Frequently Asked Questions
How do I start the financial aid process?
What are the loans that South Carolina Student Loan offers?
We offer a private student loan, the Palmetto Assistance Loan (PAL), as well as a state-funded loan for students who go into teaching, the South Carolina Teachers Loan.
When should I apply for a loan?
The sooner you apply for a loan, the better. After you have filed your FAFSA, your college financial aid office will determine your eligibility for federal student loans and mail you a financial aid award letter which will detail your total eligibility.
If you need funding beyond the federal loans, you are welcome to apply for our private loan, the Palmetto Assistance Loan.
And if you are applying for the South Carolina Teachers Loan, you will need to apply as soon as the application for the new academic year is available, usually in late January or early February, because these funds are limited by the state each year.
When do I start repaying my loans?
If you are borrowing a Palmetto Assistance Loan then you have to either make monthly interest payments or a required $25 monthly payment while you are in school. Once you graduate or fall below half-time, you will start making full monthly payments (principal and interest) sixty days after that time.
Students who borrow the South Carolina Teachers Loan may be eligible to have portions of their loans forgiven if they are teaching in a critical subject or geographic area within the South Carolina public school system. The first payment of the South Carolina Teachers Loan is due six months after the student graduates, or is no longer enrolled on at least a half-time basis. However, students can have the payments postponed while we await confirmation that they are teaching. See Teacher Forgiveness.
If you cannot afford the payment once it is due, SC Student Loan will work with you. Educational loans have options to help you until you get your finances in order. Call SC Student Loan if you need help determining what to do or download a forbearance form.
How can I retrieve or apply for a FAFSA PIN Number?
On May 10, 2015, FSA ID replaced the Federal Student AID PIN. If you have not logged in to a Federal Student Aid website--such as FAFSA, StudentLoans.gov, or the National Student Loan Data System--since May 10th, you will need to go create a new FSA ID. Your PIN will no longer work.
What is a Promissory Note (PN)?
A promissory note is a contract to repay a loan. It is set up for a specific period of time. A student may have a parent or cosigner join in the agreement and share in the financial responsibility.
How long will it take for you to process my loan?
For the Palmetto Assistance Loan:
Although this is a private student loan, we still have several federal laws that we must comply with, which could add to the processing time of your Palmetto Assistance Loan.
First, once both the borrower's promissory note and the self-certification form have been completed (and the cosigner's promissory note if you were pre-approved with a cosigner), we will then send notification to your college's financial aid office. They must then certify your loan, which will include but is not limited to letting us know if you are eligible for the amount that you are requesting and on what dates they want us to disburse the funds to them.
Once we get the certification from them, we are required by federal law to send you an initial disclosure statement which lets you know how much the loan will be financed for. You must accept the terms of statement before we can send any funds to your college.Once we receive your acceptance, it will be at least six days before we can send the funds to the college. We are required by federal law to send you a final disclosure, giving you a chance to decline the loan.
For the SC Teachers Loan:
The SC Teachers Loan application must be filled out by the student, by the college's school of education and the college's financial aid office. We will process your application as soon as we receive it from the financial aid office, but we will not make a final approval of the loan until we find out from the state how much funding we will receive for the upcoming academic year. Normally we know by May how much funding we will receive.
What can I do if my loan application is denied because of my previous credit history?
You may want to consider adding a creditworthy cosigner to your loan. You should also check to see if the credit history used by SC Student Loan is accurate. The denial letter you received provided you with the address of the credit bureau that was used to obtain your credit report. Contact this credit bureau and determine if the information that they provided to SC Student Loan was accurate (you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report). If it was inaccurate, request that the credit bureau repair the damage and alert us when the mistakes have been fixed.