OneMain Financial Review: Fast, Simple Loans For Average Or Poor Credit
OneMain Financial is a lender that’s willing to work with people who have less than great credit. They use a variety of factors to qualify you for approval, and they’re willing to accept collateral and cosigners, which could help you if you’re struggling to get approved.
- People with poor credit
- Fast funding
- Loans with cosigners
We’ve all been there – something comes up that throws a wrench into your financial plans. If you’re lucky, it’s a small-sized wrench, and you have enough in savings to cover it. But sometimes, the wrench is huge, and you need a little extra help.
When that happens, a personal loan is just the ticket. If you need to borrow money, be sure OneMain Financial is on your list of lenders to check out, especially if you’re also struggling with less than perfect credit.
What Is OneMain Financial?
OneMain is a lender that specializes in personal loans. They’ve been in business offering loans to people for over 100 years, with more than 1,500 branches in 44 states across the country. I checked, and there are dozens of branches just in my home state of Pennsylvania.
They offer both secured and unsecured loans – meaning you can provide collateral, such as a vehicle, or you may not need to provide anything but your signature. And OneMain loans money for a bunch of different uses:
- Car loans — for purchase, repair, or refinance. They even do cash-out auto refinance.
- Boats, motorcycles, and RVs.
- Home improvements or repairs.
- Debt consolidation.
- Weddings and funerals.
- Medical costs.
Their loan terms are clear and they tell you what they are right upfront, so you know what you’re getting into. And since there are so many in-person branches, you get personalized customer service — OneMain gets great reviews from customers for their customer service.
How does OneMain work?
OneMain is a unique company in the lending space because they look at more than just your credit score when determining whether to grant you a loan. This is particularly helpful for people with fair credit, or those just starting out on their credit-building journey.
When you sign up for a loan with OneMain, you can stop by a branch to visit in-person with a representative, or you can start the process online.
Just type in how much you need to borrow into the box marked “Check for Offers” to begin the process. I have some concrete work that really needs to be done at my house, so I picked $10,000 as a loan offer – that should be enough to pay the contractor for what will be a pretty big job.
It’s important to note that beginning the prequalification process won’t affect your credit score. That means that OneMain is doing a “soft pull,” not a “hard pull,” on your credit. A “hard pull” on your credit report lets other lenders know you’re shopping around for money and can lower your credit score. But just prequalifying at OneMain won’t affect your credit score at all, so you can explore what’s out there without worrying about your credit taking a hit.
Next, you’ll enter some personal information into the application form.
The form will ask you for information such as:
- Desired loan amount.
- First name.
- Last name.
- Home address.
- Phone number.
- Date of birth.
Note that the form also asks you for your Social Security number; this is to verify your identity, so they know whether you are who you say you are. The form also asks you to input your income and the source of that income (job, self-employment, retirement, or other).
Prequalification is the first step toward being approved for a loan; it’s a lender’s way of saying, “Yep, this looks like it’s going to work out,” but it is not an official stamp of approval. If you’re prequalified, then you still need to go forward with getting officially qualified for the loan. That will require some more information and documentation.
To officially close on your loan (sign it and receive the funds), OneMain will need the following from you:
- A copy of your driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued ID.
- Proof of residence, such as a utility bill or signed apartment lease.
- Proof of income, such as paystubs or your tax return.
This information assures OneMain that you are who you say you are, and that you’re able to repay the loan. OneMain may also require collateral on the loan, which is something that you put down as a promise to repay, such as a car, truck, or motorcycle (exceptions apply for military members).
If you qualify and are approved for the loan, but you change your mind, you have seven days to cancel and return the money, with no hard feelings.
If you’re approved before noon, you could get your money the same day.
How much does OneMain cost? What are the rates?
OneMain offers personal loans between $1,500 and $20,000, with rates ranging from 18.00% to 35.99% depending on creditworthiness.
OneMain charges origination fees to create your loan. Depending on your state, this will either be a flat fee or a percentage of the total loan amount — from $25 to $400 or 1% to 10%.
