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Upstart personal loans review

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

finder.com’s rating: 4.1 / 5.0

★★★★★

Bottom line: For many borrowers, Upstart’s nontraditional underwriting criteria may make it easier to get approved for funding. However, it can be a pricey option for borrowers who just meet its minimum requirements.

Details

Min. Loan Amount$1,000
Max. Loan Amount$50,000
APR5.4% to 35.99%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Min. Credit ScoreNone
Origination Fee0% to 10%
Loan Term3 or 5 years
Turnaround Time1 to 3 business days
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Pros and cons

  • 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

Our take on Upstart

Upstart personal loans are best for fair credit borrowers and those new to the job market who are looking for competitive rates, the ability to submit alternative data and a quick turnaround. Depending on your employment situation and finances, you might be able to get your funds as soon as one business day after approval.

Unlike other lenders, Upstart is willing to consider alternative factors like your education and employment when determining your eligibility and interest rate. This means if you’re still building up your credit history or starting a new job, you might have a better chance with Upstart than with some lenders.

But you’ll need to watch out for steep origination fees, which go as high as 10%. If you have good to excellent credit, you can often avoid paying these fees. For example, lenders like Sofi and LightStream don’t charge origination fees, but you need to have a credit score of 680 or higher to qualify.

Upstart rates, fees and terms

Upstart personal loans come with rates that range from 5.4% to 35.99%. There's also an origination fee between 0% to 10%, which Upstart deducts from your loan before sending it to your bank account.

Upstart also charges a late payment fee of $15 or 5% of the amount due and a return check fee of $15. These won’t impact your APR, but they will add to the cost of your loan if you’re unable to make your repayment.

You can borrow between $1,000 and $50,000 with a choice of a 3 or 5 years term. However, the exact amount you can borrow depends on the state you live in. For example, loans start at $3,100 Georgia, $5,100 in New Mexico, $6,000 in Ohio and $7,000 in Massachusetts. Factors like your level of education, career path, credit score and debt-to-income ratio can also affect your loan.

Our calculator can help you estimate your monthly repayment with Upstart.

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Upstart’s average personal loan

  • Lasts three years.
  • Has an APR of 25.16%.
  • Has monthly payments of about $37 per $1,000 borrowed.

Its average applicant

  • Is a college graduate.
  • Earns approximately $93,206 a year.
  • Has a credit score of 654.

How Upstart compares to other lenders

To see lenders like Upstart, select your credit score and state. Then choose Show me my personalized options.

1 – 8 of 8
Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Loan Amount
Credible personal loans
3.99% to 35.99%
Fair to excellent credit
$600 to $100,000
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose an offer from a selection of top online lenders.
Best Egg personal loans
5.99% to 35.99%
600
$2,000 to $50,000
A prime online lending platform with multiple repayment methods.
Upstart personal loans
5.4% to 35.99%
None
$1,000 to $50,000
This service looks beyond your credit score to get you a competitive-rate personal loan.
Upgrade personal loans
5.94% to 35.97%
600
$1,000 to $50,000
Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.
LendingPoint personal loans
7.99% to 35.99%
585
$2,000 to $36,500
Get a personal loan with reasonable rates even if you have a fair credit score in the 600s.
SoFi personal loans
6.99 to 22.23%
680
$5,000 to $100,000
A highly-rated lender with competitive rates, high loan amounts and no fees.
LendingClub personal loans
6.34% to 35.89%
600
$1,000 to $40,000
A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
Monevo personal loans
1.99% to 35.99%
None
$500 to $100,000
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
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Upstart reviews and complaints

BBB accreditedYes
BBB ratingA+
BBB customer reviews1.26 out of 5 stars, based on 159 customer reviews
BBB customer complaints263
J.D. Power rankingRanked #6 in JD Power 2021 customer satisfaction
Trustpilot score4.9 out of 5 stars, based on 35,457 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of23 June 2022

Upstart has thousands of reviews on Trustpilot, which are overwhelmingly positive. The majority of customers report being happy with a simply application process and the speed at which they received funds. While less in number, some customers complain about not being approved 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 how it's handled its 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.

How to qualify

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

  • Credit score of 300 (although the average is 654)
  • A debt-to-income ratio not exceeding 45% to 50% depending on the state
  • A regular source of income from a full-time job
  • Personal US bank account
  • No bankruptcies in the past 12 months
  • Fewer than six credit inquiries in last six months
  • Not a resident of Iowa or West Virginia

How the application works

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, select Agree and Check Your Rate 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 submit an application.

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

Case study: Rhys’ experience

Rhys Subitch
Writer/Editor

Upstart was my first venture into personal loans. I was in a pinch and needed to get funds to pay the remainder of my taxes before April 15 rolled around. After applying online and being accepted on the evening of April 9, the funds hit my account two days later.

Keeping up on payments has been easy enough so far using Upstart’s autopay feature. The clean dashboard makes it easy to see how much I’ve paid off, how much is left and where I can edit my recurring payments.

As easy as it’s been to manage the loan, I’m looking forward to paying it off early — especially since I won’t have to pay any extra fees.

How legit is Upstart?

Upstart is a legit 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.

But watch out for scams. Upstart reported to the BBB that its name was being used in a scam, where borrowers were asked to pay an upfront fee, buy insurance and provide gift cards before getting a loan. If you get an email claiming to be from Upstart, contact customer service before you apply.

Always read up on your options before making a decision, and if possible, compare similar lenders to see where you can find the best deal.

Frequently asked questions

What does Upstart look at on my credit report?

When Upstart checks your credit, it will make sure that you don’t have more than six inquiries on your credit report in the last six months — excluding those for mortgages, vehicle loans and student loans. It will also make sure you don’t have any bankruptcies, accounts in collections or delinquent or public records on your report.

Can I extend my loan term?

No. Upstart doesn’t allow extensions. However, you may request an alternative payment plan by contacting customer service.

Personal loan ratings

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★★★★★ Average
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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.

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2 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    Jelene
    July 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
      Harold
      July 17, 2017

      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.

      Cheers,
      Harold

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