Personal Loans » Personal Loan Lender Reviews » Upgrade Personal Loan Review 2024: Top Things To Consider
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Upgrade Personal Loan Review 2024: 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


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.
Interest Rates Last Update: September 20, 2023
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor


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.
Interest Rates Last Update: November 1, 2023

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

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.


8.49% - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,000 – $50,000


24 - 84 months

Min score


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



8.49% - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,000 – $50,000


24 - 84 months

Min score


Our Verdict

Upgrade personal loans offer individuals access to funds for various financial needs. Whether you're looking to consolidate debt, make home improvements, cover large purchases, or refinance credit cards, Upgrade provides loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 and repayment terms spanning from two to seven years.

Upgrade boasts a streamlined online application process, enabling borrowers to complete the entire loan process from application to funding without visiting physical branches. Upgrade also offers various discounts, such as autopay discounts, to help borrowers save on interest. The minimum credit score required for eligibility is 600
, making it possible for individuals with fair credit to qualify.

However, an origination fee charged on all loans, which can range from 1.85% to 9.99%, impacting the total amount received by borrowers. Additionally, while the lender offers competitive rates, the APRs can still be relatively high, reaching up to 35.99%, particularly for those with lower credit scores.

Upgrade is a financial services company founded in 2017, headquartered in San Francisco, with additional offices in Atlanta, Phoenix, and Montreal. The company offers a range of financial products, including personal loans, Upgrade cards, rewards checking, and credit monitoring services.

Getting Approved for a Upgrade Personal Loan

Before applying for an Upgrade personal loan, it's essential to understand the eligibility criteria and necessary documents to streamline the application process.

  • Credit Score Requirements: A minimum credit score of 600
    is needed to qualify for an Upgrade personal loan. While lower credit scores may still be considered, a higher score increases the likelihood of approval and better loan terms.

  • Income Requirements: There is no specific minimum income requirement disclosed by Upgrade. However, applicants must demonstrate sufficient income to support loan repayment, typically through pay stubs, tax returns, or bank statements.

  • Co-signers and Co-applicants: Upgrade does not accept co-signers for personal loans. However, joint applications are permitted, allowing multiple applicants to combine their credit profiles and income to improve approval chances and obtain better loan terms.

  • Additional Documentation: Applicants may need to provide proof of identity, such as a government-issued ID, proof of residence, and verification of employment. This may include recent pay stubs or tax documents.

By meeting these requirements and providing necessary documentation, applicants can streamline the process of applying for an Upgrade personal loan and increase their chances of approval.

Understanding Upgrade Repayment Options

Understanding the repayment options and potential consequences is crucial when taking out a loan with Upgrade to ensure timely payments and avoid penalties.

  • Payment Options: Upgrade offers multiple payment methods, including automatic payments from a linked bank account, manual online payments through their website or mobile app, and mailed check payments.

  • Missed Payment Consequences: Missing a payment with Upgrade can result in late fees, typically up to $10, and may negatively impact your credit score. Continuous missed payments could lead to additional penalties and collection efforts.

  • Rescheduling Payments: Upgrade does not explicitly offer a rescheduling option for missed payments. However, borrowers can contact customer service to discuss potential solutions or hardship programs if facing difficulties.

  • Changing Payment Dates: Upgrade allows borrowers to adjust their payment dates within a 15-day window before or after the original due date. This flexibility can help align payments with individual cash flow needs.

  • Difficulty Assistance: Borrowers experiencing financial difficulties should contact Upgrade's customer service promptly to explore available options. Upgrade may offer hardship programs, payment extensions, or alternative repayment plans to assist borrowers in managing their loans effectively.

Upgrade Personal Loan Pros & Cons

Like all lenders, Upgrade has its own set of advantages and drawbacks that potential borrowers should consider:

Soft Pull Inquiry
Origination Fee
Free Credit Monitoring
Higher Rates
Joint Applications Allowed
Late Payment Fees
Quick Turnaround Times
No Co-signers Accepted
Mobile App Accessibility
Not Available in All States
No Prepayment Penalty
Multiple Rate Discounts

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.

