Personal Loans » Personal Loan Lender Reviews » Upgrade Personal Loan Review 2022: Top Things To Consider
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Upgrade Personal Loan Review 2022: Top Things To Consider

Upgrade has dealt with millions of people and prides itself on looking after all needs of its customers. Is it correct? Here's what we think:
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Upgrade looks to enhance the borrowers’ lending experience by providing credit tools and education along with competitive loans.

APR

7.46%-35.97%

Loan Amount

$1,000 – $50,000

Term

24 - 84 months

Min score

620

Upgrade looks to enhance the borrowers’ lending experience by providing credit tools and education along with competitive loans.

UpgradeLogo

APR

7.46%-35.97%

Loan Amount

$1,000 – $50,000

Term

24 - 84 months

Min score

620

If low fixed rates for fair credit borrowers and no prepayment fees are your jam, Upgrade is a good lender to consider. The application process is simple and most borrowers see the money in their bank accounts within 24 hours of approval. In order to be accepted by Upgrade, you must have a credit score of at least 620 . 

Upgrade allows its borrowers to take out loans ranging from $1,000 – $50,000 and they offer free credit monitoring throughout your borrower period. Despite having offices is Phoenix, San Francisco, and Montreal, Upgrade isn’t available in all 50 states. Upgrade also offers a credit card.

The great thing about this company, though, is they offer two different ways to pay off your loan. Borrowers can choose to make single monthly payments or go with a fixed rate 24 - 84 months payoff term.

Despite the mostly positive light this company has, there are a few things to keep in mind. They require higher rates among those with excellent credit, require free cash flow, and they have restrictions for investing. Along with these, Upgrade also charges an origination fee.

  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • Free Credit Monitoring
  • Competitive Interest Rates
  • Quick Turnaround Times and Simple Application Process
  • More than One Loan
  • No Prepayment Penalty
  • Experienced Founders
  • Credit Simulator
  • Credit Education
  • Higher low end rates for those with excellent credit
  • Origination Fee
  • Requires Free Cash Flow
  • More Documentation if Self
  • Not Available in All States
  • Restrictions for Investments
  • Large Amounts on Short Terms
  • No Joint Applicants

In this Review..

Customer Experience

Upgrade's website includes a comprehensive FAQ section as well as a wealth of financial education resources. As you can see, the application process is very efficient. On the website, all fees and rates are fully disclosed. Upgrade has an A- Better Business Bureau rating and a good mobile app.

Upgrade has a deep executive bench with the goal of providing an online lending platform at a lower cost and with a better customer experience than traditional banks. It combines its products with free credit monitoring, including alerts and even providing education about credit on its platform.

Upgrade seeks to help borrowers understand their credit potential and secure cheaper credit, in the long run, using credit monitoring.

Upgrade
iOS App Score
4.8
Android App Score
4.7
Trustpilot Rating
4.7
BBB Rating
B+
WalletHub Rating
3.5
Contact Options
phone/mail
Availability
N/A

Upgrade Loan Pros & Cons

As we know, each lender has its own pros & cons – here are the relevant things we found for potential borrowers:

Upgrade allows for an initial soft pull inquiry so the borrower can get an idea of the options for which they may qualify.

You get a free credit summary report from TransUnion. Upgrade will send you credit alerts for any changes in your credit. This can be used to monitor your credit and as a resource to improve your credit.

Interest rates are competitive for borrowers with fair/good credit histories and strong cash flow.

Upgrade has a quick and simple application process and the loan is usually funded in about 4 days.

The borrower can get multiple loans at a time from Upgrade.

The borrower can pay off their loan early without any fees.

Borrowers may feel uneasy borrowing from a new company but the founders of Upgrade have many years of experience with successful online lending platforms.

This is a useful tool that can show you what actions will affect your credit score.

You can get informative emails and alerts. There are also many different articles about credit on the Upgrade website.

Borrowers with excellent credit can often find lower rates in the marketplace.

Upgrade deducts a one-time origination fee of 1% to 6% of your loan amount directly from your loan funds. This should be considered in the pricing of your loan when you apply.

Upgrade looks at at your free cash flow — the money you have left at the end of the month, after expenses. You must have at least $1,000 to qualify.

