How Much You Can Borrow

The amount you can borrow depends on the level of the course you are studying, the year of your course and if you are an independent student. All postgraduate students are considered independent. In most cases undergraduate students are independent if they are at least 24 years old or married. The image here will help you to establish what your dependency status is.

Dependent students can borrow less than independent students, but if your parent is eligible they can borrow a PLUS loan on your behalf. Borrowing a PLUS loan means you can borrow funds up to the cost of attendance (COA), similar to a postgraduate student. Independent undergraduate students cannot borrow PLUS loans and so are restricted to the sub/unsub limits.

What is the Cost of Attendance (COA)?

The COA is the estimated amount of money it will cost for you to study at Derby. The COA includes course fees, accommodation fees, food, study materials, personal costs (phone, clothing, socialising) transportation, visa costs and origination fees (fees charged by the US Department of Education for borrowing a loan). Please see Cost of Attendance (COA) for more information.

How much can I borrow in Subsidised/Unsubsidised loans?

Please see the below table for details on how much you can borrow:

Dependent students studying undergraduate programmes

YearSubsidisedSubsidised and Unsubsidised combined
First year $3,500 $5,500
Second year $4,500 $6,500
Third year and beyond $5,500 $7,500
Aggregate limit $23,000 $31,000

Independent students (and dependent students whose parents cannot get a PLUS loan) studying undergraduate programmes

YearSubsidisedSubsidised and Unsubsidised combined
First year $3,500 $9,500
Second year $4,500 $10,500
Third year and beyond $5,500 $12,500
Aggregate limit $23,000 $57,500

All students studying postgraduate programmes

Each year n/a $20,500
Aggregate limit $65,500 $138,500

The aggregate limit is the total amount of this loan type you are eligible for. You may not exceed this amount owed at any time, regardless of any further study you wish to undertake. However, if you repay some of your loans to reduce your outstanding debt then you can borrow again to bring the amount allowed back up to the aggregate loan limit. The postgraduate limit includes any loans taken out for undergraduate study.

Please note if you have a high estimated family contribution (EFC) number this may reduce the amount of subsidised loans you can borrow. The EFC can be found on your Student Aid Report (SAR) after you have completed your FAFSA application.

Can I borrow a PLUS loan?

Only postgraduate students can take out a PLUS loan in their own name. If you are a dependent student then your parent can take out a PLUS loan in their name on your behalf. Independent students studying undergraduate programmes are not eligible. The borrower of a PLUS loan will be subject to a credit check.

How much can I borrow in PLUS loans?

With a PLUS loan you can borrow the difference between the amount of Subsidised/Unsubsidised loans you are eligible for and the Cost of Attendance (COA). For example, if you are a postgraduate student and your COA is calculated at $40,000, you can borrow $20,500 in Unsubsidised loans and an additional $19,500 in PLUS loans to bring you up to your COA.

There is no aggregate limit for PLUS loans. The limit will be the COA as set by Derby.

What if I cannot borrow a PLUS loan?

If you are unable to secure a PLUS loan then you will have to seek out loans from a private lender (such as a bank) to cover any costs that a Subsidised/Unsubsidised loan wouldn’t. This would be subject to any appropriate terms and conditions. The University of Derby will not be able to aid you in securing such a loan.

How much will I receive in pounds sterling?

Derby will set a fixed exchange rate before the start of the academic year. During our contact with you regarding your loan eligiblity we will inform you of the exchange rate being used.