Refinance rates with Laurel Road start at 1.89%.
Checking your rates won’t affect your score.
South Carolina borrowers have an average federal and private student loan balance of $36,574, 0.3% below the national average of $36,689. Considering that the state’s median household income is nearly $10,000 lower than the national median, student loan debt can be challenging to manage in South Carolina.
To help residents obtain a college degree or professional credential, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education operates several scholarships and grants. Unfortunately, the Palmetto State doesn’t offer any state-specific student loan repayment or forgiveness programs. However, you might be eligible for federal loan repayment programs instead.
Here’s what you need to know about your options for repaying your South Carolina student loans.
South Carolina student loans: Borrowers owe average of $36,574 in federal, private debt — and more facts
If your goal is to get a degree while minimizing education debt, attending a public school rather than a private one can be a smart idea. On average, public universities cost substantially less than private colleges.
South Carolina is home to 13 public colleges and universities, including The Citadel and Clemson University. In addition to its technical schools and community colleges, South Carolina also has many private schools, including Furman University, Erskine College and the College of Charleston.
To help make higher education more affordable for its residents, South Carolina has multiple scholarship, grant and tuition assistance programs:
- Life Scholarship: The Life Scholarship is a merit-based award available to South Carolina residents enrolled in an eligible school. Students must be in the first year of their program. The maximum that students can receive is $5,000 a year for up to eight consecutive terms at eligible four-year schools or 10 consecutive terms for approved five-year bachelor’s degree programs.
- Lottery Tuition Assistance Program: South Carolina residents planning to attend two-year public or independent institutions can qualify for up to $110 per credit hour for tuition costs through the Lottery Tuition Assistance Program.
- Palmetto Fellows Scholarship: The merit-based Palmetto Fellows Scholarship is for high school students planning to attend eligible four-year institutions in the state. Recipients will get up to $6,700 for the first year of enrollment and up to $7,500 a year for subsequent academic years.
- SC HOPE Scholarship: The SC HOPE Scholarship is a one-time, merit-based award for first-time entering freshmen. Recipients can get up to $2,800 toward the cost of attendance.
- SC Need-Based Grant: Designed for students with financial needs, the SC Need-Based Grant provides up to $2,500 to students enrolled full time at eligible public schools in South Carolina.
While South Carolina doesn’t offer any repayment assistance or forgiveness programs, borrowers within the state may qualify for federal loan forgiveness programs.
If you have federal student loans and can’t afford your current payments under a 10-year standard repayment plan, you might qualify for an IDR plan. If eligible, your loan servicer will change your repayment term and extend it. Your monthly payment will be recalculated based on your family size and discretionary income.
Depending on the IDR plan, you’ll make payments for 20 or 25 years. If you still have a balance after making payments for your plan’s term, the government will forgive the remaining amount. However, the discharged balance may be taxable as income.
Federal loan borrowers that work for nonprofits or local or state governments may qualify for PSLF. To qualify, you must have federal direct loans, work for an eligible employer for 10 years and make 120 monthly payments under a qualifying payment plan. If you meet those requirements, your balance may be forgiven tax-free.
Teachers with federal direct loans or Federal Family Education Loans (FFELs) may be eligible for up to $17,500 in forgiveness through the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program. To qualify, you must work for at least five complete and consecutive years in a low-income school or educational service agency.
South Carolina federal student loan borrowers younger than 25 owe more than national average — and more comparisons
In South Carolina, more than 6% of federal borrowers owe $100,000 or more in student loans. If you’re one of the borrowers with six figures in education debt, you know how quickly interest can accrue, causing your balance to balloon over time.
Student loan refinancing can be an excellent strategy to reduce interest charges.
When you refinance your loans, you work with a borrower to take out a loan for the amount of your existing debt. Your new loan will have different terms than the original accounts, and you might get a lower interest rate, smaller monthly payments and different repayment terms.
While many lenders refinance student loans, South Carolina Student Loan is a company that caters exclusively to residents in the state. It offers student loan refinancing with competitive interest rates and fixed repayment terms. You can refinance up to $250,000 with this lender.
While you can refinance both private and federal student loans, use caution before refinancing federal loans. Once you refinance, you’ll lose benefits like income-driven repayment plans and forbearance. Some private lenders offer similar benefits, but they tend to be shorter in duration with stricter limits than federal programs.
- U.S. Department of Education data as of June 30, 2020
- Anonymized My LendingTree June 2020 credit reports
- Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax as of June 2020
Because the latter data is from 2015, researchers estimated the increase in student loan debt per borrower in the state using statewide data from anonymized credit reports.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2021!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.89% – 5.99%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 6.84%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.91% – 5.25%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.53%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.17% – 4.47%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews! |
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of Feburary 1, 2021.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.49% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.34% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of October 26, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 10/26/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2020 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 02/17/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.91% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% APR – 7.63% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
6 Important Disclosures for PenFed.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.99%-5.15% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.17%-4.47% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.