Upstart Personal Loan Review

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Updated on Thursday, January 28, 2021

Upstart personal loan rates and terms
APR range8.27% - 35.99%
Loan amounts$1,000 - $50,000
Loan length36 or 60 months
Minimum credit score620
FeesOrigination fee: Up to 8.00% of the loan amount
Time to fundingNext-day funding if the loan is accepted by 5 p.m. EST

Who’s the best fit for an Upstart personal loan?

An Upstart personal loan could be a great option for borrowers with fair-to-good credit, or even those with unestablished credit — there are two primary reasons why it might work.

First, borrowers with top-tier credit can likely find lower rates from other institutions, as Upstart doesn’t compete as well at the top end. Second, the underwriting process at Upstart favors those with middling credit, since approval isn’t based entirely on credit scores. Upstart takes into account external factors, such as education, income and earning potential, to determine loan eligibility.

Upstart also benefits those seeking a low loan amount — the minimum is $1,000, while many other lenders only offer loans starting at $2,500 or $5,000. A smaller loan amount can be great for those who want to refinance or consolidate small balances, such as on credit cards.

APR

8.27%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

620

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

Up to 8.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Upstart is an online lender created by ex-Googlers.... Read More

Pros and cons of an Upstart personal loan

ProsCons
  • Eligibility goes beyond credit score. Upstart uses proprietary AI that considers external factors such as education and income in addition to credit scores to determine eligibility.
  • Check eligibility with soft credit pull. Upstart doesn’t make a hard credit inquiry until you accept the proposed rate and proceed with your loan.
  • Fast funding. Upstart funds over 99% of loans within one business day of signing.
  • Origination fees. Up to 8.00% of your Upstart loan amount.
  • Limited repayment terms. Upstart only offers loans with 36 or 60 month maturities.

Eligibility requirements

Minimum credit score: 620 (FICO Score or VantageScore)
Minimum credit history: Will accept clients with insufficient credit history to generate a credit score
Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified

Upstart uses proprietary artificial intelligence to determine whether or not applicants will be approved for a personal loan. Although Upstart requires a minimum credit score of 620, applicants with high incomes, reliable jobs and/or higher education may be able to overcome lower credit scores to gain approval.

Upstart doesn’t provide specifics regarding its approval process, though it does outline factors that may disqualify you from a loan, including the following:

  • A high debt-to-income ratio
  • Any delinquent accounts on your credit report
  • More than six inquiries on your credit report in the last six months, with the exception of student loan, vehicle loan or home mortgage inquiries
  • Any material adverse changes in your credit report between loan approval and funding, such as additional debit obligations or significant credit score drops
  • Any bankruptcies or public records on your credit report

Upstart is more likely to approve borrowers with lower-level credit than some other institutions — still, as with any lender, the better the credit profile you can present, the more likely you’ll get approved for a loan at Upstart. The strength of your credit will also help determine the interest rate you receive.

Applying for a personal loan from Upstart

Upstart makes it easy to apply for a personal loan online, with an application that takes only a few minutes to complete. Here are the steps involved:

  • Choose your loan purpose from the drop-down menu.
  • Click “Check Your Rate.”
  • Enter the amount you’d like to borrow (from $1,000 to $50,000).
  • Enter your full name and birth date.
  • Enter your address and phone number.
  • Enter your educational level, school attended, year of degree and area of study, if applicable.
  • Enter your employment information, including job title, company and salary.
  • Provide the amount you have in savings and investments.
  • Confirm whether or not you have taken out any loans in the past three months.
  • Provide your email address.

You can check your rate online with the Upstart application process in about five minutes. Data is encrypted and secure, and checking your rate won’t affect your credit score.

Upstart consumer reviews

Overall, Upstart loan reviews are excellent. On the LendingTree site, the average rating across 2,905 reviews was 4.9 out of 5 stars, as of Jan. 18, 2021. Fewer than 1% of those reviews give Upstart 1 star out of 5, while about 96% give Upstart a 5-star rating. Reviewers give excellent ratings to Upstart for responsiveness and customer service. Interest rates, fees and closing costs all receive good ratings from reviewers.

In January 2021, reviewer Shannon from Roslindale, Mass. wrote: “The entire process was fast and easy. I feel so relieved that I am now one step closer to reaching my financial goals! Thank you Upstart! I have had such a great experience!”

One negative review for Upstart came in February 2020 from Cameron in Murrieta, Calif. According to this customer: “Upstart says 3 to 5 days, called me back on the 2nd day and informed me that they would let me know in another 7 days so 9 days just for the approval. So a good 1 weeks or more for funding. I thought the reason for these companies was for a quick funding process they take longer then a bank.”

Read all customer reviews

Upstart FAQ

Upstart offers personal loans, as well as loans for debt consolidation, home improvement, vehicle purchases and other personal expenses.

Your credit history (if you have one), as well as your education, work history and credentials all help determine the interest rate you’ll receive. The lower your risk, the lower interest rate you’ll receive.

At a minimum, you’ll need to supply your name, address and Social Security number. You may also need to provide pay stubs, tax returns or college transcripts.

You can use your personal loan for almost anything, such as consolidating debt or making a large purchase for which you don’t have the funds, such a vehicle, wedding or home improvement project.

Yes, you can if you a) have made on-time payments on your current loan for at least six months, b) have no more than one other loan with Upstart and c) have no more than $50,000 of outstanding principal on your current loan.

Upstart offers a 15-day grace period before assessing late fees. If your payment falls outside that 15-day grace period, you may be charged a fee equivalent to 5% of the unpaid amount or $15, whichever is greater.

Yes, if your account is current and it’s at least 15 days until your next payment due date, you can schedule two automatically recurring payments per month.

Alternative personal loan options

LendingClub vs. Upstart

APR

8.05%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

Not specified

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

3.00% - 6.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

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 peer-to-peer lending platform, which means borrowers are paired with and receive funds from individual or institutional investors. Rates range from 8.05% to 35.89% APR and you can borrow up to $40,000.

Rates on the high end are just a shade below those offered by Upstart, but the best rates offered through LendingClub are a full two percentage points worse than what customers can get at Upstart. Still, as with Upstart, at LendingClub you can check your rate without adding a hard inquiry to your credit profile, so you can see what you’d qualify for before formally applying.

Earnest vs. Upstart

APR

5.99%
To
17.24%

Credit Req.

650

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 60

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Instead of offering credit-based loans, Earnest has taken a very nontraditional approach using a merit-based system.... Read More

Earnest partners with Fiona, an online marketplace, to find personal loan options for applicants. Loans through Earnest start at a 5.99% APR. Through Earnest, you can borrow between $5,000 and $75,000 on 36 to 60 month terms.

Earnest doesn’t offer loans directly, so the terms and qualification requirements are set by individual lenders. (In addition, while Fiona itself doesn’t charge fees, the available loan options it finds may.) As such, there is no set minimum credit score for approval, although as with all loans, the higher your score, the more likely you’ll be able to find a lender.

Peerform vs. Upstart

Peerform
APR

5.99%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 5.00%

Even with a credit score of 600, you still might be able to secure a loan through Peerform. ... Read More

Peerform is another peer to peer lending platform through which borrowers with a minimum 600 credit score can find personal loans. This could be a worthy alternative if you don’t think you’ll meet the credit score requirements to qualify for a loan with Upstart.

APRs for loans through Peerform range from 5.99% to 29.99%, and you can borrow up to $25,000. The maximum repayment terms are 36 or 60 months, and loans have a 1.00% - 5.00% origination fee.