Whether you’re heading off to be a South Carolina Gamecock or a Clemson Tiger (or something else entirely), you might be wondering how to fund your education.
Although there are many ways to pay for college, one option for people from the Palmetto State is South Carolina Student Loan.
What is South Carolina Student Loan?
South Carolina Student Loan is a statewide nonprofit education lender based in Columbia. It’s been in business since 1973 and claims to have one of the lowest default rates in the country.
Its signature product is the Palmetto Assistance Loan (PAL) — a private, fixed-rate loan for students attending a public or not-for-profit college.
To be eligible, you must be a South Carolina resident attending an eligible U.S. school or an out-of-state student attending an eligible school in South Carolina. The loan has no origination or application fees, but students under 24 must have a co-signer.
The minimum loan amount is $2,000, and you can borrow up to the cost of attendance. Here are South Carolina Student Loan’s interest rates as of November 2017:
The organization also offers the state-funded South Carolina Teachers Loan and South Carolina Career Changers Loan for students who want to become teachers.
These loans have stricter requirements. For example, you must be a South Carolina resident, and you must be in the top 40 percent of your graduating class.
How to pay your South Carolina Student Loan
Unlike federal student loans, the PAL requires you to make small payments while you’re in school: either monthly interest or $25 per month. Then, 60 days after you graduate or drop below half-time status, you’ll begin making full payments.
With the teacher loans, on the other hand, you won’t start making payments until six months after you graduate.
You can make payments online, via mail at PO Box 102400, Columbia, SC 29224, or by calling (800) 347-2752 on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET.
Or you can sign up for automatic payments, which will lower your interest rate by 0.25%. Make sure you always have enough money in your account, however, as returned payments will result in a $25 fee.
South Carolina Student Loan repayment options
Once you graduate, South Carolina Student Loan will put you on a 10-year or 15-year repayment schedule, during which you’ll make monthly payments.
For the PAL, if you took out less than $17,500, you’ll be on a 10-year repayment schedule; if you took out more, you’ll be on a 15-year repayment schedule.
Here’s how that could shake out, depending on your interest rate:
If you can’t afford your South Carolina student loans, talk to the organization about your options. Its FAQ page states it’ll work with you “until you get your finances in order” and encourages borrowers to call for further assistance.
You could, for example, apply for student loan forbearance. Borrowers with a teacher loan have several options.
For each full year teaching in a critical subject or area, 20 percent or $3,000 of your outstanding loan balance (whichever is greater) will be forgiven. If you’re teaching in both a critical subject and critical area, that amount jumps to the greater of 33.3 percent or $5,000 per year.
South Carolina Student Loan contact information
Here’s how to get in touch with South Carolina Student Loan:
- Phone: Call (800) 347-2752 (24-hour automated line).
- Email: Use the contact page.
- Walk-in services: Visit the lobby from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, at 8906 Two Notch Road, Columbia, SC 29223.
When it comes to live phone help or mailing addresses, it depends on which services you need. Here’s a list of the company’s contact options.
If you have questions about South Carolina Student Loan, don’t hesitate to reach out. Staying on top of your student loans will help you stay on top of your finances — and your future.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2018!
|1 Important Disclosures for CollegeAve.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or Nationwide Bank, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
2 Important Disclosures for Discover.
3 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB) or Turnstile Capital Management, LLC (TCM), which are not affiliated entities. Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. All loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Other terms and conditions apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of TCM and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.
* Application times vary depending on the applicants ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
4 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
5 Important Disclosures for PNC.
PNC Bank is one of the nation’s largest education loan providers. For over 40 years, PNC has been committed to helping students and their families make possible the adventure of college.
6 Important Disclosures for SunTrust.
Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. To view and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans, visit https://www.suntrust.com/loans/student-loans/private.
Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue this loan program without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.
SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. ©2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.
7 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Additional terms and conditions apply. For more details see LendKey
8 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
A government loan is made according to rules set by the U.S. Department of Education. Government loans have fixed interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on a government loan will never go up or down.
Government loans also permit borrowers in financial trouble to use certain options, such as income-based repayment, which may help some borrowers. Depending on the type of loan that you have, the government may discharge your loan if you die or become permanently disabled.
Depending on what type of government loan that you have, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in exchange for performing certain types of public service. If you are an active-duty service member and you obtained your government loan before you were called to active duty, you are entitled to interest rate and repayment benefits for your loan.
A private student loan is not a government loan and is not regulated by the Department of Education. A private student loan is instead regulated like other consumer loans under both state and federal law and by the terms of the promissory note with your lender.
If your private student loan has a fixed interest rate, then that rate will never go up or down. If your private student loan has a variable interest rate, then that rate will vary depending on an index rate disclosed in your application. If the interest rate on the new private student loan is less than the interest rate on your government loans, your payments will be less if you refinance.
If you don’t pay a private student loan as agreed, the lender can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.
Remember also that like government loans, most private loans cannot be discharged if you file bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate that repayment of the loan would cause you an undue hardship. In most bankruptcy courts, proving undue hardship is very difficult for most borrowers.
9 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|3.69% – 10.94%1||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit CollegeAve|
|3.99% – 12.99%2||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit Discover|
|3.82% – 12.82%3||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit Ascent|
|4.12% – 10.98%*,4||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit SallieMae|
|5.03% – 11.23%5||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit PNC|
|3.88% – 12.88%6||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit SunTrust|
|4.68% – 9.77%7||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit LendKey|
|3.72% – 9.68%8||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit CommonBond|
|4.04% – 12.01%9||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit Citizens|