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Upgrade Personal Loans: 2021 Review

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Susan Guillory
Susan GuilloryUpdated February 14, 2022

Overview of Upgrade

For some individuals, unpaid balances on multiple credit cards keep them from easily paying off  existing debts. For individuals with different interest rates on different cards, it may be challenging to keep track and pay back more than the minimum balances due each month. Upgrade offers debt consolidation loans that could help approved borrowers roll their existing debt into one monthly payment and APR. Upgrade also provides online unsecured personal loans for other purposes—including big purchases or home improvement. Here’s an overview of getting a loan online through Upgrade: 
Pros and cons


  • Interest rates may be lower than some credit cards’ rates
  • No penalty or fee for early loan repayment
  • Fast funding (typically within one business) (Updated as of 2/14/2022.)


  • Origination fee can be sizeable
  • Late payments could increase cost of fixed rate loan
  • Only the most qualified applicants may get the lowest rates

Upgrade Personal Loan Terms, Rates, and Fees

Loan amounts: $1,000-$50,000 (Updated as of 2/14/2022.)APR range: 5.94%-35.97%Origination fee: 2.9%-8.0%Minimum credit score: No minimum score required Time to funding: Within one business day of clearing necessary verifications (Updated as of 2/14/2022.)Co-borrower needed: No

Researching Other Lenders

As you research Upgrade loans reviews, be sure to explore other lenders to find the best fit and rates for your individual financial needs.

What Types of Loans Does Upgrade Offer?

Much of Upgrade is focused on offering debt consolidation loans or loans to refinance existing high-interest credit card debt. But, the loans can also be used for home improvement, growing your business, or eligible major purchases.Upgrade also offers a line of credit attached to a Visa card. Borrowers can use it like a debit or credit card, paying back the amount of the credit line that they then tap into. Upgrade may be one online lending option for applicants with fair credit, but the personal loan interest rates for those with less than excellent credit could be higher than with other online lenders. For qualifying borrowers who are presently paying high interest rates on multiple credit card balances, an Upgrade online personal loan may be one way to consolidate eligible debts into one payment with a potentially lower rate. Interested borrowers may want to check to see which rate they might pre-qualify for with Upgrade and then compare the loan offer against their existing credit card interest rates. 

Important to Keep in Mind

Upgrade may not offer the best rates out there, depending on your qualifications. The high end of its APR range is nearly 36%, which is higher than most credit cards. 

Applying for a Upgrade Personal Loan

Upgrade’s loan pre-qualification is fast and easy to complete. For qualifying applicants, turnaround time for full application approval is generally within four business days. Funds can be disbursed within one business day of clearing necessary verifications. (Updated as of 2/14/2022.)

Upgrade Loan Requirements

Upgrade doesn’t disclose all of the factors that go into its loan approval decision-making process, but it does state that applicants:
  • Be US citizens, permanent residents, or living in the US on a valid visa
  • Be 18 or older
  • Have a verifiable bank account
  • Have a valid email address
While Upgrade lists no minimum credit score to pre-qualify, they do evaluate applicant’s overall cash flow, debt-to-income ratio, credit history and monthly expenses during the final loan application process. An online loan pre-qualification quote does not guarantee that an applicant will also be approved for loan funds from Upgrade. 

The Upgrade Loan Application

An interested consumer can start by inputting how much money they want to borrow. You’ll need to choose between an individual or a joint application. You’ll also be asked brief details about your address and your annual income. Upon submitting your email address, you should then be shown your pre-qualifying rate and potential loan terms. Upgrade says checking for a pre-qualifying rate will not impact your credit score.Once you choose an offer, including your interest rate and payback period, you may be asked for additional information to verify income and identity. Once everything is verified, and if you are approved, you should get your funds within one business day. (Updated as of 2/14/2022.) When the loan is funded, Upgrade runs a hard credit inquiry, which will show on the applicant's credit report and may be viewed by third parties. 

The Bottom Line

If high interest rates on credit cards are forcing you to pay more than you want to on your debt, an Upgrade loan could be one way to roll multiple payments into one payment—potentially with a lower fixed rate. Some applicants may be able to qualify for either more competitive or lower rates with other lenders—without a hefty origination fee.Looking for more personal loan options? With Lantern's help, you can find the right one for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Upgrade a good lender?
Is an Upgrade loan legit?
How long does it take to get money from Upgrade?
Can you pay off an Upgrade loan early?
Does Upgrade do a hard pull?

About the Author

Susan Guillory
Susan GuillorySusan Guillory is the president of Egg Marketing, a content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several business books, and has been published on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and Cision. She enjoys writing about business and personal credit, financial strategies, loans, and credit cards. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.
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