Finimpact

Upgrade Personal Loans Review

With Upgrade personal loans, you can get your money fast and choose your repayment term. For borrowers with fair credit, Upgrade is one of the best options for low rates without prepayment penalties. But creditworthy borrowers will find fewer fees elsewhere.

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4.3
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Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score Not disclosed
Loan Amounts
Loan Amount $1K-$50K
Est. APR
Loan Repayment 24 to 84 months
Lindsay Frankel
Written by:Lindsay Frankel
Personal Finance Expert

Upgrade offers personal loans for a variety of purposes, including credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and major purchases. If you get a debt payoff loan from Upgrade, you have the option for Upgrade to pay your creditors directly. Find out everything you need to know about the cost, features, and qualifications for Upgrade personal loans in our Upgrade loans review.

Score Table

This parameter considers loan term lengths, loan minimums and maximums, and the extent of loan use limitations. Each of these features was evaluated using the five-point scoring system. Then, the various scores were aggregated and averaged to establish an overall loan features score.

Upgrade gets a solid 4.0 for Loan Features. This reflects the lender’s flexible term lengths and loan limits and the absence of any loan use limitations.

Upgrade Pros
Funding as soon as the next day
Flexible repayment terms from 24 to 84 months
Direct payment to creditors available
Can be approved with fair credit
No prepayment penalties
Variety of discounts on rates
Select your due date
Excellent customer service reviews
Mobile app management
Low minimum loan amount
Allows co-signers
May offer secured loans
Upgrade Cons
2.9% to 8% origination fee
Late payment fee
High maximum APR
No deferment or unemployment protection program

Types of Personal Loans Offered by Upgrade

Upgrade personal loans can be used to pay off credit card debt, consolidate debt, build or improve on your home or business, or fund a major purchase. You are prohibited from using Upgrade loan proceeds for post-secondary educational expenses, investments, gambling, or illegal activity.


Common loan uses

Prohibited loan uses

  • Credit card refinancing
  • Debt consolidation
  • Home improvement
  • Large purchases
  • Building or growing a business

  • Post-secondary educational expenses
  • Investments
  • Gambling
  • Illegal activities

Upgrade Loan Features

You can borrow as little as $1,000 from Upgrade, which makes Upgrade lending ideal for small loans. Repayment terms range from two to seven years. Your first monthly payment becomes due a month after funding, but you have the flexibility to change your due date after your first payment. Upgrade loans can be used for almost any purpose, but you can’t use an Upgrade loan to pay for your college tuition, books, or supplies. You also can’t invest or gamble with the money or spend it illegally.


Loan terms

24 to 84 months

Repayment period

Begins after one month

Loan amount

$1,000 to $50,000

Loan Use Limitations

Can’t be used for college

Upgrade Interest Rates and Fees

While some lenders don’t charge any fees, Upgrade charges an origination fee up to 8% of the loan amount, a $10 late payment fee, and a $10 return fee for failed payments. The lender offers a few discounts: Published rates include a discount for automatic payments and a discount for direct payment to creditors where applicable, and you can also get up to a 20% reduced APR for being a Rewards Checking customer with Upgrade.

While starting rates are low for creditworthy borrowers, the maximum APR isn’t any better than a credit card. For reference, the average interest rate across credit card accounts is 16.44%, according to the Federal Reserve. Just because you qualify for an Upgrade loan doesn’t mean it will save you money on interest, so be sure to do the math to ensure refinancing will result in savings.


Borrowing/Origination Fees

2.9% to 8%

Prepayment Fees

None

Late Payment Fees

$10

Other fees

$10 return check fee

Interest Rates

5.94% to 35.97%

Upgrade Qualification Requirements

Upgrade doesn’t disclose minimum credit score or income requirements, but reportedly has looser credit requirements than other lenders. Borrowers with fair credit are welcome to apply and can include a joint applicant to increase their chances of being approved. Upgrade may also offer you the opportunity to secure your loan with your vehicle if it would help you get approved. Keep in mind that per Upgrade loan requirements, you must be the age of majority in your state and a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or visa-holder with a verifiable bank account and valid email address to apply.


Membership Requirement

None

Minimum Credit Score

Not disclosed

Income Requirements

Not disclosed

Co-signer/Joint Application Requirements

Joint applications allowed

Upgrade Application Process

The first step is to check your rate with Upgrade. You can prequalify without hurting your credit. Enter how much you’d like to borrow and how you’ll use the funds to get started.
Upgrade Application Process

On the next page, provide the contact information and date of birth for you and your co-applicant (if applicable). Click to continue and then enter your annual income and any additional income.
Upgrade Personal Loans Review

Before seeing estimated rate options, you’ll need to create an account with your email address and a password. You’ll then be asked to provide your social security number for a soft credit pull.
Upgrade Personal Loans Review

If you’re happy with your estimated rate, you can formally apply. Choose the loan amount and term that works best for you and accept the offer. At this point, you may need to upload additional documents such as proof of income, and your formal application will require a hard credit check, which will temporarily cause a small dip in your credit score.

