American Student Loans and Federal Aid

We are authorised to certify applications for both Federal Direct Loans and Alternative Education (‘Private’) loans.

Students are advised to apply for Federal Loans first before applying for private loans. You may borrow up to the ‘Cost of Attendance’, as set by Goldsmiths, each year.

Please see our Direct Loans page for further information of the Federal loans available and the application process.

The Department of Education also have a site for students studying Internationally. For further information on interest rates and origination fees see Student Aid.

Types of loans

Please note that students studying at schools outside of the USA can apply for Direct Subsidised, Direct Unsubsidised and Direct PLUS loans and are not eligible for PELL Grants or Perkins loans.

VA Benefits

If you are in receipt of VA Benefits from the Department of Veteran Affairs, this will not affect your Federal loan entitlement of eligibility. For further information of VA Benefits at Goldsmiths please see our Veterans Affairs page.

Private loans

Please see our private loans page for further information on private loans.


Goldsmiths offer a variety of Scholarships that you may  be eligible to apply for and may reduce your reliance on loans. Further information on all our scholarships, including eligibility and closing dates can be found on our International funding pages.

Applying for a visa

If you need to apply for a visa and are dependent on Federal Aid for proof of funds it is advisable NOT to apply for the visa until you have received a letter confirming your loans and disbursement amounts and dates.

Originating your loans

In order for us to originate your loans, please ensure you have provided us with all the information required as outlined in the 'Financial Aid Award Information' you have been sent.

Contact us

We can be contacted at Please use this for all correspondence regarding your Federal Loans.

Enrolment, deferment and consolidation

Enrolment and your first disbursement

Providing there are no issues with your loan applications, funds are made available to Goldsmiths shortly before enrolment. It will take up to a week after you enrol for the funds to be available to you. You will therefore need to ensure you have sufficient funds for the start of term.

Federal direct loans

From 17 September we will be able to request the funds from the Dept of Education. Once you have enrolled (week commencing 24 September 2018) you will need to visit either Glynn Francis or Kate Weston to confirm you have enrolled and the amount you wish to borrow. Loans cannot be paid to you until you have completed the enrolment process. Please note that loans not disbursed by October 1st are likely to incur higher origination fees that will affect the amount you receive.

Private loans

If you have taken out a private loan, Goldsmiths will contact you regarding the disbursements.

Post enrolment

Once we have received the funds we will arrange for the first portion of your institutional charges (i.e. Tuition and Hall fees) to be paid and for the excess funds to be made available to you. If you have a UK bank account we can arrange to send the living expenses portion of the loan directly to the account, if you are yet to open an account we will raise a cheque for you to collect. You will receive an email from the Financial Aid Office confirming how the loan has been allocated.

Any payments will be in GBP so, if you have not already done so, you will need to open a UK bank account before you can deposit the cheque. This process could take up to a week. You should, therefore, ensure that you have sufficient funds for the first week or so.

Further information will be sent to you shortly before each disbursement.

Loan deferment

Providing you are studying at least half time you may be able to defer repayment on a previous loan. If you need to defer a loan taken out to fund previous study, please visit the Student Centre.

Loan consolidation

If you already have FFEL Program loans and will now be receiving Direct Loans, consolidating your FFEL and Direct Loan program loans together into a Direct Consolidation loan may make loan repayment easier. If you consolidate, you will have just a single monthly payment. Consolidating your FFEL Program loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan may also allow you to take advantage of certain benefits that are offered only in the Direct Loan Program, such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness and the Income Contingent Repayment Plan.

To learn more about when you may consolidate, the pros and cons of doing so, and the application process, visit the Loan Consolidation website or call 800-557-7392 (TDD/TTY: 800/557-7395).

529 Plan

If you have a 529 Plan, you may be eligible to use this for your studies at Goldsmiths. You should check with your plan administrator, but as Goldsmiths is a Title IV approved school (code G11765) it is likely that you will be able to use your plan here.

Please forward any forms that need completing by Goldsmiths to the Financial Aid team in the Student Centre or email financialaid (

What is a 529 Plan?

A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future college costs. Legally known as ‘Qualified Tuition Plans’, they are sponsored by States and are authorised by section 529 of the IRS code.

There are 2 types of 529 Plans: Pre-paid tuition plans and College Savings Plans.

Contributions are not tax deductible but the plan earnings are not subject to income tax.

For further information on 529 Plans, see the links below.

Link to SEC information

IRS Link regarding 529 Plans

Link to IRS publication (PDF)

Another informative (but commercial) site