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Upstart personal loans review: Non-traditional underwriting to help fair credit borrowers

This online lender considers multiple factors, including your education and work experience.

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Upstart is among the companies affected by the unexpected shutdown of Silicon Valley Bank on March 10, 2023. The FDIC issued a press release announcing that accounts for companies like Upstart are insured for up to $250,000, with plans to pay dividend payments to depositors of more than $250,000 as the government sells off SVB’s assets. We will edit this review with timely details as information becomes public.

Our verdict

For many borrowers, Upstart's non-traditional underwriting criteria may make it easier to get approved for funding. It's also quick to fund, with most loans paying out within one business day. However, it can be a pricey option for borrowers who barely meet its minimum requirements.

Best for: Borrowers unable to qualify for a cheaper option.

  • Fair credit OK
  • Counts education and career in underwriting process
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Most loans funded within one business day
  • Origination fee up to 10%
  • Only two terms to choose from
  • No mobile app to manage loans


Finder rating

Max. Loan Amount



5.40% to 35.99%

Min. credit score



Upstart personal loans

Learn more and apply on Upstart Personal Loans's secure site

What makes Upstart shine

Upstart’s underwriting process is the most unique benefit of the lending platform. Your credit score can be as low as 300 in most states because Upstart includes other variables when considering your eligibility, including your income, education and employment history.

To qualify, you have to make at least $12,000 per year and have no bankruptcies or account delinquencies on your credit report. But if you’re approved, you can get your funds in as little as one business day.

Where Upstart falls short

The biggest drawback to an Upstart loan is how much it could cost you. If you have excellent credit, you could get rates as low as 5.4%, but the average APR for a five-year loan across Upstart customers is 25.05%. You could end up with no origination fee — or pay up to 10%.

Your qualifications even determine how much of a loan Upstart may offer you, along with your state’s loan limitations. You don’t have to pay a down payment or prepayment penalty, but if you only meet the minimum requirements, your loan could still be expensive.

Upstart is a non-traditional lender

Upstart calls itself a lending marketplace, which is typically a service that provides you with several offers from different lenders and is hands-off after that.

Upstart works with its partner banks and credit unions behind the scenes to fund your loan, providing you with only one offer, and then services the loan once it closes. In that way, it’s more like a lender that gets its funding from outside investors than a traditional lending marketplace.

Upstart loan details

Minimum credit score300
APR5.40% to 35.99%
Loan amounts$1,000 to $50,000
Terms3 or 5 years
Approval turnaroundMost within one business day
AvailabilityAvailable in all states
  • Origination fees: 0% to 10%
  • Prepayment: None
Down paymentNone

How to qualify for Upstart

To qualify for a personal loan from Upstart, you must meet these requirements:

  • Credit score of 300 (although the customer average is 654)
  • Debt-to-income ratio not exceeding 45% to 50%, depending on your state
  • Regular source of income from a full-time or part-time job
  • Personal US bank account
  • No bankruptcies in the past 12 months
  • Fewer than six credit inquiries in last six months

How to apply

Upstart’s application should only take a few minutes. You’ll need to enter basic information about yourself — including your education, current savings and investments, which most lenders don’t ask for.

Next, follow the prompts to have Upstart run a soft credit check. If preapproved, Upstart will provide instructions on how to finalize your loan request. You may also need to provide your college transcript, SAT scores and pay stubs. However, Upstart states that most borrowers won’t need to provide additional documentation when they apply.

If you aren’t approved, you can apply again within 30 days.

How Upstart compares to other lenders

Compare Upstart’s rates, terms and features to other popular personal loan providers.

Upstart personal loans logo

Upstart personal loans


Finder rating 4.15 / 5

Go to site


5.40% to 35.99%

Loan term

3 or 5 years

Loan amount

$1,000 to $50,000

Min. credit score


Best Egg personal loans logo

Best Egg personal loans


Finder rating 3.8 / 5

Go to site


8.99% to 35.99%

Loan term

3 to 5 years

Loan amount

$2,000 to $50,000

Min. credit score


OneMain Financial personal loans logo

OneMain Financial personal loans


Finder rating 3.4 / 5

Go to site


18% to 35.99%

Loan term

24, 36, 48 or 60 months

Loan amount

$1,500 to $20,000

Min. credit score


Upstart reviews and complaints

BBB accredited Yes
BBB rating A+
BBB customer reviews 1.22 out of 5 stars, based on 186 customer reviews
Trustpilot Score 4.9 out of 5 stars, based on 39,821 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 22 December 2022

Upstart has thousands of reviews on Trustpilot, which are overwhelmingly positive. The majority of customers report being happy with the simple application process and the speed at which they received funds. While fewer in number, some customers complain about being denied for a loan after being preapproved and submitting documentation.

Upstart is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and earns an A+ business rating for its handling of customer complaints over the past three years. But it gets poor customer reviews on the site from customers who report billing errors, inaccurate payoff information and high interest rates.

Is Upstart legit?

Upstart is a legitimate online lender: Loans are funded by Cross River Bank, an FDIC-insured New Jersey chartered commercial bank. It uses GoDaddy software to protect your personal information. And it breaks down how it collects and shares your information in its privacy policy.

Along with personal loans, Upstart offers business loans and auto refinance loans.

Always explore your options before deciding and, if possible, compare similar lenders to find the best deal.

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2 Responses

    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

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      HaroldJuly 17, 2017Staff

      Hi Jelene,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      You do have an option to refinance your current home loan. Click on that link to learn more.

      I hope this information has helped.


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