OneMain vs. Mariner: How They Compare for Personal Loans

OneMain Financial and Mariner Finance offer personal loans for bad credit. Compare rates, terms and qualifications.

Steve NicastroOct 23, 2020
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OneMain Financial and Mariner Finance are two lenders that provide personal loans for people with bad credit. Each company has branches where applicants can consult loan officers, offering the chance to explain their financial situation face to face.

OneMain typically requires a visit to one of its 1,600 branch locations to complete a loan application. Mariner and its affiliates have a smaller footprint, with more than 450 branches mostly located in the Northeast and Southeast, but you need to visit a branch only for loans less than $1,500 or greater than $7,000.

The two lenders offer similar loan products, including unsecured and secured loans and co-sign loans, but it’s worth comparing their rates, fees and minimum qualifications to see which works best for you. Here’s a side-by-side look at OneMain Financial and Mariner Finance.

Loan amounts

$1,500 to $20,000

$1,000 to $25,000

APR range

18.0% - 35.99%

24.0% - 36.0%

Time to funding

Typically 1 day

Typically 2 days

Origination fee

Varies by state

Varies by state

Loan duration

2 to 5 years

1 to 5 years

Minimum qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: None; average is 600 to 650.

  • Minimum annual income: None.

  • Debt-to-income ratio: Not specified.

  • Minimum credit score: 600.

  • Minimum annual income: Not specified; average is $35,000 - $45,000.

  • Debt-to-income ratio: Not specified.

Good option for

  • Bad credit

  • Secured loan

  • Co-sign loan

  • Bad credit

  • Secured loan

  • Co-sign loan

Click “Check Rate” to pre-qualify on NerdWallet.

OneMain loans may be a better option if you:

  • Qualify for its starting rates, which are lower than Mariner’s.

  • Can visit one of OneMain’s branches to complete the loan process.

  • Need the funds fast.

OneMain Financial uses traditional factors like credit score, income and debt-to-income ratio to approve loans. Its loans are typically used for debt consolidation, funding home improvements and auto financing.

How to qualify: OneMain says it doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement, but typical borrowers’ credit scores range between 600 and 650.

Time to funding: Once OneMain approves your loan, you can get the funds by check or prepaid debit card as fast as the same day. Getting the money by direct deposit to your bank account takes one or two business days.

Costs: OneMain’s annual percentage rates for unsecured loans range from 18% to 35.99%. The rate includes an origination fee, an amount that varies by state.

OneMain charges fees for late and unsuccessful payments, with amounts varying by state. It does not charge for making extra payments or paying the loan off early.

Mariner loans may be a better option if you:

  • Prefer an online-only experience.

  • Have filed for bankruptcy in the past.

  • Need emergency cash and don’t qualify for OneMain.

Mariner Finance offers personal loans online and at physical branches located in 23 states, mostly in the Northeast and Southeast. Its loans carry a higher APR range than OneMain, and should only be considered for emergency expenses.

How to qualify: Mariner requires a minimum credit score of 600, and may consider applicants who have filed for bankruptcy in the past.

Mariner does not specify a minimum annual income, but its borrowers' average is $35,000 to $45,000.

Secured and co-sign loans, as well as those smaller than $1,500 and larger than $7,000 typically are handled at a branch, according to Mariner.

Time to funding: For loans originated online, funds are typically available within two business days after acceptance of a loan offer.

Costs: Mariner’s APRs range from 24% to 36% for both secured and unsecured loans. The APR may include an origination fee that varies by state. Other fees also vary by state.

Shop around to find the best personal loan

If your credit isn’t perfect, consider whether you want to apply for a loan on your own or with a co-signer. Putting up collateral, such as a vehicle, is another way to improve your odds or get a lower rate.

Your best strategy may be to take the steps to pre-qualify with multiple lenders and compare pricing on any loan offers you get. Click the button below to pre-qualify on NerdWallet and receive personalized rates from lenders that partner with us.

NerdWallet’s ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus, and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

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