Find out how your US Loans will be disbursed, how you will receive the funds and further information on exchange rates and fees
Direct Loans are disbursed by the US Department of Education electronically to UCL. The funds will be requested in two equal instalments:
The first instalment will be 28 September 2020.
The second instalment will be at the mid-point of your academic year. This date will be confirmed to you in your preliminary loan confirmation.
The funds usually take 10 days to arrive at UCL and be ready for disbursement to you.
Please note the first disbursement will not be requested in the first term until you have enrolled at UCL and in subsequent terms until we have received Satisfactory Academic Progress reports for you.
The U.S. Department of Education applies a fee charge on Direct Subsidised, Unsubsidised and Direct Plus loans. To review these fees please visit The Student Aid Government Website UCL does not charge any loan fees. If you choose to take out a PLUS Loan, these loan fees will be included as part of your Cost of Attendance, so please be aware that the overall figure you choose will have loan fees deducted. UCL’s third-party agent Western Union, acts on our behalf receiving the USD loan funds and converts this into the equivalent GBP according to their daily exchange rate.
Paying Your Tuition Fees
Loan funding will first be used by the Student Fees Office to pay half of your tuition fees (US students with Direct Loans are allowed to pay their tuition fees in two instalments corresponding with the above disbursement dates - please ignore any general information from UCL advising your otherwise). Any credit balance due will be available to you within 7 working days of the disbursement date.
Receiving Your Living and Course Materials Funding
As loan funds will not be requested until you enrol at UCL, please ensure you have sufficient money to cover your living and course costs until you receive your first loan disbursement. The first refund payment will be made by GBP cheque only, the Student Fees Office will email your UCL email account only when this is available for collection. Further instructions for the second payment by bank transfer via our third-party agent Western Union will be provided at a later point.
Dependent on your bank account, cheques will normally take between three to five working days for funds to clear. Where possible we advise all students to open a UK bank account, so you can have easy access to your funds and avoid any possible bank charges incurred when using your USD bank account in the UK.
We are aware that the US Dollar-Sterling exchange rate may fluctuate over the course of the academic year. However, we will not be able to change a cost of attendance assessment based on any fluctuation in this exchange rate during the academic year.