Borrow up to $50,000 with this up-and-coming lender.
finder.com’s rating: 4.4 / 5.0
Marketing itself as the “affordable personal loan,” Upgrade offers large personal loans and lines of credit to borrowers with fair credit. But with a strict minimum income requirement and high origination fee, you’ll want to make sure you qualify for a loan before you apply.
|Product Name||Upgrade Personal Loans*|
|Min. Loan Amount||$1,000|
|Max. Loan Amount||$50,000|
|APR||7.99% to 35.89%|
|Interest Rate Type||Fixed|
|Minimum Loan Term||3 years|
|Maximum Loan Term||5 years|
|Requirements||At least 18 years old, US citizen or permanent resident, verifiable bank account, valid email address|
- 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).
What makes Upgrade personal loans unique?
Upgrade is an online lending marketplace with flexible loan options that allow you to customize your loan amount and term. This gives you more control over the borrowing process and allows you to shape your loan to fit your individual needs and monthly budget. And when you borrow, you’ll receive free updates on your credit score alongside tools to help you understand how credit plays a role in your finances.
What are Upgrade personal loans?
Upgrade offers unsecured personal loans between $1,000 and $50,000. Interest rates are fixed over the life of your loan so your monthly repayments won’t change, making it that much easier to budget ahead.
The application process is completely online, and if you’re approved, your loan funds will be transfered to your bank account within a few business days. And while there aren’t many restrictions on how you use your loan funds, keep in mind that you won’t be able to use your loan to fund your college expenses.
Upgrade doesn’t offer loans to residents of Connecticut, Iowa, Colorado, Maryland, Vermont or West Virginia.
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 12 to 60 months. 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.
What are the benefits of an Upgrade personal loan?
Upgrade offers quite a few benefits to its borrowers, including:
- Quick turnaround. Your loan funds may be sent to your bank account within a day of clearing verifications.**
- Apply without affecting your credit. Upgrade performs a soft pull of your credit when you apply for preapproval. This won’t impact your credit, but if you choose to pursue a loan, a hard pull may lower your score slightly.
- Hardship program available. If your financial situation has recently gotten worse — for instance, you’ve lost your job — you may qualify for Upgrade’s hardship program. This gives you the chance to defer two payments, but is typically only available as a last resort.
- Get access to free credit monitoring. Upgrade offers free credit monitoring, email alerts and educational resources to help you learn more about your credit.
- Available in the majority of states. Upgrade is available in 44 states. But if you live in Connecticut, Iowa, Colorado, Maryland, Vermont or West Virginia, you’ll have to find a different loan provider.
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:
- Only two term options. Upgrade offers its borrowers terms of either 3 years or 5 years. If you need more time to repay or want more flexibility, you may want to consider another lender.
- High origination fee. When you borrow, Upgrade will deduct a one-time origination fee of 1.5% to 6% of your loan amount directly from your loan funds.
- Requires free cash flow. Upgrade requires you to have at least $1,000 in free cash flow — the money you have left at month end after expenses.
- Self employment isn’t favored. 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.
Compare Upgrade to other personal loan providers
What do borrowers have to say about Upgrade personal loans?
Upgrade is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A+ rating. Nearly 600 borrowers have left positive reviews for Upgrade, and there have only been 24 complaints filed against it as of June 2019. Borrowers are happy with the speed of the loan process and the good customer service, but there are a few complaints that state Upgrade did a less-than-stellar job of informing them of payment due dates and policies.
Borrowers are also quite happy on Trustpilot, rating Upgrade with a score of 9.5 out of 10. Over 4,000 reviews rate it at five stars, and many people were particularly with how easy it was to get funding. Several also mentioned the customer service, calling it “professional” and “excellent.”
Am I eligible?
To be eligible for a loan with Upgrade, you’ll must meet the following criteria:
- Monthly free cash flow of $1,000
- Maximum debt-to-income ratio of 40% (excluding mortgages)
- Minimum credit score of 620
- Valid bank account
- Valid email address
- US citizen or permanent resident
- At least 18 years old
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 less, use an average of the two years on your application. If it’s more, use this year’s income.
How do I apply?
- 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. Then click Check Your Rate.
- Enter information about yourself, including your income and date of birth, then enter your email and password to create an account.
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.
Step-by-step application process with screenshots
I got the Upgrade personal loan. Now what?
Once you have your loan funds, you can use it fo
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, but if you run into trouble, Upgrade allows you to change your repayment date or make a partial payment.
- 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. And if your loan payment is more than 31 days past due, it will be reported on your credit. To avoid unnecessary fees and penalties, look into autopay.
- Keep an eye 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.
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 the monthly free cash flow requirement could hinder some borrowers. You’ll want to compare other providers and loan options, including personal loan providers like Upgrade, to find what works best for your personal finance needs.
Frequently asked questions
**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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