South Carolina Student Loans: How to Get One and How to Repay It

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Whether you’re heading off to be a South Carolina Gamecock or a Clemson Tiger (or something else entirely), you might be thinking about South Carolina student loans and how to fund your education.

Although there are many ways to pay for college, one option for people from the Palmetto State is a loan through South Carolina Student Loan Corporation.

Here are some key topics if you’re looking to borrow a South Carolina student loan:

And here’s what you should know about repaying a South Carolina student loan:

What is the South Carolina Student Loan Corporation?

South Carolina Student Loan Corporation is a statewide nonprofit education lender based in Columbia, S.C. 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 loan for students attending a public or not-for-profit college.

To be eligible, you must be a South Carolina resident attending an eligible school in the U.S. or an out-of-state student attending an eligible school in South Carolina. The loan has no origination or application fees.

The minimum loan amount is $2,500, and you can borrow up to the cost of attendance. As of Aug. 23, 2020, South Carolina Student Loan’s interest rates ranged from 3.99% to 7.99%.

The organization also offers the state-funded South Carolina Teachers Loan and Career Changers for students who want to become teachers.

These loans have stricter requirements. For example, you must be a South Carolina resident, and entering freshmen must be in the top 40% of your graduating class.

What to do before you borrow a Palmetto Assistance Loan

While there are many advantages to borrowing a PAL, know that it doesn’t necessarily need to be your first option — nor should it.

Before taking out any kind of student loan, make sure you’ve first exhausted your possibilities for grants and scholarships that will cost you only the time it takes to apply. There are awards out there for pretty much everyone, so jump on one or more of these scholarship search tools and see what you can find.

Also be aware that federal student loans, in addition to having competitive interest rates, come with special protections from the government, such as income-driven repayment plans that limit your monthly bill or special student loan forgiveness programs.

For more information specific to South Carolina, check out our student loan and scholarship guide for the state.

And with that, let’s take a look at what to do if you already have a South Carolina student loan.

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. If you sign up for automatic payments, it will lower your interest rate by 0.25%.

With the teacher loans, on the other hand, you won’t need to make payments until six months after you graduate.

South Carolina Student Loan repayment options

Once you graduate, PAL will put you on a 5-year, 10-year or 15-year repayment schedule, during which you’ll make monthly payments.

If you can’t afford your South Carolina student loans, talk to the organization about your options.

You could, for example, apply for student loan forbearance. Borrowers with a teacher loan have several options.

If you’re teaching at a South Carolina public school in a critical subject or critical geographic area, you can have your loan payments paused. You also could qualify for loan forgiveness.

For each full year teaching in a critical subject or area, 20% 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% or $5,000 per year.

South Carolina Student Loan contact information

Here’s how to get in touch with the South Carolina Student Loan:

  • Phone: Call (800) 347-2752 (24-hour automated line).
  • Email: Use the contact page.
  • Walk-in services: Visit the office 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 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.

Christina Majaski contributed to this report.

Need a student loan?

Check out our top picks below or learn more about other ways to pay for college.
Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

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