Borrowers can apply jointly with a co-applicant, increasing approval chances and potentially accessing better loan terms.

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

Upgrade offers a user-friendly mobile app, allowing borrowers to manage their loans conveniently from their smartphones.

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

Upgrade offers discounts for autopay, direct payment to creditors, and rewards checking, potentially lowering the overall cost of the loan for eligible borrowers.

Some borrowers may face high annual percentage rates (APRs) with Upgrade, particularly those with lower credit scores, potentially resulting in higher overall borrowing costs.

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.

Borrowers may incur late payment fees of up to $10 for payments that are more than 15 days overdue.

Unlike some lenders, Upgrade does not allow co-signers on personal loans, potentially making it harder for borrowers with lower credit scores to qualify.

Upgrade does not operate in Iowa, West Virginia, or Washington, D.C., restricting access to residents of these regions.

Upgrade Customer Experience

Customer reviews for Upgrade personal loans are generally positive, with many borrowers praising the straightforward application process and quick access to funds.

The company holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and receives high ratings on platforms like Trustpilot. However, some negative reviews mention issues with long customer service wait times and lengthy loan approval periods.

iOS App Score
Android App Score
Trustpilot Rating
BBB Rating
WalletHub Rating
Contact Options

You can reach Upgrade's customer service team by calling 844-319-3909. They are available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET on weekends.

If you have a complaint about your account or customer service, Upgrade suggests contacting their team at [email protected].

Additional Insights to Keep in Mind

Before applying for a personal loan with Upgrade, it's important to understand additional factors that could impact your borrowing experience:

Upgrade typically disburses funds within one business day after approval. However, the exact time to receive funds may vary depending on individual bank processing times.

If you miss a payment with Upgrade, you may incur a late payment fee of up to $10.

However, Upgrade offers some flexibility for borrowers experiencing difficulties. They allow changes to payment dates within a 15-day window before or after the due date, providing some leeway for managing payments during financial challenges.

Additionally, borrowers can contact Upgrade's customer service team to discuss potential solutions or arrangements for repayment difficulties.

Common Uses of Upgrade Personal Loans

An Upgrade personal loan can be used for various purposes, including:

  • Debt consolidation
  • Credit card refinancing
  • Home improvements
  • Large purchases

However, there are certain purposes that are not allowed for an Upgrade personal loan. These include:

  • Post-secondary education expenses, such as tuition, room and board, and supplies
  • Investments

Upgrade restricts the use of funds for these purposes to ensure responsible borrowing and adherence to legal and ethical standards.

Who Should Consider Applying?

Upgrade personal loans are best suited for individuals who have specific financial needs and preferences. Here are a few types of borrowers who should consider applying:

  • Need Quick Funding Time: Upgrade's funding time is quick, so if you need money urgently – you can get it with Upgrade.

  • Individuals with Fair Credit: Upgrade's minimum credit score requirement of 600
    makes it accessible to borrowers with fair credit, providing them with an opportunity to secure a personal loan and potentially improve their creditworthiness through responsible repayment.

  • Large Purchase Financing: Those in need of funds for significant purchases, such as weddings or adoptions, can leverage Upgrade's loan amounts of up to $50,000 to cover their expenses efficiently.

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.

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

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.
9.57% – 35.99%
5.20% – 35.99%
8.99% – 35.99%
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.
24 – 60 months
36-60 Months
36-60 months
Loan Amount
$1,000 – $40,000
$1,000 – $50,000
$2,000 -$50,000
Minimum Score
Funding Time
Up to 7 days
1-2 Days

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?

Happy Money 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:  Happy Money 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, Happy Money is a financial wellness company that wants its customers to have a positive relationship with money.

Read Full Comparison: Upgrade Vs. Happy Money Vs. Discover: Which Personal Loan Suits You Best?

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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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.