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

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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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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!
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. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

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 FreedomPlus.com 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 6.95% to 35.89%*. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. 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 the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. 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 www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: LendingClub, 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94105.

†Per reviews collected and authenticated by Bazaarvoice in compliance with the Bazaarvoice Authentication Requirements, supported by anti-fraud technology and human analysis. All reviews can be reviewed at reviews.lendingclub.com

**Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between January 1, 2018 to July 20,2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.


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 - $50,000

Visit Upstart

6.26% – 14.87%1$5,000 - $100,000

Visit SoFi

6.99% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upgrade

5.99% – 24.99%2$5,000 - $35,000

Visit Payoff

4.99% – 29.99%3$10,000 - $35,000

Visit FreedomPlus

5.99% – 18.99%4$5,000 - $50,000

Visit Citizens

15.49% – 34.49%5$2,000 - $25,000

Visit LendingPoint

6.95% – 35.89%6$1,000 - $40,000

Visit LendingClub

6.99% – 18.24%7$5,000 - $75,000

Visit Earnest

9.95% – 35.99%8$2,000 - $35,000

Visit 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.