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Upstart Personal Loans Review

Upstart is a lending platform that uses artificial intelligence to improve access to affordable credit. Based in California and founded by former Google employees in 2012, Upstart also applies AI to reduce lending risks and costs for its bank partners. The lending intermediary provides unsecured personal loans from $1,000 to $50,000 to borrowers anywhere in the US except West Virginia or Iowa.

  • Next-day funding: Upstart says 99% of applicants who accept their loans by 5 pm Eastern Time Monday through Friday will get their money in one business day. The exception is loans for education expenses, which are subject to a waiting period of three business days, according to federal law.
  • No credit history required: Upstart offers loans to borrowers with no credit scores, which traditional lenders may not do. However, if you have little or poor credit history, your loan will likely be more expensive.
  • No prepayment penalty, You can repay all or part of your loan anytime without being charged a fee.

  • Origination fees: Upstart will deduct a one-time, nonrefundable origination fee of up to 8% from your loan proceeds before you receive them.
  • No co-signers: Upstart does not accept co-signers and only takes the borrower’s personal information into account during the application process.

Upstart’s unsecured personal loans of $1,000 to $50,000 with fixed rates from 5.31% to 35.99% can be used for virtually anything. Rates and minimums vary by state, but the average three-year loan offered by Upstart has an annual percentage rate of 18.04% and 36 monthly payments of $34.27 per $1,000 borrowed.

Common loan uses include:

Borrowers may not use loans to pay for education expenses in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Washington or Washington, DC

Personal Loan Finder

Select your loan amount and loan purpose, your desired credit score range and your state to see estimated annual percentage rates and loan terms.

Before you borrow, you can check your rate on Upstart’s website without hurting your credit score. Your loan amount will be based on your credit, income and other information on your application, such as your education, work experience and credit history.

If you are ready to apply, know that the process will vary by lender. Upstart works with banks to match borrowers with loan offers, and each lender has its own requirements.

Lenders will require information such as your name, address and Social Security number to perform a credit check, and some may ask for pay stubs, tax returns, school transcripts or SAT scores.

Once you’ve been approved for and accepted your loan, you may receive your money in as little as 24 hours. In other cases, loans may take longer, and education loans require a waiting period of three business days before funding, according to federal law.

Upstart loans have interest rates from 5.31% to 35.99%. The loans can also include these fees:

  • An origination fee of up to 8%.
  • A late payment fee of 5% of the overdue amount or $15, whichever is greater, for each occurrence.
  • A returned check or ACH return fee of $15.
  • A one-time $10 charge to receive paper rather than electronic copies of your records.

Upstart requires borrowers to repay loans in 36, 60 or 84 monthly installments, depending on the loan terms you select. However, you can prepay your loan without penalty.

If you want to qualify for an Upstart personal loan, you will need to:

  • Live anywhere in the US except West Virginia or Iowa.
  • Be at least 19 in Alabama and Nebraska and at least 18 elsewhere.
  • Provide a valid email address, a verifiable name and a Social Security number.
  • Have a regular source of income and a US bank account.

Borrowers need a minimum credit score of 300 but can also qualify without sufficient credit history to generate a FICO score,

Your credit report can’t have delinquent or collection accounts, past-due amounts, bankruptcies or other public records within the last 12 months, unless they are paid civil judgments or paid tax liens. Also, you will need to have fewer than six credit inquiries in the last six months, not including those for mortgages, auto loans or student loans.

Upstart will verify your personal and credit information during the application process by obtaining a credit report from at least one of the credit bureaus. You may also need to provide your academic history, work experience and intended use for the funds. The loan amount you can qualify for depends not only on your credit, but also on where you live.

A credit score as low as 300 may qualify for an Upstart loan, but the lower your credit score, the costlier your loan.

However, credit score isnt the only factor lenders evaluate. Each lender has its own process to assess borrowers, but most look at credit history, debt-to-income ratio – the percentage of your monthly income you spend on debt payments – and expenses.

Upstart loans are available everywhere except West Virginia and Iowa.

In US News’ ratings of personal loan lenders, Upstart received 4.3 out of 5 stars overall, 4.0 for affordability, 4.3 for eligibility and 4.6 for customer service. US News’ median overall rating for personal loan lenders is 4.0.

The Better Business Bureau gives Upstart, an accredited business, a B+ rating. Upstart has earned an excellent rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot based on more than 19,000 reviews.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recorded 64 complaints in 2021 about Upstart personal loans, and all but one complaint received a timely response. The most common complaints were about getting the loan and unexpected fees and interest. There were 56 complaints closed with an explanation, and eight were in progress as of January 2022.

Borrowers have several ways to reach Upstart: Send a message using the online contact form, call or email [email protected]

If you prefer to speak with someone by phone, Upstart provides general customer support from 9 am to 8 pm Eastern Time, seven days a week. Payment support is available from 9 am to 9 pm ET Monday through Friday and from 10 am to 7 pm ET on Saturday.

Upstart’s application process, from checking your rate to accepting the loan, can be completed online, but some applicants may have to verify information by phone as an added security precaution.

You can make payments, change your monthly payment date or schedule recurring payments online through the borrower dashboard.

The online dashboard also displays your current obligations, along with instructions or clarifications on how your payments apply. You’ll see how much is due and what to do if your account is past due.

  • People who want an online loan experience.
  • People who want a quick loan process.
  • People who have zero credit history.


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