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Mariner Finance Personal Loans: 2018 Review

Sept. 13, 2018
Loans, Personal Loans, Personal Loans Reviews
NerdWallet adheres to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from partners. Here’s how we make money.
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.
2.5 NerdWallet rating

Good for: Bad credit, secured loan

Mariner Finance provides personal loans for borrowers with bad credit. It may be an option for borrowers who don’t meet the qualification requirements of other lenders.

Mariner may be a good fit if you:

  • Have bad credit. Mariner requires a minimum credit score of 600, considers applicants who have filed for bankruptcy, and allows for co-signers.
  • Need fast funding: Mariner’s application process takes minutes to complete, with funding typically in one day.
  • Can access a branch. The company offers online applications but, borrowers may also need to visit a branch. Mariner Finance has branches in 22 states, and its affiliate, Pioneer Credit, has branches in six states.

Mariner Finance rates and terms

Mariner Finance
Loan amounts$1,000 - $25,000
APR24.0% - 36.0%
FeesOrigination fee: Varies by state

Late fee: Varies by state

Prepayment penalty: None
Time to fundingTypically one day
Repayments1 to 5 years
Soft credit check?Yes
How to qualify
  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Minimum income: None specified; average is $35,000 - $45,000.
Best forBad credit, 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.


» MORE: Compare personal loans for bad credit

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





24.0% - 36.0%

Min credit credit score


Best for

Bad credit, co-sign loan, secured loan


17.59% - 35.99%,
9.99% minimum for secured loan

Min credit score


Best for

Bad credit, co-sign loan, secured loan


9.95% - 35.99%

Min credit score


Best for

Bad credit, debt consolidation

Compare rates on NerdWallet. Click to see estimated rates from multiple lenders.

» MORE: See our side-by-side comparison of Mariner and OneMain

OneMain and Avant also cater to borrowers with bad credit and offer similar time to funding. But they have lower starting annual percentage rates.

OneMain doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement, but its borrowers’ average score ranges from 600 to 650, with an average annual income of $49,000. Like Mariner, OneMain also offers loans that can be secured by a car title.

Avant requires a 580 credit score or higher, although its borrowers’ average score is between 600 to 700. Avant also requires at least $20,000 in gross annual income to qualify.

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 your Social Security number and birthdate.

Mariner does a soft credit check, which does not affect your credit score, and a hard credit pull if you continue with a loan offer. Most applications require a branch visit to complete. Applicants can visit a branch, call customer support or send a message on the Mariner website for assistance.

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:

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 of any sort for our reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

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