OneMain Financial Personal Loan Review: Online and Traditional Lending for Poor Credit

OneMain Financial Personal Loan Review: Online and Traditional Lending for Poor Credit

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OneMain Financial is a solid personal loan option for those with fair or bad credit. The lender offers both secured and unsecured personal loans. While the APRs offered by the company (18% - 35.99%) are high, they are much lower than what you’ll find with payday or bad credit loan lenders. Loan amounts range from $1,500 - $20,000 — higher than many competitors in the bad credit space.

OneMain Financial: Interest rates, fees and more

OneMain Financial charges high interest rates for its personal loans. However, loan terms offer customers some flexibility, and there aren’t a lot of additional fees tacked onto the loan APR.

OneMain Financial personal loan terms

Loan amount$1,500 - $20,000*
APR range18% - 35.99%
  • Origination fees, late payment fees and NSF/returned payment fees vary by state
  • No check processing fees
  • No prepayment penalties
Loan terms2 to 5 years
Repayment scheduleMonthly

*Loan amounts may vary by state. See below for more information.

Although OneMain Financial advertises on their website loan amounts of $1,500 - $20,000, some states have different minimum and maximum loan limits for new customers:

State-specific minimum loan amounts
State-specific maximum loan amounts
  • Alabama: $2,100
  • California: $3,000
  • Georgia: $3,100 (new customers)
  • North Dakota: $2,000
  • Ohio: $2,000
  • Virginia: $2,600
  • North Carolina: $7,500

OneMain Financial personal loan pros and cons

OneMain Financial is a solid personal loan option for borrowers with less-than-good credit who need to borrow between $1,500 and $20,000 (loan amounts may vary by state*). Repayment terms are flexible and range from 2 to 5 years, and you can choose from an unsecured loan or secured loan that is backed by collateral, such as an auto title. The option for a secured loan is great for low-credit borrowers, as you could be offered more reasonable loan terms since your collateral reduces the lender’s risk.

Funding is fast, too. You could receive money the same day following loan approval, via SpeedFunds and a valid debit card.

Good for...
Bad for...
  • Borrowers with bad or fair credit
  • Borrowers with collateral
  • Borrowers who live in one of the 44 states the firm serves
  • Online-only customers
  • Applicants with good-to-excellent credit
  • Those who need a large loan amount

Yet, while the lender combines the convenience of online financial tools with the stability of a brick-and-mortar lender, borrowers are expected to visit a local branch in-person during the personal loan application process. This can be inconvenient or deter those who prefer an online-only experience. Plus, the lender doesn’t operate in Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island or Vermont. OneMain Financial also doesn’t offer an autopay discount, which is common among competitors and can be as high as a .50% rate discount.

As with any fair- or bad-credit lender, borrowers should improve their credit before applying for a loan. Strong credit borrowers may qualify for single- or low double-digit personal loan rates, well below OneMain Financial’s minimum 18% APR. However, for borrowers that need a loan now, OneMain Financial is a good personal loan option.

Applying with OneMain Financial: Loan requirements

To qualify for a personal loan, you’ll need to verify your identity and meet certain income requirements. OneMain Financial requires the following documents to complete and application:

  • A valid government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport
  • Proof of residence, such as a driver’s license, utility bill or signed lease
  • Proof of income, such as pay stubs or tax returns

Although identity verification is important, various factors related to your income will be used to determine your eligibility for a loan with OneMain Financial. An especially low credit score or high debt-to-income ratio, for example, may disqualify you from a loan. In some cases, collateral may be required to get approved for a loan.

OneMain Financial minimum credit score: There is no mention of a specific credit score needed for a OneMain Financial personal loan on the lender website. However, there is a prequalification form on the institution’s website. Filling out this form can help you see if you’d be likely to qualify for a loan, and for what terms.

Does OneMain Financial Accept Bad Credit? Yes, OneMain Financial exists to provide loans to those with bad credit who may not be eligible for mainstream loans. To compensate for the additional risk it takes on, OneMain Financial charges higher APRs on those loans. Whereas the best personal loan rates are in the mid-single digits, OneMain Financial’s lowest current rate is 18%.

However, OneMain Financial doesn’t approve every borrower who applies. Some credit profiles are too risky for OneMain Financial. Insufficient income, a high debt-to-income ratio and/or lack of collateral may all be reasons why an applicant is denied for a OneMain Financial loan.

