Personal Loans » Personal Loan Lender Reviews » Upstart Personal Loan Review 2022: Here’s What To know Before Apply
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Upstart Personal Loan Review 2022: Here’s What To know Before Apply

Upstart has a unique process for assessing risk of their borrowers and approving loans. Read our review - how do they work, what are the requirements, application process timing and pros & cons.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

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: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

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.

Upstart is best for borrowers who have just started their careers and do not have a long credit history or strong income.

Typical APR

5.60% - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

Term

36-60 Months

Min score

600

Upstart is best for borrowers who have just started their careers and do not have a long credit history or strong income.

Typical APR

5.60% - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

Term

36-60 Months

Min score

600

Upstart is different from its competitors in that it uses an AI system to screen for credit rather than the typical FICO score ratings. They were the first company to receive a No-Action Letter from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is meant to reassure consumers that Upstart practices are completely safe.

The quick turnaround times and modest income requirements make this lending option a popular choice among many. Upstart doesn’t charge a processing fee and borrowers aren’t penalized for making prepayments either. They also offer quick turnaround times and use soft pulls for all applicant inquiries. 

Despite these clear benefits, Upstart may make some hesitate because they’re a newer company and don’t have much reputability. They may charge higher interest rates than other companies and they don’t allow joint borrowers either.

  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • Modest Income
  • Quick Turnaround Times
  • No Prepayment Penalty
  • No Processing Fee
  • Higher low end rates for those with excellent credit
  • Origination Fee
  • No Joint Borrowers
  • High Interest Rates
  • New Company

When and how will I receive the funds from my Upstart loan?

If you accept your loan before 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, you should receive your loan proceeds the following business day. If your application is accepted after 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, you should receive your loan proceeds two business days later.

There is an additional three business days between when you accept your loan and when you receive the funds for loans used for educational purposes.

Is it possible to cosign with Upstart?

You cannot apply for a loan with a cosigner through Upstart. Because this is a personal loan, Upstart claims they can only consider your personal information.

What happens if I miss a payment on my Upstart loan?

If we do not receive your payment by the monthly due date, we will contact you to remind you. You have 15 days from the due date of your payment before any fees are assessed. If you make a monthly payment after the grace period has expired, you may be charged a late fee of 5% of the unpaid amount or $15, whichever is greater.

Please keep in mind that Upstart reports your account's status on each due date. We may exercise all of the remedies available to us under applicable law or the Promissory note in the event of an Event of Default.

How can I get in touch with Upstart?

There are 2 ways to get in touch with Upstart:

  1. Sending a message via our contact form or calling 650-204-1000 (local) or 1-855-438-8778 (toll-free) between 6AM and 5PM PST.
  2. Sending a message to [email protected]

Best Rate Guarantee – $200 giftcard if you find and close with a better rate elsewhere (terms apply)

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In this Review..

Customer Experience

When you visit the website, you will quickly learn about the benefits associated with the AI aspects of the Upstart offering. You have several ways to contact the support team, and you can do so every day of the week. 

The Upstart mobile app currently does not function in a way that allows you to manage the various aspects of your loan. Upstart has a A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Upstart
iOS App Score
No App
Android App Score
No App
TrustPilot Rating
4.9
BBB Rating
B+
Contact Options
phone/mail
Availability
6 am – 5 pm (PT)

Upstart Benefits and Drawbacks

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

Upstart allows for an initial soft pull inquiry online so the borrower can get an idea of the options for which they may qualify. A soft pull does not affect your credit.

Upstart is good for borrowers who may not have long credit histories. Most lenders prefer to lend to borrowers with long credit histories because they are considered less risky.

Many personal unsecured providers have higher average incomes than Upstart borrowers. So borrowers that have lower or modest incomes have a good chance of getting approval through Upstart.

Upstart has a quick process and an easy application. Many borrowers are approved with money in their account by the end of the next business day. Unlike other enders, Upstart will approve the loan without waiting for investors to invest or fund the loan.

