2023 Upstart Auto Loan Review
Upstart auto loans at a glance
|Refinance auto loans|
|Starting APR||Up to 29.99%|
|Loan terms||24 to 84 months|
|Loan amounts||$9,000 to $60,000|
|See Refinance Rates|
Upstart is an online platform that offers auto refinance loans starting at $9,000. Upstart doesn’t charge borrowers any fees and partners with a network of auto refinance lenders. And since Upstart considers a wide variety of factors when considering loan applications, you may still qualify for auto loan refinancing even if you don’t have much experience with credit.
- Limited to refinancing: This lender only provides auto refinance loans, so if you’re looking to finance a new car, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
- High minimum amount: To refinance your current loan, it must fall between $9,000 to $60,000. If your car loan is less than $9,000, you may have to look around for smaller auto refinance loans.
- No fees: Upstart doesn’t charge its auto loan refinancing customers any fees unless your vehicle is repossessed or you make a late payment.
- No option for co-borrowers: This lender doesn’t provide the option for consumers to apply for an auto loan with a co-borrower. If you don’t have great credit, this can make it difficult to qualify for low rates.
- Loans available in most states: Upstart offers auto refinance loans in every state except Maryland.
- Best for borrowers with a thin credit history: While some lenders may require that you have a long credit history, Upstart considers factors other than your score and background, like your education and employment. This can make it easier for those with bad or little credit to qualify for a loan.
Upstart pros and cons
While an Upstart auto loan may be a good fit for some consumers, its downsides may be a deterrent for others.
Doesn’t charge any upfront fees
Loans available in most states
Flexible repayment terms that range from 24 to 84 months
Borrowers with little or bad credit may qualify for a loan
Can’t add a co-borrower to your loan application
Only offers refinancing
High minimum loan amount
No APR discount available for autopay
With Upstart, you won’t have to worry about paying prepayment penalties or an origination fee. This lender also lets you prequalify for a car loan without impacting your credit, which is not a feature all lenders offer. You also may have an easier time qualifying for an Upstart auto loan than you would with other lenders, as Upstart offers more flexibility when it comes to eligibility requirements.
However, one of Upstart’s drawbacks is that it doesn’t originate purchase loans for new or used cars — you can only refinance a current loan with this lender. You also can’t add a co-borrower to your loan application, so you’ll need to be able to qualify on your own. And if you want to refinance a smaller loan, you may have to shop around with other auto lenders or apply for a small personal loan.
A closer look at Upstart auto loans
Upstart is an online marketplace that connects consumers with lenders that may fit their financial needs. The application process is entirely online, which can make it much more convenient for borrowers who don’t want to visit a bank branch.
Unfortunately, Upstart lacks some features that other auto loan lenders offer. Aside from only providing refinance loans, Upstart has a high minimum loan amount and doesn’t offer perks like annual percentage rate (APR) discounts. Further, unlike other lenders, Upstart also doesn’t offer special financing for cars like electric vehicles and Tesla Financing.
Upstart only refinances vehicles that meet the following criteria:
- Car must be 10 years old or less
- Vehicle has a maximum of 140,000 miles
- Current loan has a balance of $9,000 to $60,000
- Your current loan is at least one month old
How to get a loan with Upstart
Because Upstart is an online platform, the application process to get an auto refinance loan is straightforward. Here’s how to refinance your car loan with Upstart:
- Check your credit score: When you check your credit score, you can get an idea of the interest rates and loan terms you may qualify for. The lower your score, the higher your rates may be and you may have trouble qualifying for a larger loan amount.
- Set a budget: Before applying for a loan, it’s important to know how much you can afford to borrow. By using an auto loan calculator, you can estimate your APRs and monthly payments so you can stay within your budget.
- Check if you prequalify: Upstart offers car loan prequalification. This means that Upstart will run a soft credit inquiry to check your credit history without impacting your score.
- Provide required documents: If you decide to move forward with an Upstart loan after being prequalified, you’ll need to provide proof of your identity, income and education. This part of the process can take one to two weeks. You’ll also need to collect the following required documents to verify your information:
- Copy of your vehicle registration
- Proof of insurance
- Co-owner consent form (if necessary)
- Documentation of second claim or second lien resolution
- Close on your loan: Once you verify your information and sign your loan documents, Upstart will repay your original loan and manage the title transfer. This process can take 30 to 60 days.
How Upstart auto loans compare
Even if you believe that an Upstart car loan aligns with your borrowing needs, it’s always smart to shop around and compare lenders. Here’s how Upstart stacks up against a couple of competitors.
Is an Upstart loan right for you?
If you don’t have much credit to your name or your credit score could use some work, an Upstart refinance auto loan may be a good fit for you. However, it may be worthwhile to improve your credit score before applying for a loan as you may qualify for lower rates. This lender may not be a good fit for you if you want a small car loan, live in Maryland or plan to apply with a co-borrower.