2020 Upgrade Personal Loans Review
Upgrade Review Summary: Upgrade personal loans offer quick decisions and funding, with the whole process taking 2 - 5 business days. They’re also are fairly easy to get, reportedly requiring a credit score of only 620 for approval. Plus, Upgrade loans are available to U.S. citizens as well as permanent residents of the U.S. and immigration-visa holders who have a passport instead of an SSN.
The unfortunate part is that Upgrade personal loans aren’t really ideal for either people with bad credit or people with excellent credit. People with bad credit will have to deal with interest rates as high as 35.97%. And while people with excellent credit can qualify for rates as low as 7.99%, they can get better deals from other lenders. Upgrade’s personal loan APR range starts a bit higher than that of other online lenders because they have an origination fee of 2.9% to 8% of the loan amount built into the APR.
Below, you can see how WalletHub rates Upgrade personal loans in three key categories: Terms, Requirements & Application, and Reviews & Transparency. You’ll also see how they compare to loans from some other popular lenders.
Upgrade Personal Loan Terms
|APRs||7.99% - 35.97%|
|Loan Amount||$1,000 - $35,000|
|Loan Terms||36 or 60 months|
|Origination Fee||2.9% - 8%|
|Late Fee||$10 (after 15-day grace period)|
|Minimum Credit Score||Bad*|
|Minimum Income||Not disclosed|
|Loan Purpose||Debt Consolidation, Refinance, Home Improvement|
|Time to Receive Loan Money||2 - 6 business days|
Upgrade Personal Loan Rates, Fees & Other Terms
Category Rating: 3.3/5
Upgrade personal loan interest rates are fairly standard for an online lender. Their APRs start at 7.99% and go as high as 35.97%. People with excellent credit scores should get rates at the low end of Upgrade’s range, while people with fair-to-bad credit scores should expect rates toward the high end. But much more than just credit scores affect interest rates. Upgrade will look at your income, recent inquiries and more when making a decision. Upgrade’s APRs are fixed, so they will not change over time.
Upgrade personal loans do have an origination fee, which is a one-time fee to process the loan. This fee can range from 2.9% to 8% of the loan amount. But the origination fee is built into your APR, so you don’t have to worry about paying it separately. The 7.99% to 35.97% range already includes the origination fee. Furthermore, Upgrade does not charge a fee for paying off a loan early, but the fee for making a late payment is $10. You only have to pay it if you’re 15 days late, though.
The origination fee on Upstart loans, along with the high maximum APR, are reasons why Upgrade loses some points in this category.
Upgrade Personal Loans Requirements & Application Info
Category Rating: 4.5/5
Upgrade requires a credit score of at least 620 for approval, according to multiple third-party sources, though they don’t openly disclose a requirement themselves. A score of 620 is relatively low, as many lenders tend to require scores of 660 or higher. However, lenders that have lower credit score requirements are more likely to charge origination fees, as Upgrade does. Upgrade doesn’t disclose minimum income requirements, but income will certainly be something they look at during the application process.
To apply for an Upgrade personal loan, you must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or immigration-visa holder. You must also be at least 18 years old and have a U.S. bank account. You can apply with either a Social Security number or a passport.
You can check your potential Upgrade personal loan rates online. Put in the loan amount you want and the purpose of the loan. You’ll then be directed to a screen where you’ll need to fill out a bit more personal information like your address and income. At the end, you’ll be able to see the rates you might qualify for. This pre-qualification process does not affect your credit score, and it also doesn’t guarantee you’ll be approved for a loan.
If you decide to submit an application, you can do so either as an individual or with a co-applicant. You can apply online or by calling Upgrade at (844) 311-0088.
Upgrade scores very well in this category because their loans are very accessible, even to non-citizens and people who need to rely on a co-signer. Plus, potential customers can see what rates and fees to expect before applying.
Upgrade Personal Loans Reviews & Transparency
Category Rating: 3.5/5
- Better Business Bureau: Upgrade has been in business since 2017 and has been accredited by the BBB since 2017 as well. They currently have an A+ rating from the bureau.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: There have only been 20 complaints filed with the CFPB about Upgrade’s personal loans since the company started doing business in 2017. Some of the existing complaints include customers getting denied for a loan after pre-qualification and being charged too much interest for their principal balance. Upgrade consistently responds in a “timely” manner to complaints.
- WalletHub: Upgrade has an average user score of 4.9/5.
- Transparency: Upgrade’s personal loan APRs are openly displayed on their website, though their fees are harder to find. Upgrade does offer customers the ability to get pre-qualified for a loan online and see their potential rates. However, Upgrade could be more transparent about what they require in terms of credit score and income.
Upgrade’s score in this category takes a small hit from their less-than-perfect transparency, despite the company’s good reputation overall.
Upgrade Personal Loans vs. Popular Competitors
Marcus by Goldman Sachs
|APRs||7.99% - 35.97%||6.99% - 19.99%||6.99% - 24.99%|
|Loan Amounts||$1,000 - $35,000||$3,500 - $40,000||$2,500 - $35,000|
|Loan Terms||36 or 60 months||36 - 72 months||36, 48, 60, 72 or 84 months|
|Minimum Credit Score||Bad*||Good*||Fair*|
|Winner||Marcus by Goldman Sachs|
In order to provide the most accurate review of Upgrade personal loans, WalletHub used 17 key metrics grouped into three overall sections: Terms, Requirements & Application, and Reviews & Transparency. We rated each section on a scale of 0 to 5, with 5 being the best, and then averaged the scores of the three sections to produce an overall rating for the loan.
- The “Terms” section includes information about how expensive the loan is, including rates and fees. It also takes into consideration how much consumers can borrow and how quickly they must pay it back.
For companies where APR and fee ranges differ greatly by state, we used data from the most populous state serviced by the company. Terms on Upgrade personal loans do not fluctuate significantly by state, however.
- The “Requirements & Application” section examines how easy it is to apply for a loan and how long it takes to receive the money. It also looks at exactly who is eligible to apply.
- The “Reviews & Transparency” section measures the loan provider’s reputation as well as how clearly the lender discloses its terms and requirements. This takes into account user reviews and information from watchdog organizations.
The average of these three scores reflects how close a loan offer is to WalletHub’s definition of a 5-star loan. For more information, please read WalletHub’s full methodology.
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