Student Loans

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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.

 Eligibility Requirements

  • 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 elgible by the U.S. Department of Education for participation in the Title IV, HEA programs
  • Be a South Carolina resident attending an eligible school in the U.S., or an out-of-state resident attending an eligible South Carolina 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
  • Be a U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident of the U.S.


  • 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

SC Teachers Loan/SC Career Changers Loan

The South Carolina Teachers Loan Programs were established by the State of South Carolina to help talented and qualified students become teachers. Funding for the SC Teachers Loan Program and SC Career Changers Loan Program is limited and subject to change, so apply early. You may only receive funding from one of these programs per year.

Eligibility Requirements for SC Teachers Loan

  • You must complete an application and sign a promissory note
  • You must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • You must be a resident of South Carolina
  • You must be enrolled in and making satisfactory academic progress at an approved institution on at least a half-time basis
  • You must be enrolled in a program of teacher education or have expressed an intent to enroll in such a program
  • Entering freshmen must have been ranked in the top 40% of their high school graduating class and have an SAT or ACT score equal to or greater than the South Carolina average for the year of high school graduation
  • Enrolled undergraduate students, including enrolled freshmen (2nd term of freshman year), must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale and must have taken and passed the Praxis I (Praxis Core after 06/30/14). Students with a SAT score of 1100 or greater (1650 for 3-part exams taken on or after March 1, 2005) or an ACT score of 24 or greater are exempt from the Praxis requirement.
  • Entering graduate students must have at least a 2.75 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Graduate students who have completed at least one term must have a GPA of 3.5 or better on a 4.0 scale
  • If previously certified to teach, you must be seeking initial certification in a different critical subject area currently listed

Eligibility Requirements for SC Career Changers Loan

  • You must meet the above requirements except (1) the last requirement pertaining to previously certified teachers because the Career Changers Loan is only for someone changing careers to become a teacher, and (2) the academic requirements; those will be waived for the first year you apply for the Career Changers Loan
  • You must have possessed a baccalaureate degree for at least three years. This requirement is waived for individuals who are instructional assistants in the South Carolina public school system
  • You must have been employed full-time for at least three years


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