Finimpact

Upstart Personal Loans Review

Upstart is a lending platform that is accessible to borrowers with poor credit. Unlike some other lenders, Upstart doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty. Upstart uses artificial intelligence to help customers access affordable credit, while reducing lending risks and costs for its bank partners.

Upstart Personal Loans Review
upstart review
4.1
Please Vote!
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 600+
Loan Amounts
Loan Amounts $1K-$50K
Est. APR
Loan Repayments 36-60 months
Jason Steele
Written by:Jason Steele
Personal Finance Journalist

Upstart offers loans for credit card consolidation, auto refinance and home improvement, among others. To start the loan pre approval application process for a personal loan, you must have a credit score of at least 600, though you may be able to get a loan with a lower credit score. It can be an accessible option for customers who would not otherwise be able to get a loan.

Summarized Rating

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.

Upstart gets a solid 4.0 for Loan Features. This reflects the loan aggregator’s average term length offering and the absence of any loan use limitations.

Upstart Pros
Accepts borrowers with fair credit
Loans can be funded in one busines day
Borrowers can choose and change payment date
Prequalification with a soft credit check
Ability to choose a custom payment date
Upstart Cons
May charge an orgination fee
Only two repayment term options
No mobile app to manage a loan
No secured or co-signer option

Types of Personal Loans Offered by Upstart

Upstart offers personal loans for a variety of reasons, ranging from debt consolidation to home improvement. There are very few prohibited uses for their personal loans, including some that vary by state.


Common loan uses

Prohibited uses

Credit card consolidation

Illegal activity

Debt consolidation

Purchasing weapons or firearms

Wedding loans

Illegal drugs

Moving loans

Educational purposes for borrowers in California, Illinois, Washington or Washington, D.C.

Medical loans


Home improvement


Paying off (refinancing) student loans


Auto refinance

Upstart Loan Features

Upstart offers multiple loan types, including personal loans for home improvement, debt consolidation and medical bills. Borrowers have access to personal loan terms of either three or five years. Upstart offers fixed-rate personal loans between $1,000 and $50,000. However, there are state-specific minimums in Massachusetts ($7,000), Ohio ($6,000), New Mexico ($5,100) and Georgia ($3,100).


Loan terms

Borrowers have access to personal loan terms of three or five years (36 or 60 months).

Repayment period

No refund on fees or interest for paying off your loan early. No repayment penalties.

Loan amount

Fixed-rate personal loans between $1,000 and $50,000. However, there are state-specific minimums in Massachusetts ($7,000), Ohio ($6,000), New Mexico ($5,100) and Georgia ($3,100).

Loan Use Limitations (i.e. only home improvements or only debt consolidation)

No loan use limitations.

Upstart Interest Rates and Fees

Upstart charges an origination fee of up to eight percent, which is a one-time fee that’s deducted from the loan proceeds before they are delivered to the borrower. Upstart doesn’t charge prepayment penalties but they do charge late payment fees and a fee for insufficient funds. Interest rates vary between 3.09% and 35.99%.


Borrowing/Origination Fees

Upstart charges 0% to 8% origination fee. This is a one-time fee that is deducted from the loan proceeds before they are delivered to the borrower.

Prepayment Fees

Upstart doesn’t charge prepayment penalties for borrowers who wish to pay off their loan early.

Late Payment Fees

Upstart charges a late fee equal to 5% of the past due amount or $15, whichever is greater.

Other fees

There is a $15 charge per occurrence when bank transfers (ACH) or checks are returned or fail due to insufficient funds or for any reason.Upstart also charges borrowers a one-time fee of $10 if they request physical copies of records or withdraw eSign consent.

Interest Rates

Interest rates vary from 3.09% to 35.99%.

Upstart Qualification Requirements

Although borrowers must have a minimum credit score of 600 to qualify for a personal loan from Upstart, they also consider non-conventional variables, like college education, job history and residence. However, some applicants with lower credit scores may be accepted. Upstart also considers the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio, whether the borrower has any bankruptcies or delinquent accounts and the number of credit report inquiries in the last six months (not including any inquiries related to student loans, vehicle loans or mortgages).

Applicants with a lower credit score are often offered a higher interest rate because they can be deemed to be a riskier borrower. Lenders also want to make sure that you have enough income to make loan payments. Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is how much debt you have compared to your gross monthly income. If you have approximately 35% DTI ratio or less, you’re considered a good candidate for a personal loan by most lenders.


Membership Requirement

N/A

Minimum Credit Score

600, but some applicants with lower scores may be accepted

Income Requirements

$12,000

Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio

35% or less

Co-signer/Joint Application Requirements

No accepted

Upstart Application Process

Checking your rate on Upstart will not affect your credit score. When you check your rate, Upstart makes a "soft credit inquiry." Soft credit inquiries on your report do not lower your credit score, but you may see when you view your report that this inquiry was made. If you are offered a loan and proceed with the application, a "hard credit inquiry" will be completed to verify the accuracy of your application. This action will be recorded as an inquiry on your report and it may impact your credit score.

All unsecured personal loans are originated by Upstart-powered bank partners. Unsecured personal loans in Maryland and Nevada are originated by Cross River Bank, Member FDIC. Car refinance loans not available in Iowa, Maryland, Nevada, or West Virginia. Car refinance loans in Illinois and Missouri are originated by Cross River Bank or Midwest BankCentre. Car refinance loans in Colorado, Kansas, and Texas are originated by Cross River Bank or Rising Bank, Member FDIC. Car refinance loans in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama are originated by Cross River Bank or Drummond Bank, Member FDIC. All other car refinance loans are originated by Cross River Bank, Member FDIC.

