Springleaf Financial Personal Loan Review: Fast Cash — At a High Price

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Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

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.

We’ve all been there. At some point, you just need a little extra cash from a personal loan to get you through the next few days.

In these situations, using online lenders might feel like the right move to make. You’re offered easy-to-get money that can be deposited in your account the next day by companies such as Springleaf Financial and LightStream.

But is it really a good idea to take out a Springleaf Financial personal loan? This review looks at what you need to know before you take the plunge.

Springleaf Financial personal loan review

First of all, it’s important to understand that Springleaf Financial goes by the name OneMain Financial. In 2016, Springleaf acquired OneMain, changed its name to reflect the combined company, and began rebranding its 705 branches in 27 states with the new name.

It wasn’t Springleaf’s first name change. Until 2011, it was known as American General Financial Services, which had been around for more than 90 years.

For the most part, it’s difficult to figure out what are the exact terms of a Springleaf Financial loan before you apply and get an offer. Your loan approval and terms are based on the following factors:

  • Credit history
  • Current income
  • Type of collateral offered (when required)
  • Current debt
  • State of residence (for example, the minimum amount in California is $3,000, while it’s $1,500 in Georgia)

You can use your loan for a variety of purposes, but the company website clearly says it doesn’t provide education loans for college students, business loans, or loans for investment purposes or gambling.

Rates and fees

Springleaf Financial unsecured personal loans have relatively high interest rates. You can borrow between $1,500 and $25,000 at rates that vary, depending on circumstances, between 17.59% and 35.99% APR, as of April 17, 2018. Before you apply, check the latest rates on the company’s website.

Springleaf’s rates are somewhat high for personal loans, especially when you consider some of the best personal loan providers offer loans starting at less than 10.00% APR.

Your final rate will depend on your situation and the term length you choose for the loan.

There are no prepayment fees for the loan. However, it has an origination fee, which is added to your loan amount along with the precomputed interest. So, when you take out a Springleaf Financial personal loan, your balance starts out higher than the amount you borrowed.

Here’s an example of how it works:

Springleaf Financial loan amount

Image credit: OneMain Financial

The amount of your origination fee will vary, depending on your loan terms and your state of residence.

If you’re interested in figuring out your monthly payment, you can estimate it using the calculator on the lender’s website.

estimate monthly loan payment

Image credit: OneMain Financial

However, the effect of the interest rate on what you repay over the long term is hard to see, since the company focuses more on the monthly payment and making the loan seem affordable.

This is one of the issues with Springleaf Financial personal loans. It’s hard to understand the real impact of borrowing. Much of the information on the website — including what’s listed in the FAQs — is somewhat general and obscure. It’s hard to find substantive answers to your questions about rates and repayment before you complete the application.

You can get a more accurate picture of what you will pay over time with the help of our personal loan calculator:

personal loan calculator

For example, if you take the longest loan term offered by Springleaf (five years) at the 25.00% interest rate set as the default on the lender’s site on a loan of $7,000, the calculations will show that you’d end up paying a lot in interest with fast-money personal loan such as those from Springleaf.

How to use your Springleaf Financial personal loan

Even though you can’t get a Springleaf personal loan for education costs and some other items, it’s possible to use the funds for a number of other reasons, including for:

  • Debt consolidation
  • Vehicle purchase (including motorcycles, cars, recreational vehicles, and boats)
  • Wedding
  • Vacation
  • Home improvement
  • Medical expenses
  • Furniture
  • Funerals

Depending on your situation, you also might be able to get a cash-out refinance loan through Springleaf Financial.

You can choose how to receive your money — in the form of a check or a bank transfer/direct deposit. In the case of a bank transfer, you can receive funds as soon as the next business day.

It also is possible to receive your money quickly via check or prepaid debit card when you visit one of Springleaf’s almost 1,600 branches in 44 states.

Eligibility requirements

You don’t have to worry about a minimum credit requirement with a Springleaf Financial personal loan. That’s one reason why some consumers with poor credit turn to the company. There also are no income requirements.

However, you might have to provide collateral, depending on your situation. Springleaf accepts titles to cars, trucks, boats, campers, and other vehicles. The collateral will need to be appraised for value, and you will be required to pay for insurance.

In all cases, Springleaf will look at your overall financial situation to determine how much you’re eligible to borrow and the terms you’ll be offered.

If you’re turned down for a loan or if you aren’t offered the amount you requested, you can reapply with the help of a cosigner.

How to apply for a personal loan with Springleaf Financial

Applying for a Springleaf Financial loan is fairly simple, and it can be done online quickly and easily. If you go to the Springleaf.com website, however, it will direct you to apply at OneMain Financial, the new name of the company.

You can log into your account from that page or you can click on the “Apply with OneMain” button to get started on your application. There’s a spot below the button to look up a loan offer you might have received in the mail.

Once you click through, you begin filling out your application.

Springleaf OneMain apply loan

Image credit: OneMain Financial

The initial application is only one page long. You scroll down to fill in information about your identity and finances, including:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Address (and address history)
  • Phone number
  • Birthdate
  • Social Security number
  • Employment information
  • Income
  • Property ownership
  • Bank account ownership

Realize, though, that if you don’t have an email address, the website will direct you to apply for a loan at a branch. You also can apply at a branch if you’d prefer to avoid filling out an online application or want to speak with someone in person. Or you can apply by phone at 855-877-6246.

After your application is completed and submitted, you’ll need to provide documentation such as:

  • Government-issued ID (driver’s license or state-issued identification)
  • Proof of residence (utility bill, bank statement, or signed lease)
  • Proof of income (pay stubs or tax return)

Springleaf Financial online reviews

If you search for Springleaf Financial on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, it might instruct you to click on the BBB page for OneMain Financial since that’s the company’s new name.

Once there, you can read about some positive experiences of borrowers:

  • “Came into some financial problems, called, and did an app. Got a call back with approval in less than two hours. Love them.”
  • “OneMain was effortless to apply for and monthly payments were reasonable. Great company.”

However, there were 771 customer complaints as of April 6, 2018. Many of the negative reviews about the company cited poor customer service and problems with credit bureau reporting and with attempts at settling debt.

However, OneMain is very active on the BBB page, answering most of the customer complaints. This might be one reason why the company has an A+ rating despite the negative reviews.

complaints on the bbb page

Image credit: Better Business Bureau

Should you apply for a Springleaf Financial personal loan?

Springleaf Financial doesn’t give you the chance to see your loan terms upfront with a soft credit pull, making it difficult for you to compare multiple offers. In fact, transparency is one of the biggest issues you’re likely to face when trying to decide if Springleaf is the right choice for you.

Other private lenders, such LendingClub, Upstart, SoFi, and Payoff, offer the option to see terms with a soft credit check so you can comparison shop without having the queries ding your credit. These lenders are more transparent in their application process, making it easier to compare terms when applying.

Also, Springleaf’s loans start with higher interest rates. If you’re looking for a lower rate, you could have a better chance of finding it from other personal loan providers — especially if you have good credit.

For the most part, a Springleaf Financial personal loan is an option for people with poor credit who are having difficulty in being approved for loans elsewhere. Rather than starting your search with Springleaf, it can make sense to first compare offers from the best personal lenders.

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 5.950% APR to 14.490% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.825% APR to 14.365% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of May 3, 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 5.825% APR assu[mes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.90% 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

  1. Personal Loan Rate Disclosure: Fixed interest rates range from 4.99% – 16.24% (4.99% – 16.24% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates shown 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.

* 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 - $50,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
5.83% - 14.74%1$5,000 - $100,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
5.96% - 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
4.99% - 16.24%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.