OneMain Financial Personal Loans: 2021 Review

OneMain personal loans are an option for borrowers with low credit scores, offering some flexibility in payments and loan options that can lower your rate.

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Our Take

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: OneMain prioritizes a borrower’s ability to repay on a loan application. Rates are high, but this lender accepts low credit scores.

OneMain

on OneMain Financial's website

on OneMain Financial's website

Min. Credit Score

None

Est. APR

18.00 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,500 - $20,000

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Option to choose your payment date.
  • Offers joint and secured loans.
  • Able to fund a loan the same or next business day.
  • Offers direct payment to creditors on debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Rates are high compared with other online lenders.
  • Charges origination fee.
  • No rate discount for autopay.

Compare to Other Lenders

OneMain
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NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Est. APR

18.00 - 35.99%

Est. APR

5.94 - 35.47%

Loan Term

2 to 5 years

Loan Term

2 to 7 years

Loan Amount

$1,500 - $20,000

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

Min. Credit Score

None

Min. Credit Score

560

Compare estimated rates from multiple lenders

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Full Review

OneMain’s personal loans are expensive compared with other online loans; however, they have some consumer-friendly features that make them an option for borrowers who may struggle to qualify elsewhere.

OneMain is best for borrowers who:

  • 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 at a glance

Affordability

  • APRs are high among online lenders.

  • Charges origination fee.

  • No prepayment fee.

  • No rate discount for autopayments.

Loan flexibility

  • Offers multiple loan types.

  • Funds loans the same or next day.

  • Not available in: AK, AR, CT, MA, RI or VT.

Transparency

  • Soft credit check to pre-qualify.

  • Reports payments to three credit bureaus.

  • Clearly discloses rates and terms on website; fees not disclosed.

Customer experience

  • Offers mobile app to manage loan.

  • Offers financial education.

  • Fully online application process.

Key terms to know about personal loans

Annual percentage rate is the interest rate on your loan plus all fees, calculated on an annual basis and expressed as a percentage. Use the APR to compare loan costs from multiple lenders.

An origination fee is a one-time, upfront fee that some lenders charge for processing a loan. The fee can range from 1% to 10% of the loan amount, and lenders typically deduct it from your loan proceeds.

The debt-to-income ratio divides your total monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income, giving you a percentage. Lenders use DTI — along with credit history and other factors — to evaluate a borrower's financial ability to repay a loan.

Lenders that offer pre-qualification typically do so using a soft credit check, which allows you to see rates and terms you qualify for without affecting your credit score. If you accept the loan offer, the lender will perform a hard check to confirm your information. Hard checks knock a few points off your credit score.

Where OneMain stands out

Secured and joint loan options: OneMain lets borrowers use a vehicle to secure a loan or add a co-applicant to an application. Either option can help improve a borrower's chance of qualifying and getting a lower rate than they would on their own. With a secured loan, the lender will appraise the vehicle and require it to be insured.

Choose and change your payment date: A borrower can pick their payment date when they sign a loan agreement, as long as it’s within 45 days of the day they accept the offer. After that, they can change the payment date twice during the life of the loan.

Fast funding: The lender is one of few that says it can fund a loan the same day a borrower submits an application. With other lenders, the time from application to funding can be one or two days.

Branch access: OneMain operates branches in each of the 44 states where it offers personal loans. Though a borrower can get a loan without visiting a branch, those who are more comfortable interacting with a loan officer in person can do so at a OneMain branch.

Seven-day cancellation policy: Borrowers have seven days to change their mind and cancel the loan without having to make payments. Few lenders offer this feature.

Where OneMain falls short

No autopay discount: Unlike many other lenders, OneMain doesn’t offer a rate discount for setting up automatic payments. The discount is usually up to 0.5 percentage points and encourages borrowers to use autopay to ensure on-time payment.

Origination fee: OneMain loans come with origination fees, which isn’t uncommon for online lenders. In some states, the charge is a flat fee of $25 to $500; in other states, the fee is 1% to 10% of the loan amount. These fees can be high compared with other lenders’ origination fees.

Credit insurance: OneMain may offer optional credit insurance with secured or unsecured loans. This insurance adds to the loan costs and may not be necessary if borrowers already have life insurance, so it's worthwhile to learn about the pros and cons of credit insurance before buying it.

How to qualify for a OneMain loan

OneMain doesn’t disclose many of its hard requirements, but says it focuses on applicants’ ability to meet their monthly financial obligations — including mortgage or rent payments and other debt payments — and still afford the loan.

The lender doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement because it doesn’t rely on a credit score to help determine whether someone qualifies. Instead, it uses its own underwriting system to review applicants’ credit information as well as alternative data.

Three of the most important factors on a loan application are ability to repay, credit stability and whether the loan is secured with collateral, according to a spokeswoman.

OneMain doesn't underwrite applicants who don’t have a credit bureau file, and says it’s difficult for borrowers to be approved if their credit history is very thin.

Here are OneMain borrower and loan averages:

  • Average net income: $45,000.

  • Average loan size: $10,000.

  • Average loan term: 5 years.

  • Average APR: 25%.

Loan example: A five-year, $10,000 loan with an APR of 28.7% would have a monthly payment of $316. A borrower would pay $8,960 in total interest on that loan.

How to get a OneMain loan

Pre-qualify on NerdWallet

NerdWallet recommends comparing loans to find the best rate for you. Pre-qualifying may get you personalized rates from multiple lenders that partner with us, including OneMain. Pre-qualifying will not impact your credit.

Apply on OneMain

You can apply by submitting your personal, employment and financial information at OneMain’s website. You’ll get an email with a decision on your application.

on OneMain Financial's website

Personal Loans Rating Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 30 lenders. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.

Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.

This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate most financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read our editorial guidelines.