Upstart is a personal loan provider that offers financial solutions primarily for recent college graduates and young professionals. What separates Upstart from other personal loan providers is its unique approval process. For a recent college graduate, this means Upstart would look heavily at the applicant’s GPA, SAT scores, and areas of study instead of only credit history. Because this process is tailored to meet the individual applicant, Upstart states it is able to save its borrowers over 25% compared to high-interest credit card rates.
High Likelihood of Approval
Upstart is an excellent choice for applicants with little to no credit history and have a quality education or a high-paying job. Upstart personal loans are tailored to meet the needs of the individual applicant. This is especially helpful for young professionals or recent college graduates. There is a minimum credit score requirement of 640 but there is not a minimum lines of credit or years of credit history required in order to apply. Factors that go into determining eligibility include:
- Areas of Study
- Job History
- FICO Score
- Years of Credit
Flexible Options, Fast Disbursement
With the application process being tailored to better meet the needs of the applicant, Upstart is able to pass on its savings directly to the borrower. This can be seen in its 4.99%-29.99% APR Range, low fees, and competitive max loan term (5 years).The process, from start to finish, is also incredibly fast. Most borrowers are able to receive their funds the day after they applied/were approved (it takes up to three days for education loans). This is at least a day faster than some other top personal loan companies.
Not Ideal for Debt Consolidation
Although the approval process is tailored to meet the needs of the individual applicant, being approved can be challenging. The average Upstart personal loan borrower has the following credentials:
- Credit Score of roughly 620
- Debt-to-Income Ratio 18%
- Mid-twenties to mid-thirties
Since most borrowers are looking to consolidate debt, the above credentials can be difficult to meet.
Fees Can Add Up
Upstart personal loans do have fees to consider. It enforces an Origination Fee of 1%-6%. This fee is taken out of the loan before the funds are disbursed to you, meaning 1% to 6% of the total amount of the loan is taken out. This percentage is determined by how qualified the borrower is, with higher rates going to less qualified applicants. Upstart also charges late fees at a standard 5% or $15 (whichever is greater). Unlike some of its competitors, Upstart does not charge a Check Processing Fee. There also is no Prepayment penalty, making these loans a solid choice for consolidating debt or paying off high-interest credit cards.
*Chances for Approval: Star rating is determined by evaluating APR Range, Minimum Credit Score Requirement, Max Loan Length, and other related approval data.
- Avg. credit score of 620-700
- Debt-to-income ratio 18%
- Average age mid-20s to mid-30s
Upstart does not require minimum lines of credit/length of time with credit to be approved.
In order to apply for a personal loan through Upstart, follow the steps below. The entire process (checking your rate to receiving funds) takes as little as 1 business day.
Check Your Rate
Provide answers to the following questions to receive a rate quote. According to Upstart, this step takes as little as 2 minutes.
- Loan Amount Desired (between $1,000 and $50,000)
- Date of Birth
- Phone Number
- Credit Score (approximate score)
- Highest Level of Education (ex. High School, Bachelor’s, Master’s, etc.)
- If you selected a Bachelor’s degree, enter your school, year of graduation, and area of study
- Primary Source of Income (Employed-Salary, Employed-Hourly, Employed-Independent Contractor, etc.)
- Select your industry, job category, company, start date (month and year), annual income, and additional compensation
- Have you taken out any new loans in the past 3 months? (Yes or No)
- Email Address
- Password (to save your information)
Click the check-box agreeing to the terms and conditions described below. To see your rates, click AGREE AND SEE YOUR RATE
Accept Terms/ Receive Funds Next Day
If approved, you are now presented with personal loans terms/options. This page will detail the different personal loan terms available for you, including (but not limited to) max loan amount, max loan term, APR range, and monthly payment. On this page, you can also change the max amount you are looking for to see what the rest of the terms will adjust to. Select the loan that best meets your needs. Receive funds the next business day.
Repay (over time)
Once you have received funds, you will then be put on a monthly payment plan. You will have the opportunity to set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account to make paying off your loan over time even easier.
- Origination Fee: 1%-6% (depends on eligibility)
- Late Fees: 5% or $15 (whichever is great)
Upstart does not charge a Prepayment Fee or Check Processing Fee.
Upstart was founded in 2012 by ex-Googlers Anna Mongayt, Dave Girouard, and Paul Gu. Their goal was to create a lending platform that focuses far less on the traditional credit score and more on an applicant’s potential. This potential, they figured, could be determined based on other factors including education (where, what was studied, and how well applicant did on coursework), and work history.