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 15, 2021

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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 may require a visit to one of its 1,400 branch locations to complete a loan application. Mariner has a smaller footprint, with more than 450 branches, but you only need to visit a branch for loans less than $1,500 or greater than $15,000.

The two lenders offer similar loan products, including unsecured and secured 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.

Lender

OneMain Financial

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Mariner Finance

2.5

NerdWallet rating 

Loan amounts

$1,500 - $20,000.

$1,000 - $25,000.

APR range

18.00% - 35.99%.

18.99% - 35.99%.

Time to funding

1 day.

Same day for in-person loans; 3 days for loans obtained by phone or online.

Origination fee

$25 - $500 or 1% - 10%.

Varies by state.

Loan duration

2 - 5 years.

1 - 5 years.

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

OneMain loans may be a good option if you:

  • Have fair or bad credit (689 or lower FICO score).

  • Can add collateral or a co-borrower to the application, which can help lower the rate.

  • Need the funds fast.

OneMain Financial combines traditional underwriting (debt-to-income ratio and credit score) with alternative data, which can be information like where you went to college and where you work, to make a loan decision.

How to qualify: OneMain says it doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement, but average borrowers' credit scores range between 620 and 640.

Time to fund: 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.

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:

  • Have filed for bankruptcy in the past.

  • Have a low credit score.

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

Mariner Finance offers personal loans online and at physical branches. Its loans carry a higher APR range than OneMain, and should only be considered for emergency expenses.

How to qualify: Mariner does not disclose its minimum credit score but customer service representatives say they may consider applicants who have filed for bankruptcy in the past.

Secured and co-signed loans, as well as those smaller than $1,500 and larger than $15,000, are usually are handled at a branch.

Time to fund: For loans originated over the phone or online, funds are typically available within three business days. If you apply in person your loan may be funded the same day.

Costs: Mariner’s APRs range from 18.99% to 35.99% for secured loans and from 24% to 35.99% for 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.


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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