Do You Need Emergency Cash in Columbia?
An OppLoans Guide to Getting The Help You Need

Columbia lies in the heart of the great state of South Carolina and is a great place to live and raise a family. Still, there are many people in Columbia who have a hard time making ends meet. Their incomes are low, their savings are nonexistent and their credit histories are not-so-great. When something unexpected happens and they need some additional cash, they usually have nothing to fall back on except for high interest predatory loans that usually do more harm than good. Plus, these people lack the financial resources that are so often needed to deal with more chronic issues like finding affordable housing and healthcare or getting treatment for substance abuse and mental illness. Happily, there are also many institutions and programs in Columbia and the surrounding area where these people can find help.

Getting Help in Columbia

It might not seem like it sometimes, but help out there. For people who don’t have a lot financial resources but are struggling with problems like alcoholism, PTSD, fair-housing abuses and a lack of affordable healthcare, there are places that can give them assistance. Across the greater-Columbia, there are local charities, government assistance programs and other non-profits that are ready and waiting to help.

Healthcare Resources


Medical care isn’t something that the sick can go without it, even when they lack the ability to pay for it. With healthcare costs as high as ever, it can sometimes feel like reliable, affordable treatment is out of reach. But it’s not. Here are some clinics and facilities in Columbia that offer affordable medical care to the uninsured, under-insured and to those who are struggling financially.

The Free Medical Clinic provides medical services for no charge to people in Columbia who cannot pay and have no medical insurance.

Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers offer healthcare serves to uninsured or underinsured clients as well as financial assistance programs.

See if you qualify for coverage under Medicare or Medicaid. has listings for WIC clinics in the area. has information affordable and free healthcare providers in Columbia. has listings for affordable and free dental care providers in Columbia.

Visit to learn more about available government aid programs.

Food Assistance

Food Assistance

It’s not a question of whether people need food or not. The jury is in: people need to eat. Except that there are people in Columbia who struggle and who cannot afford to feed themselves or their families. Luckily, there are also places and programs in Columbia where they can get help.

Columbia-area residents who qualify can apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Harvest Hope Food Bank serves the Columbia area.

God’s Storehouse provides food assistance to needy populations throughout Columbia and the surrounding areas.

Columbia Mission Station has both a soup kitchen and an emergency food pantry that serves needy populations in Columbia.

Visit for listings of food banks and food pantries in Columbia. also has information on food pantries located in Columbia.

Visit to find out more about government assistance programs in Columbia as well as private charities that can provide assistance.

Addiction and Recovery Resources

Addiction and Recovery

Addiction treatment might cost money, but so does addiction itself. Many people in Richmond who are taking their first steps on the road to recovery don’t have a lot of financial resources at disposal. But this doesn’t mean that they don’t have options.

LRADAC offers affordable treatment services and programs in Columbia.

Three Rivers Behavioral Health offers inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services and is located in West Columbia.

Alcoholics Anonymous has meetings throughout Richmond as well as many education materials pertaining to alcoholism.

Narcotics Anonymous also has meetings in Columbia and Richland County. has information on affordable treatment options in Columbia. has listings for detox facilities as well as inpatient and outpatient treatment programs in Columbia and the surrounding area. has educational resources on their website as well as listings for local treatment options and in the Columbia area.

Veterans Services

Veterans Services

So many veterans in America struggle with the costs of battle long after they’re left the field of combat. They have to deal with physical wounds, with PTSD and mental illness. Sometimes they struggle with both. Many end up addicted to drugs or alcohol and living on the streets. But it doesn’t have to be this way. For veterans living in the Columbia area, here some places where they can find help and reinforcement.

Veterans in Columbia and the surrounding areas who need medical assistance can visit the Wm. Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center, located at 6439 Garners Ferry Road in Columbia.

The Columbia Vet Center can be reached at either (803) 765-9944 or (877) 927-8387. Their address is 1710 Richland Street, Suite A.

Veterans who need help with their benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs can visit the Columbia Regional Benefit Office. Its address is 6437 Garners Ferry Road.

The South Carolina Division of Veterans’ Affairs can assist local veterans and their family members to find the help they need.

One80 Place is a local organization that can assist veterans and veterans’ families with housing-related issues and emergency shelter needs.

