OneMain Financial’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.
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OneMain Financial personal loans at a glance
Time to fund after approval
Loans not available in AK, AR, CT, MA, RI, VT or Washington, D.C.
Not all applicants will qualify for larger loan amounts or most favorable loan terms. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). Larger loan amounts require a first lien on a motor vehicle no more than ten years old, that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. Maximum annual percentage rate (APR) is 35.99%, subject to state restrictions. APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. Depending on the state where you open your loan, the origination fee may be either a flat amount or a percentage of your loan amount. Flat fee amounts vary by state, ranging from $25 to $300. Percentage-based fees vary by state ranging from 1% to 10% of your loan amount subject to certain state limits on the fee amount. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered under the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral for a loan. OneMain loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z, such as college, university or vocational expenses; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase securities; or for gambling or illegal purposes. Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600. Borrowers (other than present customers) in these states are subject to these maximum unsecured loan sizes: North Carolina: $7,500. New York: $20,000. An unsecured loan is a loan which does not require you to provide collateral (such as a motor vehicle) to the lender.
Where OneMain Financial personal loans stand out
Secured and joint loan options: OneMain lets borrowers use a vehicle such as a car, truck, motorcycle, boat or RV to secure a loan. Borrowers may also add a co-applicant to get a joint personal loan. Either option can help improve your chance of qualifying and getting a lower rate. The vehicle must be under 10 years old and requires an appraisal before approval.
There are potential consequences with both of these options. If you stop repaying a secured loan, the lender can take your collateral. If you stop making payments on a joint loan, your co-borrower must repay it.
Choose and change your payment date: OneMain Financial borrowers can pick their payment date when they sign a loan agreement and change the due date twice during the life of the loan. This feature is helpful if your income and expenses change due to a new job, for example, or a different payday.
Fast funding: OneMain Financial says it may instantly approve a loan application. The lender says it takes about one to two business days for funds to be available to most borrowers. Some lenders boast same-day funding, but a day or two is standard for most personal loans.
Direct payment with debt consolidation loans: Borrowers who use a OneMain Financial loan to consolidate other high-interest debts can have the loan funds sent directly to other creditors. This feature eliminates that step for the borrower, but it’s still important to monitor your accounts until they’re paid off. OneMain says it can take up to 15 days for funds to reach some creditors.
A debt consolidation loan is only a good idea if your new loan will have a lower rate than your other debts, which may be hard to achieve with OneMain’s high rates.
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 Financial personal loans fall short
High rates: OneMain Financial’s annual percentage rates are higher than its competitors due to its minimum APR of 18%. Many other lenders offer personal loans with single-digit APRs, even if fair- and bad-credit borrowers (with credit scores below 690) may not qualify for them. Because OneMain rates are so high, even borrowers with strong credit may get a high APR on a personal loan.
Pre-qualification doesn’t include APR: Like most other online lenders, OneMain Financial allows borrowers to check their potential personal loan offer through pre-qualification. But unlike most lenders, OneMain only shows borrowers their potential loan amount and whether they qualify for a secured loan, an unsecured loan or both. The lender requires a formal application with a hard credit pull to show your rate and repayment terms.
No rate discounts: Unlike many other lenders, OneMain Financial doesn’t offer any rate discounts. The most common discount with personal loans is for setting up automatic payments, and it’s usually an APR reduction of 0.5 percentage points or less. Some lenders offer discounts for using the direct payment feature on debt consolidation loans.
Origination fee: OneMain loans come with origination fees, which aren’t uncommon for online lenders. In some states, OneMain charges a flat fee of $25 to $500; in other states, the fee is 1% to 10% of the loan amount. These fees are slightly 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 Financial personal loan
Most lenders have basic requirements to apply and some have financial requirements or recommendations to qualify.
To apply for a OneMain Financial personal loan, you must:
Have a Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number.
Be at least 18 in most states.
OneMain Financial says it uses an algorithm that accounts for many different criteria in underwriting, but it has few hard requirements for borrowers. Here’s what to know about OneMain’s qualification requirements.
Minimum credit score: None; the lender doesn’t state a minimum credit score, but it says applicants with no credit history may not qualify.
