Many or all of the companies featured provide compensation to LendEDU. These commissions are how we maintain our free service for consumers. Compensation, along with hours of in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear on our site.
Personal loans are hugely popular for a number of reasons, but mostly because they’re so easy to get and use. But as the personal lending space continues to expand, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to compare and contrast your options.
Two major online personal loan lenders—Best Egg and Upstart—offer very similar rates and terms. But upon closer examination, it’s clear they cater to different types of borrowers. This Best Egg vs. Upstart comparison will help you decide which is right for you.
In this comparison:
- Best Egg vs. Upstart: At a glance
- Upstart vs. Best Egg: Which is right for me?
- Where to find personal loan alternatives
Best Egg vs. Upstart: At a glance
|Rates (APR)||5.99% – 29.99%||8.69% – 29.99%|
|Loan Terms||3 – 5 years||3 or 5 years|
|Loan Amounts||$2,000 – $35,000||$1,000 – $50,000|
|Origination Fees||0.99% – 5.99%||0% – 8%|
The best way to describe Best Egg’s approach to lending is “straightforward.” It’s fairly transparent and there are not a lot of extras. Best Egg offers unsecured personal loans at interest rates competitive with some of the best lenders.
The average loan amount for a Best Egg borrower is $15,000, and the average APR is 15%. However, if your credit score is good, you could borrow more for a much lower rate.
Unfortunately, Best Egg does charge an origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. The fee ranges from 0.99 percent and 5.99 percent depending on the state, loan amount, and creditworthiness of the borrower.
You can learn more in our Best Egg Personal Loan review.
Upstart’s rates, terms, and fees aren’t much different from Best Egg’s. Although its maximum rates are higher, the average APR for Upstart borrowers is 16%. But that is where the similarities end.
Upstart offers an interesting value proposition to borrowers with thin or non-existent credit histories—the ability to obtain financing on reasonable terms to help build their credit. It does this by using manual underwriting to look beyond a prospective borrower’s credit score.
You can learn more in our Upstart Personal Loan review.
Upstart vs. Best Egg: Which is right for me?
With so many lenders offering such similar products, it can sometimes be difficult to determine which is right for you. To help, we’ve broken down some scenarios below where one lender may make more sense than the other.
- If you have good credit
- If you’re still building your credit
- If you need to borrow a lot
- If you need money to pay for school
If you have good credit: Best Egg
If you have good credit—and a high income, to boot—Best Egg is likely the better option. The lender offers lower rates than Upstart, which you’ll qualify for if your credit is good enough.
The average credit score among Best Egg borrowers is 700, with an average credit history of seven years.
However, it’s also true that creditworthy borrowers tend to have their pick of the lot, so it might be a good idea to get prequalified quotes from both lenders to see which offers more favorable rates and lower origination fees.
If you’re still building your credit: Upstart
If your credit history is short or nonexistent, you’ll have a harder time obtaining a loan at decent interest rates no matter where you go. However, in this case, Upstart is definitely the better option.
Upstart is a part of the new generation of online-only lending platforms that relies less on credit scores and more on other data points to qualify borrowers.
The lender utilizes proprietary algorithms to assess factors such as the type of college degree a borrower holds, their areas of study, and their future earning potential.
However, if your credit is poor and you don’t think your academic or employment prospects will send good signals to the lender, you may need to opt for a bad credit loan instead.
If you need to borrow a lot: Upstart
If you need to borrow a large sum, Upstart may be the better option. The company’s maximum loan amount is $50,000, whereas Best Egg only offers loans of up to $35,000 to most borrowers.
However, Best Egg has indicated that borrowers with incomes over $150,000 can qualify for a $50,000 loan, at their discretion.
If you need to borrow more than either lender offers, you may want to look at a lender such as LightStream, which offers much higher loan amounts.
If you need money to pay for school: Upstart
While personal loans can be used for almost anything, most lenders to prohibit borrowers from using funds to pay for college or grad school. Upstart is one of the few exceptions.
While we generally advise you to look into a private student loan to cover any funding gaps in your education, Upstart could work in a pinch.
Where to find personal loan alternatives
Both Best Egg and Upstart are worthy choices for borrowing a personal loan, but they’re far from your only options. You can get personal loans from your bank, credit union, or online lenders, so it makes sense to get quotes and compare options before submitting a full loan application.
If you want to compare more options, our guide to the best personal loans is an excellent place to start your search. You may also be interested in these other comparison reviews:
Author: Daniel Caughill