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World Finance operates over a thousand branches in these sixteen states. They offer short-term installment loans to people who might struggle to get approved by a bank or a credit union. I want to tell you about 7 things you should know about World Finance before you take one of their loans. 

World Finance is cagey about the cost of their personal loans

First thing you should know is that World Finance is a bit cagey on the cost of their loans.

World Finance does not disclose on their website what APRs they charge on their loans. Partly, they hide behind the fact that each state may be different. They only want to tell you what the loan is going to cost you after you have a loan agreement in hand and a store associate is there is encourage you to take the loan. At that point, the money is so close! 

But, after digging around, I discovered that more than half of their loans have an APRs above 36%. Their average APR is 46%. Keep in mind that new customers are far more likely to have higher-than-average APRS. In fact, based on what I am seeing, I am guessing that new customers probably get APRs around 90%. 

These APRs should include account maintenance and origination fees. Any fee you cannot avoid should be disclosed in the APR. If you feel the need to sign up for insurance, that cost would not be part of the APR and would make the loan even more expensive. 

World Finance personal loan insurance add-ons

The second thing you should know is that World Finance will try to sell you insurance.

One of the things that a World Finance employee will do is to try and convince you to buy insurance on your loan. They offer an extensive list of insurance policies. The problem is that there is no information on any of these products on their website. You are likely to first learn about them when someone is telling you why you really, really need it, otherwise you won’t sleep at night. But, here’s the thing. Normal insurance companies pay out 60-80% of their premium revenue on claims. World Finance spends only 18%. That tells me that either the insurance is way overpriced or it is ensuring something that is unlikely to happen. 

You won’t see what a World Finance loan looks like before you apply

The third thing you should know is that you won’t know what a World Finance loan looks like until after you are accepted. 

World Finance lends under state laws. That means that lending terms might be different for every state. That’s why it is so difficult to know what a World Finance loan would look like for you before you apply. They don’t disclose state-by-state differences. You will only know what they offer you with the loan agreement, after you apply and are accepted. So, you have to be particularly vigilant. They rely on the fact that you are tantalizingly close to the money you need to just sign the agreement. So, I would recommend that you apply to a couple of places before you apply to World Finance. That way you will have something to compare it to and won’t feel pressured to sign an agreement.

Pay close attention to the fees

The fourth thing you should know is that you need to pay close attention to the fees that they will charge you.

World Finance says that their loans come with “one fixed rate, no hidden fees, and completely transparent pricing.” However, their filings with the government talk about  origination fees,  account maintenance fees, monthly account handling fees, as well as “other charges permitted by the relevant state laws.” So, if you get an offer from World Finance, you may need to pay close attention to your terms and conditions to make sure you understand all the fees that might be associated with your loan offer. 

How hard is it to get approved for a personal loan by World Finance?

The fifth thing you should know is what World Finance will want to see when they make a decision on whether to lend you money.

While World Finance does not say exactly what you need to do in order to be approved for one of their installment loans, I can say exactly what they will look at. They will look at data in your credit report, but I don’t think they will look at your credit score. They will look at your payment history, your outstanding debt, the length of your credit history the number of hard credit inquiries you’ve had recently, and your credit mix.

In general, though, I don’t think it is terribly hard to be approved for a loan with World Finance. I believe that people with damaged, bad, or poor credit scores are often approved. 

Shop around before taking a World Finance personal loan

You should always shop around, though. Even if World Finance would lend to you, you should see if you can get two or three offers before you sign a loan agreement. This will ensure you are getting the best deal you can get. Remember, every lender has different criteria for deciding who to lend to. At The Yukon Project, you can check your rate with up to 40 lenders all at once, and checking won’t negatively impact your credit score. Apply to any one of the lenders and we will check your rate with all the others in our network. It’s a great way to know who will give you the best deal. 

They will call you if you’re late

The sixth thing you should know is that World Finance will call you if you are late on a payment.

Local branch employees will call you if you are late on a payment. They won’t just call once. They will call to follow up on any payment due and “remain in close contact” with letters and phone calls until you make the payment. And they will use whatever numbers you give them, too. So, they are likely to try and reach you at work, if they can’t get a hold of you on your personal lines. 

Many people have difficulty paying off a World Finance personal loan

The seventh thing you should know is that most people remain in debt to World Finance for years.

When we take out a personal loan, we never think that we will stay in debt for years. We hope to pay the debt off and move on with our lives. The longest term World Finance offers is 46 months, or just under four years. Yet, 57% of all of their current borrowers have been using World Finance for over five years. World Finance might be like the roach motel, you can check in, but you can’t check out. 

In fact, 71% of all World Finance loan originations are to people just refinancing an existing World Finance loan. They are likely to push you to refinance when you hit a financial snag, but remember that refinancing starts the clock over again on the amount that you owe.  


World Finance might be the lowest cost loan you can qualify for…or it might not. They are not terribly transparent. They will try and get you to take the loan before you have a chance to check with anyone else. Resist that temptation. Shop around. Get the best loan you can.

Picture of Jonathan Walker

Jonathan Walker