Upstart personal loans review: Non-traditional underwriting to help fair credit borrowers
- Max. Loan Amount
- 6.40% to 35.99%
- Min. credit score
For many borrowers, Upstart's non-traditional underwriting criteria may make it easier to get approved for funding. It's also quick to fund, with most loans paying out within one business day. However, it can be a pricey option for borrowers who barely meet its minimum requirements.
Best for: Borrowers unable to qualify for a cheaper option.
Fair credit OK
Counts education and career in underwriting process
No prepayment penalty
Most loans funded within one business day
Job offer letters may qualify you for a loan
Origination fee up to 12%
Only two terms to choose from
No mobile app to manage loans
Charges late fees
|Min. Loan Amount
|6.40% to 35.99%
|Interest Rate Type
|Min. credit score
|0% to 12%
|2 or 5 years
|1 to 3 business days
|Customer service hours
|6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, Monday through Friday.
Weekends between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PST.
What makes Upstart shine
Upstart’s underwriting process is the most unique benefit of the lending platform. Upstart utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) and considers nontraditional data, such as your education, grades, and job offer letters, when making a lending decision.
This approach may make it easier for some borrowers – including those with a limited credit history or low credit scores – to qualify for a personal loan. Unlike most lenders, it accepts scores as low as 300 in most states, as long as you meet Upstart’s other criteria.
To qualify, you have to make at least $12,000 per year (or have a job offer letter with a start date within six months), and have no bankruptcies or account delinquencies on your credit report. If approved, you can get your funds in as little as one business day.
Where Upstart falls short
The biggest drawback to an Upstart loan is how much it could cost you. If you have excellent credit, you could get rates as low as 6.4%, but the average APR for a five-year loan across Upstart customers is 25.05%. You could end up with no origination fee — or pay up to 12%.
Your qualifications even determine how much of a loan Upstart may offer you, along with your state’s loan limitations. You don’t have to pay a down payment or prepayment penalty, but if you only meet the minimum requirements, your loan could still be expensive.
Upstart is a non-traditional lender
Upstart calls itself a lending marketplace, which is typically a service that provides you with several offers from different lenders and is hands-off after that.
Upstart works with its partner banks and credit unions behind the scenes to fund your loan, providing you with only one offer, and then services the loan once it closes. In that way, it’s more like a lender that gets its funding from outside investors than a traditional lending marketplace.
Upstart loan details
|Minimum credit score
|6.40% to 35.99%
|$1,000 to $50,000
|3 or 5 years
|Most within one business day
|Available in all states
How to qualify for Upstart
To qualify for a personal loan from Upstart, you must meet these requirements:
- Credit score of 300 (although the customer average is 654)
- Debt-to-income ratio not exceeding 45% to 50%, depending on your state
- Regular source of income or a valid job offer letter
- Personal US bank account
- No bankruptcies in the past 12 months
- Fewer than six credit inquiries in last six months
How to apply
Upstart’s application should only take a few minutes. You’ll need to enter basic information about yourself — including information about your education and grades, as well as your current savings and investments – which may differ from what other lenders may ask.
Next, follow the prompts to have Upstart run a soft credit check. If preapproved, Upstart will provide instructions on how to finalize your loan request. You may also need to provide your college transcript, SAT scores and pay stubs. However, Upstart states that most borrowers won’t need to provide additional documentation when they apply.
If you aren’t approved, you can apply again within 30 days.
How Upstart compares to other lenders
Compare Upstart’s rates, terms and features to other popular personal loan providers.
Upstart personal loans
Finder rating 4.2 / 5
6.40% to 35.99%
2 or 5 years
$1,000 to $50,000
Min. credit score
LightStream personal loans
Finder rating 4.8 / 5
7.49% to 25.49%
24 to 144 months
$5,000 to $100,000
Min. credit score
Good to excellent credit
Finder rating 4 / 5
8.49% to 35.99%
2 to 7 years
$1,000 to $50,000
Min. credit score
Upstart reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews
|1.24 out of 5 stars, based on 228 customer reviews
|4.9 out of 5 stars, based on 44,857 customer reviews
|Customer reviews verified as of
|01 January 2024
Upstart has thousands of reviews on Trustpilot, which are overwhelmingly positive. The majority of customers report being happy with the simple application process and the speed at which they received funds. While fewer in number, some customers complain about being denied for a loan after being preapproved and submitting documentation.
Upstart is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and earns an A+ business rating for its handling of customer complaints over the past three years. But it gets poor customer reviews on the site from customers who report billing errors, inaccurate payoff information and high interest rates.
Is Upstart legit?
Along with personal loans, Upstart offers auto refinance loans.
Frequently asked questions
How many Upstart loans can you have?
You can have two Upstart loans at a time. Your first loan must exceed $50,000 in principal and you should have made on-time payments for the past six months.
How long does it take an Upstart loan to deposit?
Funds are sent to the banking institution within 1 day after your origination date.
Does Upstart let you skip a payment?
Upstart allows a 15 day grace period, but if you can’t pay within that period they recommend filling out a hardship assistance request form. As a result, you may receive an alternative payment plan.
What documentation is required to verify my Upstart loan?
When applying for an Upstart loan, you’ll need to verify your income. Documentation can be verified by pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, or other relevant financial records.
What are the minimum credit requirements to receive a loan?
Upstart states it takes applicants who have a minimum credit score of 300, as long as you don’t have any bankruptcies, current delinquent accounts or other disqualifying factors.
Ask a question using your email below.Ask a question
You are about to post a question on finder.com:
- Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
- finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
- We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
- Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked
July 16, 2017
I own my home but with my life estate the house will go to my son. i have a loan that i paid for years and on time.. my son took it over past 6yrs nd recently it went into forecloser. my daughter saved my house but i would like to refinance it i owe 11,000 on the loan but i have 85,000 in equity
Show more Show less