You can customize your repayments. You can choose a payment due date and schedule your payments every other week, or monthly. Upstart will work with borrowers who fall behind on payments.

Upstart does not have a prepayment penalty

Many personal loan providers charge for processing a check, Upstart does not

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

Upstart deducts a one-time origination fee of 0% to 8% of your loan amount directly from your loan funds. Upstart has one of the highest origination fees when compared with other lenders. This should be considered in the pricing of your loan when you apply.

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

Upstart has higher interest rates for borrowers with good credit. The best places to get a loan have lower rates for borrowers with excellent credit.

Upstart is a new company that does not have a long track record of success.

What Can an Upstart Personal Loan Be Used For?

Upstart loans can be used for many different things. They do not provide upfront much information about what their loans can be used for, but they do provide a short list of items. 

For example, Upstart can be used to refinance credit cards, other debts, and even student loans. Many providers do not allow their personal loans to be used for refinancing student loans or for post-secondary education, but Upstart allows for both.

Upstart loans can be used to pay for personal expenses. The items listed on Upstart include paying bills including rent and medical bills, home improvement costs, moving costs, taxes, vacations or wedding expenses. 

They can also be used to buy a car or for other large purchases. Upstart loans can also be used to expand or start a business.

How to Apply For Upstart Personal Loan?

The Upstart application process only takes a few minutes. In the first step, you should set your requested loan amount and choose loan purpose.

Upstart Personal Loan

You will fill out a short form with some basic questions about yourself, including your full name, contact information, date of birth, employment status, education, how much you have in savings, income, and preferred form of repayment.  

Upstart Personal Loan

This form is for a soft pull, meaning the credit inquiry will not affect your credit.  If you're not sure how to apply for the loan, consult with Upstart customer service team.

Upstart Personal Loan

You will get to see what your rate would be if approved. You will need to review the terms and conditions to make sure there are no mistakes.

Upstart Personal Loan

Then if you want to move forward, you may need to provide some verification of items stated on the application such as your picture ID, social security card, bank statements, pay stubs, copy of college transcripts or diploma, or tax returns. 

Upstart Personal Loan

Upstart FAQs

Upstart is included on our top lenders for fair credit, while it allows you to borrow for a variety of purposes. You’ll need to meet a minimum credit score and other requirements to qualify for a loan.

Upstart interest rates range is reasonable, particularly if you have a fair or good credit score, and you can expect to receive your funds approximately one day after the application approval. 

Upstart needs to verify your income to approve any loan application. By providing your financial account details, you do give Upstart authority to retrieve information maintained online by your bank, including your transaction history.

While this may seem intrusive, it does allow for quicker processing, so you can get your loan approved as quickly as possible.

Like Upgrade personal loan, 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.

Like Upstart, Citibank personal loan offers similar maximum amount loans and can offer more attractive rates. However, in order to access a Citibank personal loan, you need to be an existing customer and have an established relationship.

It is this relationship that allows Citibank to assess risk and therefore can offer a lower rate. Unfortunately, unless you have the time to open an account and create a positive history with Citibank, Upstart is likely to be a better option.

While Best Egg personal loan does have a solid reputation in the online lending industry, you can only borrow a lower maximum. The typical rates are slightly lower.

Like Upstart, you will need at least fair credit to qualify. You can use your loan for credit card refinancing, consolidating debt or for a large purchase. However, the application process is slightly longer than Upstart. Best Egg typically requires up to three days to process an application and approve a loan.

Upstart does allow personal loans for various purposes with a reasonable credit score. However, you must be in full-time employment or have another source of regular income to qualify. 

Another advantage Upstart has over Payoff is that you can expect to receive your funds as quickly as one day after approval, although there is a three-business-day hold for educational loans. Payoff's main advantage is its accessibility for debt consolidation borrowers.

