Upgrade personal loans review
Quick funding from a lender that emphasizes cashflow over credit — but look out for relatively high fees.
finder.com’s rating: 3.98 / 5.0
- Best for getting a personal loan quickly.
- Pick something else if you don't want to pay a high origination fee.
Max. Loan Amount
7.99% to 35.97%
Min. Credit Score
|Product Name||Upgrade personal loans|
|Min. Loan Amount||$1,000|
|Max. Loan Amount||$35,000|
|APR||7.99% to 35.97%|
|Interest Rate Type||Fixed|
|Min. Credit Score||600|
|Origination Fee||2.9% to 8%|
|Loan Term||3 to 5 years|
|Turnaround Time||Up to 5 business days|
Aliyyah Camp is a writer and personal finance blogger who helps readers compare personal, student, car and business loans. Aliyyah earned a BA in communication from the University of Pennsylvania and is based in New York, where she enjoys movies and running outdoors.
Upgrade has been a pioneer in online lending — it often says that you can apply in the time it takes to walk to your car after being rejected by a bank. While it considers your credit score, it puts an emphasis on other data like your monthly cash flow when processing your application.
But its rates and fees clock in higher than many other similar online lenders. And its alternative underwriting criteria can make it more difficult to qualify if you’re self-employed.
How much will this loan cost me?
Upgrade personal loans come with rates that range from 7.99% to 35.97% APR. This includes an origination fee of 2.9% to 8%, which Upgrade deducts from your loan before you receive the funds.
You can borrow between $1,000 and $35,000 with a term of either three or five years. Use the calculator below to find out how an Upgrade loan might cost you.
Monthly repayments calculatorCalculate how much you could expect to pay each month
|Loan terms (in years)|
How it works
For most personal loans, you need to have a high credit score of around 760 and well over $1,000 in income after bills each month to qualify for a 7.99% rate or $35,000 loan. Other factors can also affect what type of loan you qualify for — like being self-employed.
If you just meet Upgrade’s minimum requirements, you can expect to qualify for a smaller loan with rates and fees on the higher end.
What do I need to qualify?
To qualify for an Upgrade personal loan, you’ll need to meet the following requirements at a minimum:
- US citizen or permanent resident with a valid visa
- At least 18 years old
- Valid bank account
- Valid email address
- Minimum credit score of 600
- Monthly free cash flow of $1,000
- Maximum debt-to-income ratio of 40% — excluding mortgages
What information do I need to apply?
Have the following information and documents on hand before applying:
- Government-issued ID, such as driver’s license or passport
- Recent pay stubs
- Recent bank statements
Pros and cons
Upgrade might offer a more streamlined application than your local bank. But consider the drawbacks before you apply.
- Could get funds within a day of clearing verifications**
- Get preapproved without affecting your credit
- Hardship program allows you to defer two payments
- Get access to free credit monitoring
- Only two loan term options: three or five years
- High origination fee of 2.9% to 8%
- Must have at least $1,000 left over after monthly expenses
- Stricter criteria for self-employed applicants
What states are Upgrade personal loans available in?
Upgrade works with residents of all states except:
- Washington D.C.
- West Virginia
See other personal loan options
Upgrade line of credit
Upgrade unveiled a new personal line of credit in April 2018. Credit limits can be as high as $50,000 and you won’t pay any origination fees.
Each time you draw from your line of credit, you may be eligible for a different rate — between 6.49% to 35.89% — depending on the amount and term, which will last anywhere from one to five years. You’ll only pay interest on the amount you borrow, and since an Upgrade line of credit is unsecured, you won’t have to provide any collateral to borrow.
Is Upgrade legit?
Yes, Upgrade is a legitimate online lender. It funds its loans through Cross River Bank and Blue River Bank, which are both insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This means that they are required to meet certain federal regulations.
It protects its website with McAfee security software. And it offers multiple easy-to-read privacy policies to help borrowers understand what it does with your personal information.
Upgrade reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews||4.8 out of 5 stars, based on 928 customer reviews|
|Trustpilot score||4.7 out of 5 stars, based on 7,098 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||19 October 2020|
Overall, borrowers seem happy with the fast application process and Upgrade’s helpful customer service team. However, a few customers complain that Upgrade did a less-than-stellar job of informing them of payment due dates and policies.
Upgrade user reviews
How do I apply?
You can apply for an Upgrade personal loan online by following these steps:
- Click the Go to site button on this page to visit Upgrade’s application.
- Enter your desired loan amount and select the purpose of your loan. Click Check your rate.
- Enter information about yourself, including your income and date of birth.
- Provide your email and choose a password to create an account.
What happens after I apply?
After you submit your application, Upgrade assesses your information. If you’re eligible for a loan, you’ll see the rates you qualify for. At this point, you’ll provide supporting documentation to verify your personal and financial information.
If you’re self-employed, it’ll likely be harder to qualify for a loan with Upgrade. Be prepared to provide the following information when you apply:
- Two years of tax returns. Include all pages and the forms that came with it, such as Schedule K-1, Schedule C, Form 1099 or any other relevant tax form. Upgrade might request a transcript of your tax returns or ask for more documentation.
- Most recent bank statement. Provide a bank statement from the account that best reflects your personal income — it could be your personal or your business account.
- Annualized income. Calculate your annual income by adding up your income for the current year, dividing that number by the number of months that have already passed this year and then multiplying it by 12. Then, compare it to last year’s income. If last year’s income is more, use an average of the two years on your application. If last year’s is less, use this year’s income.
How do repayments work with Upgrade?
Upgrade automatically enrolls borrowers in autopay — though you can change that by logging into your online account. But make sure you make them on time. You’ll pay a $10 late fee if Upgrade doesn’t get a repayment within 15 days of the due date. After 31 days, Upgrade reports it to credit bureaus.
If your due date doesn’t work with your pay schedule, Upgrade allows you to change your repayment date or make a partial payment.
Upgrade’s Credit Health helps you stay on top of your score
Upgrade’s Credit Health is a free way to monitor your score and get personalized advice on how to improve. You can use it to make sure your credit score can help you qualify — or after you’ve taken out the loan. If you sign up, it’ll also send you alerts when it detects any potential activity that points to identity theft.
Frequently asked questions
**Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent electronically to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.
Personal loan ratings
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★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
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