Upstart is a peer-to-peer lending platform that offers financial solutions primarily for recent college graduates and young professionals. Borrowers can obtain unsecured fixed-rate loans. 

What separates Upstart from other lending sites is its unique approval process. For a recent college graduate, Upstart looks at other factors such as education and employment history in addition to a traditional check of your credit history with the major credit bureaus. Because this process is tailored to meet the individual applicant, Upstart states it is able to save its borrowers over 23 percent, compared to high-interest credit card rates. Additionally, the lending platform doesn't require applicants to have an excellent credit rating, the way that other online lenders do.

Keep reading our Upstart personal loans review for pros and cons of borrowing from this lender. Read Upstart reviews below to see what consumers have to say about the online lending service.

The Good

  • High Likelihood of Approval
  • Flexible Options, Fast Disbursements 
  • Upstart Loan Reviews
  • Upstart Loan Amount
  • Check Your Rate with No Credit Penalty
  • Three and Five Year Loans Terms

High Likelihood of Approval

Upstart is an excellent choice for applicants who have little to no credit history, but have a quality college degree or a high-paying job. 

Upstart personal loans are tailored to meet the needs of individual applicants. This is especially helpful for young professionals and recent college graduates. 

This lender has a minimum credit score requirement of 620, but there are no minimum lines of credit or years of credit required in order to borrow money. Factors that go into determining eligibility include:

  • Education 
  • Area of Study 
  • Job History 
  • Credit Score
  • Years of Credit 

Flexible Options, Fast Disbursement 

The loan application process is tailored to the needs of the applicant. This enables Upstart to pass on its savings directly to the borrower. This can be seen in its APR Range (lowest rate: 5.69 percent, highest rate: 35.99 percent), low fees, and competitive max loan repayment term (five years). 

The process is also incredibly fast. Most borrowers are able to qualify and receive their funds the day after they apply and are approved (it takes up to three days for education loans). It is at least a day faster than some top personal loan lenders, and can be a few days faster than other peer-to-peer lending sites. 

Upstart Loan Reviews

As of late 2019, Upstart has a 4.4/5 star rating from consumers with hundreds of reviews. Upstart reviews highlight quick approval and funds transfer (money can be transferred to your bank account as soon as one business day after approval), quality customer service, and reasonable rates (5.69% – 35.99%).

Upstart Loan Amount

Upstart loans range from $1,000 to $50,000. Borrowers' qualified loan amounts are based on credit scores, income, and other determining factors provided on the loan application. Note that some states have minimum loan amounts that may affect your eligibility for smaller loans, depending on which state you are a permanent resident of. For example, Upstart states the minimum loan amount in Massachusetts is $7,000; the minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000; the minimum loan amount in New Mexico is $5,100; the minimum loan amount in Georgia is $3,100.

Check Your Rate with No Credit Penalty

It will not affect your credit score to check what type of rate you qualify for with the Upstart network. Upstart checks your credit report with a soft inquiry, which does not negatively affect your credit, as a hard inquiry does. Unlike many other online lending platforms, this prequalification check does not require you to enter a driver's license or social security number. 

Then, if you choose to accept the loan offer and continue through the loan process, Upstart will do a hard credit check. This process is common within the industry and will affect your credit. Having the rate check be a soft inquiry can give consumers peace of mind that it will not ding their credit if they decide not to accept the initial offer. 

Three and Five Year Loan Terms

Upstart peer-to-peer loans offer three-year or five-year terms. Having a repayment term option allows you to select the term length that works best for your financial situation, and because Upstart does not charge a prepayment fee, you can pay off your loan at any time, regardless of the loan term. 

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The Bad

  • May Not Be Ideal for Debt Consolidation
  • Fees Can Add Up

May Not Be 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:

  • Average Credit Score of 689 (FICO score)
  • Debt-to-Income Ratio of 18%
  • 75.5% College Educated
  • Weighted Average Income $81,782
  • Mid-twenties to Mid-thirties

While 73.3% of Upstart borrowers state that they intend to use the loan for credit card refinancing, this might not be the best option for everyone, depending on the rates available to you. The above credentials can be difficult to meet because most borrowers are looking to consolidate debt, like credit card debt or student loans. That's why this personal loan lender may not be the best option for people that are looking for debt consolidation loans. 

Fees Can Add Up

Upstart unsecured personal loans do have fees to consider. It enforces a loan origination fee of one percent to six percent. The origination fee is taken out of the loan before the funds are disbursed to you, so the payment doesn't have to come out of your pocket. This percentage is determined by how qualified the borrower is. The higher rates go to less qualified applicants.

Upstart also charges a late payment fee at a standard rate of five percent or $15 (whichever is greater). It's a good idea to make sure your monthly payment arrives on time. However, late fees for monthly payments like this are pretty common within the lending industry, and unlike some competing online lenders, Upstart does not charge a check processing fee or a prepayment penalty (an additional charge for paying off a loan early).

