Is Upstart legit or a scam? What you need to know |

Is Upstart legit or a scam?

Interested in an Upstart personal loan? Find out if Upstart is a safe lender to apply with.

Upstart is a lending platform founded by ex-Google employees in 2012. It specializes in peer-to-peer loans and evaluates more than credit score to offer you a competitive loan. Read further to learn about Upstart’s customer reviews and security protocols.

Is Upstart legit?

Yes, Upstart is a legitimate lending platform. Specific state laws are designed to protect borrowers and keep predatory lending to a minimum. Though Upstart is available in all 50 states and Washington, DC, the specific loan terms and fees will vary by your state of residence.

How does Upstart compare to other online loan providers?

Rates last updated April 24th, 2018

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Is applying for a personal loan with Upstart safe?

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.

What makes Upstart unique?

Upstart looks beyond your credit score when considering you for a loan, reviewing your employment history and education. This translates to flexible loan terms, fast turnaround and minimal fees.

  • Potentially low APRs. While the specifics of each loan varies, loan APRs can be as low as 6.37% but as high as 29.99%.
  • 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.
  • Reasonable loan terms. Repay your loan over three to five years.
  • Unsecured loans. You won’t need collateral for any loan through Upstart.
  • No prepayment penalty. If you can pay off your loan early, you’ll pay no penalty.

What to look out for

  • Late fees. Upstart charges $15 or 5% of the unpaid amount (whichever is greater) for late fees. Set up autopay to avoid missing a beat with your loan repayment.
  • Origination fee. An origination fee equal to 1% to 6% of your total loan is required.
  • 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%.

What else do I need to know?

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.

Bottom line

Upstart can be a good fit for younger applicants and potential borrowers who have little to no credit history. But rates and terms for Upstart loans can vary greatly. Before making a final decision, make sure to compare your loan options to make sure you’re getting the best deal for you.

Common questions about Upstart personal loans

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    TracieDecember 7, 2017

    Your info is incorrect. Upstart has plenty of bad reviews. They advertise how easy it is but after jumping through hoops for hours I withdrew my application. Within 10 minutes by phone with my credit union I was approve at more than half the rate upstart tried to charge me. The negative reviews I read Peale tried for day and weeks and upstart was asking for ridiculous information. You are wrong about them.

    • Staff
      JudithDecember 8, 2017Staff

      Hi Tracie,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. We are a comparison website and general information service.

      I would like to thank you for sharing your personal experience about Upstart. Loan terms vary by the applicant’s qualifications, including credit score, income and several other factors.

      I am glad that you were able to get a loan through your credit union because they are a viable option for many people.

      Best regards,

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