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Personal Loans

Personal Loans in South Carolina: Companies, Consumer Protections, and Facts

Updated Jun 28, 2023   |   10-min read

Personal loans in South Carolina are offered by a variety of lenders, from online providers to traditional banks and credit unions. To find the best personal loan, you’ll need to compare multiple options. Online lenders can provide you with fast funding at competitive rates.

On this page:

Online Personal Loans for Residents of South Carolina

Online personal loans can be a good option for those looking for quick funding without having to leave the house. Online lenders offer competitive rates and usually have applications that can be completed within minutes.

Here are online lenders to consider.


  • Rates (APR): 7.99% – 25.49%
  • Loan Amounts: $5,000 – $100,000
  • Credit Score: 660+

LightStream offers a Rate Beat program in which they will beat any rate a competitor offers by 0.10 percentage points.** If you have excellent or good credit, LightStream is a great option.

  • Credit score category: Excellent, good
  • Soft credit pull to check rates: Not available
  • Deposit time: As soon as the same day
  • Origination fee: 0%
  • Late fee: None
  • Discounts: 0.50% interest rate reduction for enrolling in autopay
  • Repayment terms: 24 – 144 months***


  • Rates (APR): 8.49% – 35.99%
  • Loan Amounts: $1,000 – $50,000
  • Credit Score: 580+

Upgrade is a great option for borrowers with bad or fair credit, as well as those that need smaller loans. You can check rates without affecting your credit score and the application process can be completed in minutes.

  • Credit score category: Fair, bad
  • Soft credit pull to check rates: Yes
  • Deposit time: As soon as the next day
  • Origination fee: 2.9% – 8%
  • Late fee: $10
  • Repayment terms: 36 or 60 months


  • Rates (APR): 6.12% – 35.99%
  • Loan Amounts: $1,000 – $50,000
  • Credit Score: 580+

Upstart is an online lending platform that partners with banks to provide personal loans that can be used for almost anything. Upstart’s lending model considers education, employment, and many other variables when determining eligibility.3 This model leads to 27% more approvals and 16% lower rates than traditional models.4

  • Credit score category: Fair, bad
  • Soft credit pull to check rates: Yes
  • Deposit time: As fast as one business day
  • Origination fee: 0% – 8%
  • Late fee: $15 or 5% of payment
  • Repayment terms: 36 or 60 months

Companies That Offer Personal Loans in South Carolina

Mariner Finance

Mariner Finance Logo

Founded in 2002, Mariner Finance is a licensed consumer lender offering personal loans in South Carolina. The personal loan provider has branch locations in Columbia, Florence, Myrtle Beach, Lugoff, Sumter, Rock Hill, Spartanburg, Charleston, Lancaster, and Beaufort, where individuals may apply for or make payments on a personal loan.

Mariner Finance personal loans have a fixed interest rate along with a set monthly payment for several months up to several years. Borrowers have the option to utilize an unsecured personal loan, a secured personal loan, or have a cosigner secure financing for their specific needs.

Mariner Finance personal loans may be used for home improvements, weddings or vacations, debt consolidation, or an unexpected financial emergency. Each personal loan offered by Mariner Finance must be applied for in a branch location, and applicants must have valid photo identification, proof of residence and income, and a recent tax return if self-employed.

Learn More

Sunset Finance

Sunset Finance Logo

As a small-dollar personal loan provider, Sunset Finance helps many consumers in the state of South Carolina fund their needs through fixed personal loan options. The consumer loan lender is licensed in the state to provide secured personal loans, even for borrowers with less than perfect credit. Sunset Finance operates 45 branch locations throughout South Carolina and Georgia, and it has been in operation since 2001.

Personal loans in South Carolina offered by Sunset Finance are available to borrowers on a secured basis. Each personal loan comes with a fixed interest rate and a set monthly payment for the life of the loan. The consumer lender allows personal loans to be used for a variety of financial needs, including starter loans, vacation expenses, medical or dental emergencies, vehicle repair, back to school costs, home repair, and other unexpected expenses.

Because personal loans are secured, Sunset Finance can offer financing solutions to borrowers with bad credit at a relatively low cost. Applications must be submitted in a branch location, and payment is made in person.

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1st Franklin Financial Corporation

1st Franklin Financial Logo

Another consumer lending option for South Carolina residents is 1st Franklin Financial Corporation. The company was founded in 1941, and currently, it serves the financial needs of those living in South Carolina and surrounding states.

