Upgrade personal loans review October 2018 | finder.com

Upgrade personal loans review

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

finder.com’s rating: 4.4 / 5.0

★★★★★

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
APR6.99% to 35.97%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Minimum Loan Term3 years
Maximum Loan Term5 years
RequirementsAt 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 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 term — 36 to 60 months — 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 3 to 5 years. Loans are fully amortized with fixed interest rates, so the amount you pay back each month won’t change.

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

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 — though you’ll have to join the waiting list. With a credit line, you may be able to access up to $50,000 at any time after being approved.

Each time you withdraw from your line of credit, the amount you draw turns into a term loan, which you can repay over a 12- to 60-month loan term. Your rate depends on your term, with lower rates going to shorter terms. You can choose a different rate and term each time you make a withdrawal.

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 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.

Compare Upgrade to other personal loan providers

Rates last updated October 16th, 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
Credible Personal Loans
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.
Good to excellent credit
$100,000
4.99%–36% (fixed)
Upgrade Personal Loans*
Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.
620
$50,000
6.99% to 35.97% (fixed)
Even Financial Personal Loans
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
580
$100,000
4.99%–35.99% (fixed)
LendingClub Personal Loan
A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
660
$40,000
6.16% to 35.89% (fixed)
Monevo Personal Loans
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit score.
550
$100,000
3.09%–35.99% (fixed)
Avant
Conveniently check your loan options without affecting your credit score.
580
$35,000
9.95%–35.99% (fixed)
FreedomPlus Personal Loans
Consolidate debt and more with these low-interest loans. Cosigners welcome.
640
$35,000
4.99%–29.99% (fixed)
SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)
No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.
680
$100,000
6.99% to 14.87% (fixed)
Payoff Personal Loans
Pay down your debt with a fixed APR and predictable monthly payments.
640
$35,000
5.99% to 24.99% (fixed)
OneMain Financial Personal and Auto Loans
An established online and in-store lender with quick turnaround times. Poor credit is OK.
Varies
$30,000
16.05%–35.99%* (fixed)
NetCredit Personal Loan
Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
550
$10,000
34%–155% (Varies by state) (fixed)
CashUSA Installment Loans
A connection service for quick cash loans up to $10,000.
Bad credit OK
$10,000
5.99%–35.99% (fixed)

Compare up to 4 providers

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, 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 6% 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 — the money you have left at month end after expenses. You must have at least $1,000 to qualify.
  • 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.
  • Restricted uses. Upgrade restricts its loans from funding postsecondary education costs and personal investments.

What do customers say?

Upgrade has a surprising number of online reviews for such a new lender — and most are glowing. As of July 2018, 232 customers wrote reviews on its Better Business Bureau (BBB) page. Only 20 were negative. Seven customers filed complaints against Upgrade with the BBB.

It does even better on Trustpilot, scoring a 9.6 out of 10 based on over 2,470 reviews. Customers were particularly with how easy it was to get funding fast. Several also mentioned the customer service, calling it “professional” and “nice.” One customer complained that their loan took a while to process because they were using a retired military paystub, which Upstart wasn’t familiar with.

Upgrade gets an A rating from the BBB, which it’s been accredited with since 2017. The BBB bases ratings on factors like time in business and business practices, not customer reviews.

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 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.
    • 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, visit Upgrade by clicking the Go to site button on this page and select the loan amount you’d like to receive along with the purpose of your loan. The select 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 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.

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. You’ll want to compare other providers and loan options to find what works best for your personal finance needs.

Frequently asked questions

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.

Personal loan ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

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.

Read the full methodology of how we rate personal loan providers.

Aliyyah Camp

Aliyyah Camp is a publisher for finder.com helping folks compare personal, student, car and business loans. When she's not helping people with their personal finances, you can find her going for runs outdoors.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    LeslieSeptember 1, 2018

    Can I make a lump sum payment on my upgrade loan

    • finder Customer Care
      AnndySeptember 1, 2018Staff

      Hi Leslie,

      Thanks for your question.

      Yes, you can make a lump sum payment on your Upgrade loan as they don’t charge a fee or penalty for repaying a loan early.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

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