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Upstart Personal Loans Review

Len Penzo
Len Penzo
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Top Facts About Upstart

LOAN TERM
From 3 to 5 years
EST. APR
7.69% - 35.99%
LOAN AMOUNT
$1,000 - $50,000
MIN. CREDIT SCORE
620

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    Founded by a group of ex-Google employees who wanted to take a more advanced approach to traditional financing, Upstart is quickly revolutionizing the sector with its approach and service. The company’s loans applications and approval process are powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning tools, letting Upstart make smarter decisions and provide loans to a much wider range of borrowers. Upstart Trustpilot score

    The company has already originated $4.7 billion in loans, and over two thirds of them have been fully automated. The company’s loans are shorter-term than some competitors (with only two repayment terms available) but Upstart more than makes up for it thanks to lower interest rates and next-day funding for loans that are approved. Upstart’s different approach to approvals also means that even if you have a short credit history, or even a poor one, you can still find a loan that works for you. 

    With low minimum starting amounts and rates, Upstart offers a great solution for customers who are looking for a financial boost and who may be locked out of accessing favorable interest rates due to a short financial history or a past mistake. 

    Upstart Website

    Upstart Pros and Cons

    Pros: 

    • Get rates in five minutes and funds in as little as one day
    • Eligibility checks look at much broader picture of your finances 
    • Short credit histories welcome
    • Great option for recent grads looking to keep learning

    Cons: 

    • Loans include both origination and late fees 
    • Lower eligibility requirements mean higher starting rates

    Why Get a Personal Loan from Upstart? 

    Perhaps the best reason to get an Upstart personal loan is to start building your credit or finance something even if you still don’t have a strong credit history. The company’s emphasis is on helping as many people find access to loans as possible, and its uses is AI- and machine learning-powered algorithm to scan for a much broader picture of each borrower than many lenders. 

    For instance, the company’s application criteria include not just credit score and history, but also a borrower’s education, their area of study, and even their job history. This means, for instance, that if you have a profession considered “high-demand” you may still qualify for a loan even if you aren’t currently employed. Moreover, the executives’ history at Google has shown them the value of coding. Upstart partners with some coding bootcamps to help younger borrowers get their careers on track. 

    What Does Upstart Offer? 

    The biggest benefit of applying for an Upstart personal loan is the company’s expediency when it comes to the application and approval process. Thanks to its AI-powered engine, Upstart can give you rates in as quick as five minutes, and after a brief application can have funds in your bank account in as little as one business day. 

    Another intriguing aspect of Upstart is that it is a peer-to-peer lender, meaning much of the money users borrow comes from others who help fund these loans. This means that if you want, you could also earn money by investing with Upstart once your loan is up, and gain interest on your investment. 

    In terms of loan purposes, Upstart places almost no restrictions on what you can do with your funds, though it does request that you state what you wish to do with them. Loan purposes include:

     What Are Upstart’s Eligibility Requirements? 

    Unlike some of its competitors, Upstart is focused on providing personal loans to a broad swath of the population and uses a much more comprehensive formula to determine eligibility. Even so, Upstart’s own FAQ notes that applicants must have a minimum score of 620 (or 580 for residents in California). However, the company does accept borrowers who don’t have a long enough history to have a credit score. Additionally, you should meet the following requirements: 

    • Be a US citizen or legal permanent resident living in the country
    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Not be a resident of Iowa or West Virginia
    • Have a valid email account
    • Present verifiable personal details 
    • Have a job (or an offer starting in six months) or steady source of income
    • Have an active US banking account

    How to Apply for an Upstart Personal Loan? 

    It’s easy to apply for an Upstart personal loan, but it may take slightly longer than with some competitors. Because it’s looking at more than just your credit score, it will take a bit more time to fully provide the information the company requests from you. Even so, the process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, after which Upstart will perform a hard credit check on you. After you’ve been approved, you’ll complete the process and receive your loans. If you have any questions, Upstart loan customer service can usually help guide you through any confusion. 

    Online Application Form Upstart

    What are Upstart’s Rates, Terms, and Fees? 

    Due to the wider net it casts when approving loans, Upstart interest rates tend to be closer to the middle of the pack. Even so, the company’s best interest rates remain highly desirable for any borrower, and especially if you’re trying to consolidate credit card debt. APRs start as low as 7.69%, and they can reach up to 35.99%. These rates fall well within the normal range for the personal loans industry, and are even better than a few competitors, though they’re not the lowest available on the market.  

    In terms of loan amounts, you can borrow a minimum of $1,000—a great fact since it gives you greater flexibility on how much you want to borrow—and a maximum of $50,000, which puts Upstart closer to the top of the industry leaders. Repayment terms are a little less flexible, with only three- or five-year repayment plans available, but combined with the loan amounts, you can still find a solution that works well with your finances and budget. 

    Upstart does charge some fees, including an origination fee that ranges from 0.0% to 8.0%, as well as a late fee (the greater of 5% of the past-due amount or $15). However, we were happy to see it doesn’t charge any prepayment fees or penalties. 

    Final Thoughts

    A strong focus on accessibility and expediency makes Upstart one of the most intriguing personal loans on the market. The company’s refreshing approach is ideal if you’re looking to consolidate credit card debt, or even if you’re starting out your post-college life and need a credit-building boost to help get you along. With outstanding support and loan options, Upstart is definitely a product to watch.  

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