So, unless you are looking to consolidate, Upstart is likely to be the better option for you.

Upstart has a higher borrowing limit compared to Discover personal loan. You can also use the loan for a variety of purposes. Another key difference is the rates, which are far higher compared to Discover.

Upstart requires a credit score of at least 600, so it is easier to qualify for a loan, but you do need to demonstrate that you have a regular income or are in full time employment.

Upstart can also deliver approval and your funds within one day. So, if you are in need of a quick loan and don’t have a great credit rating, Upstart is likely to be the better choice.

Compare Alternative Lenders

sofi logo
Rocket Loans
Marcus logo
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.
7.99% – 23.43% (with discounts)
8.41%-29.99%
6.99% – 24.99%
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.
24-84 months
36-60 months
36-72 months
Loan Amount
$5,000 – $100,000
$2,000 -$45,000
$3,500 – $40,000
Minimum Score
680
640
660 (FICO)
Funding Time
Up to 7 days
As soon as same day
1 to 4 days

Review Lenders

Compare Alternative Lenders

Figure and SoFi primarily serve people with good credit, whereas Upstart will serve people with poor or no credit. When it comes to providing quick access to funds, Upstart will be faster, while Figure and SoFi will offer autopay discounts.

Read Full Comparison: FIGURE vs Upstart Vs SoFi: Which Personal Loan Is Best?

Avant is best suited for people with bad credit, whereas Upstart offers small loans and quick funding. Finally, FreedomPlus is appropriate if you require a large loan or a joint loan. When compared to one another, each of these lenders has advantages and disadvantages.

Read Full Comparison: Freedom Vs Upstart Vs Avant: Choose The Right Personal Loan

Both of these lenders make it possible for people with bad credit to obtain a personal loan. OneMain's offering is a little more limited, with loans that are relatively smaller in size but with more flexible repayment term lengths.

Read Full Comparison: OneMain Vs Upstart: Compare Personal Loan Providers

Each of these three lenders shares and differs in some ways. In general, Upstart is the best option for people who need a small loan or who may not be able to obtain a FICO score. Rocket Loans is a viable option if you need quick access to borrowed funds, whereas Prosper allows you to get a joint loan and caters to people with fair credit.

Read Full Comparison: Rocketloans Vs Prosper Vs Upstart: Which Personal Loan Is Best?

Upstart is one of the more notable online lenders because it employs artificial intelligence (AI) to guide the process of evaluating applications. As a result of this system, it frequently deals with people who have relatively low credit scores, or even those who do not yet have a credit score.

Best Egg is an online lender that has received numerous awards in recent years for its service, which includes quick approvals and competitive rates. Marcus, a Goldman Sachs offering, is one of the most reputable online lenders you will come across. It promises no-fee personal loans as well as a variety of loan types.

Read Full Comparison: Upstart vs Best Egg vs Marcus: Compare Personal Loan Lenders

Upstart and Payoff both cater to people with low credit scores and offer flexible repayment terms.

Upstart is better suited for people who want a smaller loan amount or who do not yet have a credit score. If you want to keep your fees as low as possible, payoff is the way to go.

Read Full Comparison: Upstart Vs Payoff: Which Personal Loan Is Better?

Upstart is a one-of-a-kind proposition because it employs an artificial intelligence (AI)-based system rather than relying solely on FICO scores. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has determined that it is a reputable lender. Upstart is a good option for people who do not have a long credit history and who need funds quickly.

SoFi has been in business since 2011, and in that time it has served over 2.5 million people and funded loans totaling more than $50 million. It is regarded as one of the best in the industry and an excellent choice for those with excellent credit.

Read Full Comparison: Upstart Vs SoFi: Which Personal Loan Is Best?

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?

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Disclosure

Loan amounts – 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 $5100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100


APRs, Loan term – 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 25.79% and 36
monthly payments of $37 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..

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann's areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
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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.