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- Upstart is best suited to borrowers with fair or poor credit.
- Borrowers can request a loan amount as low as $1,000.1
- Upstart’s APRs are average, but its loans may come with a big origination fee.
What we like:
Availability of customer support
|Rates (APR)||7.46% – 35.99%2|
|Loan Terms||3 or 5 years2|
|Loan Amounts||$1,000 – $50,0001|
|Fees||Origination fee: 0.0% – 8.0%|
Prepayment penalty: None
Upstart was founded in 2012 with a focus on leveraging AI and machine learning to automate the borrowing process. It aims to price credit appropriately by looking beyond just credit scores to consider your employment, income, education, and other key factors.
Upstart has a direct-to-consumer lending platform where borrowers can get personal loans online, and it provides its technology to other financial institutions including banks and credit unions.
While there are benefits to Upstart, there are downsides to consider too. This Upstart personal loans review will help you decide if it’s the right lender for you.
In this review:
Upstart Personal Loans Overview
|Upstart Personal Loan|
|Loan amount||$1,000 – $50,0001|
|Term lengths||36 months or 60 months2|
|APRs||7.00% – 35.99%2|
|Origination fee||0% – 10%|
|Minimum credit score||600+ (depending where you live)|
|Visit website||View rates|
If you’re looking for a personal loan, there are many reasons to consider Upstart. Interest rates are in line with most competitors, although the exact rate you’ll pay will be determined by your credit score, academic history, career, and other factors.3
You can use an Upstart personal loan for just about everything: as a home improvement loan, to pay for a wedding, or as a debt consolidation loan. It’s up to you what you do with the loan proceeds once you’ve been approved.
However, it’s worth pointing out that Upstart is best suited for people seeking a personal loan for fair credit or bad credit. Upstart’s minimum credit score is 600 depending on where you live, so if you have good credit, there are likely better options for you.
Pros & Cons of Upstart Personal Loans
- You can borrow a low loan amount if you want to. Upstart allows you to borrow as little as $1,0001. Many other competitors have larger minimum loan limits.
- You can get your money quickly. Being able to access your money in as fast as one business day is a huge advantage if you need fast access to cash.5
- You can qualify even if you don’t have a high credit score. When you’re still building credit, it can be frustrating when you’re not able to borrow when you need to. Upstart makes qualifying easier by considering several additional factors, such as your area of study.3
- You’ll receive a 10-day grace period on late payments. If your payment falls outside of the grace period, Upstart will charge you a late fee of 5% of the unpaid amount, or $15, whichever is greater.
- The maximum loan amount is lower than some competitors. You can borrow a maximum of $50,0001 from Upstart. If you have a lot of debt to consolidate or if you need to make a major purchase, Upstart may not provide all the funding you’d need.
- There’s an origination fee, and it’s high. Many lenders have done away with origination fees altogether. However, the fee to get a loan from Upstart can run from 0% – 10%. This will eat away at your total loan amount before you even get funding, requiring you to borrow more and pay more in interest.
>> Read More: What Credit Score Is Needed for a Personal Loan?
Eligibility & Application Process
Applying for an Upstart personal loan is quick and easy, and the entire loan application process can be completed online. When you first visit the Upstart website, you can get an estimated interest rate and your chances of loan approval without having a hard inquiry entered on your credit report.6
This is important because each hard inquiry recorded on your credit history remains for two years, and too many hard inquiries cause your FICO score to drop.
To find out what rate you might receive, you’ll need to submit some basic personal information such as your:
- Full name and address
- Social Security number
- Current income
If you decide to move forward with your loan application, Upstart does a hard inquiry into your credit history to determine your full financial status, including your job history, debt-to-income ratio, and the types of debt you carry, such as risky credit card debt or more reasonable student loans.
The interest rate you’re offered is based in part on your credit score, but Upstart also looks beyond just this to get an idea of the type of borrower you are.
For example, Upstart will consider your career, whether you have a college degree, and other details about your finances and professional life. Since the lender doesn’t focus solely on FICO credit ratings, it’s an especially great choice for young people who are still working on building their credit.
Choosing your loan term
Upstart will also give you an option for how long you want your loan term to be. You can choose a repayment term of three-year repayment term or a five-year2.
Longer loans can have higher rates and will also cost more in the long run due to the fact you’re paying interest over more time. However, monthly payments will be lower than on loans with shorter repayment timelines, since you have more time to pay back the loan.
Accepting your offer
Upstart typically provides you with an initial rate proposal and loan offer right away. Once you accept, you submit your full application.
Sometimes you may have to submit additional documents, which can delay the application process. When your final application for your loan is approved, you’ll receive your funds right away.
In fact, 99% of borrowers from Upstart have the money in their bank account by the next business day after their loan is approved.
Where to Find Upstart Alternatives
Upstart is a decent choice for borrowers with fair credit who are looking to borrow just a small amount. If you’re able to qualify for an Upstart personal loan with a low origination fee, it may be a great lender for you.
But if you have good or excellent credit and you want to borrow a larger amount, you should look elsewhere.
Compare your offer from Upstart with quotes from a couple of lenders from our list of the best personal loans. That way you can know you’re getting the best deal for your situation.
You might also be interested in these other guides:
- Upstart Competitors and Alternatives
- Upstart vs. SoFi Personal Loans
- Upstart vs. Best Egg Personal Loans
To learn more about Upstart, check out our interview with its CEO, Dave Girouard.
Ready to apply for a loan through Upstart? Check out its website.
7.00% – 35.99%2
$1,000 – $50,0001
36 or 60 months2
1 Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100.
2 The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 21.97% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $10,000 loan would be $12,646 including a $626 origination fee. APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application.
3 Although educational information is collected as part of Upstart’s rate check process, neither Upstart nor its bank partners have a minimum educational attainment requirement in order to be eligible for a loan.
5 If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and funding in accordance with federal law.
6 When you check your rate, we check your credit report. This initial (soft) inquiry will not affect your credit score. If you accept your rate and proceed with your application, we do another (hard) credit inquiry that will impact your credit score. If you take out a loan, repayment information will be reported to the credit bureaus.
Author: Christy Rakoczy