You’ll also owe OneMain a late fee if you make a payment after the grace period. Late fees will either be a flat fee between $5 and $30 or a percentage of your loan amount, between 1.5% and 15%. If you bounce a check or ACH payment, OneMain will charge a NonSufficient Funds (NSF) fee of between $10 and $50.
There are no prepayment penalties for paying off your OneMain loan early, unlike some other lenders who do charge you a fee.
Important: There is a scam going around that uses OneMain Financial’s name to try to trick you into paying an “External Advance Fee.” OneMain will never ask you to pay your fees upfront and certainly not via a gift card. If you get an email that seems fishy or not legitimate, do not give your password or pay. Contact OneMain on your own to sort it out — don’t respond to a suspicious email sent to your account.
There are a few features that set OneMain apart, most notably their speedy funding and their willingness to work with people with poor credit.
Time it right, and you could get your money the very same day you apply. OneMain will deposit funds directly into your bank account or cut you a check if you apply and are approved in person.
To get your money the same day, start your application in the morning. If you’re approved before noon, you could receive your funds right away. Otherwise, you’ll only need to wait about one business day after you’re approved.
You don’t need perfect credit
OneMain doesn’t require the perfect credit report to approve you for a loan. They may approve you even with so-so credit. Other factors OneMain considers when deciding to grant you a loan are your other debts, expenses, and income.
Also, if you’re able to put down collateral (such as a vehicle), that could factor into your approval as well. A loan secured with collateral is likely to be more attractive to the lender, who has some recourse in that case if you default.
Pay on the go
OneMain also has a mobile app, available for Android and iPhone. You can use the app to see your account balance and recent transactions or set up regular, recurring payments. You can check out and download your financial statements, too.
OneMain also offers you a free way to keep tabs on your credit score with a VantageScore, which updates once a month and lets you see your progress. Something I think is really cool about the app is that it provides free, interactive personal finance courses. You could complete the courses whenever you have a little time, and improve your finances without having to pay for the knowledge.
Personal loan calculator
If you want to test the waters before committing, OneMain has a super useful personal loan calculator you can use. Enter your desired loan amount and use the slider to adjust the APR (annual percentage rate) to see your estimated monthly payment.
The calculator shows you how much you would pay for a 24-month, 36-month, 48-month, and 60-month loan at different loan amounts and interest rates, which is really useful for getting a handle on how much you could afford to borrow.
Taking out a loan can be a big deal. If you want to learn everything you can about the process, I recommend checking out OneMain’s educational resources center. They offer a ton of information about loan basics to get you up to speed, including important topics like what to know about unsecured personal loans and how you can pay off a personal loan faster.
Military family support
They might not make much of a fuss about it, but OneMain offers a great deal of support to servicemen and -women. Their Military Family Support Center provides information on the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and the OneMain products that are eligible, including personal installment loans, auto loans, mortgage loans, and home equity lines of credit. They also provide other resources and information for military service members, too.
My experience researching OneMain
Overall, I thought OneMain was a pretty straightforward loan experience. They were very upfront in what they provide and how much it would cost.
I appreciated the site’s extensive FAQ section; I think that too many loan providers skimp on this opportunity to educate borrowers before they take out the loan. I like to have as many of my financial questions answered before I take the leap as possible, and I was able to find out a lot about the loans OneMain provides using their FAQs.
I think the dollar amounts of the loans hit the sweet spot for many people – not too much money, but enough to help you through whatever it is you’re going through.
The only thing I was not a fan of was the upper end of the loan rates and terms. To me, it’s not worth borrowing money if I’m going to be paying upwards of 36% of the loan amount for the privilege, and I know other lenders offer lower terms. On the other hand, for someone who’s really in a bind, it could be a lifesaver despite the high rate.
Who is OneMain best for
So who would benefit the most from a loan from OneMain Financial?
You need money fast
OneMain is a great fit for people who need their funds right away, since the entire process, from application to deposit, could deliver your funds in less than a day.