Borrowers who are self-employed will need to provide much more documentation than regular wage employees.

Upgrade does not operate in Connecticut, Iowa, Colorado, Maryland, Vermont or West Virgin.

Upgrade loans cannot be used for investments securities.

One great thing about Upgrade is that they offer higher loan amounts than many other one-line lending platforms. But the terms are short and the payments on higher amounts can be expensive.

The application is based on the applicant alone. Upgrade does not allow for joint applicants.

What Can an Upgrade Personal Loan Be Used For?

Upgrade can be used to consolidate debt, build or improve businesses, pay for home improvements or for large purchases. It cannot be used for any post-secondary education expenses, investments, illegal activities, or gambling of any kind.

  • Home Improvement – Upgrade home improvement is for home repairs or projects. The advantage of using an Upgrade home improvement loan is the promptness of receiving the funds. Typically, it takes a month or more to get an equity line of credit on your home.
  • Debt Consolidation – Upgrade debt consolidation takes one or more loans and pays them with the new Upgrade loan. Instead of multiple payments to multiple lenders you can create one payment to one lender. The advantage of a debt consolidation loan with Upgrade is that the payment and term are fixed so you know exactly when you’ll be out of debt.
  • Business – Upgrade allows personal loans to be used for business use. Many other lenders only allow this type of loan to be for personal use. The loan can be used to purchase inventory, payroll, or any other general business needs.
  • Large Purchases – You can use an Upgrade personal loan for large purchases such as appliances, automobiles, recreational vehicles, and medical bills.

How to Apply For Upgrade Personal Loan?

The Upgrade application process only takes a few minutes. 

You will fill out a short form with some basic questions about yourself, including your full name, contact information, date of birth, and income. Create an Upgrade account.

Upgrade Personal Loan

You will need to consent to Credit Profile Authorization, allowing Upgrade to check your credit.

Upgrade Personal Loan

Then Upgrade does a soft pull to see what loan options they have for you. You can get an idea of how much you’ll be paying for before they do a hard pull inquiry on your credit. You may get a notification that the application has been declined. 

If you decide to move forward you will need to answer more verification questions, and allow a hard credit pull. 

 Upgrade Personal Loan

If Upgrade approves your credit application you will need to submit supporting documentation verifying your identity and your income. You will also need to provide verifiable banking information in a valid email address. 

The process is relatively quick in that the average turnaround time for Upgrade is 4 days. Once the information has been verified you will need to sign loan documents.  If you're not sure what do you need to get a personal loan, you can get help from the customer service team.

Upgrade Personal Loan

If you are self-employed, Upgrade has a more rigorous verification process than some other lenders may have. They require 2 years of taxes including K -1’s and bank statements. 

If you are self-employed please review Upgrade’s requirements and how they calculate income.

Upgrade Personal Loan

When Upgrade Shines?

On the bottom line, Upgrade is a lender that has been serving customers for more than 15 years. It has dealt with millions of people over the course of these years. It prides itself on looking after all needs of its customers.

Upgrade personal loan can be a good fit if you:

UpgradeLogo

UpgradeLogo

Upgrade FAQs

Upgrade offers personal loans if you have fair credit or better, with reasonable rates. You can even get a discount on your rate if you sign up for autopay.

The application process is completely online and you can get loan approval and receive your funds in just one day. So, Upgrade is a solid choice if you’re looking for quick funding.

Upgrade does ask for a verifiable bank account to process your loan application. However, this is necessary to receive your loan funds directly into that account when you get approval.

Upgrade does require that you provide details of your income and you will need to verify this information with pay stubs, bank statements or if you’re self employed, your most recent tax returns for the last two years.

Like Upgrade, Upstart aims to process loan applications quickly and can release funds in approximately one business day. Upstart also offers similar loan amounts but is a little less flexible in its requirements, as you need to show that you are in full-time employment or have another source of regular income.

Another point in Upgrade’s favor is that Upstart’s rates start at a lower APR, so if you have decent credit, you will pay more with Upstart. Read more on our Upstart review.

SoFi does offer loans with a higher maximum amount and zero fees. However, this does come at a cost, as you need a higher minimum credit score in order to qualify.

