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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%

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Ashley Morgan Antigo, WI

Quick and easy to apply for loans. Never had any problems and any concerns were quickly addressed by customer service. Paid off my first loan early without complications or hidden fees. Applied for my second almost a year later, was approved and funds dispersed in a few short days. Appreciated the reliability for a family vacation and now preparing for the birth of our next baby.

3 days ago

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Sylvia Sanchez Fremont, NE

The application process was very easy to do, my agent was very knowledgeable and made the process easy. I had my loan in deposited in my account in 1 and a half days. Highly recommend.

1 week ago

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Shirley A. Martin Houston, TX

Applying for the loan was almost simple, I was and still am having problems with getting into and changing my password. I follow all the instructions and still get your information is incorrect. I have no idea what my loan /account number is, and I am very uneasy not being able to check my account file when I want to! This is my FIRST time dealing with this company!!!

2 months ago

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Cam Hall Richmond, VA

Upgrade is a cool up and comer with a shiny start-up feel, but it can feel disjointed. As an account holder and even a recipient of one personal loan I'm still offered personal loans as if I'm a new customer and when I applied for the personal loan none of my bank account info transferred over. Account management is simple and easy, but overall it feels like they're still figuring it out.

1 month ago

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gricel valdez AZ

Upgrade was the first loan company I went to for a bill consolidation loan. They advertised low rates, fast approvals and easy paperwork. They did everything perfect. Customer service was excellent. The turn off was all the paperwork. Everytume I thought my loan was done it was " we still need this" or "were missing that." They were very thorough so if your in a hurry these people aren't the ones. If you can wait the rates and fees are worth it!

1 month ago

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Gina Moore Fremont, CA

I had a little issue where payment was sent to the wrong account but it was corrected in a reasonable amount of time

4 days ago

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SHAN S Kings Mountain, NC

What I liked most was how easy it was to link my bank account to get approved. It was hassle-free and convenient. I was able to pay my phone bill and the pay back process was weekly that helped majorly to make on time payments.

1 month ago

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Michael T. Williams Salisbury, MD

I have had a few times when I needed cash for some unexpected issues and Upgrade saved the day! Easy to deal with and very fair, would recommend giving them a chance.

1 month ago

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traci Croan Rockville Centre, NY

The process was quick and very easy. I would recommend to anyone who needs a loan

1 week ago

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Jepheth White Fairfield, CA

I like that I had different loan options to choose from. Plus the ability to have part of my loan go directly to my creditors.

1 month ago

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George Campbell Scranton, PA

Quick and easy loan at a reasonable rate and term for my credit score. I was able to consolidate my credit card debt and now I can focus on increasing my credit score.

2 months ago

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LaDonna Dehoyos Chicago Heights, IL

I was pleased with the process of the loan application, However; I'm very upset that this affected my credit as before applying for the loan, it stated that my credit score wouldn't be affected.

3 months ago

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mustafa Bellwood, IL

PROS: Upgrade doesn't waste your time. You have decent credit...APPROVED, $$$ in your acct next day, simple as that. I most definitely consider UPGRADE a lending partner. CONS: High credit SCORE doesnt matter, FEES, APR shown tend to change upon accepting offer. Confusing to say the least, other than that, UPGRADE is a decent lending partner.

4 months ago

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Tracy Colby Mesa, AZ

The aspect that Upgrade is willing to take a chance on me right after a bankruptcy gave me hope. I am only giving 4 stars because the loans are at 25% interest. I understand the reason and as time goes by, the interest rates will come down as I demonstrate my payment history and Bility to handle my credit situations. Upgrade has been kind and respectful in all dealings with me. Great company!!!

6 months ago

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A B Minneapolis, MN

The application process was easy and the terms were spelled out accurately. I did reduce the rating due to the process following the application. Communication via email was cumbersome and the approval process was slower than anticipated. At one point, I feared that Upgrade might not be a real lending firm and my personal details were compromised. Luckily my fears were put to rest and the loan was funded after a week or so.

8 months ago

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Anthony Las Vegas, NV

The process seems to be improving. Whereas last time I applied for a loan, it took weeks to successfully process, this time required less than a day. The only issue I had was that it took over a week to fund the payoff of another loan I had. In retrospect, I should have just taken the money and paid it myself. It would have been faster... All in all though, this was an easy and fairy efficient experience. I would do it again if necessary.

