Private loans

The application process

The only private loan currently available to American students studying at Liverpool John Moores University is the Smart Option Loan provided by Sallie Mae.

Do I need a private loan?

All students may apply for a private loan (subject to credit history), however, LJMU would encourage any student who is eligible for a federal loan to use this type of aid in the first instance. The Federal Student Aid website offers a comparison of federal and private loans so you can decide what suits you best.

If you are a graduate considering a private loan as an alternative to a Grad PLUS loan you can view a detailed comparison. If you are a parent considering a private loan as an alternative to a Parent PLUS Loan you can view a detailed comparison.

Please note: distance learners (who spend the majority of their degree off-campus) are exempt from obtaining a federal loan and are encouraged to consider a private loan as an alternative.

What are the steps to apply for a private loan?

Before applying for a Smart Option Loan via Sallie Mae, we recommend you take part in an entrance counselling course to ensure you fully understand the principles of borrowing and repayment. You can complete the entrance counselling course online via the Student Loans website.

You may want to consider taking out any Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Stafford Loans you are entitled to before taking out a private loan.

Complete the following before applying for a private loan via Sallie Mae:

  1. Submit a Loan Request Form to LJMU at Student Administration. You will then be contacted by a member of the Registry Services Team who will finalise your cost of attendance (COA) figure
  2. Using your agreed cost of attendance figure as a guide, apply for the Smart Option Loan on Sallie Mae (you may borrow less, but no more than the agreed COA)
  3. Once you have applied online, send a copy of your electronically signed Promissory Note to Student Administration

What happens after I apply?

LJMU will confirm receipt of your information and will liaise with Sallie Mae. Once your loan is approved we'll send you an email confirmation and information about loan disbursement. You can also expect an email confirming origination from Sallie Mae.

How will my loan be paid?

Loans are typically paid out in three cheques. The cheques will be sent by the loan servicer to LJMU for endorsement.

If you are based at LJMU: we will contact you once your cheque has been received to sign for and collect the cheque. You’ll then pay the cheque into a UK bank account.

Can I claim in-school deferment?

All students who take out a loan to study at Liverpool John Moores University are automatically reported to the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS) for in-school deferment. For more information visit our webpage on Deferment.

When will I be required to make repayments on my loan?

Once you have graduated, or your status drops below part-time, you will automatically enter repayment with your loan provider.