While SoFi does offer some membership perks including referral bonuses, access to an online community and some complimentary services, unless you have a good credit score, you’re likely to find Upgrade a better option. Read more on our SoFi review.

On the surface, Upgrade offers similar services to Marcus and appears to have the edge. You can borrow similar amounts with a similar credit score.

However, Upgrade only offers the option of a loan term of three or five years. Additionally, the APR rates are generally higher. Another reason why Marcus has the edge over Upgrade is that Upgrade is not available throughout the US. Read more on our Marcus review.

Upgrade allows you to borrow more than Best Egg, but the minimum credit score requirement is similar. However, Upgrade is less flexible in regards to loan terms, as there is only the option of three years or five years. Additionally, the APR rates are generally higher than Best Egg.

So, unless you need the larger loan amount, Best Egg is likely to offer better rates and loan terms. Read more on our Best Egg review.

Alternatives For Fair Credit Personal Loan

lendingclub_logo svg

Upstart logo

bestegg_logo svg
APR Range The annual percentage rate (APR) is the total annual cost of borrowing money. This rate includes the interest rate as well as any additional finance charges. When you take out a personal loan, for example, you may be required to pay loan origination fees.
8.30% – 36.00%
5.60% – 35.99%
7.99% – 29.99%
Term The term of your loan is the amount of time you have to repay it. For example, if you get a 24 months personal loan, the loan term is 24 months.
36 – 60 months
36-60 Months
36-60 months
Loan Amount
$1,000 – $40,000
$1,000 – $50,000
$2,000 -$50,000
Minimum Score
600
600
640
Funding Time
Up to 7 days
1-2 Days
N/A

Review Personal Loan Top Lenders

Compare Alternative Lenders

Upgrade has been in operation for over 15 years and has served the needs of millions of customers during that time. It provides its borrowers with a high level of flexibility as well as a wealth of excellent educational resources.

Upstart takes a different approach than most online lenders because it heavily relies on artificial intelligence (AI) in its operations. Upstart accepts people with low credit scores and will quickly disburse your borrowed funds.

Read Full Comparison: Upstart Vs Upgrade: Which Personal Loan Is Best For Your Needs?

Best Egg has been in operation since 2014 and has serviced over 785,000 loans in that time. It accepts low credit scores and secured loans, as well as a wide range of loan sizes. Rocket Loans is a well-known online lender that takes pride in providing customers with quick access to funds.

Finally, Upgrade has served over 500,000 customers and provided borrowings totaling more than $7 billion during its tenure in business. It offers a slew of great benefits, such as quick funding, substantial autopay discounts, and flexible repayment terms.

Read Full Comparison: Best Egg vs Rocketloans vs Upgrade: Which Personal Loan Is Best?

Payoff is a lender that focuses on improving its borrowers' financial knowledge while also providing them with maximum repayment flexibility.

If you need quick access to funds and a variety of loan types, Upgrade is the best option of these three lenders. Finally, if you need a joint loan or have a low credit score, LendingClub is a good option.

Read Full Comparison: Payoff Vs LendingClub Vs Upgrade: Choose The Right Personal Loan

Over the years, Discover has earned a good reputation for not charging origination fees, offering flexible repayment options, and providing quick funding. Upgrade has been in the personal loan business for many years, serving over 500,000 customers and originating $7 billion in loans. It gives you quick access to funds as well as flexible repayment terms.

Finally, Payoff is a financial wellness company that wants its customers to have a positive relationship with money.

Read Full Comparison: Upgrade Vs Payoff Vs Discover: Which Personal Loan Suits You Best?

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Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
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Table of Contents

Loan Reviews Methodology

When it comes to choosing personal, student or car loans, we make sure that we evaluate all of the different products and services that are available for the lender we review. 

The Smart Investor’s selection of loan providers for inclusion here was made based on key areas we evaluated: loan types and loan products offered, fees, and APR. We also considering customer satisfaction and reliable external ratings such as J.D power/Trustpilot.

Cutting fees is now table stakes in the personal and student loans market. In addition, the most valuable loan products tend to offer a deep bench of options that meet a wide array of customer needs. These include a diverse range of loan amounts and terms, as well as loan structures. We also make sure that you’re going to save money by cutting down on the APR that goes along with the loans offered.