8 months ago

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Kalleb Wilson Philadelphia, PA

Process was si.ple and easy and I liked the fact that it was incentivised with direct payments.. so many people I've known have taken loans to consolidate debt just to use it and go in more debt

4 months ago

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Matthew Giannette Alexandria, VA

Easy to work with. I personally like live people on phone. However, internet application & email is ok. I truly need a loan a bit larger to have more funding for business advancement, more equipment & such.

5 months ago

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Suzy Evans Spanaway, WA

Everything was easy to do and easy to understand. However, your interest rates are very high. I'm trying to get rid of high interest credit cards, but you interest rates are just as high... only. 0.05% lower. 25.94% interest rates are highway robbery for people trying to climb their way out of debt!

8 months ago

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Linda Xiong Sacramento, CA

I find the experience to be easy. The only thing I want to mention is that when I had the debt loan send payments it took awhile for my cards/bank to receive the money but there was nothing to let me know that “hey, it’s still processing so don’t worry”. I do know that there was a description stating it will take a few days but nothing on the daily. Not a big problem but, just some feed back. 👍🏻

11 months ago

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Thomas Keith Fort Mill, SC

Overall very good experience. The one strange thing is that I didn't know that the loan was being funded by the Pennsylvania Credit Union. So, the funding could have occurred much earlier than it did. I kept checking the website, and it kept asking me IF I wanted to join the Pennsylvania Credit Union, and since I don't live in PA, I have no need of that. I even called Upgrade, and was told "everything was in order and the loan should be funded very soon. Only later did I call back again, and find out that in order to get this loan, I needed to join that credit union. And it had a $20 fee to start, but the rep said that Upgrade would cover it. So, my recommendation is that when you have an institution funding a loan, that you clearly state that the consumer MUST join in order to get the loan. And note that any joining fees will be waived. That would speed the process up; cut down on customer service phone calls, and the consumer would appreciate it.

1 year ago

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Joseph King ,

My interactions with their employees have been positive but their loan sign up system seems a little clunky. I applied for the loan and signed up for PenFed on December 21st. I received a call from Upgrade around December 30th thru January 2nd who advised my sign up for PenFed sign up didn't register and the person I spoke to said they would update their system. I received another call on January 5th about the same issue and was advised that this time it was noted. The funds finally cleared on January 8th. The calls weren't unpleasant and their employees were helpful, but it appears there could be some issues with capturing all the relevant information at the time of sign up.

1 year ago

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SSalz Fort Worth, TX

The ease for applying and the money being sent was excellent. The waiting period between and having two reps to process because the first didn’t submit the needed info which delayed the process was a little frustrating.

8 months ago

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Robert Vogt Geneva, NY

Fast and courteous - simple online application

2 weeks ago

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Henry T. Mera Queens, NY

I'm grateful for the 3-5 day quick turn around to be approved and receive the funds. It's been a while since I've opened a loan, I had forgotten about the fee to open one. Came at a hefty $420 fee from a $10K loan. Here's hoping I can pay them off and showcase I can be a trusted candidate for future ones. Very happy with the service. Thank you!

11 months ago

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EiXsia K Springfield, IL

The application process was easy and know in short time for approval.

1 month ago

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Laramie and Margie Beck Ada, OK

It took a month to finalize the loan. It took minimum of 3 days to get an email response and an hour or more on hold on the phone when I was told I had to call to finalize. May want to step up the amount of employees to meet the volume of incoming communication. I was very pleased to get a loan, when most companies turned me down. So I am pleased in the end, but the process needs work.

1 year ago

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Danielle Cortez Vacherie, LA

I wish that I could split my payments semi monthly. It would help out a lot. The origination fee is outrageous but the process was quick

4 months ago

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Scott Vacha Louisville, OH

The simplicity of the process is great! Would have given 5 stars but I think you could have given a better interest rate.

4 months ago

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Tess Rice Dallas, TX

The loan was easy. The draw from the card was messed up. It gave the draw then took it back so the interest went up. I think that was not right. But overall I guess Upgrade is okay.