Minimum income: None; OneMain requires borrowers to have enough income to support their own expenses, plus the new loan’s monthly payment. This lender accepts income from employment, a partner, alimony, retirement, child support, Social Security payments, investments and public assistance.
Here are details about OneMain Financial’s average borrower, according to the lender.
Average credit score: 620 to 640.
Average income: $45,000 per year.
Average loan amount: $10,000.
Average repayment term: 53 months.
Most common loan purpose: Debt consolidation, unexpected expenses, home or car repairs and medical procedures.
Before you apply
Calculate your monthly payments. Use a personal loan calculator to determine what APR and repayment term you’d need to get a loan with affordable monthly payments.
Make a plan to repay the loan. Review your budget to see how the loan’s monthly payments impact your cash flow. If you have to cut other expenses in order to repay the loan, it’s better to know that before you borrow.
Gather your documents. OneMain Financial requires proof of income, which can be a W-2 or paystub, as well as proof of address and a Social Security or individual taxpayer identification number. Having these documents handy can speed the application process.
How to apply for a OneMain Financial personal loan
Here are the steps to apply for a OneMain Financial loan, based on information from the lender and our experience completing the pre-qualification process.
Pre-qualify on OneMain Financial’s website. Choose the “Check for offers” button on OneMain’s website and enter your requested loan amount. Then, you’ll enter your name, address, email and income. You’ll answer questions about your employer and whether you have a vehicle that’s paid off. Finally, you’ll enter your birth date and SSN or ITIN. There is no hard credit pull at this stage.
Preview loan offers and accept the one that fits your budget. OneMain will show you what types of loans you qualify for. At this stage, you won’t see repayment terms or your potential APR. Instead, qualified applicants may see a secured loan offer, unsecured loan offer or both. The lender requires a formal application to show you a full loan offer, which will cause your credit score to temporarily dip.
Submit an application. OneMain Financial says it instantly tells most applicants whether they’ve been conditionally approved after they apply. Final approval requires more verification. Upon final approval, the lender says it funds most loans in one to two days.
Make a plan to repay the loan. OneMain Financial reports payments to all three major credit bureaus, so on-time payments will help build your credit score, but missed payments will hurt it. Setting up automatic payments and keeping an eye on your budget are two ways to manage your loan payments.
Compare OneMain Financial to other lenders
Personal loan lenders offer different rates, loan amounts and special features, so it pays to weigh other options. The best personal loan is usually the one with the lowest APR.
LendingPoint and Avant both offer personal loans with lower rates than OneMain Financial, and they offer slightly larger loans.
OneMain Financial vs. LendingPoint
Unlike OneMain, which doesn’t have a minimum credit score, LendingPoint provides loans to borrowers with a score of 600 or higher. LendingPoint doesn’t offer joint or secured loans like OneMain does, but the lender says it can approve an application instantly and fund a loan within a day, which may be faster than OneMain.
LendingPoint only reports loan payments to two of the three major credit bureaus, while OneMain reports to all three. LendingPoint may be the better choice for urgent or midsize expenses.
OneMain Financial vs. Avant
Avant offers fast personal loans to borrowers with credit scores of 550 or higher. This lender doesn’t offer joint or secured loans like OneMain does, but it does allow borrowers to check their personal loan rate before submitting a formal application, which OneMain’s pre-qualification doesn’t include.
Avant offers one-day approval and one-day funding, which may be slightly faster than OneMain. The lender also has a much lower origination fee than OneMain, making it a potentially more affordable loan overall.
How we rate OneMain Financial personal loans
NerdWallet writers rate lenders against a rubric that changes each year based on how personal loan products evolve. Here’s what we prioritized this year:
An affordable loan has low rates and fees compared to other similar loans and may offer rate discounts.
A transparent lender makes information about the loan easy to find on its website, including rates, terms and loan amounts. Transparency also means allowing users to pre-qualify online to preview potential loan offers and reporting payment information with the major credit bureaus.
A flexible loan is one that lets users customize terms and payments. That means offering a wide range of repayment term options, allowing the borrower to change their payment date, offering loans in most states and funding it quickly.
A good customer experience can include a fully online application process, financial education on the lender’s website and a customer service team that’s available most of the time and can be reached multiple ways.
Ready to apply? Select the button below and head to OneMain’s website.