Upstart Personal Loans Review

Like Disney+ streaming Hamilton, Upstart personal loans make it easier and more affordable for more people to enjoy them.

APR Range
8.41%–35.99%
Loan Amount
$1K–$50K
Term
36–60 months
SimpleScore
3.4 / 5.0
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SimpleScore Upstart 3.4
Rates 2
Loan Size 5
Customer Satisfaction 4
Support 3
Fees 3
  • No credit history needed
  • Next-day funding
  • Borrow up to $50,000
  • 0%–8% origination fees
Upstart Disclosure

* The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart Platform will have an APR of 19% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved. ** Estimated savings are calculated based on the credit profiles of all loans originated by Upstart-powered lenders using the Upstart Platform as of April 1, 2019 in which the funds were used for credit card refinancing. Estimated savings are calculated by deriving current credit card APR using minimum monthly payment and 1% of the principal balance. The estimated credit card APR is then compared to the accepted loan to determine median savings per borrower. To evaluate savings on a loan you are considering, it is important to compare your actual APR from your existing debt to the APR offered on the Upstart Platform. More than 303,000 loans have been originated on the Upstart platform as of July 1, 2019. Images are not actual customers, but their stories are real. † If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and in accordance with federal law. ‡ While most of our borrowers opt for automated recurring payment for ease of use, we also accept payments by check or one time electronic payments. Borrowers have the flexibility to choose the repayment method that works best for them. 9 out of 10 Upstart users surveyed internally reported that they would recommend Upstart. †† When you check your rate, we check your credit report. This initial (soft) inquiry will not affect your credit score. If you accept your rate and proceed with your application, we do another (hard) credit inquiry that will impact your credit score. If you take out a loan, repayment information will be reported to the credit bureaus. § Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5,100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100.

Upstart loans rely on more than just your credit score to determine your eligibility. This online lender was founded in 2012 by former Google executives to make loans available to more people through AI. A thorough Upstart loan review reveals a lender willing to work with a variety of borrowers by considering more than just a credit scre. We used our proprietary SimpleScore to rate Upstart based on its APR, loan terms, loan amounts, customer satisfaction and fees.

Check Your Personal Loan Rates

Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. It’s quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

Get Started

with our trusted partners at Bankrate.com

In this article

    What we like about Upstart personal loans

    Accepts people without credit history

    No credit history? No problem. While Upstart requires your credit score to be at least 600, it makes an exception for people who have no previous credit history. If you apply for a personal loan through Upstart, the lender will use alternative data like education and potential earning power to determine your approval, interest rate and loan amount.

    [ Read: The Simple Guide to Building Credit ]

    Fast funding

    You’ll probably apply for a personal loan to pay for a specific expense. You don’t have time to wait for weeks to get your money and make the payment. Upstart understands that — which is why it prioritizes getting your money to you quickly.

    Once you’re approved and accept a loan offer, Upstart will (in most cases) deposit your funds into your bank account on the next business day. Money being used for educational expenses is the exception, though — you’ll receive your funds after three additional business days.

    High maximum loan amounts

    You can borrow up to $50,000 through Upstart loans, giving you even more flexibility to cover expenses like home repairs, moving to a new area or consolidating your credit card debt. Just keep in mind that Upstart’s loan terms are either three years or five years, so only borrow as much as you can reasonably pay back within those terms.

    [ Read: 5 Best Ways to Borrow Money in a Financial Emergency ]

    Things to consider

    High origination fees

    Upstart charges you an origination fee when you take out a personal loan. This fee can be as low as 0% or as high as 8% of the total loan amount — which is pretty high compared to other personal loan options. The fee amount is taken out of your total before it makes it to your bank account, so it’s a good idea to borrow slightly more than you actually need to cover that fee.

    High maximum APR

    If you have either a low credit score or no credit history, you might be stuck with an interest rate as high as 35.99% from Upstart. While not as high as payday loans and other bad credit personal loans, it’s a rate that will significantly increase your monthly payment and the total interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.

    [ Read: What is APR? ]

    Upstart personal vs. the competition

    Upgrade

    Upgrade personal loans offer a similar experience to Upstart with interest rates between 7.99% and 35.97%. Both lenders charge origination fees up to 8% and offer either three or five-year repayment terms. However, Upstart comes out on top if you need to borrow a large amount. Upgrade offers loans up to $35,000, while Upstart allows you to borrow up to $50,000. Read our full Upgrade personal loans review to learn more about this lender.

    Prosper

    SimpleScore: 3.2/5

    Prosper is a peer-to-peer lender that compares well to Upstart for both loan terms and interest rates but takes the cake for lower origination fees — Prosper will never charge you more than 5%. You can borrow up to $40,000 through the platform, depending on your need and credit history. To learn more about its loan offerings, read our Prosper personal loans review.

