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 median household income is nearly $ 10,000 lower than the national average, student loan debt can be difficult to manage in South Carolina.

To help residents obtain a college degree or professional credential, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education operates various scholarships and grants. Unfortunately, Palmetto State does not offer any state-specific student loan forgiveness or repayment programs. However, you may be eligible for federal loan repayment programs.

Average Student Loan Debt in South Carolina

Savvy South Carolina students may be curious about what the average student loan debt in South Carolina is. Well, in 2018, 58% of South Carolina college attendees had student loan debt, and on average owed $30,838.

When it comes to student lo
an default rates, as of 2016 (the most recent federal data available) South Carolina has a default rate of 11.5%, with a little over 6,800 loan borrowers in default

Federal Student Loans

All federal student loans are provided by the US Department of Education’s Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Loan) If you get a federal loan, the US Department of Education is your lender.
To see what type of loan you may qualify for, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form to apply for college or graduate school financial aid. You can check your state’s deadline and the federal FAFSA deadline here.
You should also review the deadlines for each college you are considering, as each college may consider the date they receive your FAFSA form, or the date your FAFSA form is processed, as its final deadline. The FAFSA will then offer you a financial aid package, depending on your college, which may include scholarships, work-study opportunities, and federal student loan options. It is important to note that not all students will qualify for federal aid.
There are four types of Direct Loans available:
Direct Subsidized Loans: For eligible college students who demonstrate financial need; Helps cover the costs of higher education at a college or vocational school. The federal government pays the interest on Direct Subsidized Loans while the student is in school at least part-time; Interest begins to accrue on these loans only after a six-month grace period once students graduate, or if they fall below half-time enrollment.
Unsubsidized Direct Loan Program Loans – Eligible college students, graduates, and professionals may qualify for these loans. Eligibility is not based on financial need. Interest on these loans begins to accrue immediately after the funds are disbursed.
Direct PLUS Loans – These loans are for graduate or professional students and parents of dependent college students who need help paying for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. Eligibility for this loan is not based on financial need, but requires a credit check.
Direct Consolidation Loans: This type of federal loan combines all of your eligible federal student loans into a single loan, with one loan payment. Students generally use this loan if they have taken out multiple federal loans and want to combine them into one loan for repayment. The interest rate on these loans are the weighted average of the interest rates on all of the loans that a student is consolidating, rounded to the nearest one-eighth of 1%.

Private Student Loans

Private loans are funded by private organizations such as banks, online lenders, credit unions, some schools, and state-based or state-affiliated organizations. Federal student loans have interest rates that are regulated by Congress. Private lenders, follow a different set of regulations, so their interest rates can vary widely.

Private lenders may (but don’t always) require you to make payments on your loans while you are still in school, whereas you don’t have to start paying back your federal loans until after you graduate, leave school, or change your enrollment status to less than half-time. Their rates will usually differ too. Private loans have variable or fixed interest rates which may be higher or lower than federal loan interest rates, which are always fixed.

Unlike federal loans which can only be applied for within certain deadlines (once a year, and states have their own deadlines), private loans can be applied for on an as-needed basis. Even if you suspect you may need to take out a private loan, it’s still a best practice to submit your FAFSA before applying to see what federal aid you may qualify for first.

If you’ve missed the FAFSA deadline and you’re struggling to pay for school throughout the year, private loans can potentially help you make your education payments—as long as you have enough lead time for your loan to process and for your lender to send money to your school.


South Carolina Student Loan Corp

South Carolina Student Loan Corp is located in the City Columbia in the State of South Carolina. South Carolina Student Loan Corp provides educational loans services. The Company receives, disburses, aids, and administers funds for education. South Carolina Student Loan serves communities in the State of South Carolina.




Financial Services


Specialty Finance




16 Berryhill Road Columbia, SC 29210 United States






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