Launched in 2012, Upstart is an artificial intelligence (AI)-based online lender that focuses on evaluating borrowers with the help of AI technology and unconventional eligibility criteria. Rather than credit scores alone, Upstart considers a borrower’s education and employment history, income, and debt-to-income ratio (DTI) to determine risk.
Upstart operates in most states and offers personal loans, debt consolidation, and auto refinance loans to many borrowers.
What we like:
Auto loan refinancing on balances as low as $9,000 and using non-credit factors (such as employment and education) to help more borrowers qualify.
|Rates (APR)||Not disclosed|
|Loan amounts||$9,000 – $60,000|
|Repayment terms||24 – 84 months|
|Availability||Not offered in Maryland or Nevada|
In this review:
- Upstart auto loans at a glance
- Pros and cons
- What do Upstart’s customers say about the company?
- Do I qualify for an auto loan refinance from Upstart?
- How do I apply with Upstart?
- Does Upstart charge any fees?
- Does Upstart have a customer service team?
Upstart auto loans at a glance
If you have an auto loan you would like to refinance, Upstart may be worth a look. You can swap out your current loan for a refinance loan with new terms—such as a lower interest rate, lower monthly payment, or more extended repayment period.
An Upstart auto refinance loan can replace auto loans on vehicles 10 years old or newer with fewer than 140,000 miles on them as long as you initiated the original loan at least a month ago. Loans are available from as low as $9,000 and as high as $60,000 in all states except Maryland and Nevada.
As of March 2023, Upstart does not offer direct-to-consumer purchase loans for new or used cars, nor can you use an Upstart loan to buy out an auto lease.
|Loan amounts||Term lengths||APRs|
|Auto loan refinance||$9,000 — $60,000||24 — 84 months||Not disclosed|
Pros and cons of an Upstart auto loan refinance
- Easy online application process takes 5 minutes or less
- Non-credit qualification factors consider employment and education history, not just credit score
- Refinancing available for vehicles less than 10 years old with fewer than 140,000 miles and a clean title
- Funding not available for new or used vehicle purchases
- Not offered in all states
- Coborrowers not allowed
What do Upstart’s customers say about the company?
|Source||Rating||Number of reviews|
|Better Business Bureau||1.24 out of 5 stars||201|
|Trustpilot||4.9 out of 5 stars||40,900+|
Ratings collected on March 7, 2023.
If you’ve researched a company and its products, you might not know what to expect from the customer experience. This is where consumer reviews can provide real value.
Customers can submit reviews on many platforms and consumer agencies to offer a firsthand idea of the process. These can help you recognize sticking points or shortcomings within the company or identify a lender that makes the experience enjoyable.
Trusted consumer review platforms include the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot. The BBB is a consumer agency that offers accreditation and its own rating scale, in addition to publishing consumer complaints and reviews. As of March 2023, Upstart has over 200 reviews on BBB, rating 1.24 out of 5 stars. However, the company is BBB-accredited and holds an A+ rating.
You’ll find much more feedback on Trustpilot. More than 40,000 consumers have left their opinions and ratings for Upstart there, giving the company a 4.9 out of 5 stars and earning it an “excellent” rating.
Do I qualify for an auto loan refinance from Upstart?
Before you can take out any auto loan—including a refinance—you must meet the lender’s eligibility requirements.
Upstart doesn’t disclose the specific borrower criteria necessary to qualify. A stable income source, low debt-to-income ratio (DTI), and healthy credit history are always beneficial. Credit score will come into play, but Upstart also provides custom rates based on other factors, such as your employment history and education level.
You must also be in one of the 48 states Upstart services. Upstart auto refinance loans exclude:
Upstart isn’t specific about borrower criteria for auto loan refinancing, but it is specific about vehicle requirements.
To refinance your auto loan, you must own a car that:
- Has under 140,000 miles
- Is under 10 years old
- Has a remaining loan balance between $9,000 and $60,000
- Has an auto loan initiated at least one month ago
You can prequalify for an Upstart refinance loan without a hard credit inquiry. Just ensure it’s right for you. The prequalification process involves a soft credit check, which gives Upstart a limited view of your credit history and application to make a preliminary loan determination.
If you decide to move forward with the refinance loan, Upstart will conduct a hard credit pull, which can affect your credit score.
How do I apply with Upstart?
You can apply for an Upstart auto refinance loan online in just a few minutes. You can begin the application through the Upstart website by answering a few personal questions and providing information such as your:
- Date of birth
- Email address
- Phone number
- Social Security number
You also must answer questions regarding your:
- Source(s) of income
- Current assets (such as savings accounts and investments)
- Highest level of education
If prequalified, you must provide Upstart with information about your vehicle, including its year, make, model, trim, mileage, and remaining auto loan balance.
Does Upstart charge any fees?
Let’s be honest: Auto lenders are in the business of making money, so you can expect your refinance loan to cost something. However, with Upstart, the costs are limited to interest.
The interest rate is expressed as an annual percentage rate (APR). This rate is set at the time of origination and can vary based on income, credit history, vehicle details, and location.
Aside from finance charges, you’ll have no fees to worry about when refinancing your auto loan through Upstart. It charges no origination fees, application fees, or prepayment penalties.
Does Upstart have a customer service team?
Whether you have questions about a new auto refinance loan, need to figure out your online application, or want help managing your loan, you have three options to get in touch with an Upstart customer service agent.
Upstart representatives are available:
- By phone—Contact Upstart at 866-662-0443, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern, and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- By email—Send your questions via email to [email protected].
- Through the borrower dashboard—If you’re already a borrower, you can find the answers to many questions in the borrower dashboard or help center.