    Avant 

    SimpleScore: 3.2/5

    Avant doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement — but it states that the average credit score for its customers is 600 to 700. However, it is one of the best personal loans for bad credit out there If you don’t meet Upstart’s eligibility. You’ll find similar terms and rates through Avant — just be prepared for an interest rate near the top of what the lender offers.

    How much will an Upstart personal loan cost?

    Upstart loans interest rates vary, depending on your financial history. The lender uses alternative data to approve more people and potentially lower your interest rate.

    Upstart loan fees include a 0%–8% origination fee and a late payment fee of either $15 or 5% of the late payment, whichever is greater. You’ll also pay $15 for ACH returns and check refunds.

    [ Related: How to Get a Loan With Bad Credit ]

    Cheaper alternatives to Upstart personal loans

    If you have excellent credit, you can find a personal loan with a lower interest rate from other lenders. LightStream tops our list of the best personal loans. A big benefit of LightStream is its no-fee policy. You can even borrow up to $100,000 if you need a larger loan than what Upstart can offer. Read our LightStream personal loans review to learn more about the lending arm of SunTrust/Truist.

    Upstart in the news

    • In June 2020, American Banker reported that Upstart is expanding into the auto loans market. While the lender had previously only issued unsecured personal loans, it will now apply its AI-driven underwriting process to help people secure more affordable car loans.
    • BankingDive ran a story in February 2020 about a Senate letter alleging that Upstart’s underwriting gives worse rates and terms to members of underprivileged communities. The allegation came after the Student Borrower Protection Center published case studies showing that someone who attended Howard University (a historically black university) would receive a higher interest rate than someone who attended NYU, even though both borrowers have identical credit profiles.
    • In January 2020, BankInnovation reported on Upstart’s system for paying off a borrower’s credit card debt directly. Upstart partners with Cross River Bank to fund the loans, giving its borrowers the option to either receive the money themselves or have Upstart pay their credit card company directly.

    Check Your Personal Loan Rates

    Upstart – BRUpstart – BR

    Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. It’s quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

    Get Started

    with our trusted partners at Bankrate.com

    Last updated September 11, 2020 — Updated editorial review of the brand.

    We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the personal loans we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

    Methodology

    SimpleScore

    The SimpleScore is a proprietary scoring metric we use to objectively compare products and services at The Simple Dollar.

    For every review, our editorial team:

    • Identifies five measurable aspects to compare across each brand
    • Determines the rating criteria for each aspect score
    • Averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore

    Here’s a breakdown of the five aspect scores and their rating criteria for our review of the best personal loans of 2020.

    Why do some brands have different SimpleScores on different pages?

    To ensure the SimpleScore is as helpful and accurate as possible, we developed unique criteria for every category we compare at The Simple Dollar. Since most brands offer a variety of financial solutions, their products and services will score differently depending on what we’re scoring on a given page.

    However, it’s also possible for the same product from the same brand to have multiple SimpleScores. For instance, if we compare NetCredit’s personal loans according to our criteria for the best personal loans, it scores a 2.3 out of 5. But when we compare NetCredit according to the criteria for the best bad credit personal loans, it scores considerably higher, since the criteria for the latter review are more lenient (lenders who serve borrowers with bad credit will always offer higher rates, so we needed to adjust our category methodology to account for different industry standards).

    Questions about our methodology?

    Email Hayley Armstrong at hayley@thesimpledollar.com.

    Rates

    We looked at the maximum APR for each lender — the lower their maximum rate, the higher their score.

    Loan Size

    We awarded higher scores to lenders with more generous loan sizes.

    Customer Satisfaction

    We leveraged the J.D. Power 2019 Personal Loan Satisfaction Study℠ to see how customers rated their experience with each lender. (If a lender wasn’t included in J.D. Power’s study, we skipped this aspect and averaged the four remaining aspect scores.)

    Support

    We awarded higher scores to lenders with the most channels for customer support.

    Fees

    We looked at the three most common fees — origination, late payment, and pre-payment — and penalized lenders for each fee charged.

    Trevor Wallis

    Contributing Writer

    Trevor Wallis is a St. Louis-based personal finance writer who teaches people how to achieve freedom through good money practices. He’s written for Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Rewards Credit Cards and Online Loans. When he isn’t writing, he’s roasting specialty coffee and planning new ways to use credit card rewards to explore the world with his wife and newborn son.

    Reviewed by

    • Courtney Mihocik
      Courtney Mihocik
      Loans Editor

      Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in personal loans, student loans, auto loans, and debt consolidation loans. She is a former writer and contributing editor to Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, and elsewhere.