Mariner Finance Personal Loans Review: Competitive Rates for Bad Credit

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mariner finance personal loans

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If you need a personal loan, but your credit isn’t where it should be, your options are limited. But that doesn’t mean you have to resort to payday or auto title loans. There are several lenders who specialize in working with people with bad and fair credit, and their rates are relatively reasonable.

For example, Mariner Finance personal loans offer competitive interest rates and fees for people with bad credit.

But the lender’s rates are on the high end compared with similar personal loan companies. So, it’s important to know the full package before you apply. In this review, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Mariner Finance personal loans.

Mariner Finance personal loans review

Mariner Finance is a consumer finance company that was founded in 2002 and is based in Baltimore, Maryland. Though the company doesn’t offer education loans, it does offer several other types of loans, including:

  • Auto loans for new and used cars
  • Auto refinance loans
  • Mortgage loans, including those from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Federal Housing Administration
  • Mortgage refinance loans
  • Reverse mortgage loans
  • Personal loans

The lender has 450 branches in 22 states, so you can apply online or at your local branch. A blog on its website provides extra resources and financial advice to current and prospective customers.

Mariner Finance personal loan amounts typically range from $1,000 to $25,000, although the limits can vary depending on where you live. If you need to borrow between $1,500 and $7,000, you typically can get approved online. But if you want less than $1,500 or more than $7,000, you’ll need to visit a Mariner Finance branch to get approved. Repayment terms range from one to five years.

While you generally can use personal loans to build your credit, that benefit is limited at Mariner Finance. The lender reports your activity only to two of the three national credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion.

If future lenders pull your Experian credit report when you apply for credit or pull a credit score based on Experian data, they won’t see any payment information for your Mariner Finance loan.

Mariner Finance is licensed in the following states: Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Interest rates and fees

Mariner Finance personal loan rates can range from 24.00% to 36.00%, depending on your creditworthiness. With that wide of a range, the good news is that you can view your rate offer with a soft credit check, which won’t hurt your credit score.

Those rates are much better than the triple-digit rates you’d get with payday loans or auto title loans, and they’re somewhat competitive with rates you might get from similar lenders.

Here’s a quick comparison. The APR ranges were current as of May 1, 2018. For the latest available rates, visit the lender websites below.

Personal loan company APR range Minimum credit score
Mariner Finance 24.00% to 36.00% N/A
Avant 9.95% to 35.99% 580
LendingClub 6.16% to 35.89% 600
OneMain Financial 16.05% to 35.99% N/A

You might be charged an origination fee on a personal loan, but the amount can vary depending on where you live. When I went through the Mariner Finance application process in the state of Utah, my hypothetical loan didn’t have an origination fee. The lender doesn’t charge an application fee, and there’s no prepayment penalty if you pay off your loan early.

Eligibility requirements

Mariner Finance doesn’t share its eligibility requirements publicly. A representative for the lender mentioned only that it reviews several different factors and can change its requirements at any time.

As a result, it can be tough to know if you’d qualify without applying. Other personal loan companies, including Avant and LendingClub, allow you to see rate offers before you apply.

If you can’t qualify for a loan on your own, you can apply with a cosigner who would need to meet the lender’s credit requirements. Keep in mind, however, that your cosigner will be equally liable to pay off the loan. So, if you miss some payments or default, it could put a strain on your personal relationship.

How to apply for Mariner Finance personal loans

As mentioned earlier, some loan amounts might require you to apply in person at a Mariner Finance branch; you can find a local branch on the company’s website.

If you apply online, the application should take about five minutes to complete. Start by visiting the Mariner Finance personal loans page and click on the “Get Started” button. Then, you’ll choose the amount you want to borrow. If you’ve received an offer code in the mail, you’ll enter it there.

On the next page, you’ll share your personal information as well as details about your income and employment, housing situation, and your reason for requesting the loan. You also will create a password so you can have an online account with Mariner Finance.

mariner finance personal loans application

Image credit: Mariner Finance

Once you submit all your information, you’ll see whether the lender has any offers for you. Mariner Finance doesn’t perform a hard credit check at this stage, so there’s no impact on your credit score.

mariner loans credit check

Image credit: Mariner Finance

Then, you can customize your loan based on the amount and term. Once you pick the terms, you’ll review and e-sign your application. Then you’ll click on the “Apply Now” button to have Mariner Finance perform a hard credit check and confirm the offer. At this point, the lender will ask you to submit a copy of a valid government-issued photo ID, as well as proof of income, which can include pay stubs, a W-2 tax form, or bank statements.

