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Apply Now  Palmetto Assistance Loan® (PAL)
The Palmetto Assistance Loan (PAL) is South Carolina Student Loan's low, fixed interest rate, private education loan for students, or their parents.  The PAL can be used to pay for educational expenses, such as tuition and fees, room and board, books, school supplies, transportation, and a computer.  SCSL encourages borrowers to explore available grants, scholarships, and federal education loans before applying for any private, alternative loan.

All student borrowers under the age of 24 are required to have a creditworthy cosigner, preferably a parent or guardian. Other eligible borrowers are not required to have a cosigner but providing one may help you qualify and/or receive a lower interest rate. Cosigners must be at least 24 years of age, be a U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident, and must be employed or retired.
To begin the Palmetto Assistance Loan process, apply online or simply download a PAL application.  

Eligibility Requirements      Back to top

To be eligible for this loan, you must: 

  • Be a student or the natural or adoptive parent of a student;
  • Be enrolled on at least a half-time basis in a certificate or degree granting program at a public or not-for profit college or university located within the U.S. that is deemed eligible by the U.S. Department of Education for participation in the Title IV, HEA programs;
  • Be a SC resident attending an eligible school in the U.S., or an out-of-state resident attending an eligible SC school;
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by the institution for other financial aid programs;
  • Not be incarcerated;
  • Be creditworthy;
  • Be in good standing on other educational loans; and
  • Be a U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident of the U.S.    

Benefits of a PAL      Back to top

  • No application fees
  • Zero origination fees!
  • The loan may be in the student's or parent's name
  • Local, non-profit lender located in Columbia, SC
  • The fixed interest rate will never change for the life of the loan 
  • Electing to pay the accruing interest while enrolled in school will help lower your monthly payments once you complete your education
  • Your PAL interest payments may be tax deductible*
  • A .25% interest rate reduction if you sign up for Automatic Bank Draft

SC Student Loan® reserves the right to alter, suspend, or terminate benefits at any time. Some conditions and/or restrictions may apply to benefit programs.
* We strongly recommend that you consult an expert tax advisor to discuss how the regulations apply to your particular situation, or that you review the tax laws and applicable regulations to determine whether the interest paid on your educational loan is deductible. SCSL cannot ensure that interest paid on individual loan(s) will be tax-deductible.

Loan Amounts     Back to top

The minimum loan amount is $2,000.  You can borrow up to the cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid.    

Maximum Total Debt from a PAL     Back to top

The maximum total debt from a PAL is $150,000 for borrowers and cosigners, including previous PAL loans. 

Interest Rate      Back to top

PAL loans have a fixed interest rate that may be as low as 3.99% for the life of the loan. At repayment, sign up for automatic bank draft to reduce your rate by .25% and save more.
The actual interest rate approved will be based on creditworthiness and whether you elect to pay your accruing interest or a required fixed monthly payment during the Enrolled Period and will be disclosed to you in your Approval Disclosure.

Current Interest Rates


Fixed Interest Rate1


Making interest-only payments during the Enrolled Period, then full payments during repayment

3.99% - 5.99% 4.03% - 6.05%

Making a $25/month required payment during the Enrolled Period, then full payments during repayment

6.29% - 6.99% 6.60% - 7.41%

1  Please note that interest begins accruing after each disbursement and any interest not paid during the Enrolled or Forbearance Periods is capitalized (added to the principal balance) on a quarterly basis. The interest rates shown do not include the .25% rate reduction for automatic bank draft.
2  The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown is based on a $10,000 loan amount and reflects the accruing interest, the effect of capitalized interest, an enrollment period consisting of at least four years of half-time enrollment, and making equal payments over the term of the loan. The APR varies with the length of the repayment period. 

Fees      Back to top

There are no origination fees associated with this loan.  Zero origination fees deducted from your PAL loan means more of your loan funds are available for you to pay your school expenses.

Origination fees on federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans are 1.066% and 4.264% for federal Direct PLUS loans.

Disbursement of Funds      Back to top

Loan funds will be sent directly to the school via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and credited to the student's account at the school.  The funds will be disbursed according to the dates the school provides SCSL when they certify loan eligibility.

Repayment Information      Back to top

Interest payments are due while enrolled in school unless the borrower elects on the application to postpone interest payments. Interest accrues on the loan from the date of the first disbursement and is capitalized quarterly. Borrowers choosing to postpone full interest payments while enrolled will be required to make a $25 monthly payment per loan (not to exceed $50 per borrower).  Payments made during the borrower's period of enrollment will begin within 60 days of the loan being fully disbursed.   

Full repayment (principal + interest) begins within 60 days after the borrower drops below half-time.  Loans in a full repayment status will maintain that status even if the borrower chooses to return to school at a later date.  New loans obtained upon returning to school will be subject to the interest only or minimum monthly payment requirements during the enrolled period as outlined in the paragraph above. 

Balances less than $17,500 are scheduled to repay within 10 years. Balances of $17,500 or more are scheduled to repay within 15 years. 



Length of


3.99% Monthly

Payment Amount*

6.99% Monthly

Payment Amount*


10 years




10 years




15 years




15 years




15 years



           * Example payment amounts and lengths of repayment are estimates based
             on a minimum $50/month payment and the fixed interest rate shown.

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