Upstart personal loan review December 2018 |

Upstart personal loan review

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This lender looks beyond your credit so you find a personal loan based on your experience and education.’s rating: 4.2 / 5.0


Founded in 2012 by former Google employees, Upstart is a peer-to-peer lending company that looks at more than just credit score to determine if you qualify for a loan. But while you can borrow a large amount without firmly established credit, you’ll still want to keep an eye out for fees, which can quickly increase the cost of your loan.
Product NameUpstart Personal Loans
Min Loan Amount$1,000
Max. Loan Amount$50,000
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Minimum Loan Term3 years
Maximum Loan Term5 years
RequirementsMust have good to excellent credit and be at least 18 and a US citizen or permanent resident.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen currently living in the U.S., or a permanent resident currently living in the U.S.
  • Must not be residing in West Virginia.
  • Must be at least 18 years old (applicants from Alabama and Nebraska must be at least 19 years old).
  • Must have a valid email account;
  • Must have a verifiable name, date of birth and social security number.
  • Have a regular source of income.
  • Have a personal banking account at a U.S. financial institution with a routing transit number.
  • Must meet their minimum credit requirements.

How does borrowing from Upstart work?

Since Upstart caters to recent college graduates, factors like GPA, SAT score, work history and the college you attended can impact your loan decision. But don’t worry: a college degree isn’t required to qualify for a personal loan.

Because Upstart is a peer-to-peer lender, you can quickly apply online for a personal loan of up to $50,000. Loan terms last between three to five years. Depending on your credit history and application, your APR may be high.

According to Upstart, its average applicant is a college graduate, makes around $93,206 a year and has a FICO credit score of 689, and the average personal loan lasts three years and has an APR of 17% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed.

What are the benefits of an Upstart personal loan?

  • Unique approval process. Upstart’s application process focuses on factors like work history, GPA, and sometimes SAT scores. Your overall profile will be given a grade, which then determines how much you can borrow and your interest rate.
  • Multiple payment options. You can make your payments biweekly or monthly, and there’s no penalty if you choose to pay before the due date every month. And if you run into financial trouble, you can work with Upstart to find a new payment plan.
  • No check fee. Unlike many of its competitors, Upstart does not charge a fee for check payments.
  • Fast turnaround. Because a percentage of its loan approval process is automated, you may hear back right away. For most loans, you’ll get a decision by the next business day. For education-related loans, you’ll hear a decision within three business days.
  • Online dashboard. The online dashboard lets you make changes to your payment schedule make extra repayments. You can also use it to change recurring payment amounts, change scheduled payment dates and cancel scheduled payments.
  • Good customer support. You can contact the Upstart customer service team via email, online chat or over the phone.

What to look out for

  • Late fees. Upstart charges a late fee of $15 or 5% of the unpaid amount, whichever is greater.
  • Origination fee. An origination fee of 0% to 8% of your total loan is deducted from your funds before you receive them.
  • Nonsufficient funds fee. If your payment check bounces, you’ll be charged $15 per returned check.
  • Low debt-to-income ratio required. Upstart accepts a max debt-to-income ratio of 18%, while most lenders allow up to 30%.
  • May take time to process. Most Upstart customers claim to walk away happy, but some complain that Upstart can take several weeks to make a decision on an application status.

How does Upstart compare to other online lenders?

Rates last updated December 19th, 2018

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How much will I pay for a personal loan through Upstart?

How much you pay will depend on how much you borrow. Depending on your state, you may have to meet a higher minimum amount, like $6,000 in Ohio or $7,000 in Massachusetts. It’s important to completely read the terms of a loan contract before agreeing to it. Doing so will help avoid any surprising fees down the road, and guarantee you know exactly what you will be paying every month.

Upstart charges a 0% to 8% of the loan amount as an origination fee. Late fees are either $15 or 5% of the late payment amount.

When you’re repaying your loan, keep in mind that you can make early repayments without incurring any fees or penalties.

Is Upstart legit?

Yes, Upstart is a legitimate lending platform. Although Upstart is available in almost every state as well as Washington, DC, the specific loan terms and fees will vary by your state of residence.

As of November 2018, Upstart gets a 9.9/10 Trustpilot rating based on over 1,700 reviews.

Is it safe to apply with Upstart?

Yes. BBB accredited since 2015, Upstart has an A+ rating. Upstart employs several protocols to make sure your information and money is safe online.

  • FDIC insured. Loans are funded by Cross River Bank, an FDIC-insured New Jersey–chartered commercial bank.
  • Site encryption. Upstart encrypts personal and banking information on its website so no information is exposed, even if compromised by an outsider.

How to apply for a personal loan with Upstart

To apply for an Upstart personal loan, you’ll need to meet a few eligibility requirements.

  • Have a FICO credit score of at least 620.
  • Must not be a resident of West Virginia.
  • Have a regular source of income or an offer of employment that starts within 180 days.
  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident.
  • Meet your state’s minimum age requirement.

During the application process, you’ll need to provide:

  • Your full name and contact information.
  • Proof of a government-issued ID, like a driver’s license or passport.
  • Your Social Security number and date of birth.
  • Your employment status and income.
  • Your bank account details.

You may also need to provide your college transcript, SAT scores and employment pay stubs.

The story of Upstart

In 2012, Dave Girouard left his job as President of Enterprise at Alphabet Inc. to found Upstart with a team of former Google employees. He decided to build a platform that would forego the traditional means of evaluating credit by considering things like education and location.

As you might expect, Upstart has placed a strong emphasis on creating technology to streamline the application process and employs more data scientists than underwriters. It’s a constant work in progress because its software is constantly learning from customer’s behaviors. But this means that over one-third of Upstart loans get instant approval.

Bottom line

Upstart loans could be particularly useful to a borrower who has higher education a history of repaying debt on time but can’t seem to get top rates elsewhere. It’s also hard to beat when it comes to speed. But rates and terms for Upstart loans can vary greatly, and though it boasts fast approval, you still aren’t guaranteed a loan. You should always read up on your options before making a decision.

Frequently asked questions

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Aliyyah Camp

Aliyyah Camp is a publisher for 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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Credible Personal Loans

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Even Financial Personal Loans

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LendingClub Personal Loan

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SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)

No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JeleneJuly 16, 2017

    I own my home but with my life estate the house will go to my son. i have a loan that i paid for years and on time.. my son took it over past 6yrs nd recently it went into forecloser. my daughter saved my house but i would like to refinance it i owe 11,000 on the loan but i have 85,000 in equity

    • finder Customer Care
      HaroldJuly 17, 2017Staff

      Hi Jelene,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Should you need to refinance your current home loan you may be interested on this options.

      I hope this information has helped.


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