The lender offers installment loans in South Carolina to qualified borrowers with fixed interest rates and a set monthly payment schedule to help with a variety of financing needs. 1st Franklin Financial operates several branch locations in South Carolina, including offices in Manning, Camden, Columbia, and Winnsboro.

Personal installment loans offered by 1st Franklin Financial Corporation are unsecured and approval is based on an individual’s credit history, score, income, and ability to repay each month.

Loans may be used for debt consolidation, lifestyle needs like a wedding or vacation, unexpected expenses, and home improvement. 1st Franklin Financial allows applicants to start the process of applying for a personal loan online, but all finalized loans must be completed in a branch location.

Learn More

>>Read more: Personal loans by state

Verifying the Legitimacy of a Consumer Lender in South Carolina

South Carolina has made it simple to know when a consumer lender is operating a legitimate business. Each lender offering personal loans in the state must be licensed with the South Carolina Consumer Finance Division of the State Board of Financial Institutions.

Consumer lenders must submit an application to offer personal installment loans directly to consumers, whether those loans are provided on a secured or unsecured basis. The application for licensure includes a review of financial responsibility and capability of the lender, character and fitness of the applicant, and the advantage presented to the community in which the consumer lender will be or is located.

Licensing information can be found on a consumer lender’s website, typically at the bottom of any page offering information about personal installment loans. Consumers may also ask a lender for their license information if a website is not provided. Any consumer lender that does not offer a South Carolina lender’s license number to a borrower may not be operating properly.

What to Do If You Have Concerns With a Lender in South Carolina

While personal loans in South Carolina can be beneficial to consumers during a time of financial crisis, there are instances when borrowing and paying back the loan creates unfortunate circumstances or experiences. Any borrower who has felt misled by a consumer lender offering a personal loan is protected under federal regulations. He or she may file a complaint with several organizations to help get a resolution to the problem.

Here are a few resources that allow consumer complaints against legitimate or illegitimate consumer loan lenders.

South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs

The Department of Consumer Affairs in South Carolina, also known as DCA, is the state’s consumer protection organization. It is tasked with ensuring businesses throughout the state act both ethically and fairly to consumers through regulatory actions.

The agency also provides a wealth of information to help educate consumers in South Carolina about honest business practices, including those involving consumer lenders and financial institutions. Consumers can file a complaint against a consumer lender by visiting the Department of Consumer Affairs’ website.

Office of the Commissioner of Banking

Consumers who interact with conventional banking institutions to receive a personal installment loan may reach out to the Office of the Commissioner of Banking to file a complaint. The Office is meant to regulate financial institutions and ensure each is operating in a fair manner for consumers.

This simple online form located on the Office of the Commissioner of Banking’s website can be used to file a complaint after the consumer has tried to remedy the situation with the financial institution directly.

Better Business Bureau South Carolina

The Better Business Bureau is one of the leading rating organizations for businesses throughout the United States. South Carolina residents can both search for and read reviews of consumer lenders operating in the state – and file a complaint if needed. The Better Business Bureau allows complaints to be filed here.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

As a national regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, also offers remedies for South Carolina residents. Anyone who has a complaint against a consumer lender regarding a personal loan can file directly with the CFPB, which will then work with the company and the consumer to reach a resolution.

*Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Excellent credit is required to qualify for lowest rates. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice.

**LightStream will offer a rate .10 percentage points lower than the rate offered on any competing lender’s unsecured loan provided that you were approved for that lower rate (with the same loan terms offered by LightStream) no later than 2 p.m. Eastern time two business days prior to loan funding. The Rate Beat Program excludes secured or collateralized loan offers from any lender, and the competitive offer must be available to any customer with a similar credit profile. Terms are subject to change at any time.

If you believe you have been approved by another lender for a lower qualifying rate, contact LightStream customer service. We will work with you to determine your Rate Beat eligibility and obtain the necessary documentation.

***Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 5.95% APR with a term of three years would result in 36 monthly payments of $303.99.

1The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 21.97% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $10,000 loan would be $12,646 including a $626 origination fee. APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application.

2Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100.

3Although educational information is collected as part of Upstart’s rate check process, neither Upstart nor its bank partners have a minimum educational attainment requirement in order to be eligible for a loan.

4Approval numbers compare the 2020 loan approval rate by the Upstart model and a hypothetical traditional credit decision model. The APR calculation compares the two models based on the average APR offered to borrowers up to the same approval rate. The hypothetical traditional model used in Upstart’s analyses was developed in connection with the CFPB No Action Letter access-to-credit testing program, is trained on Upstart platform data, uses logistic regression and considers traditional application and credit file variables.