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:
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.
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:
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)
- Home improvement
- Medical expenses
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.
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.
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:
- Address (and address history)
- Phone number
- Social Security number
- Employment information
- 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.
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!
|Lender||Rates (APR)||Loan Amount|
|1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.
Upgrade Bank Disclosures
|7.73% – 29.99%||$1,000 - $50,000|
|6.28% – 14.87%1||$5,000 - $100,000|
|6.87% – 35.97%*||$1,000 - $50,000||Visit Upgrade|
|8.00% – 25.00%||$5,000 - $35,000|
|4.99% – 29.99%||$10,000 - $35,000||Visit FreedomPlus|
|5.99% – 18.99%2||$5,000 - $50,000||Visit Citizens|
|15.49% – 34.49%||$2,000 - $25,000||Visit LendingPoint|
|5.99% – 35.89%||$1,000 - $40,000||Visit LendingClub|
|5.49% – 18.24%||$5,000 - $75,000||Visit Earnest|
|9.95% – 35.99%||$2,000 - $35,000||Visit Avant|