Upgrade Personal Loan Review

About Upgrade, Inc.

Upgrade, Inc.

Upgrade is an online lending platform that combines personal loans with free credit monitoring, helping you secure more affordable credit now and in the future. We offer affordable personal loans of up to $35,000 with low fixed rates that will never change. With Upgrade you get fast funding – we’ll send the money to your bank account within a day of getting approved. You can use your Upgrade loan to pay off high interest credit cards, make a large purchase, finish that home improvement project, or almost anything! With automatic payments and a customizable due date, managing your account is easy and you’ll be able to circle the date on your calendar when you’ll be debt free.

review breakdown

Recommended
98%
Interest Rates
Fees & Closing Cost
Customer Service
Responsiveness

What they're saying about Upgrade, Inc.

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About Upgrade

Upgrade is a lender that offers low-cost personal loans to qualified borrowers. Upgrade is headquartered in San Francisco and has two other locations in Montreal and Phoenix. Two of Upgrade’s founders were also founding members of LendingClub, a well-known peer lending marketplace that’s been connecting borrowers with investors since 2007.

What sets Upgrade apart from LendingClub and other online lenders is that credit health tools including monitoring, credit alerts and education features come with the loan product. Upgrade’s mission is to empower borrowers with credit building knowledge while providing the loans they need.

By clicking “See Offers”, you may or may not be matched with any lender mentioned in this article. Based on your creditworthiness, you may be matched with up to five different lenders in our partner network.

Upgrade personal loan highlights

Origination fees
Upgrade charges a 2.90% - 8.00% origination fee.
No prepayment penalty
You can pay off your loan early and don’t have to worry about prepayment penalties. Interest accrues daily so prepaying the loan can help you avoid interest charges.
Unsecured loans
No need to bring collateral to the table because the Upgrade loan is unsecured.
Free credit health monitoring
Borrowers get a VantageScore 3.0 credit score along with credit health summaries using data from TransUnion.

Upgrade at a glance

APR Range

7.99%–35.97%

Minimum Credit Score

620

Terms

36 or 60 months

Origination Fee

2.90% - 8.00%


What Upgrade offers

Terms: 36 or 60 months

APR range: 7.99%–35.97%

Loan amounts: $1,000 to $35,000

Time to funding: You can get funding within four business days after your loan is approved.

Hard pull / Soft pull: The initial application to check rates only requires a soft pull which will not impact your credit. The full verification to approve you for the loan does require a hard pull.

Fees and penalties

Origination fee: One drawback of the Upgrade loan is the origination fee — it can range from 2.90% - 8.00% of your loan amount. And because the fee is deducted from your loan before you receive the funds through a bank deposit, you’ll actually be getting less money than you ask for. Be sure to factor that in before you decide your loan amount

Prepayment fee: Upgrade loans have no prepayment penalty. You can pay off your loan at any time without worrying about a fee.

Late fee: The late fee is up to $10 and charged if your payment isn’t received within 15 calendar days of your payment due date.

Other fees: Returned check payments or failed electronic deposits cost $10 on top of whatever your bank charges for the returned payment.

 

The big fee that you have to watch out for with Upgrade is the origination fee. The origination fee can take a sizeable chunk out of your loan before you even get any money. Take into consideration this fee when deciding how much money to borrow since it will decrease the amount of cash you’ll receive.


Eligibility requirements

Minimum credit score: 620

Minimum credit history: Varies

Maximum debt-to-income: Varies

Upgrade doesn’t disclose all of the conditions used to qualify borrowers but they do list the minimum credit score accepted as 620. As far as residency and other requirements, you need to meet the following conditions:

– Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (or a valid U.S. visa holder)
– Be at least 18 years old or 19 in select states
– Have a verifiable bank account and email address

Upgrade loans are exclusive to certain states. You can’t get an Upgrade loan if you live in Colo., Iowa, Md., Vt., or W.Va. Upgrade doesn’t specify that you work with a certain type of employer to qualify. You do need to input your salary during the application. Upgrade may request that you turn in supporting documents like your pay stubs to support the income you claim.

