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Mariner Finance Personal Loans Review: Best for Fair Credit Borrowers

(3 out of 5) MyBankTracker Editor's Rating

Personal loans are highly flexible loans that you can use for almost any purpose.

Whether you’re covering an unexpected expense, consolidating existing debt, or funding a home improvement project a personal loan can help you meet your financial needs.

Mariner Finance is a personal loan provider that has many different lending options that might meet your needs.

Primarily, it's loans make the most sense for borrowers with fair credit.

Our review analyzes Mariner Finance personal loans to help you decide if it is the right option for you.

Mariner Finance Personal Loans Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Best for borrowers with fair credit
  • Very quick fund disbursement
  • Low borrowing minimum
  • APR is slightly higher that market-leading rates
  • Origination fee applies in some states

Mariner Finance Personal Loans Details

Borrowing amounts

Mariner Finance offers personal loans ranging from $1,000 to $25,000, meaning you can borrow for almost any small to medium-sized need.

Two of the first things that you need to consider when comparing lenders are the minimum and maximum amounts they are willing to lend.

You don’t want to be stuck borrowing more money than you need to borrow and you don’t want to get a loan that isn’t sufficient to meet your need, so finding a lender that offers exactly the amount you need is important.

If you need to borrow larger amounts, you’ll have to work with a different lender.

Repayment terms

Another important aspect of a personal loan is the repayment term.

Mariner Finance lets you choose from terms between 12 and 48 months, giving you some flexibility. Some other lenders offer longer terms for people who need to minimize their payment.

This is how long it will take to repay the loan assuming you make the minimum scheduled payment each month.

Having multiple options for terms is best because it lets you customize your monthly payment.

Longer-term loans have lower monthly payments but leave more time for interest to accrue, resulting in a loan that costs more overall. Short-term loans cost more each month but less overall.

When choosing a term for your loan, try to strike a balance between manageable monthly payments and a low total cost for the loan.

Interest rates

Finally, look at the interest rate charged on the loan.

Interest rates have a huge impact on the overall cost of a loan and also impact your monthly payment.

Unfortunately, Mariner Finance lags behind the competition here, with rates that are noticeably higher than other personal lenders’ offerings.

Application requirements

Mariner Finance operates in 24 states.

Residents of the other 26 states will not be able to apply for a loan.

Other application requirements include:

  • U.S. citizenship, permanent residency, or immigration visa
  • Social Security number
  • Government-issued ID
  • Proof of income

Fees

When considering a personal loan, you should make sure to check the fine print for any fees that you might have to pay.

One common fee that personal lenders charge is the origination fee. This fee is typically a percentage of the amount that you borrow and gets added to the initial balance of your loan.

Mariner Finance charges origination fees in some states and the size of the fee varies from state to state, making its loans more expensive than they may first appear.

Funds disbursement speed

Finally, think about how long it will take to get the money that you’re borrowing.

Mariner Finance can fund loans in as little as two business days, making it a relatively quick lender.

If you’re applying for a personal loan due to an urgent need, such as a bill coming due in the next few days, you don’t have time for the lender to take a week or two considering your application and disbursing funds.

SpringFour

One benefit of working with Mariner Finance to get a personal loan is that customers get free access to SpringFour, an online tool that helps people find local resources.

For example, SpringFour can help its users find food, financial, and health resources in their areas as well as information about social service programs and government or community organizations.

These services can help people find employment, find ways to reduce their bills or offer free or discounted food and prescription drugs.

How to Get Approved for a Personal Loan

When you apply for a personal loan, there are a few factors that play a major role.

Your credit score is one of the most important parts of your application.

Having good credit makes it much easier to qualify, though Mariner Finance is willing to make loans to people with less than perfect credit.

Other things that impact your ability to get approved for a loan are your income, your assets, and your current level of debt.

One of the most important things to do when you submit an application for a personal loan is to fill out the application as accurately and completely as possible.

If you leave your lender with any questions, it will, at best, make it take longer for the lender to approve and fund the loan. At worst, the lender could decide to deny your application entirely.

Improving Your Chances of Getting Approved

There are a few steps you can take to improve your chances of qualifying for a personal loan.

Improve your credit score

Your credit score may play the biggest part in your ability to qualify for personal loans, so boosting your score can help improve your chances.

The most important part of your credit score is your payment history. Every time you make a debt payment by its due date, it helps your credit. Making a late payment or missing a payment entirely hurts your score.

Typically, missed and late payments have a much larger impact than timely payments, so always making your payments by their due dates is the best way to increase your score.

The amount you owe, both overall and as compared to your credit limits, also impacts your score. You might be able to give your score a boost by paying down existing debts and avoiding carrying a balance on your credit cards in the months leading up to an application for a loan.

Finally, each time you apply for a loan it dings your score by a few points. You can help your credit by only applying for loans and credit cards when you need to.

Work on your debt-to-income ratio

Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio doesn’t affect your credit score.

But, it's extremely important to lenders.

The higher your DTI ratio, the more debt you have compared to your income, and the harder it will be for you to find space in your budget for a new loan payment. Lenders tend to prefer borrowers with lower DTI ratios.

There are two ways to reduce your DTI ratio:

  • Decrease debt
  • Increase income

The best method is to reduce your debt. This can boost your credit score, giving you an even better chance of qualifying for a loan.

The likely more difficult option is to increase your income.

If you do this, make sure it isn’t by finding a job that pays you under the table. Lenders typically only look at legitimate, documentable income when making a lending decision.

How Does It Compare?

Mariner Finance is just one of many personal lenders on the market. It’s important to compare multiple lending options to make sure that you get the best loan for your situation.

In general, Mariner Finance compares poorly with traditional personal lenders. There are many options for people with good credit and they typically charge fewer fees and lower rates of interest than Mariner Finance.

However, Mariner Finance tends to focus on consumers with less than perfect credit.

For these borrowers, Mariner Finance’s loans are competitive, making them a reasonable choice for people with poor or fair credit.

The Final Verdict

Mariner Finance is a personal lender that targets borrowers with fair -- but not great -- credit.

Its loans compare well to other lenders in this market, offering rates that are higher than the best on the market but in line with most of the competition that lends to people with fair credit.

If you live in one of the states that Mariner Finance serves and have fair, but not great credit, a loan from Mariner Finance is worth considering.