Loan types | University of Oxford
Radcliffe Camera
The Radcliffe Camera, seen from a nearby college garden
(Image Credit: Jane Olin-Ammentorp / Graduate Photography Competition)

Loan types

Loan types vary depending on whether you are a graduate or undergraduate student:

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 required as long as you are enrolled on an eligible course at least half-time. Interest accrues whilst you are studying.No payments required as long as you are enrolled on an eligible course at least half-time. Interest accrues whilst 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 with 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 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. Repayment options tend to be less flexible than for federal loans.

Undergraduate students

Before completing a federal 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, but if your circumstances are unusual and you need advice, please email the US loans team

Independent

For the purposes of federal aid, a student is considered independent if they meet 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 they do not meet any of the above criteria for an independent student.

Loan types

 

Direct Subsidised loan (federal)

Direct Unsubsidised 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. Not based on financial need.Parents (biological, adoptive, or in some cases, stepparent) of dependent undergraduate students on eligible courses. Both the parent and the student must be eligible for federal student aid. 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 required as long as you are enrolled on an eligible course at least half-time.No payments required as long as you are enrolled on an eligible course at least half-time. Interest accrues whilst you are studying.No payments required as long as student is enrolled on an eligible course at least half-time. Interest accrues whilst 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. Repayment options tend to be less flexible than for federal loans.

*Some courses are not eligible for federal loans. More information is available on the Eligibility page.

For information about applying for a private US student loan, please see the Private loans page.