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Upgrade

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7.7

Overall Score

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LAST UPDATED: September 29th, 2022

Upgrade, founded in 2016, is an online marketplace lender, connecting borrowers with various loan options from lenders in its network.

Upgrade offers fixed-rate personal installment loans that can be used for refinancing, debt consolidation, and other large expenses/purchases. You can expect the following from a loan through Upgrade:

  • Personal loan amounts — $1,000–$50,000
  • Personal loan rates — 6.94%–35.97% APR (As of January 2021)
  • Personal loan terms — 36–60 months

Upgrade does not disclose a minimum credit score requirement, but a borrower should strive to have fair credit, if not good to excellent credit, to qualify for the best rates and terms.

Keep reading for pros and cons, plus Upgrade reviews from real customers.

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The Good

  • Simple Loan Application Process
  • Joint Applications
  • No Prepayment Fees
  • Free Credit Monitoring
  • Customer Reviews

Simple Loan Application Process

Upgrade's intuitive initial online loan application only takes a few minutes to complete. You simply select the loan amount you are looking to borrow; describe the reason for taking out the loan; and provide your name, address, date of birth, income, and email address. From there, you'll see your preapproved loan offers from Upgrade's lending partners.

Once you select an offer, Upgrade will get in touch to complete any necessary verification. Upgrade has extremely fast approval and funding times. Once you accept a loan offer, Upgrade will transfer money to your bank account within a day of clearing necessary verifications.

Joint Applications

Upgrade accepts joint applications and cosigners. Not all lenders offer this option when applying for a personal loan. It is particularly beneficial for borrowers with poor credit who may not be approved on their own, or for those who would like to get the lowest interest rate possible by applying with a stronger credit score than their own.

No Prepayment Penalty Fee

Upgrade does not charge a prepayment penalty fee if you'd like to pay off your loan faster than the end of your loan term. Doing so can save you more money on interest.

Free Credit Monitoring

This lender offers free credit score monitoring services through its website. This is available for borrowers and non-borrowers alike, who are wishing to improve their credit. 

Upgrade's credit health services provide the following:

  • Credit score basics, including access to your VantageScore, latest credit report, and credit health insights.
  • Personalized recommendations with Upgrade's credit score simulator.
  • Weekly updates, credit trending charts, and email alerts.

These services can ensure that you know where your credit score is at any time. 

In addition, Upgrade also has a variety of educational articles and resources that can help you understand how credit scores work and how you can make sure that yours is in good condition.

Customer Reviews

Of the 240+ Upgrade loan reviews, 86 percent of customers gave the company 5 stars.

Many customers highlight good experiences with customer service, in addition to a fast loan application, and equally fast processing and transfer of funds.

Complaints are minimal, but some customers remark that the origination fee is higher than they would have liked and/or expected.

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The Bad

  • Unavailable in Iowa and West Virginia
  • Loan Origination Fee
  • Late Payment and NSF Fees
  • State Loan Minimums
  • Cosigners Not Accepted

Unavailable in Iowa and West Virginia

It is important to note that Upgrade personal loans are not offered in Iowa and West Virginia. If you are looking for an installment loan and reside in either of these states, you will need to look for another lender.

Loan Origination Fee

Upgrade charges a 2.9 percent to 8 percent origination fee. This amount is deducted from the loan prior to customers receiving their funds in their bank account. Though this is typical for the industry, some competitors do not charge origination fees.

Late payment and NSF Fees

Be aware that Upgrade has a $10 late fee, which is applied if your full payment hasn't been received within a grace period of 15 days from your due date.

In addition, if you try to make a payment, but your payment or check is returned or rejected by your financial institution, there is a non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee of $10.

If you are having trouble making loan payments, Upgrade urges borrowers to contact customer support for options before you look into debt settlement companies.

State Loan Minimums

The minimum loan amount available in Georgia and Massachusetts varies from the $1,000 available in all other eligible states:

  • Georgia minimum loan amount — $3,005
  • Massachusetts minimum loan amount — $6,400

This may restrict borrowers who are looking to borrow just a small amount.

Cosigners Not Accepted

Upgrade does not accept cosigners. If you have less-than-perfect credit or are unable to qualify for an Upgrade loan for any other reason, it can be a helpful option to apply with a creditworthy cosigner.

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The Bottom Line

Upgrade offers personal installment loans with a simple application process and an equally fast approval process. Once a borrower has accepted a loan offer from one of Upgrade's network lenders, money can be deposited into the borrower's bank account within 24 hours, though it can take up to four business days for your financial institution to make the funds available.

Through Upgrade, you can count on ideal loan terms of 60 months, fixed interest rates, and no prepayment fees if you are able to pay your personal loan off early. However, keep in mind that the company does charge an origination fee, but it is included in your quoted APR.

On top of that, Upgrade helps to provide credit monitoring with a VantageScore credit score simulator and suggestions for improvement. This is a unique and beneficial offering, especially if you are looking to increase your credit score by taking out a personal loan.

