Whether you’re more focused on costs or borrowing amounts and terms, find out which of these online lenders offers the better loan for you.
You may need extra money to pay medical bills, renovate your home or support your studies. Or maybe you’re getting married or simply want to relax on the beach. The good news is that you have more options than ever to find a personal loan online.
Upstart and Prosper are two leading online providers offering personal loans that come with easy applications. We’ll help you weigh their benefits and drawbacks to find which is better for your situation.
An overview of Upstart and Prosper
Both Upstart and Prosper are peer-to-peer lending platforms, offering loans funded by individual investors. Upstart was founded in 2012 by former Google employees. Prosper has been around for longer — it entered the lending market in 2005. Both lenders limit their offerings to personal loans.
First, am I eligible for a loan with Upstart and Prosper?
To be eligible for a personal loan with Upstart, you must be at least 18 years old and an American citizen or permanent US resident living in a state other than Virginia. Additionally, you’ll need a credit score of 620 or higher, a valid bank account in your name and a steady source of income.
To get a personal loan through Prosper, you must also be at least 18 years old and an American citizen or permanent US resident. You’ll need a slightly higher credit score of at least 640, a valid bank account and a steady source of income.
Which lender offers lower interest rates?
Upstart provides personal loans with fixed APRs that vary from 8.85% to 29.99%. This nontraditional lender looks beyond your credit history, and considers your education and job history when determining your specific loan’s APR and terms.
Loans through Prosper come with APRs of 6.95% to 35.99%. The rate you’re ultimately offered depends on which qualification tier you fall under. AA is Prosper’s highest of its seven tiers, with an APR of 5.99% to 15.00%.
Prosper takes this round mainly as a result of its lowest APR offered: 6.95%, compared with Upstart’s 8.85%.
Which comes with fewer fees?
Upstart charges a loan origination fee of 1% to 8% of the amount you borrow. For those who prefer paying with a paper check, you’ll also pay a high $10 fee. Each late payment comes with a penalty of 5% of your past due amount or $15, whichever is greater. However, it does not charge a prepayment penalty.
Loans through Prosper also come with loan origination fees — 1% to 5% of the borrowed amount — your Prosper Rating plays a role in the fee you ultimately pay. Paying by check comes with a slightly lower $5 fee when compared with Upstart. But like Upstart, if you pay your bill late, you’re charged $15 or 5% of your unpaid amount, whichever is greater. And there’s no prepayment penalty with Prosper either.
The maximum you’ll pay in loan origination fees is lower with Prosper, as are fees for check payments.
Jim and Claudia tie the knot
Jim and Claudia were together for more than two years when they decided to get married. But a month before the scheduled wedding date, Jim lost his job. Not to be deterred, they decided to move forward with their matrimonial plans, looking at a $10,000 personal loan to keep them on course.
Because Jim and Claudia were interested in predictable monthly payments, they stuck to comparing their fixed-rate options with Upstart and Prosper.
|Fees||$100–$800 origination fee on a $10,000 loan||$100–$500 origination fee on a $10,000 loan|
|Ease of application||They could check their potential rate without a hard pull on their credit and complete the application in minutes.||They could check their rate without a hard pull and complete a simple online application.|
Though Jim and Claudia found that Prosper and Upstart offered similar ease without a hard pull on their credit, they ultimately chose Prosper because of its possibility of a lower APR and lower loan origination fee.
Which has a better reputation?
With 139 reviews on Trustpilot, Upstart averages 9.2 out of 10, with more than 90% of its users rating its services as excellent.
Prosper has 49 reviews on Trustpilot and and average score of 7.3 out of 10. It receives an excellent rating from 65% of its users.
A noticeably better average and considerably more reviews make Upstart a clear winner for reputation among its borrowers.
How much can I borrow with each lender?
Upstart provides personal loans of $1,000 to $50,000.
Prosper lets you borrow any amount from $2,000 to $40,000.
Upstart scores over Prosper when it comes to both minimum and maximum amounts you can borrow. By offering a lower minimum and higher maximum, those looking for smaller or larger loans than average can get the funding they need through Upstart.
Which lender can get me money faster?
Upstart’s online application takes no more than a few minutes to complete, but verification and underwriting can take a few days. Once you accept the loan contract, you could see funding as quickly as the next business day.
After Prosper’s preapproval, you complete a detailed application and upload any required documents — a process that takes about 15 minutes if you have all the required information on hand. If you qualify, you receive your final loan contract with seven days, with disbursal of your approved funds shortly after you accept.
You could see similar turnaround times for both lenders.
If you’re looking to save on interest and fees, Prosper could be your better bet. But take a look at Upstart for loans of under $2,000 or more than $35,000. Upstart also scores better when it comes to customer satisfaction. Ultimately, you’ll want to compare your personal loan options before apply and signing any contract to make sure you’re getting the best deal for you.
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