How to apply for private loans and PLUS loans
We recommend that you always take out federal Stafford loans in the first instance as the interest rates are lower. However, you may want to consider an additional private loan if you think you will need additional financial support to cover your living expenses.
You should remember that the interest due on any loan increases with the duration and the value of the loan. If your federal loan will allow you to pay your fees and living expenses for a certain length of time, then you might want to wait a few months before proceeding with a private loan application, rather than taking out a federal loan and a private loan at the same time.
Once you have decided to apply for a private loan, you need to contact your lender. This does not need to be the same lender as for your federal loan. Your lender will explain the procedure and the documentation they need. Please note: each lender has their own school certification forms, so we can't provide you with the relevant form. Make sure you have marked how much you want to borrow.
When you have agreed a loan amount, your lender will need to post or fax you or the College an application/promissory note and school certification form for the requested loan. If you receive this, then please bring or send it to:
The Head of Academic Services
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX UK
fax: (+44) 20 7691 6303
To authorise the loan application, we will confirm:
- your status at Birkbeck as a full- or part-time current or prospective student with an offer of a place to study
- your year of study and discipline
- the start dates of the loan (academic year)
- your anticipated graduation date
The loan amount we authorise is calculated from the estimated annual cost of attendance (tuition fees + £12,500 living and other expenses) less maximum federal aid available to you. Please note that if you have not put in an application for federal aid, we will deduct the maximum amount of federal aid available from your estimated cost of attendance to arrive at the maximum private loan we will authorise.
Direct PLUS Loan Request and Credit Check Completion
To qualify for a Direct PLUS Loan, you must not have an adverse credit history, as defined in the Department’s regulations. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still be eligible for the loan by obtaining an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history and agrees to repay the loan if you do not .
The Department conducts a credit check once you provide your consent. You may complete a Direct PLUS Request electronically via the StudentLoans.gov Web site at https://studentloans.gov.
Direct PLUS Loan MPN Completion
You must complete a Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). Although you may have previously signed an MPN to receive FFEL or Direct Loan Program loans, these MPNs cannot be used to make Direct PLUS Loans at our school.
The MPN is the legal document through which you promise to repay your Direct Loans and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loans. You will need to complete a new Direct PLUS Loan MPN each academic year that you receive a Direct PLUS Loan at our school.
You may complete a Direct PLUS Loan MPN electronically via the StudentLoans.gov Website at https://studentloans.gov. After you complete your MPN, you will be able to print and retain it for your records.