8 months ago

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[email protected] Roseville, CA

I applied for a small loan, to help streamline my debt. Upgrade has a good reputation, so when I received a pre-approved letter in the mail, I decided to go with them. It was an easy process, and the customer service representative was extremely helpful. I will recommend them to any friends who need this service.

1 year ago

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Shea Checotah, OK

Overall it has been great except for the amount it said I was preapproved for was actually less than what I got but this loan helped me payoff some stuff and now I just have 1 payment versus multiple and I’m saving over $500 a month.

1 year ago

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Gpop Honolulu, HI

It was a easy application. The only problem we encountered was not understanding exactly what documents are being requested. As the application was completed towards the end of the month, a bank statement is not always available.

1 year ago

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Dcl102572 West Chester, OH

Overall great so far! The only thing is once u accept the loan it’s impossible to get thru to live agent on the toll free line. I waited for 50 min and still no one. So I asked to be called back and no one still has yet to call.

2 years ago

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Shardai Brooklyn, NY

The overall process was easy and all the representatives I spoke to were knowledgeable and answered all questions. The only issue I did have was the partner agreement you have with PenFed credit union. I would not have wanted to open a bank with them nor have my personal financial information with another bank.

2 years ago

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Mark H Potts Williamsfield, IL

Very nice...easy application process and appears to be easy to use. I like having your credit data monitored as well. I feel that Upgrade could have been a little more up front with their insistence on having your payments automated. I prefer to make them myself.

4 years ago

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lisa c stanley Pittsboro, NC

To pay off credit cards . Got approved in 3 hrs. Received money in 2 banking days. 4 stars because the origination fee was higher than I imagined. Did not know the amount until after loan was approved and funds were "on the way".

4 years ago

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Zach Meiborg Roscoe, IL

Very easy to deal with except the verification. Needs to be mobile friendly with gmail on apple. Was out of town with no access to a computer and it slowed down funding by a full week. Was super easy to use through GH Financing, I hate shopping banks.

4 years ago

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Ashley Behringer Grapevine, TX

It took about a month to get approved so that’s frustrating. Other than that I was happy to see my credit score improve after using the loan to consolidate debt, but I’m still on my first month so still feeling it out.

1 year ago

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Edwin Torres New York, NY

What I liked most was the quick responsiveness for an emergency. There was no time wasted money was sent right away. My dislikes were the fees to the 3rd party bank. I was not given all the money approved for.

1 year ago

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Heather Rodriguez Grand Rapids, MI

Hello. So far so good. However, one of the credit cards hasn’t been paid yet. How do I get that fixed. According to your site it has been sent, but no payment was posted for the card ending in 5330.

1 year ago

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Rick Oyler Fort Wayne, IN

It started off a little slow was having issues filling out the app once I talked to the office everything went fast then so wait time became minimal and 4 days later I received my funds great job

3 years ago

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Joy Adams Louisville, KY

Interest rate is high, but I needed a personal loan to get passed the next few months, catch up on medical bills and pay down a credit card as quickly as possible and increase my credit rating.

4 years ago

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Russell W Hollywood, FL

I had a pleasant experience. The process was quick, easy and hassle free. I got approved for my loan in a day and received my funds in 2 days. The only negative is the origination fee, it's kind of steep.

4 years ago

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Christopher Brown

Getting the loan was quick and easy. I applied for it on the weekend and by Monday the funds was sent to my account.

6 months ago

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D. Michael Murray Garden Valley, ID

A good experience but the process was a little lengthy. Wait times on phone were extremely long while waiting for representative to discuss loan application.

1 year ago

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KTW-187 CALIFORNIA Los Angeles, CA

Just got a loan and credit . So far everything is good. Paid down credit cards. Haven't used any credit from the card yet. Very easy to apply and approved in minutes.

1 year ago

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Pirategirl1128 Shelbyville, KY

This is my second time doing a loan with upgrade the first time for some reason was wayyy easier. The second one took forever but when i called the rep was very helpful.

1 year ago

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Karen Robinson Fort Lauderdale, FL

The loan process was very quick and simple. Thank you for giving me a chance to clean up my debt by consolidating my credit cards. I will be highly recommending your company.

2 years ago

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Michael Garrett Wimberley, TX

Overall assistance with loan process was good, however there appeared to be a disconnect within the user website which presented a small but manageable challenge.

4 years ago