OneMain Loans Review

OneMain Financial is a personal loan lender based in Evansville, Indiana, with an extensive nationwide branch footprint. It was established in 1912, and after a series of acquisitions, the institution was eventually purchased by Citicorp in 2011 and sold to Springleaf Financial in 2015.

OneMain provides loans to individuals with poor credit or in credit rebuilding stages, so if you fall in that category, the lender is a no-frills option that quickly solves short-term cash needs. However, borrowers with better credit standing may find lower rates at other banks or credit unions. In addition, OneMain only deals with personal loans and a program they call the auto purchase loan.

OneMain at a glance

Pros
  • Wide network of physical branches
  • Approvals in as little as 10 minutes
  • No prepayment penalties
Cons
  • Only offers personal loans
  • Higher average rates
  • $25,000 maximum loan

What’s interesting about OneMain Financial

Folks with substandard credit should consider a loan with OneMain since no minimum credit score is required to qualify. If other financial issues prevent eligibility for an unsecured personal loan, the lender will accept an automobile or similar asset for collateral. Pledging collateral may entitle you to a lower APR or a larger loan amount. Decisions from OneMain often happen fast, so qualified personal borrowers seekers could have their cash on the same day they apply.

OneMain stands out as a viable choice for borrowers who like to conduct business face-to-face. With over 1,600 branches in 44 states, folks looking for personal loans won’t have a problem finding a branch. The exception is New England, where branches can only be found in Maine and New Hampshire. Pre-qualification can be done online and in-person by providing some basic personal and financial details.

Things to consider

With regard to loan variety, OneMain is more of a one-trick pony than a one-stop shop. If you need a mortgage, home equity or traditional auto loan, you will need to look elsewhere. The lender’s mainstay is personal installment loans on which APRs vary from 18% to 35.99%. An origination fee, which varies from state to state, should also be factored into cost projections. Flat fees run anywhere from $30 to $150, and in some cases, percentage fees can cost you up to 5% of the loan amount. With high rates and fees, consumers with credit scores above 660 will want to consider other options.

Personal loans

Personal loans are available from OneMain, with minimum amounts starting at $1,500 and maxing out at $25,000. Rates and loan amounts depend on your overall financial history and health. However, checking your rate and prequalification is only a soft credit check. It’s important to check your state requirements because both minimums and maximums will differ depending on geography. Loan terms begin at 24 months and can be stretched out to 60 months. You can receive funds by check in a branch or by electronic transfer to a bank account, and in many cases, same-day approvals occur.

On the back end, if you wish to pay off an installment loan early, no prepayment penalty applies.

Mortgage loans

Mortgages are not available through OneMain, so if you’re in the market for a home purchase, you’ll want to investigate traditional banks or online programs. Customers who are rebuilding credit who also gravitate toward OneMain for personal loans might be a good fit for an FHA loan at large national banks such as Wells Fargo or Bank of America. FHA requirements favor buyers with existing credit problems, requiring only a 3.5% down payment for applicants with FICO score more than 580 and 10% down for scores lower than that.

Mortgage refinancing

You won’t be able to refinance your existing mortgage through OneMain, but numerous choices exist for you to get a better rate or change the term of your loan. If you prefer an online experience with minimal human contact, Rocket Mortgage saves a lot of time through the application process by pulling electronic asset statements with your authorization. SunTrust lets refi shoppers choose among a full spectrum of conventional and government loans, with some spiffy application tracking tools, but the bank’s physical locations are limited to the mid-Atlantic and southeast regions.

Home equity loans and HELOCs

OneMain provides no means to acquire a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC), but borrowers who have difficulty obtaining these types of funding could use personal loan proceeds for home improvements. OneMain would likely be a last resort for house upgrades due to high interest rates and low maximums. PNC Bank offers highly competitive rates on standard home equity loans. Homeowners with excellent credit looking to borrow $150,000 or more receive 3.79% APR with an autopay deduction from a PNC checking account. Without an automatic draft, expect another 0.25% to be added to rates.

Car loans

A traditional auto lending program doesn’t exist within OneMain, but it does have an auto purchase loan. Essentially, you apply for the maximum amount you can afford, and once approved, you bring a check to the dealership. After purchasing the vehicle, that car must be pledged as collateral to secure the loan. Any default means you would have to relinquish possession of the vehicle to the lender, so consumers must budget carefully when using this method. There may be other subprime lenders like Auto Credit Express or Wells Fargo who also lend money to individuals with poor credit.

The final word

OneMain Financial does one thing and does it fairly well. For individuals with credit limitations needing quick access to cash, the lender has no minimum credit score standards for unsecured personal loans. Online or walk-in customers receive the funds very quickly after approval, and paying off the obligation early won’t trigger a penalty. OneMain is a good niche lender, but for borrowers seeking a full range of loan products and services, there is no other alternative than to shop numerous online or brick-and-mortar institutions for mortgages, refinances, or home equity lines.