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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.
Our verdictFor 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
Max. Loan Amount
5.40% to 35.99%
Min. credit score
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 score||300|
|APR||5.40% to 35.99%|
|Loan amounts||$1,000 to $50,000|
|Terms||3 or 5 years|
|Approval turnaround||Most within one business day|
|Availability||Available in all states|
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
Finder rating 4.15 / 5
5.40% to 35.99%
3 or 5 years
$1,000 to $50,000
Min. credit score
Best Egg personal loans
Finder rating 3.8 / 5
8.99% to 35.99%
3 to 5 years
$2,000 to $50,000
Min. credit score
OneMain Financial personal loans
Finder rating 3.4 / 5
18% to 35.99%
24, 36, 48 or 60 months
$1,500 to $20,000
Min. credit score
Upstart reviews and complaints
|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?
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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Ask an Expert
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
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.