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Universal Credit Personal Loans: 2024 Review

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Jennifer Calonia
Jennifer CaloniaUpdated January 2, 2024

Overview of Universal Credit

Universal Credit is an online lender that partners with banks to offer loans of $1,000 to $50,000 with an APR of 11.69% to 35.99%. It provides borrowers with a general personal loan option as well as a debt consolidation loan option that has a creditor payoff feature. Borrowers are not charged prepayment penalties for paying off their Universal Credit loan early. However, there is an origination fee of up to 9.99% that will be deducted from the loan principal.The Takeaway: Universal Credit offers quick personal loans at fixed rates and can be a lending option for borrowers with low credit. But be prepared to pay higher interest rates and an origination fee. 

Pros and Cons of Universal Credit

• Wide range of loan amounts• Accessible to those with lower credit scores• Quick funding• Origination fee applies• No cosigner or co-borrower option• Potentially high interest rates

Pros of Universal Credit

Range of borrowing amounts

Whether you need funds for an unexpected vet bill or to fund a planned adoption, a Universal Credit personal loan offers a broad range of loan amounts. Unlike some lenders that set a minimum loan amount at $5,000, eligible borrowers can borrow as little as $1,000 with a Universal Credit personal loan to pay for an upcoming expense. For larger financing needs, you may be able to take out as much as $50,000 if you qualify.

Flexible credit requirement

Universal Credit doesn’t publish the minimum credit score it requires of personal loan applicants. However, this lender is an option for borrowers with low or poor credit. Just keep in mind that the lower your credit, the higher your interest rate will likely be. One of the types of personal loans that Universal Credit offers is a debt consolidation loan.

Quick funding

With Universal Credit you can get fast access to your money. After you’ve accepted your loan offer, all you have to do is provide requested document verifications and the lender can disburse your funds within a day. You can make additional payments or pay off your loan early. Universal Credit doesn’t impose prepayment penalties or fees.

Cons of Universal Credit

Charges an origination fee

Universal Credit charges an origination fee that ranges from 5.25% to 9.99%. This fee will be automatically deducted from your loan disbursal. However, it is still considered part of your principal balance, which means you’ll pay interest on it.

No cosigner or co-borrower option

Currently, the lender doesn’t offer an option to include a cosigner on a loan. That means borrowers with low credit might have to be willing to accept a high interest rate.

High APRs

With a minimum APR of 11.69%, a personal loan from Universal Credit may come with higher rates compared to other lenders, whose rates tend to start below 10% APR.

Universal Credit Personal Loan Terms, Rates, and Fees

Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000APR range: 11.69% to 35.99%Loan terms: 36 to 60 monthsPrepayment penalty: NoneApplication fee: Not disclosed.Origination fee: 5.25% to 9.99%Co-borrowers allowed: NoApproval speed: Prequalify within minutes, receive funding within one business dayInformation accurate as of Jan. 2, 2024.

Who May a Universal Credit Personal Loan Be Right For?

  • Borrowers with lower credit. Universal Credit may accept applications from those who have fair or poor credit.
  • Borrowers who want to consolidate debt. A personal loan from Universal Credit can streamline payoffs to your creditors.
  • Borrowers looking for a smaller loan. Universal Credit offers loans starting at $1,000.

Who Universal Credit May Not Be Right For

  • Borrowers who want competitive interest rates. Universal Credit’s starting APR is high compared with other private lenders.
  • Borrowers who want a cosigner or co-borrower. Adding a cosigner or co-borrower is generally not an option with this lender.
  • Borrowers who want to avoid upfront fees. Universal Credit charges an origination fee of up to 9.99% on its personal loans.

What to Watch Out for With Universal Credit Personal Loans

  • Although Universal Credit might have flexible credit criteria, you’ll still need to meet its other requirements, including payment history and credit usage, to qualify.
  • Moving forward with a loan application entails a hard inquiry into your credit report, which can affect your credit score.
  • The lender charges late fees so be sure to make your payments on time.

Universal Credit Personal Loan Eligibility Requirements

Borrowers who are interested in financing through Universal Credit must meet its basic eligibility requirements for a personal loan:
  • U.S. status: You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Individuals with a valid visa who live in the U.S. are also eligible.
  • Age: Must be at least 18 years old. Alabama residents must be at least 19 years old.
  • Identity documents: May need to provide proof of identity, such as a valid driver’s license.
  • Banking requirements: Must have a verifiable bank account.
  • Other requirements: Must have a valid email address.

Repayment Options for Universal Credit Personal Loans

The lender provides personal loans with repayment terms that range from 36 months to 60 months. A longer repayment period means you’ll have lower monthly payments, but you may also pay more interest charges over the term of the loan.

How to Apply for a Universal Credit Personal Loan

  1. Check your rate online. Enter your desired loan amount and loan purpose, as well as personal information, including your Social Security number and annual income. Then, create an account by providing your email address and setting up a password.
  2. Select your offer. If you’re preapproved, Universal Credit will display your eligible offers, based on your desired repayment term and budget. Choose the loan you want to move forward with and fill out a loan application.
  3. Provide necessary documentation. Universal Credit might request supporting verification to prove your application details. You can upload the necessary documents into your online loan dashboard.
  4. Receive funding. If your application is approved, you specify how you’d like the loan disbursed. The lender may send the funds to your bank account within one business day.

Alternatives to Universal Credit Personal Loans to Consider

Universal Credit personal loans have pros and cons, as discussed, so it can be smart to compare lenders when searching for online personal loans:
LenderLoan amountsAPR rangeMaximum term
Achieve (formerly FreedomPlus)$10,000 to $50,0008.99% to 35.99%60 months
Avant$2,000 to $35,0009.95% to 35.99%60 months
Best Egg$2,000 to $50,0007.99% to 35.99%60 months
LendingClub$1,000 to $40,0009.57% to 36%60 months
OneMain Financial$1,500 to $20,00018% to 35.99%60 months
Prosper$2,000 to $40,0007.95% to 35.99%60 months
Universal Credit$1,000 to $50,00011.69% to 35.99%60 months
Upgrade$1,000 to $50,0008.49% to 35.99%60 months
(The above information on APR range, loan amounts, and maximum term lengths will be updated weekly, every Monday.)Some other options you might want to consider include:With Lantern by SoFi, you can quickly and easily compare personal loan offers from multiple lenders, including Universal Credit, all in one place. Just fill out one simple form, explore your financing options, and apply for a personal loan that fits your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Does Universal Credit do a hard inquiry?
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About the Author

Jennifer Calonia
Jennifer CaloniaJennifer Calonia is a Los Angeles-based finance writer who has covered the gamut, including student loans, credit card rewards, consumer loans, and debt. Her work has been featured in outlets like Bankrate, NerdWallet, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, and U.S. News.
Brand namesNo brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.