Upgrade personal loans review February 2018 | finder.com

Upgrade personal loans review

New to the online lending industry, this lender’s making a name for itself on loans of up to $50,000.

Personal loans can be helpful when you’re interested in consolidating high interest credit card debt, need extra cash for a big project or to cover a life milestone. This unrestricted funding can help you reach your renovation or consolidation dreams for financial security.

Marketing itself as the “affordable personal loan,” Upgrade is just one among your personal loan options looking to make your life simpler.

Product NameUpgrade Personal Loans*
Min Loan Amount$1,000
Max. Loan Amount$50,000
Min APR From 5.66%
Minimum Loan Term3 years
Maximum Loan Term5 years
RequirementsMust be a US citizen or permanent resident, 18 or older, with a verifiable bank account and email address. Applicants must not reside in CT, CO, IA, MA, MD, VT, and WV.
  • You are a US citizen or permanent resident with a valid visa.
  • You are at least 18 years old.
  • You have a valid bank account.
  • You have a valid email address.
  • You have a minimum credit score of 620.
  • You have monthly free cash flow of $1,000.
  • You have a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 40% (excluding mortgages).

*Loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 5.66%-35.97%. All loans have a 1% to 6% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. For example, a $10,000 loan with a 36 month term and a 18.61% APR (which includes a 6% origination fee) has a required monthly payment of $342.70. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC.

What makes Upgrade personal loans unique?

Upgrade is an online lending marketplace founded by Renaud Laplanche and Soul Htite, who are also the founders of LendingClub. It allows applicants to apply for a loan, get their application assessed and receive funds delivered online — free from the time-intensive and overwhelming application processes used by traditional lenders.

Upgrade offers flexible lending options by letting you select the loan type, amount and timeline (36 or 60 month terms) that you qualify for. This gives you more control over the borrowing process and allows you to shape your loan to fit your individual needs and monthly budget.

With an Upgrade loan, you’ll also get access to your free credit score and tools to help you understand credit health and ways you can improve it so you can unlock your full credit potential.

What are Upgrade personal loans?

Upgrade offers unsecured personal loans of up to $50,000 with terms of either 36 months or 60 months. Loans are fully amortized with fixed interest rates, so the amount you pay back each month won’t ever change.

You can use an Upgrade personal loans to consolidate debt, purchase business inventory, improve your home or make a large purchase. Upgrade loans cannot be used for postsecondary education costs, investments, gambling or illegal activities.

Upgrade doesn’t offer loans to residents of Connecticut, Iowa, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont or West Virginia.

What are the benefits of an Upgrade personal loan?

  • Speedy access to funds. Money is sent to your bank account within a day of clearing any verifications.**
  • No prepayment fees. Pay off your Upgrade personal loan early without worrying about prepayment fees or penalties.
  • Flexible loan options. Borrow any amount from $1,000 to $50,000, selecting the loan amount that fits your personal financing needs.
  • Two term options. Upgrade offers its borrowers both 3 year and 5 year fixed loan terms.
  • Get access to free credit monitoring. Upgrade offers alerts and features to help you understand your credit.

What to watch out for

While Upgrade boasts a number of benefits for its borrowers, you’ll want to be wary of several potential pitfalls.

  • Not available in all states. If you live in Connecticut, Iowa, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont or West Virginia, you’ll have to find a different loan provider.
  • Origination fee. Upgrade deducts a one-time processing fee of 1% to 5% of your loan amount directly from your loan funds, ultimately leaving you with less capital.
  • Requires free cash flow. Upgrade doesn’t just look at your credit score or income when assessing your loan application. It also examines your free cash flow — or the money you have left at month end after expenses. You must have at least $1,000 in free cash flow monthly for approval.
  • Harder to qualify if self-employed. You may want to look for another lender if you work for yourself. With Upgrade, you’ll have to supply more documentation and meet strict eligibility requirements to get a loan.
  • Restricted uses. Upgrade restricts its loans from funding postsecondary education costs and personal investments.

Compare Upgrade to other personal loan providers

Rates last updated February 22nd, 2018

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Unfortunately, none of the personal loan providers offer loans for that credit score. If you are in urgent need of a small loan, you might want to consider a short term loan.
Name Product Product Description Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
Even Financial Personal Loans
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
From 4.99% (fixed)
LendingClub Personal Loan
A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
From 5.99% (fixed)
CompareFirst Personal Loans
An easy-to-use loan connection service geared toward introducing first-time borrowers to affordable personal loans.
From 2.99% (fixed)
Upgrade Personal Loans*
From 5.66% (fixed)
Laurel Road Personal Loans
Get a personal loan with no application or origination fees and a rate discount for autopay.
From 5.5% (fixed)
FreedomPlus Personal Loans
Consolidate debt and more with these low-interest loans. Cosigners welcome.
From 4.99% (fixed)
Best Egg Personal Loans
From 5.99% (fixed)
Borrow only what you need for debt consolidation, home improvements and more — with APRs based on overall creditworthiness.
From 5.99% (fixed)
LendingPoint Personal Loans
Get a personal loan with reasonable rates even if you have a fair credit score in the 600s.
From 15.49% (fixed)
NetCredit Personal Loan
Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
From 34% (fixed)

Compare up to 4 providers

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for a loan with Upgrade, you’ll must meet the following criteria:

  • You are a US citizen or permanent resident with a valid visa.
  • You are at least 18 years old.
  • You have a valid bank account.
  • You have a valid email address.
  • You have a minimum credit score of 620.
  • You have monthly free cash flow of $1,000.
  • You have a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 40% (excluding mortgages).

Self-employed applicants

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.
  • Your 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.
  • Your annualized income. Calculate your annualized 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 less, use an average of the two years on your application. If it’s more, use this year’s income.
    • Example: Last year, Lauren made $55,000. By June of this year, she made $35,000. To figure out her annualized income, she divided 35,000 by six and multiplied the answer by 12 to get $70,000.Since this year’s annualized income was greater than last year’s total income, she averaged the two and got $62,500, which is what she wrote on her Upgrade application.

How do I apply?

  1. To get started with your loan application, go to Upgrade’s site and select the loan amount you’d like to receive along with the purpose of your loan. Click Check Your Rate.
    Upgrade apply image, step one.
  2. Enter your basic personal information, including your full name, personal contact information, date of birth and annual income. Next, create an account with Upgrade by entering your email address and selecting a password. Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, check the box that indicates you agree to the loan terms and click Check Your Rate.
    Upgrade apply image, step two.
  3. 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.

I got the Upgrade personal loan. Now what?

Here are a few tips to get the most out of your Upgrade loan repayment:

  • Know your payment schedule. Your first loan payment is due one month after Upgrade deposits loan funds into your account. Payments are due on the same day each month.
  • Select a payment method. Your first payment will be an automatic ACH deduction from the bank account you used to apply for the loan. To change your payment method, log in to your online account and select Manage Payments.
  • Avoid late fees. You’ll pay a $10 late fee if your monthly loan payment isn’t received within 15 calendar days of your payment due date. To avoid unnecessary fees and penalties, look into autopay.
  • Keep a pulse on your Credit Health. As an Upgrade customer, you get an added bonus to access Upgrade’s Credit Health — free credit score and credit monitoring along with other resources and tools at no-cost.

Bottom line

An Upgrade personal loan offers access to flexible rates and terms, and it won’t penalize you for paying off your loan early. However, good credit is required, and a monthly free cash flow requirement could hinder some borrowers.

Compare other providers and loan options to find what works best for your personal finance needs.

Frequently asked questions about Upgrade personal loans

Important Information
**Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.
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