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Upstart Personal Loans: 2022 Review

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Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

Updated March 15, 2022

Overview of Upstart

Upstart is a cloud-based lending platform that can help people with bad credit and no credit borrow money. The platform uses artificial intelligence to determine creditworthiness based on hundreds of variables beyond credit experience and FICO® Scores.You can request unsecured personal loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 through Upstart’s online platform. The minimum credit requirements may allow subprime borrowers and consumers with limited or no credit history to get a loan. Below we review how Upstart works and highlight some of its pros and cons.
Pros and cons

Pros

  • Quick application process
  • Applicants with low credit scores may still qualify for funding
  • Funds can arrive the next business day upon accepting the loan
  • Consumers with limited or no credit history may qualify for funding
  • Some borrowers may qualify for interest rates as low as 3.09%
  • Uses algorithms to help prevent unlawful bias to the credit decision

Cons

  • May have origination fees up to 8% 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
  • Loans not available to residents of West Virginia or Iowa

Upstart Personal Loan Terms, Rates, and Fees

Loan amounts: $1,000-$50,000APR range: 3.09% - 35.99%Origination fee: 0-8% of the loan amountMinimum credit score: Applicants with bad credit scores may qualify Time to funding: 1 business day Co-borrower needed: No

Other Lenders

Other lenders offer personal loans with different terms and conditions than Upstart:

What Types of Loans Does Upstart Offer?

Upstart offers unsecured personal loans through an online lending platform. The originators of these loans are bank partners of Upstart Network Inc., a technology company founded in 2012 that services most of the loans. Borrowers can use the unsecured loans for almost any personal purpose, including debt consolidation and student loan refinancing.All personal loans through Upstart range from $1,000 to $50,000 and may feature a three-year repayment term or five-year repayment term. There is no prepayment penalty if you pay the loan off early. Upstart also offers auto loans secured by the borrower’s vehicle.Upstart uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to determine a borrower’s creditworthiness. The platform considers more than 1,500 variables, including an applicant’s credit experience, employment status, educational history, and bank account transactions.Consumers with bad credit or no credit may qualify for loans issued through Upstart if the platform finds them creditworthy. The bank partners of Upstart may consider an applicant’s debt-to-income ratio when deciding whether to approve a loan request. The platform’s algorithms help prevent unlawful bias to the credit decision.

Important to Keep in Mind

Applicants who reside in Connecticut, Maryland, New York or Vermont must have a debt-to-income ratio or DTI not exceeding 45% to qualify for a personal loan through Upstart. Residents of other eligible states must have a DTI not exceeding 50%.Your DTI helps lenders analyze whether you can afford new debt. Lenders typically like to see a DTI below 36%, but Upstart’s bank partners may offer personal loans to applicants with debt-to-income ratios as high as 50%.Applicants with limited credit, no credit, or bad credit may qualify for a loan through Upstart if they meet other eligibility requirements as detailed below.

Applying for an Upstart Personal Loan

Applying for a personal loan on the Upstart platform can take several minutes. You can begin by completing a simple form online and seeing whether you prequalify for a loan.Prequalifying allows you to check your rate without affecting your credit score. Proceeding further with the application will trigger a hard pull inquiry into your credit report, which can cause your credit score to drop several points.

Upstart Loan Requirements

Here are some of the eligibility requirements for taking out a loan through Upstart:
  • Must reside in an eligible U.S. state
  • 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
Consumers who have applied for numerous credit cards or personal loans in the last six months do not qualify for an Upstart-powered loan. You may qualify if you have fewer than six hard inquiries on your credit report in the last six months and meet the other eligibility criteria.

The Upstart Loan Application

Upstart’s loan application process is straightforward. You go to the cloud-based web application to complete a simple form. This begins with providing basic information, including your name, how much you wish to borrow, and the purpose of your loan request. Submitting this information allows you to explore whether you prequalify for a loan.Prequalified applicants can check their rate and decide whether to proceed with the application. Moving forward with the application triggers a hard pull inquiry. Here’s what can happen if the application is approved at this stage:
  • Approved applicants are presented with at least one loan offer
  • Some applicants may receive several offers with different terms and conditions
  • You can select one of the loan offers
  • Upstart attempts to verify your identity, income, and other personal information
  • Verified applicants can approve the loan agreement and consent to the terms
  • Upstart’s bank partners may disburse the funds the next business day

The Bottom Line

Upstart uses artificial intelligence to evaluate a borrower’s likelihood of default. The platform analyzes big data to determine creditworthiness without relying on FICO Scores. This may benefit any borrower who needs credit.Lantern by SoFi can help you compare loan rates. Just provide basic information about yourself and the loan you need, and Lantern can guide you in the process to apply for a personal loan with the lender of your choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Upstart safe and legit?
What is the minimum credit score for Upstart?
Can you pay off an Upstart loan early?
Does Upstart require collateral?
Will Upstart hurt my credit?
How long does Upstart approval take?

About the Author

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

Sulaiman 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 currently serves 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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