Housing, Rent/Utilities Assistance & Homelessness

Housing, Rent/Utilities Assistance & Homelessness

The bad news is that there a lot of different kinds of housing related problems: from a lack of affordable housing to dealing with predatory mortgage lenders to struggling to afford the cost of utilities to living on the streets and having no home at all. The good news is that there are also many different organizations in Columbia that can help with all these kinds of issues.

Columbia Housing Authority works to provide affordable housing to low-income residents in both Columbia and Richland County.

South Carolina State Housing Finance & Development Authority can provides housing and rental assistance as well as affordable housing vouchers and other resources.

The Salvation Army in Columbia offers rental assistance during certain times of the year and has other programs to help Columbia’s homeless population.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website has information on Columbia-area housing resources and HUD-approved housing counseling agencies.

The Family Shelter provides emergency shelter services for families in Columbia.

Hannah’s House is a shelter in Columbia that serves homeless women and children.

Transitions Homeless Recovery Center works with their residents to get them into a more permanent housing situation once they leave the shelter.

Apply for energy assistance through the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

Visit for more information on emergency shelters in Columbia. has information on low-income housing as well as housing assistance programs.

Visit for even affordable housing listings in Columbia.

Borrowing Money in Columbia

Predatory loans are actually pretty easy to spot. Find the loan that makes the biggest promises and offers the fewest explanations and you’ve almost certainly found one. Predatory lenders prey on people with poor credit histories and low incomes, signing them up for loans that they don’t fully explain and leaves their borrowers with an ever-increasing mountain of debt. Many people who take out predatory loans end up in court, having their wages garnished for years to come in order to pay the loans back. Take some time now to learn about the kinds of predatory loans that you might find in Columbia — and also learn about the kinds of loans that will help your take control of your finances and start building a better credit history.

Payday Loans in Columbia

Payday Loans in Columbia
Q: Do high interest rates and short payment terms make for an affordable loan? A: Nope.

While a payday loan might seem like a handy way to get ahold of some fast cash, the reality of these loans is far bleaker. Rather than being a handy financial tool, they can all too easily lead to a cycle of debt and even garnishing the borrower’s wages in order to pay the loan back. Not so handy when that hand is reaching directly into your paycheck.

Payday loans come with short repayment terms, usually between 7 to 31 days. They are secured by a check that borrower writes to the lender that is post-dated until the borrower’s next payday. In South Carolina, the most that a person can borrow with a payday loan is $550 and the most that a lender can charge in interest is 15% of the amount loaned. 15% seems reasonable, but remember that a 15% interest rate on a 14-day loan adds up to an annual percentage rate of 390%.(1) That’s a lot.

Because people have so little time to pay off of a payday loan, they can end up rolling over the loan to give themselves more time to pay. Unfortunately, that means that they also owe even more on the loan. Rolling over payday loans is one of the ways that people can easily find themselves trapped in a cycle of debt, owing more and more until eventually they owe way more than they could possibly repay.

There are better, safer ways to get a fast loan in Columbia. For more information on payday loans, or to report a payday lender in Columbia, please contact the South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions at (803) 734-2020 or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at (855) 411-2372.

Title Loans in Columbia

Title Loans in Columbia
The fun thing about title loans is… nothing.

In order to get a title loan, most borrowers need little more than the title to their car, truck or motorcycle. The lender takes that title to serve as collateral and the borrower gets a loan based on the vehicle’s value. Title lenders don’t have much of an interest in determining the borrower’s ability to repay the loan, because they can just repossess the person’s car if they can’t. In the meantime, the interest rates that they charge make the event of nonpayment a pretty likely one.

In South Carolina, title loans are always made for at least $601 dollars, this is to get around the restrictions on smaller dollar loans.(2) These are short-term loans that are usually meant to be repaid within a month. The average monthly interest rate for these loans is 25% which might seem a bit high but isn’t out of this world — until you remember that this is only the interest per month. If the loan is extended, then that interest rate begins to add up. In fact, the average APR for a title loan is around 300%.

With title loans, the high interest rates mean a lot of profit for the lender. If the person repays the loan, then they make a lot of money. If the person doesn’t repay the loan, they can repossess their car and resell and still come out ahead. It’s a win-win proposition for the lenders but closer to a lose-lose for most borrowers. If your car is something that you wouldn’t be able to live without, then a title loan is something you would do well to avoid.

