Mariner Finance Personal Loan Review 2020

3.8 stars out of 5

The Smart Investor reviews are unbiased, and reflect the views of our editorial staff. We’ve collected the information independently. Issuers did not provide the details, nor are they responsible for their accuracy. The review is not a recommendation, the actual rates/fees may be different.

Mariner Finance is a personal finance company that was started in 2002 out of Maryland. They focus on only a few lending products: personal, auto, and home. They operate in 22 states with over 450 branches. Mariner Finance works with borrowers who might have poor or limited credit histories. Their personal loans are a great alternative to payday or title loans. They are competitive for borrowers with bad credit

Mariner Finance Personal Loan Specification

Here are the basic specifications & requirements of Mariner Finance Personal Loan :

Feature Mariner Finance Personal Loan
Loan Amount Range $1,000 -$25,000 Varies by state
Interest Rate Range 24.00%- 36.00%
Term 12 to 60 months
Origination fee 2%-5% Varies by state
Late Payment Fee Varies by state
Prepayment fee None
Online Payment $2 (non autopay)
Pay by Phone $6
Funding Typically 1 day

Mariner Loan Pros & Cons

As we know, each lender has its own pros & cons – here are the relevant things we found for potential borrowers:


  • Joint Borrowers – Mariner Finance allows for joint borrowers on their personal loans. Many loan providers do not allow for this.
  • Soft Pull Inquiry –Mariner Finance does an initial soft pull inquiry so the borrower can get an idea of the options for which they may qualify.
  • No Prepayment Fees –Mariner Finance does not have a fee for paying your loan off early.
  • Offer Credit Insurance- Mariner Finance offers credit insurance, which can help cover the loan if you are unable to make the monthly payments due to life events like job loss, illness, or disability. This service is not free. It does have a premium.
  • No Minimum Credit Score-Mariner Finance does not have a minimum credit score requirement and works with borrowers who have poor or limited credit.
  • Quick Turnaround Times –Mariner Finance has a quick process and many borrowers are approved or rejected within 24 hours.
  • Bankruptcy-Mariner Finance will work with borrowers who have had a past bankruptcy.
  • Use People to Review Application –Many online personal loan providers rely on computer algorithms to determine whether your application is approved or not. Mariner Finance has actual people look at the application to consider the borrower’s financial needs and the circumstances of the loan.


  • High Rates-If you have good to excellent credit history and strong cash flows you can find better rates elsewhere. The lowest rate with Mariner Finance is 24.00%.
  • Sign at Branch –Mariner Finance requires most of their borrowers to visit a branch to review the loan and sign loan documents. Many other personal loan providers use an application process that can all be done online.
  • Not Available in All States –Mariner Finance is only available in 22 states. You can use their branch locator to see if they are available in your state.
  • Origination Fee-Mariner Finance deducts a one-time origination fee amount directly from your loan funds. This should be considered in the pricing of your loan when you apply
  • Fee Transparency –Mariner Finance also has many other fees such as late fees, processing, and application fees. Their fee schedule is not clear because it depends on in which state you reside. Take into consideration that there are other lenders who do not charge some of these fees.

What Can a Mariner Finance Personal Loan Be Used For?

Personal loans with Mariner Finance can be used for home improvement, unexpected expenses, vacations, weddings, and debt consolidation. You cannot use their personal loans for purchasing real estate, business purposes, investments, purchasing securities, postsecondary education, or as short-term bridge financing.

  • Home Improvement Loan

Mariner Finance home improvement loans are for home repairs or renovations. The advantage of using a Mariner Finance home improvement loan is that you do not have to use your home as collateral and you get funds much quicker with less documentation. Typically, it takes a month or more to get an equity line of credit on your home, whereas with Mariner Finance, turnaround time is usually one to two days.

  • Unexpected Expenses

Life happens, and you can use a Mariner Finance personal loan for those unexpected expenses. When your furnace goes out or you need some funds for a car repair, Mariner Finance has a quick turnaround time for those types of unexpected events.

  • Vacation

Mariner Finance personal loans can help fund that dream vacation you have always wanted. The advantage of using a personal loan over a credit card in this situation is that you can make a budget for how much you really want to spend and know how much your monthly cost will be over the life of the loan.

  • Wedding Expenses

Using Mariner Finance for an engagement ring will reduce the overall cost of one of the biggest purchases of your lifetime. You can also use the funds for other wedding expenses to help pay for your dream wedding day.

  • Debt Consolidation

Mariner Finance debt consolidation is paying off one or more prior unsecured loans with the new personal loan. Instead of multiple payments to multiple lenders, you can create one payment to one lender. The idea is that you can take a high revolving interest credit card and save money by replacing it with a low rate fixed installment. However, Mariner Finance has high-interest rates, so consolidating some credit cards may not make sense for you. Always check the rates you are currently paying.

  • Mariner Finance Application Process

Mariner Finance allows borrowers to apply online, over the phone at (877)-310-2373, or in person at a local branch. Online applications will not always be offered the same terms as in-person applications. (link) Terms are different depending on your state. You can talk to your local branch or speak to someone on the phone to see what the fees and terms are in your case. Mariner’s online application allows you to do a soft pull on your credit in order to check your options, terms, and fees. Some applications may require the applicant to apply in person.

Applying online is an easy process that usually takes less than 10 minutes. From the home page you click on “Check My Offers.” You then put in the desired amount you would like to apply for, and continue. Next, you fill out an application. You will need to provide your name, address, date of birth, social security number, income and employment information, housing obligations, and the purpose of the loan. You will also set up a password. Mariner Finance will then do a soft pull.

The soft pull does not affect your credit. At this point, Mariner Finance will let you know if you qualify for a loan and the options for which you may qualify. You can customize your amount and terms based on your needs. Once you have found the loan for which you would like to apply, you click “Apply Now” and Mariner Finance will do a hard credit pull.

Mariner Finance will then ask for verification of the information you provided. This may include an ID, proof of income, bank statements, and proof of residence. Most of the time this takes place at local branch. Mariner Finance usually takes less than a day to send you an approval or a decline. If approved, your funds will be deposited either into your bank account if you applied online, or via check if your loan was closed at a physical branch.

Then Upgrade does a soft pull to see what loan options they have for you. You can get an idea of how much you’ll be paying for before they do a hard pull inquiry on your credit. You may get a notification that the application has been declined. If you decide to move forward you will need to answer more verification questions, and allow a hard credit pull.

If Upgrade approves your credit application you will need to submit supporting documentation verifying your identity and your income. You will also need to provide verifiable banking information in a valid email address. The process is relatively quick in that the average turnaround time for Upgrade is 4 days. Once the information has been verified you will need to sign loan documents.

If you are self-employed, Upgrade has a more rigorous verification process than some other lenders may have. They require 2 years of taxes including K -1’s and bank statements. If you are self-employed please review Upgrade’s requirements and how they calculate income.

Mariner Finance Loan is Best for..

Mariner Finance is best for borrowers with poor or little credit. They are a good alternative to payday loans. They may be a good fit for you if you have trouble getting financing through traditional methods. If you have ok to excellent credit, you should look at other personal loan providers

They will have better rates and fees. Mariner can be used if you need money quick to get out of a financial jam, but once you take a loan out with them you should look for other companies that will provide a much more reasonable rate.

The major drawback to upgrade is their origination fee. There are other lenders who do not charge this fee, which can be pretty high and will add to the overall cost of your loan.