Avant and Mariner Finance offer personal loans accessible to borrowers with bad credit. While they both have high maximum rates, Avant has a competitive starting APR. Mariner Finance, on the other hand, charges high rates and fees on all of its loans, making it a last-resort option for borrowers who can’t qualify for more favorable rates.

Avant vs. Mariner Finance at a Glance

Avant and Mariner Finance offer similar repayment terms, but some well-qualified borrowers may qualify for a lower annual percentage rate (APR) with Avant.

Avant Mariner
Bankrate Score 4.7 4.1
Better for Fair credit borrowers Joint loan borrowers
Loan amounts $2,000-$35,000 $1,000-$25,000
APRs 9.95%-35.99% 18.99%-35.99%
Loan term lengths 12-60 months 12-60 months
Fees $25 late fee; $15 returned payment fee; origination fee up to 4.75% Origination + Documentation fee is $70
Minimum credit score 580 Not disclosed
Time to funding As fast as the next business day As soon as the same business day

Avant personal loans


  • Quick funding.
  • Flexible loan amounts.
  • Prequalification offered.


  • Not available in all states.
  • High minimum rate.
  • Administrative fees up to 4.5 percent of loan amount.

Avant offers unsecured personal loans up to $35,000 with a much lower starting rate than Mariner Finance. Loans may come with an administrative fee up to 4.5 percent of your loan amount.

You may qualify for a loan from Avant with a credit score as low as 580. This makes Avant a good choice if you’re having trouble qualifying for lenders with more stringent eligibility requirements. Before you submit a formal application, you can prequalify to check potential rates and terms without hurting your credit.

Mariner Finance personal loans


  • Possible same-day funding.
  • Secured personal loans available.
  • 15-day return period.


  • High APR range.
  • Not available in all states.
  • High origination fee.

Mariner Finance offers unsecured and secured loans starting at $1,000, making it a potentially good choice if you need to borrow a small amount of money for emergencies. However, the major drawback is that its loans are expensive. The starting rate is much higher than its competitors, and all loans come with a documentation and origination fee that adds up to $70, according to a customer service rep we spoke with.

The main advantage of getting a loan with Mariner Finance is that after approval, same-day funding is possible if you apply in person. Online approval could take up to 24 hours, according to a representative. This makes Mariner Finance a good option if you need funds to cover emergencies, like a car repair bill or medical expense.

Mariner Finance also offers borrowers a 15-day loan guarantee. If you change your mind about taking out the loan, you can return the funds to the lender without paying any fees.

How to choose between Avant and Mariner Finance

To determine whether Avant or Mariner Finance is the better fit for you, consider prequalifying with both lenders. Doing so will allow you to compare estimated rates and terms without harming your credit. Then you can use a personal loan calculator to see which option has the lowest total borrowing costs.

Avant is better for potentially lower rates

Avant could be the better option since it has a lower starting APR than Mariner Finance. Although it’s possible you can receive a similar or higher APR with Avant, getting an offer from Avant is worthwhile because of the potential to secure a more favorable rate.

Mariner Finance is better for smaller loans

Mariner Finance might be the better choice if you need a smaller loan — the lowest amount you can borrow is $1,000. An additional benefit of choosing Mariner Finance is that once approved, you can receive funds as soon as the same business day if you apply in person, according to a customer service representative.

Compare lenders before applying

Avant and Mariner Finance both cater to borrowers with less-than-stellar credit, but they’re not the only financial companies that offer bad credit loans. Before you choose either one, compare rates and terms from as many lenders as possible to find an offer that best matches your budget.