Self-employed workers can apply for Upgrade loans as well, but you may have to submit more paperwork to prove your income. You could be asked to provide two years of tax documents, bank statements and other tax-related forms.


Applying for a personal loan from Upgrade

To get started with Upgrade, you can check your rate online, which doesn’t require a hard pull on your credit. You enter in preliminary information about the loan you need.

The next part of the short initial application is you putting in your name, address and annual income. Upgrade will give you a few preapproved offers based on the information.

The loan offers you receive after giving this information will include a loan amount, interest rate and term. After choosing an offer, you’ll be asked for the bank account where you want to deposit the money if your application is approved. A hard credit pull will be performed to make a final decision.

You’ll get an email asking to upload supporting documents, such as your pay stubs or tax documents to be verified. You can get funding within four business days when all of your information clears. Sign up for autopay during the application process to get the very best rates available.


Pros & cons of a Upgrade personal loan

Pros

 

Soft Pull. You can check rates without a hard pull. The hard pull only comes into play if you decide to go through the final approval process.

 

Free credit monitoringYou get a VantageScore 3.0 with your loan account and a credit report summary from TransUnion. It’s not a full credit report, but still, a free resource that you can use to improve your score.

 

Competitive interest rates. The interest rate range at Upgrade is competitive. You can qualify for a loan with just a 620 or above. The lowest rates available are usually reserved for people with the very best credit scores so keep that in mind.

 

Quick Funding. If approved for a loan, you can get access to money within four business days.

Cons

 

Origination fee. Upgrade has an origination fee and its the biggest con. There are a few online lenders that don’t charge an origination fee which can offer you some savings. We’ll cover a few below and you can shop for no-fee personal loans in our “best of” personal loan roundup here.

 

Limited availability. You won’t be able to obtain an Upgrade loan if you live in the states that Upgrade currently does not serve.

 

Relatively short loan termsYou can borrow a decent amount from Upgrade, but the loan term maximum is five years. The Upgrade loan may not be the right one for you if you need more time to repay the debt.


Who's the best fit for a Upgrade personal loan?

Upgrade loans can be worthwhile for someone who needs money quickly because you can get cash within four business days. You can also benefit from this loan if your credit score is less than perfect since the credit score minimum is 620.

With that said, you still may want to work on your credit before applying for an Upgrade loan or any other loan. A higher credit score is going to help you get approved for the better interest rates. Plus, Upgrade looks beyond your credit to review your credit usage and history before approving you.

An Upgrade loan may suit your needs if you’re looking for a sizeable loan for a major purchase because you can borrow up to $35,000. That’s a decent amount of money to pay off high-interest credit card debt, consolidate other debt, or even fund a business.

The biggest problem area for this loan is the origination fee since there are options without one. You should shop around for loans first that don’t have an origination fee before considering this loan.


Alternative personal loan options

SoFi

SoFi is an example of one lender that has no origination fee. SoFi also has longer loan term options than Upgrade. You can borrow up to $100,000. The interest rate range for SoFi is more competitive. Lenders with low-interest rates generally serve borrowers with good to excellent credit. Qualifying for SoFi may be more of a challenge. Fortunately, SoFi will let you pre-qualify without a hard inquiry so you can check rates.

SoFi

APR Range

5.99% – 16.19%*

Credit Requirement

680

Terms

24 to 84 months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

*Rates after applying a 0.25% discount for AutoPay

LendingClub

LendingClub has an APR range and loan terms that are pretty comparable to what Upgrade has to offer. The minimum credit score required and the origination fee are similar. You can borrow up to $40,000 on a fixed rate personal loan. Pre-qualifying for LendingClub won’t impact your credit. Consider shopping with this lender to see if you can get a better rate before settling with Upgrade.

LendingClub

APR Range

10.68% to 35.89%

Credit Requirement

0

Terms

36 or 60 months

Origination Fee

2.00% - 6.00%

Compare more personal loan options using our personal loan guide here.