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Upstart Personal Loans: 2023 Review

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Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman
Sulaiman Abdur-RahmanUpdated January 22, 2023

Overview of Upstart

Upstart offers personal loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 through its online lending platform. Powered by artificial intelligence, the cloud-based platform can help people with bad credit and no credit borrow money. Upstart personal loans have fixed interest rates ranging from 6.5% to 35.99%, and their terms can be either three years or five years.The Takeaway: Upstart’s credit model may empower subprime borrowers and consumers with limited or no credit history to get a loan. Upstart personal loans may be right for you if you need to borrow at least $1,000 and have weak or no credit.

Pros and Cons of Upstart

• Applicants with low credit scores may qualify for funding• Consumers with limited or no credit history may also qualify for funding• Quick application process• Uses algorithms to help prevent unlawful bias to the credit decision• Funds can arrive the next business day upon accepting the loan• May have origination fees up to 10% of the loan amount• Offers limited repayment terms of three years or five years• Some borrowers may qualify for interest rates as high as 35.99%• May charge up to $10 if you request paper copies of your electronic records• Must have a personal bank account in your name to receive your loan

Pros of Upstart

As highlighted in the Upstart reviews above, customers generally appreciate the pros of Upstart personal loans. Upstart’s artificial intelligence or AI-powered credit model considers multiple factors that can help subprime borrowers access credit. Consumers with no credit history may also qualify for an Upstart personal loan.

Cons of Upstart

Upstart personal loans can carry APRs as high as 35.99%. Term lengths can be three years or five years, which might not be right for you if you prefer a shorter term or longer repayment period. Upstart may also charge a one-time origination fee as high as 10% of the principal loan amount.

Upstart Personal Loan Terms, Rates, and Fees

Loan amounts:$1,000 to $50,000APR range: 6.5% to 35.99%Loan terms: 3 years or 5 years Prepayment penalty: NoApplication fee: Origination fees can range from 0% to 10% of the loan amount Co-borrowers allowed: NoApproval speed: Loan approval within minutes, funding can be received within one business dayInformation accurate as of Jan. 22, 2023.

Who May an Upstart Personal Loan Be Right For?

An Upstart personal loan may be right for the following demographics:
  • Borrowers with bad credit who need a $4k loan
  • Consumers with no credit history who need to borrow a $2,000 personal loan
  • Borrowers who need quick personal loans from a legitimate lender rather than a loan shark

Who Upstart May Not Be Right For

An Upstart personal loan may not be right for the following demographics:

What to Watch Out for With Upstart Personal Loans

Upstart Personal Loan Eligibility Requirements

You'll need to meet these personal loan requirements to qualify for an Upstart loan:
  • Must reside in an eligible U.S. state (West Virginia and Iowa residents are not eligible)
  • Must be at least 18 or 19 depending on state
  • Must possess a valid email address and Social Security number
  • Must have a steady income stream
  • Must have a personal U.S. bank account
  • Debt-to-income ratio must not exceed 45% or 50% depending on state
  • Must have no reported bankruptcies in the last 12 months
  • Must have no current delinquencies listed on your credit report

Repayment Options for Upstart Personal Loans

Here are some loan repayment options that may be available to Upstart customers:
  • One-time payments made online each month
  • Authorizing recurring payments via Automated Clearing House or ACH 
  • Automatic bimonthly payments
  • Making multiple one-time payments online during any given month

How to Apply for an Upstart Personal Loan

  1. Apply online. Applicants can get started by answering basic questions on a digital platform, including your reason for the loan and how much you would like to borrow. Applicants can check to see if they have any prequalified loan options from Upstart. Seeing your loan options won’t affect your credit score, but applying for one may trigger a hard inquiry that can cause your credit score to drop by several points.
  2. Verify information. Applicants are expected to verify their personal information during the application process. Upstart in some cases may request an applicant to provide additional supporting documents for verification purposes. Most borrowers on the Upstart platform can complete the application process automatically without needing to provide additional supporting documents.
  3. Accept the loan. Approved applicants may sign and accept the loan offer at this stage. Borrowers may receive their personal loan funds within one business day. Applicants are not required to accept the loan if they don’t like the terms and conditions.

Alternatives to Upstart Personal Loans to Consider

As highlighted above, personal loans from Upstart have several pros and cons. When you need to borrow money, it can be wise to compare private lenders before submitting any loan applications. Here are some alternatives to Upstart personal loans that you may consider:
  • Prosper: Prosper offers unsecured personal loans ranging from $2,000 to $50,000. Borrowers can choose loan repayment terms ranging from two to five years. APRs on these loans can range from 6.99% to 35.99%. One of the major drawbacks with Prosper personal loans is borrowers may have to pay origination fees.
  • Upgrade: Upgrade offers personal loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 with terms ranging from 24 to 84 months. APR on Upgrade personal loans can range from 7.96% to 35.97%. One of the major drawbacks with Upgrade personal loans is they may charge origination fees ranging from 1.85% to 8.99% of the loan amount.
  • Mariner Finance: Mariner Finance offers secured and unsecured personal loans ranging from $1,000 to $25,000. Borrowers can choose loan terms ranging from 12 to 60 months. The APR can include loan processing fees and interest charges. One of the major drawbacks with Mariner Finance is the company lacks a physical branch location in more than 20 states.
  • Lantern: Lantern by SoFi can help you quickly find online personal loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. Just fill out one simple form to compare possible lending options and select a lender of your choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Upstart a trustworthy site?
Does an Upstart loan help build credit?
How long does it take Upstart to approve a loan?
Is it hard to get a loan from Upstart?

About the Author

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman
Sulaiman Abdur-RahmanSulaiman Abdur-Rahman writes about personal loans, auto loans, student loans, and other personal finance topics for Lantern. He’s the recipient of more than 10 journalism awards and served as a New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists board member. An alumnus of the Philadelphia-based Temple University, Abdur-Rahman is a strong advocate of the First Amendment and freedom of speech.
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