The Bottom Line

When choosing a lending company, Upstart is a solid lender to consider for young professionals with a good credit score, but little to no credit or credit history. Its unique application process allows these individuals to receive competitive terms.

Potential borrowers should be aware of the origination and late payment fees. However, this is common within the lending industry. There is also no prepayment penalty or check processing charges. Upstart unsecured personal loans are funded the day after an applicant has been approved, which makes them a great choice for someone in need of money quickly. Upstart has positive consumer reviews and a wide range of loan offerings, ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. 

With all it has to offer, we suggest looking into this loan service provider — especially since Upstart does not require a high minimum credit rating and takes into account additional factors (such as education, job history, and income) to determine eligibility, it could be a great choice for your borrower needs.

Have you borrowed from Upstart? Let us know about your experience with a quick personal loans review below. 

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User Reviews

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338 Reviews

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Ramon Francois Baez
July 28th, 2015 Seattle, WA

The entire process for utilizing upstart was easy not to mention coached along the way if additional information was needed. I like the personal feeling the company gave especially with the phone call which was professional and courteous.

July 28th, 2015 New York, NY

Great service, fast results, and an all round pleasant experience.

Donell Bradley
July 28th, 2015 Hephzibah, GA

Quick response, easy process, take more into consideration than a number.

Amy Rich
July 28th, 2015

This company was fast, easy and got me the loan I requested with no trouble at all. I have a good credit score (720), but I was having trouble getting a loan because of my debt to credit ratio (which is exactly why I wanted the loan to consolidate debt). Upstart took into account what I wanted to do with the loan, that I graduated college and I have been with the same company for over 15 years, I was more than just a number to them. I would recommend them to anyone.

Jason Meade
July 28th, 2015 New York, NY

Great experience working with Upstart's customer service team to get my loans. Super helpful team and a speedy response overall.

Cordell Rogers
July 28th, 2015 Weston, MA

The customer service was stellar, and the loan application process was very easy, no initial credit check until you accept the loan, so you can see your interest rate without hurting your credit with another credit check!

Robert Shurmer
July 28th, 2015 Washington, DC

Working with Upstart was BY FAR the easiest and most stress-free experience I've every had with a financial institution. Consolidating high-interest CC debt into a single monthly payment is a great boost to stability. And all was accomplished via my desk-top: computer transactions and a single 10 min. skype call.

Katrina Royce-Malmgren
July 28th, 2015 Champaign, IL

Extremely fast and helpful service.

Frank Musonda
July 28th, 2015 Greenbelt, MD

Overall good experience

Karla Eskro
July 28th, 2015 Seattle, WA

There was quite a bit of information to provide to verify who I am and employment, etc. yet I can understand that was needed. All in all, it was a simple procedure and the staff was helpful. I would recommend Upstart to anyone.

July 28th, 2015 Marietta, OH

Very helpful staff. Loans are at very reasonable rates. A mistake in my birthdate at one of the credit reporting agencies caused a 3 week delay, but Upstart stuck with me and helped me through making the correction, and then completed the loan when the correction was made. I am sure the process would have been almost effortless had not the reporting agency been in error.

July 28th, 2015 Omaha, NE

Upstart was very easy to work with and will be tremendous help in getting my finances together.

Rick Nunnery
July 28th, 2015 Nicholasville, KY

Super easy, great people to talk too.

Barbara German
July 28th, 2015 Fort Myers, FL

The process was quick and easy. The rep I spoke to on the phone was easy to talk to and explained the loan thoroughly. I'm really hoping this service helps me to manage my debt to become debt-free!

July 28th, 2015 Boise, ID

Everything about this process has been super easy, and fast! Great customer service as well :)

July 28th, 2015 Detroit, MI

Easy and quick funding. Great customer service and wonderful experience. JM

Michael Howard
July 28th, 2015 Antioch, CA

Upstart loan application process was as stated, simple, fast and fair. They matched my loan request to a rate that equally rewarded me to my credit ratings. The review was took only 24 hours after I uploaded the required documentation. The site process to accomplish this was fast and simple. I received my funds the following business day after the review was completed as promised. Thanks Upstart.

Hernan Morales
July 28th, 2015 Raleigh, NC

Very easy and straight forward process.

Tim Janas
July 28th, 2015 New York, NY

Very good customer service.

Steve Weissenstein
July 28th, 2015 Northbrook, IL

I have nothing but great things to say about Upstart. They are an innovative company who truly understands lending. The person with whom I worked, Manny, was professional, courteous, and genuinely interested in finding me the best loan. I have always felt that most lenders were much too beholden with a person's FICO score; Upstart has realized there is much more to a person character than a number.

July 23rd, 2015 Chicago, IL

everything went great. another company was offering me the same loan but for a 25% apr. I got it done with upstart with a 15% apr. the only thing I think they should improve is when a customer makes a salary and bonuses that are consistent. Other than that, everything went great.

July 22nd, 2015 NM

So pleased with the whole loan process- very expedient and easy to do. Highly recommending if you have credit card debt accruing excessive interest.