Once you’re approved, sign your loan documents online. Upgrade will send the funds to your bank account within one business day, and you should have access to the funds within four days. Remember that your origination fee will be deducted from the loan proceeds.

Upgrade Customer Support

Upgrade offers seven day customer support. You can reach Upgrade weekdays between 6am and 6pm PT or on weekends between 6am and 5pm PT. Some lenders offer extended hours, so make sure Upgrade’s hours are convenient for you before accepting a loan offer. You can contact Upgrade in one of three ways:

A few customers on Trustpilot had complaints about long wait times when calling customer service or not being able to speak to a supervisor. Some people mentioned having to call multiple times to deal with the same issue because the support team doesn’t track cases. However, most reviews of Upgrade’s customer service were favorable. As one reviewer wrote, “Customer service was great. They helped me navigate the application process. Everyone I talked to was very professional and took the time to explain all the options available. It was great working with them.”

Upgrade Online Reviews

Upgrade received an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from more than 26,000 customers on Trustpilot. On Credit Karma, the lender has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars from more than 4,000 customers. Most positive reviews praised the quick and easy online application process. Some borrowers also mentioned the professional customer support team, and others praised the lender for giving fair credit borrowers a chance.

For example, one customer said: “Upgrade’s use of technology made the process quick and easy. My credit isn’t very strong after some hardship, but I was happy when the pre-approval process prompted me to consider a co-borrower.”

Some customers who left negative reviews accused customer service representatives of being disrespectful, and others complained about a high APR and origination fee. Some people also mentioned errors the customer service team made or delays in funding. But most customers who left one star reviews for Upgrade were upset that they were denied a loan. Still, potential borrowers wondering if Upgrade loans is legit can rest assured it’s a reputable lender.


The positive reviews are related to

The negative reviews are related to

Quick and easy loan approval process

High APR and origination fee

Professional customer service

Customer service errors or delays

Friendly to fair credit borrowers

Denied for a loan

Upgrade Perks and Bonuses

Flexibility

In addition to offering an Autopay discount and a discount for paying your creditors directly, two discounts that are baked into Upgrade’s published rates, you can save money on interest if you’re a Rewards Checking customer. You can save up to 20%, so if your original APR was 35%, the discount would drop your APR to 28%.

If you’re dealing with cash flow issues, you can always change your loan payment due date. And while Upgrade doesn’t have a formal hardship program, the lender is willing to work with borrowers facing all sorts of issues, from unemployment to natural disasters. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, though, and at least one customer reviewer was unhappy with the outcome of requesting relief. Some other lenders will allow you to skip a payment, no questions asked, and others offer loans that include unemployment protection, so Upgrade’s lack of offerings here is a drawback.

Transparency

Upgrade walks you through the application process and clearly states when a hard credit check is required. The lender’s website is informative and clear when explaining the process of applying for a loan, and there’s a comprehensive FAQ section as well. Some customers complain about being pre-approved for a loan and then later denied, but this can happen with any lender.

Technology

You can manage your loan and set up automatic payments with your online account. The lender also has a well-reviewed Android app and iOS app that allow you to manage your payments, check your balance, and even monitor your credit score.

Upgrade Compared to Other Lenders



Upgrade

Marcus

Avant

Best egg

Loan Terms

24 to 84 months

36 to 72 months

24 to 60 months

36 to 60 months

Loan amount

$1,000 to $50,000

$3,500 to $40,000

$2,000 to $35,000

$2,000 to $50,000

Interest Rates

5.94% to 35.97%

6.99% to 19.99%

9.95% to 35.99%

5.99% to 35.99%

Min Credit Score

Not disclosed

660

Not disclosed

640

Co-signer Requirement

Co-signers allowed but not required

No co-signers allowed

No co-signers allowed

No co-signers allowed

Final Thoughts

Upgrade is one of the best options available to fair credit borrowers, particularly because of the lender’s co-signed and secured loan options. You also get your choice of a wide range of repayment terms and can change your due date at any time, which makes Upgrade loans budget-friendly. Upgrade personal loans are an especially good option for existing Upgrade Rewards Checking customers, who are eligible for a significant rate discount. However, borrowers who want flexibility with loan deferment might be better served by another lender, and creditworthy customers can find personal loans with fewer fees elsewhere.

About the Author

Lindsay Frankel

Lindsay Frankel

Personal Finance Expert

Personal finance expert with 3 years experience specializing in researching, writing, and editing insurance, loans, and credit cards content.

More about me