You typically will get a response on the same business day, although that can vary depending on the time of day and application volume. Once the loan is finalized, Mariner Finance will send you a check with your funds.

Mariner Finance customer service reviews

While Mariner Finance has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau website, the customer reviews are overwhelmingly negative.

As of May 21, 2018, 83% of the 36 reviews were negative. Recent complaints include issues with the lender’s advertising, billing, and service. Here are a couple of examples (with minor spelling corrections):

“I have an account with this company and I have made several attempts to pay my bill online but every month there seems to be issues with the online system … My friends and co-workers are getting phone calls from Mariner finance, they were asked to call my phone ONLY and NOT my employer or friends.”

“Mariner Finance garnished my wages last years for a debt I owed to them. The debt was paid off at the end of November, however, Mariner continued to garnish my wages for all of my December paychecks and my 1st paycheck in January before stopping. They issued me a refund check for an overpayment in November, however, I did not receive that check until January.”

To its credit, Mariner Finance responds to each negative review, answering questions, reporting resolutions, or recommending that the person call the customer service team.

Are Mariner Finance personal loans right for you?

For people who need cash fast and want to avoid predatory loan rates, Mariner Finance personal loans are a great alternative. Before you apply, however, consider other personal loans with similar eligibility requirements. As you shop around, you’ll be able to see other personal loan rate offers you might qualify for, as well as other terms and features.

Avoid rushing through the process. Even if you need the money soon, taking a little extra time to compare top personal loans can help you save money in the long run through potentially lower interest rates and fees.

Note: Student Loan Hero has independently collected the above information related to Mariner Finance personal loans. The lender has neither provided nor reviewed the information shared in this article.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderAPR RangeLoan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 6.990% APR to 14.865% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.255% APR to 12.555% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of September 1, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.255% APR assumes current index rate derived from the 1-month LIBOR of 2.08% plus 4.425% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

    To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.See Consumer Licenses.
  2. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  3. SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.
  4. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (

2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.

3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. All loans available through are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details. The following limitations, in addition to others, shall apply: FreedomPlus does not arrange loans in: (i) Arizona under $10,500; (ii) Massachusetts under $6,500, (iii) Ohio under $5,500, and (iv) Georgia under $3,500. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. The range of APRs on loans made available through FreedomPlus is 4.99% to a maximum of 29.99%. APR. The APR calculation includes all applicable fees, including the loan origination fee. For Example, a four year $20,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and corresponding APR of 18.34% would have an estimated monthly payment of $561.60 and a total cost payable of $7,948.13. To qualify for a 4.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan of $15,000 with a term of 24 months, and qualify for at least two of the following discounts: (1) add a co-borrower who has sufficient income; (2) use at least fifty percent of the loan proceeds to directly pay off existing debt; or (3) show proof of having at least forty-thousand dollars in retirement savings – contact FreedomPlus for further details.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.

LendingPoint Disclosures

  • Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 6% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon LendingPoint’s final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. LendingPoint makes loan offers from $2,000 to $25,000, at rates ranging from a low of 15.49% APR to a high of 34.49% APR, with terms from 24 to 48 months. The loan offer(s) shown reflect a 28 day payment cycle which is being offered as a courtesy as many of our customers are paid on a biweekly schedule and thus this may better align the loan payment dates with your actual income receipt schedule.

6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.

LendingClub Disclosures

All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.16% to 35.89%. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at time of application. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% and the average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months or longer.

7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Earnest does not lend in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, or Rhode Island.

8 Important Disclosures for Avant.

Avant Disclosures

* The actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Funds are generally deposited via ACH for delivery next business day if approved by 4:30pm CT Monday-Friday. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

** Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

* Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from you bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade’s Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.

7.73% – 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upstart
6.26% – 14.87%1$5,000 - $100,000Visit SoFi
6.99% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
8.00% – 25.00%2$5,000 - $35,000Visit Payoff
4.99% – 29.99%3$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
5.99% – 18.99%4$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% – 34.49%5$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
6.16% – 35.89%6$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
6.99% – 18.24%7$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% – 35.99%8$2,000 - $35,000Visit Avant
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.