The majority of Upgrade loan reviews are positive, with the majority of customers awarding 5 stars, suggesting that it is a reliable company for your personal loan needs.

Have you taken out a personal loan from Upgrade? Let us know about your experience with a quick review below.

*Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 6.94%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early.

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Star Rating

4.8

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817 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

87%

4 grade

10%

3 grade

2%

2 grade

1%

1 grade

1%

Sentiment Criteria

Value

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Quality

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Service

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Review Source

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barry shapiro Dover Plains, NY

Had a positive experience with my personal loan,but a negative experience withThe Upgrade Card personal credit line.They had me approved before they included a extra condition to join a credit union of which I objected,so I had my app withdrawned.Then I was invited to re-apply and then turned down.I have positive credit experience with a still active upgrade card account but they will not allow me to access the account

2 months ago

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Felicia Bady

My experience with upgrade has been good form day one process and approve within min the young lady who assist with my account she was great my account was approved and my bills and fund was in my account within days my debt card took long 7 day other then that happy bout my decision with up grade

7 months ago

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Elaine Bradford

Customer service gave me the runaround for weeks before they finally looked into where over half of my funds went to. No one ever answered any messages I sent, and wait times to speak with representatives are over an hour and a half, and then you’re rushed to get off of the phone. I did finally get all of the funds, which is why I gave 3 stars, but I honestly regretted getting the loan after dealing with them for weeks.

11 months ago

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Jason Mitchell Stanton, KY

Had to keep calling to get any information about the progress of my loan. No emails where sent to me about anything. Seems to be a good company and employees are very helpful, nice and knowledgeable just might need to work on communicating a little better

9 months ago

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Review Source

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Pixel426 Rosedale, MD

Bank funding was fast, but loan repayment is taking a very long time. Customer Services is severely lacking. Phone lines don't work, and email is answered by a bot, taking 3-5 days. I'm at the point where I'm feeling nervous, and that's not cool!

11 months ago

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Ellie Cusick Matthews, NC

Applies for a loan thru CreditKarma. Was approved and filled out the info requested and then it just sat in a holding status. Tried to contact them twice - once on hold for 15 minutes and then for 48 minutes before getting thru. Was told I needed to complete another step to get the money which was very vague on their webs site. It did not say it was required and was applying for a credit union in a state I don't live in so very confusing. Once I got a person on the phone, she was very helpful.

1 year ago

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Robert Pond ,

I like the virtual nature of being able to borrow money! I think the old brick and mortar model is dead. While my loan was eventually funded, it took longer than I expected (over 1 week), there was a lack of transparency to a degree, customer service (1st call was not helpful), further calls to customer service were handed better, and the resolution member/team assigned to my account to get me funded did an outstanding job!

1 year ago

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Concerning Fees Tiverton, RI

Smooth approval process. HOWEVER, the origination fee is outrageous and leaves a bad taste. I understand companies go into business to make money, but the "origination fee" combined with the above than average interest rate is concerning and out of control. I was desperate to obtain a credit card consolidation loan and this was a last option. Only recommend this as a last ditch effort.

1 year ago

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Carol Saint Charles, MO

It was very good. My only complaint is that no one mentioned the 5% fee before the loan went through. I was very surprised when saw the amount that was deposited in my account. I then read the flyer I was sent and found the fine print at the bottom on the back. I think that that should be printed a little larger toward the top on the front of the flyer. Otherwise you would have had 5 stars.

4 years ago

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Sarah White Oakland, CA

I like the programs offered by the company. I don't like how difficult it is to speak with someone in customer service. I've called and been put on hold two times for more than an hour and never reached anyone. The online options are not extensive enough for a customer to be able to answer or solve their own questions or problems.

1 year ago

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Deborah Lazarri Turlock, CA

The first time I worked with Upgrade everything went a little bit more smoothly than this time, but considering we are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and I’m sure there are problems with that I can honestly say things went as well as can be expected. I am grateful for the loan and the ease of paying automatically.

2 years ago

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Review Source

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Jim Garlets Brooklyn, NY

I was pleased except for the fact I was charged 1000 dollars for a initiation fee. And the payment on loan remains the same. I was told I'd get a loan of 15,500. I was disappointed when I only received 14,570

1 year ago

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luke duncan Hendersonville, NC

Customer service sucks. My email never got replied to three weeks later, (and still waiting) but everything is to the point and set in stone. Two way street. What you read is what you get but one on one help is limited

1 year ago

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George Lipscomb Loganville, GA

Too much back and forth, on occasion difficult to talk with a person, the process was very different than it’s advertising, took almost 4 weeks for a decision.

1 year ago

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Denise Smiarowski Rocky Mount, NC

Very difficult to contact waited almost an hour several times. Don't like the fact you are forced to join penfed to finalize the loan. Website is difficult to navigate

1 year ago

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James B MCDONALD Jonesboro, GA

Slow to get back on docs needed and status response

2 years ago