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Upgrade Personal Loans Review

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

With low minimum and high maximum loan amounts, Upgrade offers fixed-rate personal loans to borrowers with less-than-perfect credit, among other borrowers. It also has a rare option to lower your interest rate by using your vehicle as collateral. Read our Upgrade personal loans review to learn more about its loan terms, fees, and qualification requirements to decide if this is the right lender for you.

Upgrade

Logo for Upgrade
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
4.5/5

Minimum Credit Score

620

Loan Amounts

$1,000 - $50,000

APR Range

6.95% - 35.97%

Term Length

24 - 84 months
  • Upgrade offers loans from $1,000 to $50,000, with terms as long as 84 months. All borrowers pay an origination fee. Loans fund in as little as a day. The best rates go to borrowers using at least some of the funds to pay off other debt.

    • Low minimum loan amount
    • Get your funds within one business day
    • Auto secured loans available
    • Not available to residents of all states
    • APRs can be high
    • Origination fees

Full Upgrade Personal Loans review: top lender with no prepayment fees

Top perks

Low minimum loan amount: Upgrade enables you to borrow as little as $1,000 or as much as $35,000. There are only a few other personal loan providers with such a low minimum, so it's a good fit if you don't need large amounts of cash. Its maximum personal loan amount is also higher than many of its competitors, so it's a wise choice whether you need to borrow a little or a lot.

Check your rates without impacting your credit: You must provide your Social Security number to get a quote from Upgrade so it can check your credit, but it does a soft inquiry on your credit report which won't lower your credit score at all. This is ideal if you're not ready to commit to any single personal loan provider quite yet and want to shop around for the best deal.

Get your funds within one business day: Once your application is approved and your information verified, Upgrade will send the funds to the bank account you provided within one business day. However, it could take up to four business days for your bank to make your funds available to you, depending on how quickly it processes the transaction.

No prepayment fees: Upgrade does not charge you any additional fees if you choose to pay your loan back ahead of the three- or five-year repayment period you initially signed up for.

Discounts for autopay: Upgrade personal loan customers who enroll in autopay will receive a discount on their loan's interest rate, which can save them money over the lifetime of the loan.

Auto secured loans available: While collateral is not required on Upgrade personal loans, the lender gives some customers the opportunity to lower their interest rate or improve their odds of loan approval by offering their vehicle as collateral. If you choose to do this, Upgrade will consider the current value of your car when evaluating your application and it will require you to mail the company your car's title to finalize the loan. It's not an option everyone will be interested in, but it may appeal to those who are struggling to get a personal loan elsewhere without collateral.

What could be improved

Not available to residents of all states: Upgrade does not offer personal loans to residents of Iowa, Vermont, or West Virginia at this time. If you live in one of these states, you'll have to explore other options.

APRs can be high: Individuals with poor credit could get saddled with a higher-than-average APR. But many people will be offered much lower interest rates and you may be able to reduce yours by enrolling in autopay or offering your vehicle as collateral, as discussed above.

Origination fees: In addition to interest, you could pay as much as 6% of your loan's balance in origination fees. This amount is deducted from the loan proceeds. While Upgrade's origination fees aren't unusual, they can make borrowing money a little more expensive than you anticipated.

Personal loan calculator

Estimate your monthly payment on a loan with Upgrade using the calculator below.

Directions:

  • Enter the amount you plan to borrow in the "Loan Balance" box.
  • Enter the rate you expect to get from Upgrade in the "Interest Rate" box.
  • Either:
    • Enter the number of months you'd like to take to pay off the loan in the "Desired Payoff Timeframe" box.
      OR
    • Enter your desired monthly payment in the "Expected Monthly Payment" box.
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How to qualify for an Upgrade personal loan

In order to get approved for an Upgrade personal loan, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident
  • Be at least 18 years old (19 in some states)
  • Have a bank account where Upgrade can transfer the funds
  • Have a valid email address
  • Have some form of income

Beyond that, Upgrade doesn't have any stated rules. Like any personal loan company, it will look at your income, credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and whether you have any delinquencies on your record. The company typically sends its mailers to individuals with credit scores of 620 or above, according to a company representative, but it has accepted borrowers with lower credit scores. If you're unsure whether you qualify, you can use its online quote tool to check.

Application process

Upgrade's online quote form enables you to see how much you can borrow and what your rates would be without impacting your credit. It may give you several options to choose from. Once you've decided on an offer and accepted it, Upgrade will verify your application information and send you your funds within one business day after the verification is complete.

Alternatives to consider

It's always good practice to shop around before applying for any personal loan to make sure you're getting the best possible terms. Here are a couple of other lenders you may want to consider as well:

  • Upstart has similar qualification requirements to Upgrade, offering loans between $1,000 and $50,000 to borrowers with credit scores as low as 580 in some states. You can choose from three- or five-year repayment terms.
  • SoFi offers personal loans between $5,000 and $100,000 with no origination fees or late fees. Borrowers should have a credit score of 680 or more.
As of Aug. 10, 2022
Lender
Upstart
SoFi
Rating
Rating image, 4.0 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 5.0 out of 5 stars.
Min. Credit Score
None
680
Loan Amounts $1,000 - $50,000 $5,000 - $100,000
APR Range 5.40% - 35.99% 7.99% - 22.73% (with all discounts)
Next Steps
Disclaimers

*SoFi Personal Loan Disclaimer

Fixed rates from 7.99% APR to 22.73% APR APR reflect the 0.25% autopay discount and a 0.25% direct deposit discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 8/1/22 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, income, and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account

*Upstart Loan Disclaimer

The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 21.97% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $10,000 loan would be $12,646 including a $626 origination fee. APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application.

This personal loan is right for you if:

Upgrade is worth considering if any of the following apply to you:

  • You need to borrow small amounts of money.
  • You want a personal loan and your credit isn't great.
  • You're interested in using your vehicle as collateral to lower your interest rate.
  • You don't want to get penalized for paying your personal loan off early.

If you're interested, you can get a quote on Upgrade's website. Compare that to a few other personal loan providers and then decide which one gives you the best deal based on its rates, fees, and loan terms.

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