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Upstart

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350 User Reviews

5.9

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: August 12th, 2022

Upstart is a peer-to-peer lending (p2p lending) platform that offers financial solutions primarily for recent college graduates and young professionals. Borrowers can expect the following with an Upstart loan:

  • Loan amounts — $1,000-$50,000
  • Loan terms — 3 & 5 year
  • Rates — 8.27%–35.99% APR
  • Next-day funding
  • No prepayment penalty fee

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 major credit bureaus, increasing chance of approval.

Keep reading our 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.

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The Good

  • High Likelihood of Approval
  • Flexible Options, Fast Disbursements
  • Loan Amounts
  • Pre-Qualify with No Impact to Your Credit Score
  • Positive Customer Reviews

High Likelihood of Approval

This lender has a minimum credit score requirement of 620, but Upstart looks at other factors to determine rates and terms, and whether or not a borrower will be approved:

  • Education level
  • Area of study
  • Job history
  • Credit score
  • Years of credit

The fact that Upstart doesn't only look at credit score for approval is good news for recent college graduates or young professionals who may not have an established or extensive credit history.

Flexible Options, Fast Disbursement

The loan application process is very fast. Most borrowers are able to qualify and receive their funds in as little as one business 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.

Loan Amounts

Upstart personal loan amounts range from $1,000 to $50,000. Loan amounts borrowers qualify for are based on credit scores, income, and other determining factors provided on the loan application. 

Note that some states have differing minimum loan amounts that may affect your eligibility for smaller loans. Therefore, make sure that you check the specific loan terms available in your state of residence.

Pre-Qualify with No Impact to Your Credit Score

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 credit check inquiry, which does not negatively affect your credit, as a hard inquiry does. 

If you choose to accept the loan offer and continue through the loan process, Upstart will do a hard credit check. This process is standard within the industry and will have a temporary impact on your credit score.

Positive Customer Reviews

Over 80 percent of the 300 plus reviews for Upstart personal loans are four and five stars. This speaks volumes to the customer satisfaction that many of it's clients feel.

Many commend Upstart as an online lender that is fast, transparent and trustworthy. 

In addition, It should be noted that when it comes to Best Company's sentiment criteria, Upstart reviews come in around two-and-a-half stars for individual breakdowns. Make sure to read both the positive and negative reviews to see if an Upstart loan is the right choice for you.

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The Bad

  • Higher-Than-Average Rates
  • May Not Be Ideal for Debt Consolidation
  • Fees Can Add Up

Higher-Than-Average Rates

If you're looking for a low interest rate for your personal loan, Upstart may not be the best choice for you. Upstart has a slightly higher APR range compared to its competitors, with an APR Range of 8.27 percent to 35.99 percent* (as of January 2021).

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:

  • Debt-to-income ratio of 18%
  • 75.5% college educated
  • Weighted average income of $81,782
  • In the mid-twenties to mid-thirties age range

While 73.3 percent of Upstart borrowers state that they intend to use the loan for credit card debt consolidation, this might not be the best option for everyone, depending on the rates available to you. Because the above requirements can be challenging to meet, you may not receive the most competitive rates, which may not be the best option if you are looking to lower the interest rate on your existing debt.

Fees Can Add Up

Upstart unsecured personal loans do have fees to be aware of. Below you'll find the three most common fees that you are likely to face.

  • Origination fee — The origination fee is 0 percent to 8 percent of the loan amount and 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.
  • Late payment fee — The Late payment fee is a standard rate of 5 percent or $15 (whichever is greater) after being 10 days past due your personal loan payment. Make sure your monthly payment arrives on time. However, late fees for monthly payments like this are pretty common within the lending industry.
  • ACH Return or Check Refund Fee — This $15 fee is issued if bank transfers (ACH) or checks are returned or fail due to insufficient funds in your account or for any other reason.

On the upside, unlike some competing online lenders, Upstart does not charge a check processing fee or a prepayment penalty fee (an additional charge for paying off a loan early).

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The Bottom Line

When choosing a lending company, Upstart is a great option to consider, especially 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, and to receive funding as soon as one business day after applying.

Potential borrowers should be aware of the origination and late payment fees, common in the personal loan industry, in addition to higher rates than other lenders (8.27 percent to 35.99 percent APR, as of January 2021). However, Upstart has no prepayment penalty fee or check processing charges.

With all it has to offer, we suggest considering Upstart for your personal loan needs - especially since Upstart does not require a high minimum credit rating, taking additional factors (such as education, job history, and income) into account to determine eligibility, and offering same-day approval and funding. In addition, the majority of Upstart loan reviews are positive, with customers highlighting a quick and easy application and approval process, great customer service, and competitive rates.

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

*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 25.79 and 36 monthly payments of 37 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.

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Star Rating

4.2

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350 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

63%

4 grade

22%

3 grade

2%

2 grade

0%

1 grade

13%

Sentiment Criteria

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James Goodman Port Orchard, WA

Upstart has great marketing, but lacks follow through. I did a pre-approval was given my interest rate, but when it was finalized the rate was different. Did not appreciate the bait and switch.

1 day ago

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Anthony Spinazza San Jose, CA

The process was fairly smooth. Super friendly reps. Drew was on the ball with his follow up. The girl I talked to 8/4 was super nice at first but seemed irritated as I asked to compare the difference in loan amounts vs the terms. Overall, good experience. Happy to have received the loan amount I did and impressed with turn around time.

7 years ago

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David Storme 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.

7 years ago

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Erin New York, NY

Very responsive - but sometimes a little too much contact. Requesting documents I had already submitted several times was a little frustrating as I was worried they hadn't been received. However, everyone I talked to was very nice and the process was incredibly quick.

7 years ago

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Jen Cincinnati, OH

Very easy to work with. Good procedure. The interest rate advertising is a little misleading, but overall very competitive.

7 years ago

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Frank Musonda Greenbelt, MD

Overall good experience

7 years ago