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
Bottom line: Upgrade is a quick choice for borrowers who haven’t been able to qualify with a bank. But it still has relatively strict criteria — and high rates — when compared to similar online lenders.
- Funding can be available within a day of clearing verification
- Access to free credit monitoring
- Coapplicants accepted
- Hardship program allows you to defer two payments
- Available in most states
- Only two loan term options: 36 or 60 months
- High origination fee of 2.9% to 8%
- Must have at least $1,000 left over after monthly expenses
- Low maximum loan amount of $50,000
Upgrade rates, fees and terms
Upgrade personal loans come with rates that range from 5.94% to 35.97%. This includes an origination fee of 2.9% to 8%, which Upgrade deducts from your loan before you receive the funds. It doesn’t include Upgrade’s $10 late fee for payments made 15 days after the due date.
You can borrow $1,000 to $50,000 with a term of either 3 to 5 years. You can use our calculator to estimate your repayments.
Monthly repayments calculator
Calculate how much you could expect to pay each month
|Loan terms (in years)|
Upgrade line of credit
Upgrade unveiled a new personal line of credit in April 2018. Credit limits can be as high as $25,000 — although most borrowers only qualify for $20,000 — 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 29.99% — depending on the amount and term, which will last anywhere from 3 to 5 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. And when you make a purchase, Upgrade offers 1.5% cash back.
How Upgrade compares to other lenders
To see more options, select your credit score and state, then click Show me my personalized options.
Upgrade reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews||4.76 out of 5 stars, based on 930 customer reviews|
|Trustpilot Score||4.7 out of 5 stars, based on 7,406 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||09 November 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.
How to qualify
To qualify for an Upgrade personal loan, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:
- Credit score of at least 600
- Monthly budget of $1,000 after bills
- 40% or lower debt-to-income (DTI) ratio
- Valid bank account
If you only meet Upgrade’s minimum requirements, you can expect to qualify for a smaller loan with rates and fees on the higher end. 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 6.94% rate or $50,000 loan. Other factors can also affect what type of loan you qualify for — like being self-employed.
How the application works
Upgrade’s online application only requires a few minutes to complete. You’ll just need to provide your address, date of birth and annual income to check your rate — although in some cases, Upgrade may ask for your Social Security number to confirm your identity.
However, once you check your rate, you could be asked for additional documentation. This include a copy of your driver’s license or other government-issued ID, recent pay stubs and recent bank statements. Turnaround takes up to five days, so check your email and account frequently for updates on your approval status.
If you accept your loan, Upgrade automatically enrolls you in autopay, but you can change it in your account settings.
What sets it apart
Upgrade may have more limited loan options than other online lenders, but it’s upfront about its costs and the loan process. It also offers tools to monitor your credit score through Upgrade’s Credit Health program. If you sign up, Upgrade will send you weekly updates and alerts when it detects any potential activity that points to identity theft.
Is Upgrade legit?
Yes, Upgrade is a legit online lender. It funds its loans through Cross River Bank and Blue River Bank, which are both FDIC-insured. Its website is protected by McAfee security software, and it offers multiple easy-to-read privacy policies to help you understand how it uses your personal information.
Frequently asked questions
Personal loan ratings
We analyze top personal loan providers and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: rates and fees, customer reviews, loan amounts, loan processing and borrower experience.
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.