Upstart Personal Loan Review

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Written By

 

Reviewed By

Updated on Monday, July 1, 2019

APR

8.69%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

600

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

Upstart personal loan details
 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: 36 or 60 month terms
  • APR range: 8.69% to 35.99%
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 - $50,000
  • Time to funding: If you accept your loan before 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday, you should receive your loan proceeds the next business day. If accepted after 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday, you should receive your loan proceeds two business days later.
  • Hard pull/soft pull: Soft Pull for your quote rate, but a hard pull once you accept your rate and proceed with the loan application
  • Origination fee: Up to 8.00% of the target amount (deducted from the loan before it’s delivered)
  • Prepayment fee: None.
  • Late payment fee: 5% of past due amount or $15, whichever is greater monthly past due amount or $15 (per occurrence)
  • Other fees: Return check or refund feed ($15) and paper copy fees ($10)

Upstart offers fixed-rate loans, but the loan interest rate depends on the borrower’s education, credentials, work history and credit score. Your loan can be used for a wide variety of purposes including (but not limited to) paying off credit card debt, paying off student loan debt, medical bills, travel, starting a business or paying for college or grad school.

Borrowers can even use Upstart loan funds to attend a coding boot camp. Upstart supports funding for a few coding boot camps (see the full list here) so if an applicant is accepted, they won’t need to possess a 4-year degree or have a job offer.

If you already have an Upstart loan and you’d like to apply for an additional loan, you’ll need to meet the following qualifications:

  • Made on-time and consecutive monthly payments for the past six months
  • Have no more than one outstanding loan through Upstart at the time of application
  • Have no more than $50,000 of outstanding principal at the time the loan originates

In order to receive your loan funds, you must add and verify a personal bank account in your name; from there, you’ll need to disburse the funds from your checking account so you can spend as needed.

However, this may be an inconvenience for people looking to consolidate their debt by applying loan funds directly to the creditor or business owners looking to deposit the funds automatically to their business account. For example, if you’re receiving a large lump-sum loan to cover the cost of college tuition for the semester, you’ll have to have the discipline to make sure the payment goes directly to the school and you avoid spending part of the money on another expense.

Speaking of Upstart loans that are being used for educational purposes only, keep in mind that there is an additional three-day business period between when you accept your loan and when you will receive the funds.

For loans intended for other funding purposes, Upstart will usually grant funds by the following business day, as stated above.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: 600 FICO or Vantage score
  • Minimum credit history: Will accept clients with insufficient credit history to generate a credit score
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not provided

While Upstart’s website doesn’t get into too much detail about the debt-to-income ratio or minimum credit history requirements, we do know that the company checks how much debt you have in relation to the income you receive.

In order to qualify for a loan, you must not have any accounts currently in collections or delinquent, or any bankruptcies or public records on your report. You must also have fewer than six inquiries on your credit report in the last six months, not including inquiries related to student loans, vehicle loans or mortgages. You cannot reside in West Virginia or Iowa.

Other qualifications include:

  • Minimum age of 18 (Residents of Alabama and Nebraska must be at least 19.)
  • U.S. citizenry or permanent residency
  • Valid email account
  • Ability to verify name, date of birth, Social Security number
  • Possession of a full-time job, full-time job offer starting within 6 months, a steady part-time job or other source of regular income
  • Possession of a U.S. bank account

While Upstart’s website states that you can borrow between $1,000 and $50,000. However, when you read the fine print, you’ll notice there are a few state-specific minimum loan amounts. The three state limitations are shown below.

  • Georgia: $3,100 minimum
  • Massachusetts: $7,000 minimum
  • New Mexico: $5,100
  • Ohio: $6,000 minimum

Applying for a personal loan from Upstart

Upstart’s personal loan application process is set up to be simple and quick. You’ll start by submitting a rate inquiry on Upstart’s website. Just click on the “Check Your Rate” button in the center of the page. This takes only a few minutes and you’ll answer some basic questions.

If you accept your rate, you’ll be prompted to complete an online application. Here, you may have to provide evidence of your bank account and upload supporting documents, which could include verification of your employment and work experience, academic credentials and credit information.

Once your application is approved, you will be asked to review final disclosures and sign a promissory note.

From there, you can receive your loan funds the following business day if you accept your loan before 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday. If you accept your loan after 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday, you will receive your loan funds two business days later.

Borrowers can set up easy and automatic monthly payments and even pay their loan off early without penalty.

