Review: How to Choose Between OneMain Financial vs. Avant Personal Loans

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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.

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Almost three years ago, my husband asked for a divorce and I made the difficult decision to move across the country to my old hometown. Ready money isn’t exactly plentiful when you’re in the middle of a divorce, so I got online and did a little research on the best personal loans.

I compared OneMain Financial versus Avant — and ultimately chose the latter for my needs.

Even though I used Avant for my personal loan, that doesn’t mean it’s the right lender for you. Depending on the situation, OneMain Financial might work better for you. Here’s what you need to know.

OneMain Financial vs. Avant Review: How they’re the same

I’m not the only one who’s used personal loans. In fact, according to TransUnion, outstanding personal loan balances in the U.S. reached a new high of almost $117 billion at the end of 2017.

OneMain Financial and Avant work similarly to each other. Both offer unsecured loans that you can get without collateral. Each allows you to check your offers online and verify your identity for the application process. Further, you can expect to receive your loan funds within a couple days no matter which lender you opt for.

To review your loan options, you might need to provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Birthdate
  • Social Security number
  • Income
  • Other debt and obligations (including rent payments)

You might also be required to upload documentation and provide other information, depending on the situation.

However, there are some differences between OneMain Financial and Avant when it comes to personal lending. Here’s a quick comparison, using data obtained on April 24, 2018. For the most up-to-date rates and terms, visit Avant and OneMain Financial.

Avant OneMain Financial
Loan amount $2,000 to $35,000 $1,500 to $30,000
APR range 9.95% – 35.99% 9.99% – 35.99%
Loan term length 2 to 5 years 2 to 5 years
Credit score Most customers have scores between 600 and 700 In 2017, 47% of total loan dollars were lent to those with a score of 619 or lower
Prepayment penalty No No
Fully online experience Yes No
Secured loans available No Yes

How to apply for a OneMain Financial personal loan

Applying for a OneMain Financial loan is fairly straightforward. You just head to the website and input how much you want to borrow.

Start applying for a OneMain Financial loan

Image credit: OneMain Financial

Once you submit your application, a representative from a local OneMain Financial branch will call to set up an appointment for you to come in and finalize the loan. When I applied for a loan through OneMain Financial, my representative reviewed my application with me over the phone and told me why I was approved for less than I asked for.

In order to get a bigger loan, I was told to bring in my car’s title. Collateral could’ve provided a way for me to increase my loan amount. If you have poor credit, you might be directed to find a cosigner if you can’t provide collateral.

One thing to be aware of, however, is that OneMain Financial doesn’t always offer much transparency. And despite its A-plus rating with the Better Business Bureau, some customers have complained about its service and murky terms.

Who OneMain Financial personal loans are good for

According to OneMain Financial’s 2017 annual report filing, nearly one-half of loan dollars it lent out went to poor credit personal loans. If you’re struggling with your credit and other lenders are reluctant to let you borrow, OneMain Financial can be one way to get the cash you need.

However, you might pay a steep price for it. The lowest interest rate offered by OneMain Financial is 9.99%. That’s one of the reasons why I decided against getting a personal loan with the lender. However, if your only other option is a payday loan with an interest rate of more than 400.00% APR, even the highest OneMain Financial rate of 35.99% can seem attractive.

On top of that, the ability to add collateral could help you get a higher loan amount or qualify with poor credit.

Finally, if you like a more personal touch, and the idea of going into a branch and closing the loan in person appeals to you, OneMain Financial can fit the bill. Even though you start your application online, you close the loan at a local branch. You can choose to receive a check from your loan officer or have the money deposited directly into your account.

If you have good to excellent credit, on the other hand, OneMain Financial probably isn’t the best choice for you. The interest rate is higher than you can get with another personal lender. Plus, if you prefer a completely online process, you’ll be deterred by the requirement to close the loan in person.

How to apply for an Avant personal loan

The application process with OneMain Financial versus Avant starts out the same. With Avant, you head to the website and begin by checking your loan options.

Avant personal loan application

Image credit: Avant

You’ll fill out a one-page form, providing information such as how much you want to borrow and why you’re getting the loan. You’ll also provide your Social Security number and other personally identifiable information. Avant will use this information to give you loan quotes.

Once you agree to check your loan options, you can choose from term lengths. Avant is transparent, showing you how different terms affect your monthly payment. I chose a three-year term. My APR is actually below 9.00%. However, current rates might be higher. What rate you end up with is influenced by multiple factors, including your credit score, income, and term length.

After choosing my loan, I answered a few questions about my identity that only I would know. This process is known as knowledge-based authentication. Once that was done, all that was left was to provide my bank account information. Avant had the money in my account the next day and allowed me to set up an automatic payment plan so I didn’t have to worry about late payments.

Who Avant personal loans are good for

Avant personal loans work best for those who have good or fair credit and are looking to avoid the high rates that come with a credit card or similar funding option.

Avant offers personal loans for those with fair credit, but the interest rate is often higher.

The fact that you can complete everything online is a nice touch. You get your money fast, and you can apply in your pajamas.

Plus, OneMain Financial only offers loans up to $30,000. You could borrow up to $35,000 with Avant, making it a reasonable choice if you want to consolidate high-interest debt to a lower rate.

However, even though Avant offers rates as low as 9.95%, the reality is that if you have excellent credit, you might be able to do even better with a personal loan from SoFi or Earnest. Those personal lenders offer even lower minimum APRs, resulting in overall savings.

For example, say you need a $10,000 loan with a three-year repayment term. You can compare interest costs between Avant, Earnest, and SoFi. Using our personal loan calculator, your cost to borrow would be:

You can save nearly $800 by qualifying for a personal loan with a lower interest rate.

OneMain Financial vs. Avant: What’s right for you?

Whenever you’re looking for a personal loan, it makes sense to shop around.

If you’re looking for the lowest interest rate and an online experience, Avant might be a good choice. Be sure to compare rates, though. You might qualify for an even lower interest rate with other personal lenders.

On the other hand, if you’re trying to rebuild your credit, or if you need collateral to get qualified for a loan, OneMain Financial can make sense, especially if your credit score is below 620.

Consider your situation and figure out where you’re likely to get the best possible deal.

Note: Student Loan Hero has independently collected the above information related to OneMain Financial personal loans. OneMain Financial 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!
LenderRates (APR)Loan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal LoansFixed rates from 6.58% APR to 14.87% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.275% APR to 12.575% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of July 16, 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 6.275% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.10% plus 4.175% 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.
  2. 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. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  • 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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

  • 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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
7.73% – 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
6.28% – 14.87%1$5,000 - $100,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
6.87% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
8.00% – 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
4.99% – 29.99%$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
5.99% – 18.99%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% – 34.49%$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
5.99% – 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.49% – 18.24%$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% – 35.99%$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.