OneMain Financial collateral requirements

Some applicants have high enough credit scores, debt-to-income ratios and other characteristics to qualify for unsecured loans from OneMain Financial. However, others may have to put up some collateral in order for OneMain Financial to approve an application.

  • Collateral may include the following:
  • Automobiles
  • Trucks
  • Motorcycles
  • Boats
  • Campers
  • RVs

If you are asked to provide collateral for a loan, OneMain Financial will appraise it before it can be approved. You must provide insurance for your collateral. In the event of loan default, your collateral will be seized.

Application process for a OneMain Financial loan

Before you apply for a loan, you can opt to prequalify instead. The prequalification process does not affect your credit score. You’ll need to provide the following information to prequalify for a OneMain Financial personal loan:

  • Desired loan amount
  • Name and physical address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Last 4 numbers of Social Security number
  • Vehicle ownership status
  • Monthly net income
  • Source of income
  • Review and acknowledgement of various disclosures

To formally apply for a loan, you’ll need to fill out an online application that essentially contains the same information as in the prequalification process. However, you must provide your full Social Security number and consent to a hard credit pull. The average time to complete an online application and receive a decision is 10 minutes.

Applying for a OneMain Financial personal loan

Application processOnline plus in-branch visit
Funding time
  • As soon as same business day with SpeedFunds and a valid debit card
  • 1-2 business days via ACH transfer
Does OneMain Financial do credit checks?
  • Soft credit check when prequalifying
  • Hard credit check when you formally apply
Does OneMain Financial report to credit bureaus?Yes
Does OneMain Financial permit cosigners?No

After you complete the online application for a loan and receive initial approval, you’ll have to meet with a loan specialist in a branch to verify your income, expenses, identity, employment and collateral, if required.

Once your information is verified by branch personnel, you’ll sign your loan documents and receive your money in one of three ways:

  • SpeedFunds: If you have a bank-issued debit card, your funds can be deposited into the bank account associated with your debit card.
  • Automated Clearing House (ACH): You can have your funds deposited directly into your checking or savings account approximately 1 to 2 business days after the loan closing date.
  • Check: You can pick up a check in a branch at the time of your loan closing.

How does OneMain Financial compare to other lenders?

Avant vs. OneMain Financial

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Avant requires a minimum credit score of 600. For those who qualify, this lender may be a better option; Avant tops OneMain Financial when it comes to loan limits and APRs. Avant’s top loan limit is $35,000, versus OneMain Financial’s $20,000. OneMain Financial’s lowest APR of 18% is nearly double Avant’s lowest available APR of 9.95%. However, both firms have the same top APR of 35.99%.

One additional distinction between Avant and OneMain Financial is that Avant doesn’t require applicants to bring their paperwork into a branch to get approved for a loan. This can make Avant a better option for customers who prefer to conduct their financial business online rather than in person.

LendingClub vs. OneMain Financial

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If getting a larger personal loan is your objective, LendingClub may be a better choice than OneMain Financial. LendingClub is a peer-to-peer marketplace through which borrowers can access loans of up to $40,000. The lowest available APR of 8.05% also beats out OneMain Financial’s bottom rate of 18%.

Applying for a personal loan through LendingClub can be conducted entirely online, unlike OneMain Financial, which requires an in-branch visit to finish the personal loan process. Although OneMain Financial has over 1,500 branches, it doesn’t serve Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island or Vermont. LendingClub doesn’t operate in Iowa or in U.S. territories.

However, OneMain Financial beats out LendingClub when it comes time to disburse funds. OneMain Financial funds loan in as little as 1-2 business days via ACH transfer or even the same day via SpeedFunds. The minimum funding time for borrowers using LendingClub is four business days.

Upstart vs. OneMain Financial

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Like Avant, Upstart requires a minimum 600 credit score. It also offers larger and more inexpensive loans than OneMain Financial. The maximum loan amount at Upstart is $50,000. Upstart’s lowest loan rate is 4.37% APR, less than half that of OneMain Financial’s best rate of 18%.

Upstart funds loans in as little as 1 business day, which is as quick or quicker than OneMain Financial’s 1 to 2 business days for ACH transfers. However, if OneMain Financial customers are eligible for SpeedFunds by having an eligible debit card, they may be able to receive their money as rapidly as the same business day.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.