Pros and cons of an Upstart personal loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • Lower fixed rates: Upstart offers loan rates as low as 8.69%, meaning borrowers who qualify for low rates could save money when consolidating credit card debt with a personal loan.
  • Quick access to funds: Borrowers can receive funds in as little as one business day after loan approval.
  • Unique selection process: Upstart considers applicants on a variety of factors including credit score, credit history, employment status, academic history and area of study
  • Soft Pull to check eligibility : Upstart determines eligibility and offers you a loan rate with a Soft Pull.
  • Origination fee: Loan origination fees can be Up to 8.00%. These will be deducted from the loan prior to delivery.
  • Limited repayment term options: While you can choose to pay off your loan early, you can only choose from terms of 36 or 60 months.

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

Upstart is a reasonable solution for those in their 20s or college grads who are having a difficult time obtaining a personal loan elsewhere. The process is convenient and can be solely completed online. Upstart can also be a solid option for borrowers who haven’t developed a strong credit history.

You’ll need a minimum credit score of 600 to meet the credit qualification, but you can also strengthen your application with your employment status, job history and academics. While Upstart’s interest rates are competitive with other peer-to-peer lending companies, other competitors rely heavily on credit to approve applicants while Upstart doesn’t.

Upstart would also be a great option if you’re looking for funding to attend a coding bootcamp, since eligibility requirements are very lenient.

Lastly, if you meet the eligibility requirements and need a loan quickly, you can have funds in your personal account by the next day. If you need funds to help you pay off debt or finance a large purchase, and can comfortably pay back the loan within five years or less, Upstart’s personal loan could also be a good fit.

But if you’re unsure about Upstart, our lender marketplace is a great place to compare lenders, terms and more in one spot.

Upstart consumer reviews

Upstart has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has been accredited since 2015. Among LendingTree reviewers — MagnifyMoney is owned by LendingTree — 76 percent of borrowers recommend Upstart, though most of those recommendations came prior to 2016. While most users noted Upstart customer service’s politeness and courteousness, fewer recent reviewers were happy with loan application outcomes and reported applying for loans unsuccessfully and, as a result, receiving a negative impact on credit reports they were actually trying to improve in applying for debt consolidation loans through Upstart.

A number of reviewers reported experiences of receiving an initial soft offer followed by denial once their credit reports had been pulled. “Now I have another hard inquiry on my credit report and no loan,” noted applicant Ian from Westfield, N.Y. back in March 2018. “For people in the same situation as [I am] who are trying to improve their credit, trying to get out of debt with a credit card consolidation loan, trying to lower [their] monthly payments, this is extremely frustrating!! This made my credit rating worse!”

However, in Upstart’s defense, no soft credit approval with a lender is a guarantee of approval after a hard credit check.

Prior to 2016, LendingTree reviewers routinely provided positive reviews of Upstart, citing its easy application process, speed of approval, and speed of funds delivery. “The application process was very simple,” Tara from Rockville, Md. noted in an August 2015 review. “I received a call to verify my information within the hour on a Sunday and was approved within 15 min after the call. I had money in my account within 2 days. It was the fastest, easiest loan I’ve ever applied for.”

Meanwhile others cited Upstart’s attention to individualized customer service: in an August 2015 review, L.C. from New York City found that the company “cares about your financial situation.”

“Instead of just approving me for a loan,” the review continued, “they talked with me about my situations and options—to ensure that I was making the optimal decision.”

Upstart FAQ

Upstart offers personal loans as well as loans for debt consolidation, student loans, vehicle purchase, 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 will 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, including debt consolidation or to make a large purchase for which you don’t have the funds, such a vehicle, home improvement project or wedding.

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

Upstart offers a 10-day grace period before assessing late fees. If your payment falls outside that 10-day grace period, you may be charged a fee equivalent to 15% 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

APR

10.68%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

Not specified

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

2.00% - 6.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingClub is a great tool for borrowers that can offer competitive interest rates.... Read More

LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lending platform, which means borrowers are paired with and receive funds from individual or institutional investors. Interest rates range from 10.68% to 35.89% APR and you can borrow up to $40,000.

If you have good credit, you may be able to qualify for a lower interest rate that Upstart can’t offer. You can also check your rate without adding a hard inquiry to your credit profile so you can see what you’d qualify for.

Earnest

Earnest is a personal loan lender offering fixed-rate loans starting at 5.99% APR. With Earnest, you can borrow between $5,000 and $75,000 on 36 to 60 month terms. No origination fee with this personal loan also helps make this lender more affordable. Loans are offered throughout the U.S., but not available in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada and Rhode Island.

Similar to Upstart, Earnest considers your employment history, education, and salary when considering you for a loan. You will need a minimum credit score of 680 to qualify but again, a good credit score could qualify you for a lower interest rate that Upstart doesn’t offer.

Peerform

Peerform is another peer to peer lending site that offers personal loans to borrowers with a minimum credit score of 600. 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.

Interest rates 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.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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