NerdWallet rating: 4.0 / 5.0
Good for: Bad credit, secured loan
Mariner Finance provides personal loans to borrowers with bad credit. The lender will consider applicants who have filed for bankruptcy in the past, and you can add a co-signer to strengthen your application.
Mariner Finance is a good fit for borrowers who:
- Have a credit score of at least 600.
- Earn $35,000 to $45,000 per year, the average for a Mariner borrower.
- Can access a branch. The company offers online applications but, typically, borrowers must also visit a branch. Mariner Finance has branches in 22 states, and its affiliate, Pioneer Credit, has branches in six states.
- Have collateral to secure a loan above $10,000.
Mariner Finance rates and terms
|Loan amounts||$1,000 - $25,000|
|Typical APR||24.0% - 36.0%|
|Origination fee||Varies by state|
|Time to funding||Typically one day|
|Repayments||1 to 5 years|
|Soft credit check?||Yes|
|How to qualify||
|Best for||Borrowers with bad personal credit and a co-signer, secured loans|
Mariner Finance is available in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. Click below to go to the Mariner site for an online application.
Pioneer Credit is available in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. Click below to go to the Pioneer Credit site for an online application.
Mariner Finance personal loan review
To review Mariner Finance, NerdWallet collected more than 30 data points from the lender, interviewed company executives, completed the online loan application process with sample data, and compared the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. Loan terms and fees may vary by state.
Mariner Finance offers personal loans online and at physical branches where loan officers assess and approve applications. This gives people in tough financial situations a chance to explain their circumstances, says Joshua Johnson, the company’s president and CEO.
High rates: Mariner’s rates start at 24%, which is one of the highest among online lenders. The lender considers many underwriting factors for its direct loans — including credit history, income and other debts — that each loan officer weighs differently.
Loan example: For a borrowers with bad credit, a $10,000 loan with a 24-month repayment term at 27.2% APR would carry monthly payments of $545, according to NerdWallet’s personal loan calculator.
Co-sign and secured loan options: You can add a co-signer to strengthen your application, and the co-signer does not need to be a family member.
For loans above $10,000, Mariner requires borrowers secure the loan with a car or other asset as collateral. Before you choose this option, learn about the pros and cons of a secured personal loan.
Optional insurance: Mariner offers borrowers the option of credit insurance, which covers your loan if you become unable to pay due to unexpected life events including involuntary job loss, illness, accident or death.
However, this insurance adds to your loan costs and may not be necessary if you already have a life or health insurance policy that covers you.
Loan-by-mail product: To reach new customers, Mariner uses a loan-by-mail offer, or “live check,” that can be signed and cashed by the recipient. This loan requires no application; rather, Mariner says it solicits consumers who meet its underwriting criteria based on credit report information, including debt repayment history and credit utilization.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows several customer complaints against Mariner’s loan-by-mail product, including some claims of predatory practices. According to Mariner, the majority of its loan-by-mail customers are satisfied.
How Mariner Finance compares
How to apply for a Mariner Finance loan
Mariner’s online application takes a few minutes to complete. Select your requested loan amount, then input your state and personal information such as Social Security number and birthdate. Mariner does a soft credit check, which does not affect your credit score. Most applications require a branch visit to complete.
NerdWallet recommends comparing loans to find the best rate for you. Click the button below to see estimated rates from multiple lenders on NerdWallet.
Before you shop for a personal loan
- Learn how personal loans work
- 4 steps to pre-qualify for a personal loan
- Read more personal loan reviews
Personal Loans Ratings Methodology
NerdWallet’s ratings for personal loans awards points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks, no origination fees, payment options, short time to funding, interest rate caps of 36%, and absence of prepayment penalties. Features are considered for their positive impact on consumers’ credit history and financial health. We only review 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 of any sort for our reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.
— Among the very best for consumer-friendly features
— Excellent; offers most consumer-friendly features
— Very good; offers many consumer-friendly features
— Good; may not offer something important to you
— Fair; missing important consumer-friendly features
— Poor; proceed with great caution