with these calculations upon request.

Please note that total student loan borrowing amounts (including private loans, direct federal loans or a combination thereof) plus any scholarships or grants you may receive cannot exceed the maximum value of your Cost of Attendance.

The Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan is a credit-based student loan, which means that Sallie Mae will obtain a credit report for the student borrower and the co-signer (if applicable). If the student borrower does not satisfy the credit criteria, s/he can apply with a creditworthy co-signer. Interest rates are variable and will depend on your credit rating.

How to apply

Apply directly on the Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan website.

Within the US, you may also apply by phone at 1-800-695-3317.

Please note that private loan applications must not exceed 180 days between application date and disbursement date. For example, you should not make your application to the loan provider before May if you wish to enrol on a course for the following autumn (earliest disbursement date 1 October).

Receiving funds

Private loans may be disbursed in multiple disbursements. As interest starts accruing from the day the lender releases the disbursement, you will pay more interest if your loan is disbursed as a lump sum. Note that there is a 180-day credit validity period during which the first disbursement must occur.

Disbursements are sent to the University in the form of a cheque made co-payable to the University and the student. Bath Spa University’s Finance Office will contact you when cheques are available for you to sign, and loan funds are released once you have enrolled. Any money owed for tuition fees will be deducted and the remainder of the loan will be paid to the student.

More information

More information on Sallie Mae loans can be found at www.salliemae.com.

Phone (within US): 1-888-272-5543
Phone (within UK): 001-888-272-5543

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