Regional Finance loan review: Hazy, potentially high APRs

Young woman with glasses on at her desk, looking at her budget and financial paperworkImage: Young woman with glasses on at her desk, looking at her budget and financial paperwork

In a Nutshell

If you don’t have perfect credit and need a small loan, Regional Finance may be worth a look. But you typically have to provide collateral, and it may be difficult to know if you’ll get a competitive APR.

Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted.
Advertiser Disclosure

We think it's important for you to understand how we make money. It's pretty simple, actually. The offers for financial products you see on our platform come from companies who pay us. The money we make helps us give you access to free credit scores and reports and helps us create our other great tools and educational materials.

Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That's why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.

Of course, the offers on our platform don't represent all financial products out there, but our goal is to show you as many great options as we can.

Pros Cons
Potential to qualify with less-than-perfect credit Often requires insured collateral
Apply for prequalification without harming credit Lack of transparency around rates and potentially high maximum APRs
Smaller loan amounts available Not available in most states

What you need to know about a Regional Finance personal loan

Based in Greer, South Carolina, Regional Finance has more than 350 branches in 11 states. The lender offers secured personal loans, which may make it easier to qualify with imperfect credit. Regional Finance considers your credit, income and the value of your collateral to determine your eligibility.

Depending on where you live, loan amounts range between $500 and $12,000. And if approved, you can use the money for emergency expenses, debt consolidation, home repairs, weddings and more. (Keep in mind that if you apply through Credit Karma, your loan amount and terms may differ.)

APRs are difficult to pin down, but potentially high

It can be difficult to tell if you’ll get a competitive rate from Regional Finance. We couldn’t find a clearly stated range of rates on its website. But Regional Finance does include some rate information for borrowers in South Carolina in its Licenses and Disclosures page if you dig.

According to the lender’s disclosures, the maximum possible APR for a Regional Finance personal loan is near triple digits in South Carolina.

Regional Finance says your interest rate, if disclosed, will be in your loan contract.

The company does give you the option to apply for prequalification without affecting your credit scores, which could help you estimate your potential rate. But keep in mind that your rate and terms could still change after you officially apply — and you may face a hard credit inquiry, which can lower your scores.

Often requires insured collateral

Regional Finance offers secured loans, which require collateral. You may use personal property, such as a TV, stereo or your vehicle, to secure the loan, and it must have insurance protection. With a secured loan, the lender has the right to take your collateral if you don’t repay the loan as agreed. 

Not available in most states

To apply for a Regional Finance personal loan, you must live in one of the 11 states where it operates. There are branches in Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. If you live in any other state, you won’t be able to get a Regional Finance personal loan.

A closer look at a Regional Finance personal loan   

Here are some more things to know before applying with Regional Finance.

  • Funding within a few days — If you prequalify, you can contact a local branch, or someone will contact you within 24 to 48 hours to complete the application process. You may be able to receive your funding as soon as the same day that you close at the branch, but the exact timing may depend on your bank.
  • May need to finalize in person — You may have to visit a local branch to close and receive your check, but some customers may be eligible for a remote closing. 
  • Flexible payment options — You can pay online, by phone, by mail or in person at your local branch.
  • Boost credit scores with on-time payments — Regional Finance reports your activity to two major credit bureaus (Equifax and TransUnion) every month, which can improve your credit scores if you make your loan payments on time as agreed.
  • Possible fees — Regional Finance doesn’t charge an application fee or prepayment penalty, but there could be an origination fee, depending on where you live. You may also need to watch for late fees.

Who is a Regional Finance loan good for?

People with less-than-perfect credit, or who need to borrow a smaller amount, may find a Regional Finance secured personal loan an option worth considering. But using collateral to secure a loan, especially a vehicle, may not be worth it. If you’re unable to make loan payments, the lender could seize your car or truck.

And the lender’s lack of transparency around interest rates and APR may make it difficult to know whether you’ll get a competitive rate from Regional Finance until after you apply.

It’s always a good idea to shop around and compare offers when possible.

How to apply with Regional Finance

Regional Finance personal loans are available in 11 states. You can apply for prequalification online in a few minutes with a soft inquiry that won’t hurt your credit scores. If you prequalify, you can call a local branch to complete the loan application process in person, or the lender will contact you within a couple of days.

At a minimum, Regional Finance will need the following documents to finalize your loan:

  • Government-issued photo ID (driver’s license or passport)
  • Proof of residence (utility bill or signed lease)
  • Proof of income (pay stubs or tax return)

You’ll close in person at a local branch, or if you’re eligible to close remotely, Regional Finance will send a check after your closing.

Not sure if Regional Finance is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If a potentially high APR is a deal breaker for you, here are a couple of lenders to consider that are more transparent with their rates and fees.

  • Avant: Avant may be a good choice if fast funding is important to you.
  • OneMain Financial: If you want another secured personal loan option, OneMain Financial may be worth a look.

About the author: Kate Dore is a Nashville-based personal finance writer and Candidate for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER<s… Read more.