2023 Upgrade Personal Loan Review
Upgrade is a lending platform that offers personal loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. Personal loans are issued by Upgrade’s lending partners.
- Quick funding: Once a borrower signs their loan agreement, Upgrade can provide loan funds within one business day.
- Rate discount: Upgrade customers can qualify for an interest rate discount if they sign up for autopay and choose to use their loan funds to directly pay off old debt.
- Low minimum credit score: Upgrade only has a minimum credit score requirement of 580, which may make it a good fit for borrowers with low credit scores.
- High origination fee: Upgrade charges customers a 1.85% - 9.99% origination fee that is taken out of the total loan amount. Its maximum fee is higher than what some competitors charge, and some lenders don’t charge this fee at all.
- Offers joint applications: If you want to qualify for a lower annual percentage rate (APR) with Upgrade, you can submit a joint application.
- Flexible repayment terms: While many personal loan lenders offer repayment terms up to 60 months, Upgrade customers can qualify for terms of 24 to 84 months.
- Best for consolidating high-interest debt: If you have debts with high interest rates — such as a payday loan — you may be able to qualify for lower rates with an Upgrade debt consolidation loan. Upgrade can also pay off your old creditors directly.
Upgrade pros and cons
When considering Upgrade for your personal loan needs, there are several benefits and downsides you should consider before signing on the dotted line.
Flexible repayment term durations
Directly pays off former creditors
Charges an origination fee
High maximum APR (35.99%)
Charges late fees
Many lenders only offer repayment term durations up to 60 months, but Upgrade borrowers can choose repayment terms of 24 to 84 months. This lender also provides its lowest rates to those who sign up for automatic payments and allow Upgrade to directly repay their current creditors.
On the other hand, Upgrade charges late penalties and origination fees. Upgrade’s maximum origination fee is 1.85% - 9.99%, which is higher than what many other lenders charge. Upgrade also has a high maximum APR (35.99%), though it’s still considered to fall within what consumer advocates consider to be affordable (under 36%).
To qualify for an Upgrade personal loan, you’ll need to meet the following requirements.
|Minimum credit score||580|
|Other requirements|| |
If you meet the basic requirements listed above, you may need to disclose how you plan to use your personal loan. While Upgrade does allow borrowers to use loan proceeds for a variety of purposes, there are certain expenses you cannot put the money toward.
|Upgrade loans CAN be used for…||Upgrade loans CANNOT be used for…|
Refinancing credit cards
If Upgrade’s loan options won’t work for your borrowing needs, be sure to shop around for a lender that helps you meet your financial goals and can offer you the best-fitting rates, terms and amounts.
How to get a loan with Upgrade
To get a loan with Upgrade, you’ll have to go through the personal loan application process on their website.
Prequalify for a personal loan
When filling out an Upgrade loan application, you’ll first have to choose whether to submit an individual or joint application. You’ll then provide your personal information: your address, birth date and annual income.
At this point, Upgrade will run a soft credit check, which will not impact your credit score. This is also referred to as prequalifying for a personal loan.
Verify your information
If you prequalify, you’ll then need to verify the information you provided in your application. Specifically, Upgrade may want to see a government-issued form of ID, as well as recent pay stubs and W-2s. This information can give the lender insight as to whether you can afford a new personal loan.
Accept your loan offer
After you verify your information and are approved, you’ll need to sign a loan contract to accept the offer. Once you’ve accepted the loan offer, Upgrade will run another soft-credit inquiry and can often send your funds within one business day.
After your loan is funded, Upgrade will run a hard credit inquiry which can cause your credit score to drop by a few points. It’s standard practice for personal loan lenders to perform hard credit inquiries to determine a borrower’s creditworthiness.
If Upgrade doesn’t approve you for a personal loan, it may be time to work on improving your odds. Increasing your credit score and disputing any errors on your credit report can take time, so you may need to be patient during this process.
How Upgrade compares to other personal loan companies
Even if you believe Upgrade aligns with what you’re looking for in a personal loan, it never hurts to shop around and compare other lenders. Here’s how Upgrade stacks up against similar personal loan lenders.
|LendingTree’s rating||4.6/5||4.3/5 (Read review)||4.2/5 (Read review)|
|Minimum credit score||580||600||300|
|APRs||8.49% to 35.99%||8.99% to 35.99%||6.40% to 35.99%|
|Loan amount||$1,000 to $50,000||$2,000 to $50,000||$1,000 to $50,000|
|Repayment term||24 to 84 months||36 to 60 months||36 and 60 months|
|Origination fee||1.85% - 9.99%||0.99% - 8.99%||0.00% - 12.00%|
|Funding timeline||Receive funds as soon as one business day||Receive funds within one to three business days||Receive funds as soon as one business day|
|Bottom line||Of the three, Upgrade has the most flexible loan terms. You may also receive your funds quicker than with Best Egg and receive a lower origination fee than with Upstart.||Best Egg may take longer to provide funding than Upgrade. It also has less flexible loan amounts and terms. Both, however, have similar minimum credit scores.||Upstart shares many similarities with Upgrade; however, it does have a higher maximum origination fee and less flexible repayment term options.|
How we rated Upgrade
To come up with our star rating for personal loan companies, LendingTree considered 22 data points across three categories:
- Accessibility: We paid attention to whether lenders offered loans to nontraditional borrowers, as well as those without excellent credit scores. We also checked if lenders offered soft credit pulls, and whether they were transparent about eligibility criteria other than credit scores.
- Rates and terms: We wanted to know if lender rates, terms, amounts and fees were not only transparent, but also competitive.
- Repayment experience: We based this category on lenders’ reputations, customer support availability and unique benefits.
The data points reflect every step of the process to shop and apply for, borrow and repay personal loans. A five-star lender, for instance, has flexible eligibility requirements, offers you the chance to prequalify without commitment and supports you in zeroing your balance.
The 22 data points, culled from the lenders themselves, determine the overall rating. We score lenders consistently, sometimes awarding partial points, so that you can make apples-to-apples comparisons when shopping around.
LendingTree isn’t paid for conducting these reviews, and lenders don’t have control over their content. With our reviews and ratings, we aim to give our users the objective and exhaustive information they need to make the best possible decisions.