Receiving Your Loan



How and when will I receive my federal loan disbursements?

The first disbursement of Loans will not be paid until students are registered at Cardiff Metropolitan University. In case of any unforeseen events, make sure that you have personal funds in place to cover your living costs for the first six weeks of the academic year.

Before each disbursement, and after each payment period, Cardiff Metropolitan is required to confirm you are still eligible to receive the funds. This includes ensuring you are making Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, and are studying at least half time and you are not conducting any study or research in the US.  You can read our SAP ​Policy to see what this entails.

Disbursements of federal loans will be made by Cardiff Metropolitan as follows:-

Undergraduate - two instalments  - October and January

Postgraduate - three instalments - October, January and June

PhD - two instalments - October and March

The actual amount in GBP(£) for each instalment may vary, as it will be dependent upon the exchange rate used to convert USD($) to GBP(£) on that date.

The disbursement dates will be confirmed via the Funding Notification Letter issued to eligible students. Please note that the disbursement date is the date our University will have received the loan funds and converted these into GBP(£) and is not the date that you will receive the living expenses (if applicable).

Federal loans must be allocated to any due tuition or accommodation fees first as stated in the US Department of Education regulations before any excess is returned to you. You will then be notified of how the loan has been allocated.


Within three working days of receiving the disbursement, we will credit your tuition fee account and university accommodation account (if applicable).  Excess funds will be paid directly to your UK bank account within 10 business days so that you can use these funds for living expenses. Please ensure you provide your UK bank account details to the US Federal Administrator as soon as you have opened your account. If you fail to open a UK bank account, then please contact the US Federal Administrator to determine alternative methods of how the funds will be available to you. Please ensure you advise our the US Federal Loan Team as soon as possible, and in accordance with you Disbursement Notification that you shall receive prior to each disbursement.


Disbursement Deadline dates

For your federal loan to be disbursed on the first disbursement date we will need to receive your complete application by 1st day of September. We cannot guarantee that applications submitted by this deadline will be approved in time for the first disbursement if there are any outstanding issues with your loan application.

Any application received after 1st day of September will be processed as a late application and, once processed, we will contact you to let you know the date of your first disbursement.

Any applications made throughout the academic year must be received at least one calendar month before the next disbursement date. Please note however that we cannot guarantee that applications will be processed within these timescales if there are outstanding issues with your loan application.

Amend or Cancel Loan

A minimum of two weeks' notice is required prior to the next disbursement date in order to action a change to your loan with effect from that disbursement.

Increasing your loan

If you wish to increase your loan, the total amount borrowed cannot exceed your loan eligibility as calculated on your Cost of Attendance, unless there are special circumstances where essential costs need to be included and/or you have your dependent children with you. You will be asked for proofs of your adjusted costs. Please note that there is an undisclosed maximum value and if you exceed this value then your costs will be disallowed without full justification.

Contact the US Federal Aid Administrators with your request, advising of your new requested amount for your loans and a brief explanation of the changes you would like made. If the increase is approved, the additional funds will be spread across your remaining disbursements for the year.

Please note that if you have an endorser on your PLUS loan, you will only be able to increase the loan up to the endorsed amount. If your endorser is willing to increase the endorsed amount to allow you to borrow a higher PLUS loan, please email the US Federal Aid Administrators to advise. Your endorser will have to complete a new application.

Decrease or cancel your loan

If you wish to decrease your loan prior to a disbursement, please contact the US Federal Aid Administrator with your request, advising of your new requested amount for your loans and a brief explanation of the changes you would like made. 
You should reduce the amount you are borrowing on your PLUS loan first as this is the most expensive loan.  The reduction will be spread across your remaining disbursements.

If you wish to cancel your loan, please email the US Federal Loans Team on with your request.

We will email you prior to each disbursement with details on the deadline for returning funds through the University. However, please do not wait for this email if you already know that you wish to decrease or cancel your loans, as you may need to pay fees and bank charges associated with returning the funds if the payment has already been requested.

If you wish to cancel your loan and the timeframe for doing so through the University has passed, you can still make a repayment directly to your lender.  Your lender's details can be found on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

If you make a repayment within 120 days of loan disbursement, then your lender will treat this as a partial or full cancellation, with the appropriate adjustment of the loan fee and interest.