Even getting your money the next-day should still be fast enough for most people, and that quick delivery could help a lot of people who need their funds right away.
Your credit is not great
OneMain does not require a minimum credit score to get a loan, so you could qualify even if your credit’s poor. Other lenders might disqualify you immediately just based on your credit score, but OneMain will consider other factors, too.
You can put down collateral
If you have collateral, it may help you secure a loan with OneMain. Possessions such as motorcycles, RVs, even cars or trucks might be used as collateral. That might help you get a loan with OneMain if you’ve had trouble getting a loan elsewhere.
Note that you might have to insure the object or vehicle if you use it as collateral, and that could be a cost you weren’t counting on. Also know that if you put down collateral and you don’t pay off your loan, OneMain might decide to collect it – or keep it.
You need a cosigner
Not everyone is qualified yet to secure a loan without outside help – and that’s OK. If you need a cosigner to get a loan, you’re not alone. OneMain accepts joint loans, so you can sign with someone else if you need to.
Who shouldn’t use OneMain?
Of course, OneMain isn’t going to be the right fit for everyone. There are some people who should not use OneMain.
You want a low rate
OneMain’s interest rates start at 18% and go up to 36%, which isn’t going to work for folks who are shopping around for the lowest rates. You’re likely to find better rates at another lender – however, they might require a good credit score to match, so there is a tradeoff.
You have amazing credit
Good for you! However, if you have excellent credit, you’ll probably get a better deal from another lender. I consider OneMain to be a better fit for folks who don’t have excellent credit. If you have a terrific credit score, shop around a little and see if you can find some more favorable terms. You probably won’t need to secure your loan with collateral, either – just a signature will do.
Pros & cons
- You’ll get money fast — One reviewer even got their funds deposited in just one hour. Now that’s fast.
- They use many factors to decide on approvals — If you have steady income and low expenses, that could help your application.
- They allow cosigners — If you need a cosigner, you won’t be turned away at OneMain.
- High interest rates — If you are approved, the cost to borrow could get expensive -- up to 35.99% APR.
- Origination fees — Depending on where you live, OneMain charges origination fees up to 10% of your loan cost, which could take a big bite out of your funds.
OneMain vs. their competitors
OneMain Monevo OppLoans
Loan amounts $1,500 - $20,000 Up to $100,000 $500-$4,000
Interest rates 18%-35.99% 2.49% - 35.99% Up to 199%
Loan terms 24-60 months 12 months - 144 months Up to 24 months
Monevo is a loan matching site that helps you find the right loan for your needs. The loans Monevo can match you with offer a wide variety of interest rates, between 2.49% - 35.99%. Similarly, there is a huge range of terms, too, with repayments ranging from a super-short 90 days all the way up to 144 months.
The nice thing about Monevo is that it helps you navigate all the many different lenders and loan options to find what you’re looking for. However, you do need to provide a lot of information to Monevo to get prequalified, and note that you’ll need to provide that info all over again when you actually apply to your lender of choice.
Opploans is a little different: they offer practically instant online loans with no credit check. However, there’s a catch — you could pay almost double the amount of the loan in interest (199% APR). It’s a very expensive way to borrow money. Not as expensive as a payday loan, but still extremely expensive.
Opploans doesn’t require a credit check or collateral for their loans, and instead secures them with extremely high interest. However, if you’ve got bad credit and you’re desperate for cash, Opploans could be the help you need in a pinch, but it would be wise to check your chances at OneMain first.
OneMain Financial is a good option for people with so-so credit who need cash fast. They’re fast to deliver funds after you’re approved, and you have the ability to secure a loan with collateral or a cosigner, which is useful for people without good credit. OneMain’s rates aren’t the best in the business, but they beat payday loans, and with longer-term lengths, you might have a better chance of successfully repaying your loan.
If you need to borrow money, and you don’t have a good credit score, OneMain is worth checking out. Apply online and you could have your funds soon.