July 22nd, 2015 Montvale, NJ

I'm very excited about this opportunity. I'm starting a new job soon and wanted to get my finances organized before making more money. I feel like the decision to use Upstart was a very smart one, and I finally feel like I can take control of getting my debt paid!

Susan Boggs
July 22nd, 2015 Columbus, OH

The only thing I was disappointed in was the "quote" was significantly different than my actual loan terms. It felt a little like "bait and switch." Otherwise, I am completely satisfied.

July 22nd, 2015 Wheeling, WV

Very easy process. I applied on a Sunday and received my loan on a Wednesday!

David Storme
July 20th, 2015 New York, NY

Overall, the process was very nice. It was a little pushy in the emails, but on the phone very pleasant. I had some issues with confirming my account due to how my bank works with the differentiation of saving and checking accounts.

July 20th, 2015 New York, NY

Easy, fast and the recommended over the competition. Other took 0.5 to 1 month and upstart only took a few days.

Meagen Anderson
July 20th, 2015 Boston, MA

Fast, easy, efficient! Well done. I will definitely recommend this to others (I already have!).

July 20th, 2015 Brooklyn, NY

I have had an amazing experience with Upstart!! They were wonderful to deal with and I was able to receive a loan to pay off my credit cards and pay much less a month to pay off the loan in only 3 years! I am looking forward to being debt free and Upstart has helped me get on the road to be there very soon!

Michael K
July 20th, 2015 Providence, RI

Everything about my experience with Upstart was exceptional. The application process was very easy and straightforward. Approval was fast and I was able to transfer the new funds to my credit cards within just a couple of days. Life changing, seriously.

Courtney Quist
July 20th, 2015 Fargo, ND

Really appreciated how easy it was. The website is very simple to use, and I loved being able to interact with an actual human both through email and on the phone. The rates are really competitive and I feel like I can breathe easier knowing that my debt will be paid off in just 3 years or less. Thank you!

July 20th, 2015 Knoxville, TN

Super easy, straight-forward, and customer service folks were friendly and down to earth.

Kristen W.
July 20th, 2015 Reno, NV

each and every member of your team has been SO helpful! my loan process was quick and easy, without a big fuss or "long processing" request. I am glad I went through you for my loan and I will definitely refer your company to friends and family. thank you!!! :)

July 20th, 2015 Dallas, TX

Upstart was very user-friendly, great customer service, and QUICK!

July 17th, 2015 Los Angeles, CA

Very easy to use. They replied to my email inquiry within a reasonable time and with a direct answer to my question. Very straightforward.

jacqueline Vogel
July 17th, 2015 Chicago, IL

fast, friendly and a great experience!

James Hunter
July 16th, 2015 Stockbridge, GA

Overall the experience was good. The only question I had is if I submitted my graduate transcript showing my Masters degree being awarded. Why does the loan officer need to see a picture of my bachelors degree? It didn't make any since. If a customer has a master degree they had to have a bachelor's degree.

Benita Palmer
July 16th, 2015 Mobile, AL

The application process was very quick and easy. I would definitely recommend Upstart to anyone needing a small loan in a hurry.

July 15th, 2015 TX

Loan was quick and easy. Interest rates weren't that great but otherwise I am grateful.

Haley Stewart
July 15th, 2015 San Diego, CA

The process was handled smoothly and professionally. I received my loans within a week of starting the process and was offered an amazing rate. I highly recommend upstart!

July 15th, 2015 Cheyney, PA

The Upstart team was awesome! Courteous and efficient. My process was done in a matter of days.

July 15th, 2015 New York, NY

Very smooth process. Would highly recommend!

July 15th, 2015 Brooklyn, NY

the application was simple and very easy to follow. I was very happy how fast the loan was approved and it was sent to my bank account

Lauri Dornbusch
July 15th, 2015 Aberdeen, SD

Upstart was very prompt returning emails etc. I was extremely satified with their service!

Amy Steig
July 14th, 2015 Redwood City, CA

I found this to be a painless process. Would definitely recommend Upstart.

Caroline Asis
July 14th, 2015 Pleasant Hill, CA

I have never had an easier process in obtaining a loan! Everyone I worked with was kind, informative, and helpful.

July 13th, 2015 Tulsa, OK

I lost my job and got myself into a bad situation with my credit and with high-interest debt. Few lenders are interested in the story behind the numbers. Upstart, however, made it possible to refinance debt at 25% interest down to under 13%. I can regain my financial footing much faster thanks to Upstart. Pros: painless, easy application process. They consider much more than just your credit score when considering your eligibility for a loan. Excellent customer service. Fast funding. Up-front and honest about additional fees. Cons: Loan origination fees are steep (5%).

Brenda Wilz
July 13th, 2015 New London, WI

The process was quick and easy. I am extremely impressed.

Sam Lynch
July 13th, 2015 Boston, MA

I had been trying to get a loan of this size at a similar rate for a while now and was having no luck. Upstart was very easy, and had great communication.

July 13th, 2015 Durham, NC

Upstart made it easy to get the funds I needed and at an affordable rate!