Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.
Updated on Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Minimum Credit Score
36 or 60
2.90% - 8.00%
Upgrade is an online lender that offers fairly priced personal loans for a term of either 36 or 60 months.... Read More
Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 5.94%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to 2 weeks to clear, depending on the creditor. Personal loans issued by Upgrade's lending partners. Information on Upgrade's lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/.
Fees and penalties
A loan received through Upgrade can be used for a major purchase, to consolidate debt, pay off or refinance credit card debt, or to finance a home improvement project.
Loans also come with credit monitoring, through Upgrade Credit Health. Credit Health is available to everyone — borrower or not — and includes a summary feature providing an overview of your TransUnion credit report and monitoring updates on a user’s VantageScore 3.0 every seven days. It does not, however, provide a full report of all accounts.
The big fee that you have to watch out for with Upgrade is the origination fee. The origination fee can take a sizeable chunk out of your loan before you even get any money. Take this into consideration when deciding how much money to borrow since it will decrease the amount of cash you’ll receive.
- Minimum credit score: Not specified.
- Minimum credit history: Not specified.
- Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified.
Upgrade doesn’t disclose all of the conditions used to qualify borrowers. As far as residency and other requirements, you need to meet the following conditions:
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (or a valid U.S. visa holder)
- Be at least 18 or 19 years old depending on your state
- Have a verifiable bank account and email address
Upgrade is exclusive to certain states. You can’t get a loan if you live in Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, or West Virginia. Upgrade doesn’t specify that you must work with a certain type of employer to qualify.
You do need to input your individual gross income during the application. Self-employed workers can apply for loans but may have to provide the most recent two years of tax returns to verify income.
Applying for a personal loan through Upgrade
To get started with Upgrade, you can check your rate online, which doesn’t require a hard pull on your credit. You enter in preliminary information about the loan you need. Sign up for autopay during the application process to save interest — 10 days of interest are added to check payoffs to account for mailing and processing time.
In the next part of the initial application, you’ll put in your name, address and annual income. Upgrade will give you a few preapproved offers based on the information.
The loan offers you receive after providing this information will include the loan amount, interest rate and term. After choosing an offer, you’ll be asked for bank account information where you want to deposit the money if your application is approved. When your loan is funded, a hard credit pull is performed and, if necessary, you will be asked to upload supporting documents, such as pay stubs or tax documents for income verification. Once approved, you can have access to your funds within four business days, depending on your bank.
Who’s the best fit for a personal loan through Upgrade?
Loans through Upgrade can be worthwhile for someone who needs to find money quickly because you can get cash within four business days. That said, you still may want to work on improving your credit before applying for a loan — a higher credit score can help you to get approved for lower interest rates. In addition, Upgrade looks beyond your credit score to review your credit usage and history.
A loan through Upgrade may suit your needs if you’re looking for a sizeable loan for a major purchase; you can borrow up to $50,000. That’s also a nice loan amount to pay off high interest credit card debt, consolidate other debt or even fund a business.
Upgrade consumer reviews
So what do the customers have to say about working with Upgrade? The good news is that Upgrade, Inc.’s Better Business Bureau rating is a stellar A+.
On LendingTree, MagnifyMoney’s parent company, Upgrade has a 98% recommendation rating. Upgrade received an average of 5 stars for customer service and responsiveness and an average of 4 stars for fees and closing costs and interest rates. Many customers found Upgrade’s application process quick and easy.
Personal loans through Upgrade can be used for a variety of situations. For example, you might use loan funds to help you reduce your credit card debt, consolidate a bunch of bills that you have been swimming under or finally purchase that car or high-end refrigerator you always wanted.
You can use the money to pay off any of your credit cards on your own or have Upgrade arrange to pay them off for you directly. This is only available to credit cards issued in the United States and for your cards only.
The first thing to do is find out why — perhaps your credit score was too low or your debt was too high. Get a free copy of your credit report to see what you can improve. Upgrade allows you to reapply at any time but suggests waiting 30 days.
Personal loans through Upgrade have fixed interest rates, so you don’t have to worry about your monthly payment increasing. Once you choose the payment, it’s locked in.
If you’re able, paying off your loan early is a good idea. Fortunately, Upgrade does not charge any prepayment penalties.
Unfortunately, things happen and sometimes you might not be able to make your monthly payment. Try to choose a monthly payment amount that’s affordable to you, but if something comes up, immediately contact the customer service department and notify them that you may be late or miss a payment. Upgrade charges a late fee of up to $10 if your payment is not received in full within 15 calendar days of your payment due.
Alternative personal loan options
Minimum Credit Score
24 to 84
No origination fee
SoFi offers some of the best rates and terms on the market. ... Read More
Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 18.85% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of January 19, 2021 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
SoFi is an example of one lender that has no origination fee. SoFi also has longer loan term options than Upgrade. You can borrow up to $100,000.
The interest rate range for SoFi is more competitive; lenders with low interest rates generally serve borrowers with good to excellent credit. However, qualifying for SoFi may be more of a challenge. Fortunately, SoFi will let you pre-qualify without a hard inquiry so you can check rates.
36 or 60
3.00% - 6.00%
on LendingTree’s secure website
LendingClub is a great tool for borrowers that can offer competitive interest rates. The loan application process is done online and only takes a few minutes to complete without hurting your credit. The loan processing time can take a while and you might not get approved if you have missed payments in the past.
LendingClub is a loan marketplace with comparable APR ranges and loan terms. Like Upgrade, it also has an origination fee. You can borrow up to $40,000 on a fixed rate personal loan.
Pre-qualifying through LendingClub won’t impact your credit. Consider shopping through this loan marketplace to see if you can get a better rate.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
36 to 72
No origination fee
Marcus by Goldman Sachs® offers personal loans for up to $40,000 for debt consolidation and credit consolidation. ... Read More
Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification of your identity and credit information. To obtain a loan, you must submit additional documentation including an application that may affect your credit score. The availability of a loan offer and the terms of your actual offer will vary due to a number of factors, including your loan purpose and our evaluation of your creditworthiness. Rates will vary based on many factors, such as your creditworthiness (for example, credit score and credit history) and the length of your loan (for example, rates for 36 month loans are generally lower than rates for 72 month loans Your maximum loan amount may vary depending on your loan purpose, income and creditworthiness. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA and all loans are issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Salt Lake City Branch. Applications are subject to additional terms and conditions.
The Marcus by Goldman Sachs® personal loan is another no-fee loan; its available loan terms are also slightly longer than Upgrade, which could help you stretch out the loan payment. The interest rates are also comparable to Upgrade, but the no-fee aspect gives it a leg up. Shopping for loan rates with this lender also won’t trigger a hard inquiry.