Loan Types

Available Loans

The type of loans and the amount you can borrow is dependent on whether you are a graduate or undergraduate student. Details on this can be found below.

The US Department of Education has produced some helpful video guides about the types of loans that are available including eligibility, guidance on responsible borrowing and repayments.  Before you apply for a loan, you should think about whether you can afford the repayments.  StudentAid has a repayment estimator to help you plan your education loans and repayment options.

If you are interested in applying for a private US student loan, please refer to the information on applying for Private Student Loans. 

Loans for Graduate Students

Direct Unsubsidised Loan (Federal)​​Direct Grad PLUS loan (Federal) ​Private loan
​Who is Eligible? Most US citizens (or eligible non-citizens) on eligible graduate courses.*
Most US citizens (or eligible non-citizens) on eligible graduate courses.* A credit check is required.
Most US citizens enrolled on courses the lender considers eligible. Good credit history is likely to be necessary. A co-signer may be required.
​How do repayments work?
​No payments as long as you are enrolled on an eligible course at least half-time. Interest accrues while you are studying.​No payments as long as you are enrolled on an eligible course at least half-time. Interest accrues while you are studying.​Variable. You should check the terms and conditions provided to you by your lender. Repayment options tend to be less flexible than federal loans. 
When do repayments start?
​Usually six months (known as the 'grace period') after your course finishes or you become less than half-time.​Repayment period begins on the date of the final disbursement. Unless you receive a deferment or forbearance, the first payment will be due within 60 days of the final disbursement date. ​Variable. You should check the terms and conditions provided to you by your lender. Repayment options tend to be less flexible than for federal loans.

*Some courses are not eligible for federal loans. Please read our Eligibility Guidelines before starting your loan application.

Loans for Undergraduate Students

Before completing a loan application, you will need to determine whether you are a dependent or an independent undergraduate and this will establish which loan types and amounts you are eligible to borrow. Definitions are below:

Independent:

For the purposes of federal aid, a student is considered independent if he or she meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • the student is at least 24 years old by 31 December of the award year;
  • the student is an orphan or ward/dependent of the court, or was a ward/dependent of the court until he or she reached age 18;
  • the student is a veteran of the US Armed Forces;
  • the student is working on a master's or doctorate programme at the beginning of the award year for which the FAFSA is completed;
  • the student is married as of the date the FAFSA is completed;
  • the student has at least one child who receives more than half of his or her support from the student; and/or
  • the student has a dependent, other than a spouse or a child, who lives with the student and receives more than half of his or her support from the student at the time the FAFSA is completed and through 30 June of the award year.

Dependent:

The student is considered dependent if he or she does not meet any of the preceding criteria for an independent student unless the financial aid administrator determines that the student is independent on the basis of special circumstances and performs a dependency override.     

 

Direct Subsidised Loan (Federal)​​Direct Unsubsidized loan (Federal)Parent PLUS loan (Federal)
​Private loan
​Who is Eligible? Most US citizens (or eligible non-citizens) on eligible undergraduate courses.* Available to dependent and independent students who demonstrate financial need. Most US citizens (or eligible non-citizens) on eligible undergraduate courses.* Available to dependent and independent students who demonstrate financial need.​Parents (biological, adoptive, or in some cases, stepparent) of dependent undergraduate students on eligible courses. Both the parent and the student must meet the general eligibility requirements. A credit check is required. Most US citizens on courses the lender considers eligible. Good credit history is likely to be necessary. A co-signer may be required.
​How do repayments work?
No interest or payments as long as you are enrolled on an eligible course at least half-time.​​No payments as long as you are enrolled on an eligible course at least half-time. Interest accrues while you are studying.​No payments as long as student is enrolled on an eligible course at least half-time. Interest accrues while studying.​Variable. You should check the terms and conditions provided to you by your lender. Repayment options tend to be less flexible than federal loans. 
When do repayments start?
​Usually six months (known as the 'grace period') after your course finishes or you become less than half-time.​Usually six months (known as the 'grace period') after your course finishes or you become less than half-time.​Repayment period begins on the date of the final disbursement. Unless you receive a deferment or forbearance, the first payment will be due within 60 days of the final disbursement date. ​Variable. You should check the terms and conditions provided to you by your lender. Repayment options tend to be less flexible than for federal loans.

*Some courses are not eligible for federal loans. Please read our Eligibility guidelines before starting your loan application

     
Loan Limits

Cost of Attendance (CoA) worksheet will be completed by the US Federal Loan Team at Cardiff Metropolitan University for all students applying for US loans. This will calculate the loan amount to which you are entitled and will refer to the costs of completing your study at Cardiff Metropolitan University for one academic year.

Please note that there a maximum loan amounts which vary depending on your level, dependancy status and type of loan. These lmits not only apply to each academic year, but also to the amount you borrow over your lifetime which is referred to as Aggregate Loan Limits. These are detailed below.

Maximum Loans for Graduate Students

Direct Unsubsidised Loan (Federal)​​Direct Grad PLUS loan (Federal)​Private loan
Maximum amount per academic year​$20500​Total amount remaining after all other aid/loans have been deducted from COA.​Total amount remaining after all othr aid/loans have been deducted from COA.
​Lifetime Aggregate loan limit​$138,500 (no more than $65,500 of this may be Direct Subsidised loans and includes undergraduate borrowing)

No Limit

Depends on lender

         

Your entitlement to loans is explained below and on your government website at studentaid.ed.gov. These are the borrowing limits for subsidized and unsubsidized loans as detailed above.

A PLUS loan is available to cover the difference between these loans and the full cost of attendance. PLUS loans are only available to parents of dependent undergraduates and to independent graduate students.

Please Note: Independent undergraduates have no entitlement to a PLUS loan.

Maximum Loans for Undergraduate Students

Before completing a loan application, you will need to determine whether you are a dependent or an independent undergraduate and this will establish which loan types and amounts you are eligible to borrow.

Dependent Undergraduate Students (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS loans)​ ​
Direct Subsidized Loan (Federal)
Direct Unsubsidized Loan (Federal)
​Combined SUB and UNSUBS Direct (Maximum) Loan
​1st Year
​$3500​$2000​$5500
​2nd Year
​$4500​$2000​$6500
​3rd Year
$5500​​$2000​$7500

Independant Undergraduate Students
(and dependent students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS loans)
1st Year​$3500​$6000​$9500
2nd Year​$4500​$6000​$10500
3rd Year​$5500​$7000​$12500
​Graduate/Professional ​ ​ ​
Maximum federal loan amount per academic year
​$0​$20500​$20500





Lifetime Aggregate Loan Limit
Dependant Undergraduate: $31,000 - no more than $23,000 Subsidised loans

Independent Undergraduate:
$57,000 - no more than $23,000 Subsidised loans


Loan Fees

Most federal student loans have loan fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you received while enrolled at Cardiff Metropolitan University. This means the money you receive will be less that the amount you actually borrow and not just the amount you received.

The chart below shows the loan fees for Direct Subsidised, Direct Unsubsidised and Direct PLUS Loans disbursed on or after 01 October 2019.

​Loan Type
First Disbursement Date
Loan Fee
​Direct Subsidised Loans
Direct Unsubsidised Loans
On or after 01 October 2019​ and before 01 October 2020
1.059%​
​Direct PLUS Loans
On or after 01 October 2019​ and before 01 October 2020
​4.236%