To begin the application process for a personal loan, enter how much you would like to borrow, between $1,000 and $50,000.

upstart personal loans review
Next, select the loan purpose and provide personal information like:

  • Your name
  • Your birthday
  • Your address
  • Your email address, and your phone number
  • Your highest level of education that you have completed


Then, select your salary type, and answer further information about your financial assets:

  • Information about your savings
  • Loans you have taken in the past three months

upstart personal loans review
Finally, you will need to agree to the terms and conditions in order to check your loan rate.
upstart personal loans review

Upstart Customer Support

Upstart offers a variety of ways to contact customer support, including:

Phone

  • 650-204-1000 (local)
  • 1-855-438-8778 (toll-free)
  • Monday - Sunday 9 am - 8 pm EST

Mail

  • Upstart Operations Dept., P.O. Box 1503, San Carlos, CA 94070

Email

  • support@upstart.com

Online ticketing form

In general, people seem satisfied with the customer support from Upstart. Here is what a few customers said about their experience.

  • “This is the 2nd time I’ve used Upstart. It’s easy, safe and their customer service is top notch. Upstart will always be my first preference when applying for a personal loan.”
  • “Loan application was quick and easy! Had to call support once during the application process to make sure documents I uploaded were received. The phone was answered right away by a representative and they confirmed it within a couple of minutes.”
  • “It’s nice to work with a lender that understands customer service. Upstart made the loan process simple and quick. I’ve actually enjoyed the application and approval process. I feel like I’ve found a partner in Upstart.”

However, there were a few customers who had a mixed experience with customer service.

  • “Customer service is nonexistent! I've had perfect payment history and on automatic payments. One payment (unknown to me) didn't go thru then I seen experian say I missed a payment. I immediately called and tried to make it right and told them I wasn't aware payment didn't go through and if I paid would they remove it from my credit and they said no. Not only that but monthly payments and interest is high. You're better off going through your bank. Read reviews from other review places and you will see I'm not the only person this has happened too. Even tried to show a bank statement showing my payment.”
  • “I had issues accessing the site. So I contacted customer service and they sent me more links to access their site. I sent them screenshots of what it looks like when accessing their account. They went ahead and sent me a link to their website again to read some qna or something. They clearly didn't read my message with the fact that I can't access the site. They just give cut copy answers to clients. They couldn't even be bothered to type out an original email. Either that or they are missing some firing actions upstairs. If you're looking for customer service, go somewhere else.”

Upstart Online Reviews

Overall, reviews of Upstart are mostly positive. Upstart received 97% “excellent” ratings on truspilot.com. People frequently comment on the quick and easy loan approval process. Many were happy with the experience and had no complaints. The negative reviews are mostly related to entering their information and having a hard pull on their credit, only to have been denied for a loan after. Others were offered a loan but were not happy with the terms and rates offered.


The positive reviews are related to

The negative reviews are related to

Quick and easy loan approval process

Hard pull only to get denied for a loan

Good customer service

Some not happy with the rates and terms offered

Upstart Perks and Bonuses

Flexibility:

  • Upstart doesn’t offer discounts.
  • Upstart doesn’t allow for payment deferral or payment skipping optionality during times of hardship.
  • Upstart doesn’t allow for modification of loan terms.

Transparency:

  • Upstart maintains a professional website that is informative, intuitive, and free of misleading advertising and sales gimmicks
  • A February 2020 report from lending watchdog and advocate Student Borrower Protection Center suggests that some recent grads who attended minority-serving colleges may be assigned higher APRs than college graduates from non-minority-serving schools with similar applications. Upstart has denied this, noting that it regularly tests its model for bias and that its model generates higher approval rates at lower APRs for graduates of historically Black colleges and universities.

Technology:

  • Upstart offers the ability to pay online.
  • Upstart does offer autopay optionality, but there is no rate discount for auto payment
  • There is no mobile app to manage a loan.
  • Upstart doesn’t provide loan management tools.Upstart doesn’t provide loan management tools.

Upstart Compared to Other Lenders

There are a few other lender websites that you can compare to Upstart. Loan terms, loan amount, interest rates, minimum credit score and co-signer requirement differ by lender.



Upstart

SoFi

Avant

Upgrade

Loan Terms

3 or 5 years

2 to 7 years

2 to 5 years

2 to 7 years

Loan amount

$1,000 to $50,000

$5,000 to $100,000

$2,000 to $35,000

$1,000 to $50,000

Interest Rates

3.09% to 35.99%

5.74% to 21.78%

9.95% to 35.99%

5.94% to 35.97%

Min Credit Score

600

680

580

580

Co-signer Requirement

Not accepted

Co-applicants allowed but co-signers not allowed

Not accepted

Co-applicants allowed but co-signers not allowed

Final Thoughts

Upstart is a lending platform that is accessible to borrowers with poor credit. Upstart offers loans for credit card consolidation, auto refinance and home improvement, among others. To start the loan pre approval application process for a personal loan, you must have a credit score of at least 600, though you may be able to get a loan with a lower credit score. Unlike some other lenders, Upstart doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty, though they may charge an origination fee. Upstart can be an accessible and quick option for customers looking for a loan.

About the Author

Jason Steele

Jason Steele

Personal Finance Journalist

Jason Steele is one of the nation’s leading personal finance journalists, specializing in credit cards, consumer credit and travel rewards. Since 2008, his work has appeared in over 100 outlets including The Points Guy, Money.com, CreditCards.com, SlickDeals and Business Insider.

More about me