Upstart Personal Loans Review

What does this mean for you? On the consumer side, Upstart has been able to offer high-quality personal loans with low rates and fair terms to borrowers with less than perfect credit. Upstart also features mostly five-star reviews from users on TrustPilot, and many of their applicants get their loans funded as soon as the next business day.

APR Range
8.69%–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

Upstart is a unique online lender that was founded by former Google executives in 2012. As the first lending platform to use artificial intelligence to automate the lending process, the company goes the extra mile to offer loans to a wider range of consumers. Since their inception, Upstart has originated $3.2 billion in loans, 60% of which have been automated.

Where most lenders focus on your FICO score when approving you for a personal loan, Upstart uses their advanced technology to look beyond your credit score to quantify risk. Based on their calculations, Upstart believes lenders who use a more intuitive credit model may be able to approve twice as many borrowers without increasing defaults.

 

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.

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

    Upstart Personal Loans: Key Takeaways

    • Upstart personal loans are available in amounts between $1,000 and $50,000.
    • Repay your loan over three or five years.
    • Fixed interest rates are offered between 8.13% and 35.99%.
    • Checking your rate on Upstart will not affect your credit score.
    • These loans come with no prepayment penalty, but you may have to pay an origination fee of up to 8% of your loan amount.
    • You’ll need a minimum credit score of 620 and minimum annual income of $12,000 to qualify.

    Upstart Personal Loans Review

    There are many reasons to consider a personal loan from Upstart, but it all starts with the dynamic way this lender approves consumers for their loan products. Upstart looks at more than just your FICO score to approve you for a loan, including non-conventional variables such as the number of hard inquiries on your credit report, whether you have a college degree, and your earning potential.

    The fact that Upstart looks at a broader number of factors when approving you for a loan can make the process easier if you have only “okay” credit, or any score close to the 620 minimum this company requires. However, it’s important to know that Upstart does require you to have no bankruptcies or delinquent loans. You may also need to submit additional information to qualify if your credit isn’t great, including SAT scores, information on your area of study, or detailed employment information.

    We like the fact Upstart lets you borrow up to $50,000 for debt consolidation, a wedding, a home remodeling project, or nearly any other reason. Since many lenders only offer personal loans in amounts up to $35,000 or less, this can be a huge benefit if your borrowing needs are high.

    Upstart also offers flexible repayment terms with the option to repay your loan over three years or five years. Upstart loans also come with no prepayment penalties and no hidden fees.

    Where Upstart Comes Up Short

    Our main gripe with Upstart is the fact they may charge an origination fee of up to 8% of your loan amount. This fee amount can represent huge costs for the borrower. Plus, paying up to 8% of your loan amount in an origination fee is pretty much unprecedented in the personal loan space. Many of the best personal loans don’t charge an origination fee at all, and even the lenders who do tend to limit them to 5% or 6% of your loan amount.

    Another downside of Upstart is the fact their minimum interest rate starts at 8.13%. That’s considerably higher than some other personal loan companies that offer interest rates as low as 5.99% for borrowers with excellent credit.

    Here’s an example of how your personal loan might look if you borrowed money at one of Upstart’s highest interest rates:

    With this example loan, you’re expected to pay an origination fee of over 5% plus an APR of 29.75%. Over the lifetime of this loan in its present form, you would wind up paying $17,484.45 in interest if you wrapped the origination fee in your loan amount — almost as much as the loan itself.

    Finally, Upstart personal loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. If you live in one of those states, you’ll need to shop for a personal loan with a different lender.

    Who Upstart Personal Loans are Best For

    • Consumers with decent or good credit who can qualify for a loan with the best rates and a low origination fee.
    • Anyone who cannot qualify for a personal loan with no fees.
    • People who need to borrow up to $50,000 for any reason and pay it off in up to five years.

    How to Apply for a Personal Loan from Upstart

    Before you apply for an Upstart personal loan, it’s helpful to know their minimum qualification requirements. To receive a loan, you’ll need to:

    • Have a permanent street address in the U.S. (unless you’re active duty military)
    • Live in a state other than West Virginia or Iowa
    • Be at least 18 years old in most states or at last 19 in Alabama and Nebraska
    • Have a valid email account, name, date of birth, and Social Security number
    • Have verifiable employment or a full-time job offer that starts in six months or less
    • Have a valid U.S. bank account
    • Have a credit score of 620

    Applying for a personal loan from Upstart is easy thanks to their convenient online portal. It all starts with getting “pre-qualified for a loan” through their interface, which you can do after submitting information such as your name, income, employment details, address, phone number, and email address.

    Once you’re pre-qualified, you can decide whether you like the loan terms you were offered. If you do, you can move forward by completing the application with your Social Security number.

    If you’re approved for a personal loan, you may receive instant notification verifying your new loan details. You may also have your loan funded with an automatic deposit in your bank account as soon as the next business day.

    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

    Should You Get a Personal Loan from Upstart?

    If your credit isn’t perfect or you have a thin credit profile, applying for a loan through Upstart can make a lot of sense. This lender will consider more than your credit score when assessing you for approval, which can help you get the money you need even if your credit needs some help.

    However, Upstart may not offer the lowest rates or best loan terms available. If you want to end up with the most affordable personal loan available based on your credit score, it’s crucial to shop around and compare loan rates, terms, and fees. The right loan is out there waiting for you, but you’ll need to do some legwork to find it.

    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.

    Holly Johnson

    Contributing Writer

    Holly Johnson is a frugality expert and award-winning writer who is obsessed with personal finance and getting the most out of life. A lifelong resident of Indiana, she enjoys gardening, reading, and traveling the world with her husband and two children. In addition to The Simple Dollar, Holly writes for well-known publications such as U.S. News & World Report Travel, PolicyGenius, Travel Pulse, and Frugal Travel Guy. Holly also owns Club Thrifty.

    Reviewed by

    • Courtney Mihocik
      Courtney Mihocik
      Editor

      Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in insurance, personal finance, and loans. Previously, she wrote and edited for Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, Ballantyne Magazine, Thread Magazine, The Post, ACRN, The New Political, Columbus Alive and the Institute for International Journalism.