There are better loans out there in Columbia, ones that won’t put your vehicle at risk. To file a complaint against a title lender in Columbia, or if you would like more information, please contact the South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions at (803) 734-2020 or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at (855) 411-2372.

Pawn Shops in Columbia

Pawn Shops in Columbia
A great place to shop but a not-so-great place to get a loan.

While pawn shops are a great place to shop for used televisions and electronics, jewelry, firearms and lots of weird and interesting memorabilia, they aren’t such a great place to get a loan. If they were, then they wouldn’t be such a great place to shop, because most of those items were once collateral in a loan that never got paid back.

Pawn shop loans are secured by valuable property that the borrower brings in. It doesn’t matter what the item is, so long as the pawn shop things they can sell it to make a profit. The loans are secured by the value of these items, which often means that pawn shop loans have a pretty low ceiling for how much someone can borrow with one; usually it’s not more than a few hundred dollars.

In South Carolina, there is a complex system that determines how much in interest a pawn shop can charge on a 30-day loan. For loans of under $50 and under, they can charge a maximum APR of $300. As the principals get higher, the APR gets lower. However, even the lowest APR is still over 100%. For a loan that is almost guaranteed profit for the lender because of the collateral, those rates are very high. It represents pure profit for the lender and a no-so-great deal for the borrower.

There are better ways to get a loan in Columbia, one that doesn’t involve potentially losing precious family heirlooms. To find out more about pawn shops or to report a pawn shop in Columbia, please contact the South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions at (803) 734-2020 or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at (855) 411-2372.

Personal Installment Loans in Columbia
Safe and reliable, with easy payments that will fit within your budget.

When you need quick cash to cover emergency expenses, don’t go to a title, pawnshop or a payday lender. Get a personal installment loan from OppLoans. We issue loans between $1,000 and $10,000 terms from 6 and 36 months and interest rates that are generally 70-125% lower than other personal lenders. Our loans come with a series of regular, manageable payments that will fit within your budget.

OppLoans always strives to deliver fast, flexible, fair and five-star service:

  • Fast: Apply online and find out if you’re approved in minutes. Once approved you can get your cash as early as the next business day.
  • Flexible: We offer longer terms, larger loans, and affordable, fixed payments. Your monthly payment will be the same throughout the life of the loan.
  • Five-Star: Customers rate us 4.9 out of 5 stars for our friendly service. We also provide discounts for credit education.

Start building a better credit history today with a personal installment loan from OppLoans. To get started, just fill out this easy online application. If you’re approved, your money can be in your checking account as early as the next business day.


  1. South Carolina State Information.” PayDay Loan Consumer Information. Consumer Federation of America. Accessed March 10, 2016.
  2. “Auto Title Loan and The Law.” South Carolina Appleseed Center for Justice. Accessed March 10, 2016. https://scjustice.or”Motorg/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/auto-title-loans-and-the-law1.pdf

*OppLoans is not affiliated with any of the programs, services or organizations referenced on this page.

Let’s Talk Details

Our goal is to provide the most flexible and affordable loan based on your personal financial needs. We will never charge a pre-payment penalty and your payment amount will always be fixed throughout the life of your loan. In addition, our loans never have origination or application fees. Of course, we also have to work within the boundaries of all applicable state and federal regulations.

Costs and Terms of a Typical Installment Loan in the State of South Carolina

Loan AmountRepayment TermAPR
$601-$4,0009-24 Months125%-199%

Governing Law

If you have questions or concerns about your loan, please contact the Opportunity Financial Customer Support Team by phone at (800) 990-9130, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. Central Time, or by sending an email to: If we are unable to address your questions or concerns, you can also contact your state regulatory agency:

Consumer Finance Division South Carolina
3rd Floor, Edgar Brown Building
1205 Pendleton St.
South Carolina, SC  29201
Assistant Commissioner of Consumer Finance, Jim Copeland
Assistant Commissioner of Consumer Finance, Carl Jeffcoat
Administrative Assistant, Veronica Dale

Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

View our South Carolina License

View our South Carolina Maximum Rate Schedule

View our Credit Grantor Notification

See more local South Carolina guides, and learn more about loan options in South Carolina.