Since its humble start in 2012, Upstart has been a fast-growing online lender offering a variety of loans to consumers with good to excellent credit.
Upstart is a direct-to-consumer lending platform online that utilizes the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence to streamline the loan pricing and funding process. It offers loans ranging from $1,000 up to $50,000, with interest rates as high as 29.99%, paid over three- or five-year terms.
The company was established by former Google employees with a keen focus on technology, and it has grown into a major player in the online lending sphere over the last several years. To date, Upstart has funded $2 billion in loans, but the company’s impressive numbers do not mean it’s the best fit for all borrowers.
Borrowers should check out some Upstart competitors before signing on the dotted line, to ensure they are getting the most affordable interest rate for their credit history and the most cost-effective loan in terms of origination fees and other charges. If you are trying to find the best personal loan, you can view Upstart alternatives that may prove more beneficial to borrowers who qualify.
On this page:
- Upstart Competitors: Personal Loan Comparison
- Upstart Alternatives for Personal Loans
- Additional Alternatives to Upstart
Upstart Competitors: Personal Loan Comparison
Alternatives to Upstart Personal Loans
Loans from $5,000 to $100,000 – Rate Beat Program
- Fixed rate loans from 4.99% APR
- Funds available as soon as the same day
Borrow what you need – as little as $5,000 or as much as $100,000
- Rates starting at 5.74% APR
- No origination fees or pre-payment penalties
Loans up to $4,000 – No credit check required
- Get your cash as soon as the next business day
- Affordable payments and personal service
Upstart Alternatives for Personal Loans
5.74% – 16.99%
2 – 7 years
$5,000 – $100,000
Although SoFi is most prominently known for its student loan refinance product, the online lender also offers personal loans to qualified borrowers.
Through SoFi, an individual may qualify for a personal loan of up to $100,000, which is $50,000 more than Upstart’s loan limit. Interest rates for a SoFi personal loan are also considerably lower than Upstart, ranging from 6.26% to 14.87% with a 0.25% discount included for automatic payments. Borrowers pay no origination fees with a SoFi personal loan, unlike Upstart, which charges an origination fee up to 8%, often rolled into the total loan amount.
Both Upstart and SoFi evaluate a borrower’s ability to repay the loan based on credit history and score, education history and job experience. SoFi stands out as an online personal loan lender because of its added features offered to borrowers. These include social groups, educational resources, and a referral program.
5.99% – 24.99%
2 – 5 years
$5,000 – $35,000
California-based Payoff is a financial services and technology company focused on helping consumers get out of high-interest credit card debt.
The company offers the Payoff Loan in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $35,000, which is more limited than Upstart. The interest rates are comparable to Upstart, ranging from 5.99% to 24.99%, and repayment terms ranging from two to five years.
Like Upstart, Payoff does charge an origination fee to borrowers, as high as 5%, but this is lower than the maximum fee of 8% charged by Upstart. Payoff personal loans have a minimum credit score of 640, a debt-to-income ratio of no more than 50%, and at least three years of good credit history.
6.14% – 15.49%
2 – 7 years
$5,000 – $100,000
Lightstream, a division of SunTrust Bank, offers personal loans online.
The lender provides loan amounts between $5,000 and $100,000, higher than Upstart, and fixed interest rates of between 5.34% and 16.99%, which are lower than Upstart’s rates. Lightstream also offers a 0.50% discount on the interest rate when borrowers set up automatic payments. Loan terms can be a minimum of two years or up to a maximum of 12 years, which offers more flexibility in repayment than Upstart.
There are no origination fees with a Lightstream personal loan, unlike Upstart, and credit evaluations include a look at assets, credit history, income, and payment history.
Additional Alternatives to Upstart
Upstart personal loans may be a viable option for borrowers in some scenarios, but there are other alternatives to get financing for major expenses or debt consolidation.
For homeowners, a home equity loan or line of credit may prove more beneficial in terms of the cost for borrowing than an Upstart personal loan. This is because interest rates for home equity products are often in the single digits, unlike Upstart loans, which can be as high as 29.99%. A five-year loan for $15,000 from Upstart with a 15% interest rate would have a monthly payment of $357 (not including the origination fee) and accrue a total of $6,411 in interest. A home equity loan in the same amount with an interest rate of 7% means a monthly payment of $297 and total interest of $2,821 over the life of the loan.
Additionally, credit cards may be an alternative to an Upstart personal loan, especially when interest rates are lower than offered through the online lender. A credit card with an interest rate of 12.99% with a balance of $15,000 means a monthly payment of $341 and total interest of $5,473 paid over five years.
The loan or credit card option selected by a borrower should be evaluated based on the total cost components, including the interest rate and any origination fees. Because credit cards and home equity loans may have lower interest rates than an Upstart personal loan, and potentially no origination fee, these options may make more sense.
Author: Melissa Horton
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