If you decrease or cancel your loan, you may need to provide proof of alternative funding to your US Federal Aid Administrator in order to show that you are still able to pay your tuition and accommodation fees, if you used your financial notification letter as proof of funding for your financial declaration.

Any student who cancels their loan after receiving a disbursement will be required to complete exit counselling via

Any student who cancels their loan after the funds have been requested from the US may be required to pay fees or bank charges.

Suspend or Withdraw

If you withdraw from your course, suspend your studies, drop below half-time enrolment, or otherwise become ineligible for US federal loans, you must email the US Federal Aid Administrator immediately. DO NOT wait for the change to be approved by your school before contacting us.

Under US federal law, the University is required to report any changes to your enrolment within tight timescales and, if necessary, to complete a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation and arrange for any 'unearned' loan funds to be returned to the US Department of Education. You may also have to return unearned funds and we will provide advice on this.

Full information is available in ​our Return to Title IV Policy but the key facts are summarised below.

Key facts

The US Loans Officer will calculate the amount of Title IV program assistance that has been earned, using a formula provided by the US Department of Education.

Once you have completed more than 60% of the payment period, all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period is considered to have been earned. As an example, if you complete 30% of the payment period, you have earned 30% of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive within that loan period. If you have completed 60% of the payment period, you have earned 100% of the assistance you were scheduled to receive.

If you received more assistance than was earned, the excess funds must be returned to the US Department of Education by you and/or the University. If you received (or the University received on your behalf) less assistance than the amount earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds as a post-withdrawal disbursement.

The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from the University's refund policy. Therefore, you may still owe funds to the University to cover unpaid institutional charges. The University may attempt to collect any Title IV program funds from you that the University is required to return.

Under specific conditions, a leave of absence (LOA, or suspension of studies) for less than 180 days in a 12 month period may qualify as an 'approved' leave of absence. If you are granted an 'approved' LOA, you are not considered to have withdrawn, and no Return calculation is required. During the LOA, the University will not charge you any additional institutional charges, your financial need will not increase, and therefore, you will not be eligible for any disbursements of federal student aid. If you are granted an approved LOA you will maintain in-school status for Title IV loan repayment purposes.

If you do not attend even initial lectures or seminars you are ineligible to receive any Title IV funds and all loan proceeds will be returned to the US Department of Education. You will be liable for any fees or outstanding balances owed to the college or University.

Repayment Options

You will arrange repayment directly through your loan servicer. You can check who your loan servicer is on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). You should always keep in contact with your loan servicer to make sure that you are up-to-date with loan repayment information.

It is your responsibility to:

  • Notify your loan servicer of anything that affects your ability to repay your loan;
  • Notify your loan servicer of any changes in your status, including graduation, and any changes to your name, address, or telephone number;
  • Notify your loan servicer if you fail to enrol for the period covered by your loan; and
  • Notify your loan servicer and University of any change in your address.

You can also make an early repayment directly to your loan servicer. If you make a repayment within 120 days of loan disbursement, then your lender will treat this as a partial or full cancellation, with the appropriate adjustment of the loan fee and interest.

You may also find the Federal Student Aid  website useful.

Our Loan types pages also provide some information on how repayment works and when you should expect repayments to start for the different loan types.

It is important that you understand the responsibilities and obligations associated with a student loan. It is also a US Department of Education requirement that you undertake entrance and exit counselling (accessed at at the start and end of your studies for which you receive loans. The counselling informs you about loan repayment, money management, your responsibilities as a borrower and it outlines the terms and conditions of your loan. The US Loan Officer will request that you complete exit counselling towards the end of each loan year, or if you withdraw, suspend or cancel your loan.

The Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement at provides a simpler and improved experience to assit you as a borrower to understand how loans affect your financial future. By completing the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement you will be acknowledging that you understand your responsibility to repay your loan and how much you own and how much more you are eligible to borrow if you have taken out loans previously. Please note that this Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement is not the same as the compulsory entrance and exit counselling which you will need to complete.

Exit counselling will be required prior to you completing your studies. 

Your student loan must be repaid – you will risk going into default if you do not make your loan payments as required by your loan servicer. Federal Student Aid offers full guidance on understanding default.


You should be aware of our Return to Title IV Policy.

Cardiff Metropolitan looks forward to offering the benefits of Direct Loans to our U.S. students. 

For additional information about Direct Loans, visit the Federal Student Aid website or contact our US Federal Loans Team on