The Palmetto Assistance Loan (PAL) is South Carolina Student Loan's low 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.  

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As a local, non-profit lender, there are many benefits of applying for a loan with SC Student Loan.  With exceptional terms and various repayment options, our PAL loan benefits can help you meet your educational needs. 


PAL Benefits*

  • Rates start as low as 4.63%** with no application or origination fees.
  • Fixed and variable interest rate options are available.
  • You may borrow in your name or your parent may borrow for you.
  • Student borrowers have a six-month grace period before starting full repayment.
  • Our local advisors offer personalized guidance so you can make the best borrowing decision.  
  • Lower your interest rate even more by signing up for automatic bank draft and receive a .25% interest rate reduction.  

*SCSL reserves the right to alter, suspend, or terminate benefits at any time.  Some restrictions and/or conditions may apply to benefit programs.

**APR rates range from 4.63% - 12.00%. Low rate shown includes a .25% reduction for bank draft. Rates based on credit and terms.

Concerned about whether you will qualify for our loan?  Understand the details of the loan and all the eligibility criteria before you apply to make sure that the PAL is right for you. 

Loan Eligibility and Details

Am I eligible for a PAL Loan?

  • Be a student or the natural or adoptive parent of a student;
  • Attained the age of majority in your state of residence at the time of loan application;
  • The student must 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;
    Parent borrowers must be employed (may be retired or disabled);
  • Be in good standing on other educational loans; and
  • Be a U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident of the U.S.   

How much can I borrow?

The minimum loan amount is $2,500.  You can borrow up to the cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid (as certified by your school).    

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


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 1.00% and 4.00% for federal Direct PLUS loans.

Do I need a Cosigner?

A creditworthy cosigner is not required but may help you qualify and/or receive a lower interest rate.

You may not serve as your own cosigner. A cosigner must be a U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident, have attained the age of majority in his/her state of residence at the time of loan application, and must be employed or retired to qualify. 

Borrow wisely.  Review our interest rate options to see if a fixed rate or variable rate loan best meets your needs.

Interest Rates

A PAL borrower may select a fixed or variable interest rate. 

The actual interest rate approved will be based on creditworthiness, selected loan term, and whether you elect to enter immediate repayment, pay your accruing interest or a required fixed monthly payment during the enrolled period, or for student borrowers, whether you elect to defer required payment during the enrolled period.

Your rate will be disclosed in your Approval Disclosure.

Variable interest rates are based on the 1-Month Term Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) (the Index). Your rate will be effective quarterly on each January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 (the Interest Rate Change Date). We will calculate your new rate by rounding the Index rate, as reported by The CME Group two business days prior to the Interest Rate Change Date, up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent (0.125% or 0.00125) and adding a margin between 0.00% and 11.75% to the Index.  The rate will not increase more than once a quarter, and your interest rate is capped at 12%.  A change in the interest rate may cause the amount of the monthly payment to increase or decrease, or may cause the number of payments to change.

A fixed interest rate means that the interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan.  Fixed interest rates may be as low as  5.13%*.

By signing up for automatic bank draft with the servicer will reduce your interest rate by .25% and save you more in interest cost. 

Before you borrow, understand your repayment requirements and the options we offer so that you can be successful when it's time to start repaying your loan. 

Repayment Information

Do I have to make payments during the initial enrolled period?

Loan terms and interest rates are based upon the many factors, including the choice of repayment plan when applying for the loan.

Student Borrowers:
Student borrowers taking out the PAL loan in their name have three repayment options during the initial enrollment period: fully deferred payments, monthly interest- only payments, or a required fixed $25 monthly payment plan.   Student borrowers will have a 6-month Grace Period that begins the day after the borrower drops to a less than half-time enrollment status. If the borrower had elected to make required in-school payments, those payments will continue during the Grace Period.

Parent Borrowers:
Parent borrowers who select to have the PAL loan processed in their name can select the interest- only monthly payment option, a required fixed $25 monthly payment, or begin full repayment (principal + interest) immediately.

When do I start making full repayments (Principal + Interest)?

Student borrowers are required to start making full repayments within 60 days after the end of the Grace Period.  Parent borrowers are required to start making full repayment within 60 days after the benefiting student is no longer enrolled on at least a half-time basis.  

Your servicer will provide you with repayment information and billing statements so it is important that you provide any change of address to them as soon as it is known.

Amount Borrowed Loan Term 4.00% 5.00% 6.00% 7.00%
$10,000 5 years  $        185.00  $        189.00  $        194.00  $       199.00
10 years  $        102.00  $        107.00  $        112.00  $       117.00
15 years  $           74.00  $          80.00  $          85.00  $          90.00
$15,000 5 years  $        277.00  $        284.00  $        290.00  $       298.00
10 years  $        152.00  $        160.00  $        167.00  $       175.00
15 years  $        111.00  $        119.00  $        127.00  $       135.00
$20,000 5 years  $        369.00  $        378.00  $        387.00  $       397.00
10 years  $        203.00  $        213.00  $        223.00  $       233.00
15 years  $        148.00  $        159.00  $        169.00  $       180.00
$40,000 5 years  $        737.00  $        755.00  $        774.00  $       793.00
10 years  $        405.00  $        425.00  $        445.00  $       465.00
15 years  $        296.00  $        317.00  $        338.00  $       360.00
$60,000 5 years  $     1,105.00  $    1,133.00  $    1,160.00  $    1,189.00
10 years  $        608.00  $        637.00  $        667.00  $       697.00
15 years  $        444.00  $        472.00  $        507.00  $       540.00

* Example payment amounts and lengths of repayment are estimates based on a minimum $50/month payment and the interest rate shown. Not all borrowers are eligible for term lengths or interest rates shown in the example.