Upgrade Personal Loans 2020 Updates: Who Is It Best For?
Upgrade has low starting rates, making it ideal for borrowers with great credit. However, borrowers with credit scores between 620 and 680 should check their rate at other lenders too.
Upgrade offers fixed-rate personal loans of up to $50,000 to borrowers with fair credit or better. The application process is entirely online, and Upgrade offers fast approval and funding.
Upgrade deducts anywhere from 1.5 to 6 percent of your loan funds up front as a one-time origination fee.
Upgrade is a direct lender that specializes in unsecured personal loans for consumers who need to borrow money for any reason.
Their online application process is easy to use and understand, and you can apply and have your loan funded in a matter of a few business days.
Best of all, Upgrade lets you get “pre-approved” for a personal loan without a hard inquiry on your credit report. This benefit will allow you to find out if you might qualify — and the specific rates you may qualify for — without having to submit a full application or apply for a loan.
Pros and Cons of Upgrade Personal Loans
Could get funds within a day of clearing verifications**
Get preapproved without affecting your credit
Hardship program allows you to defer two payments
Get access to free credit monitoring
Available in 44 states
Only two loan term options: 3 years or 5 years
High origination fee that ranges from 1.5% to 6%
Must have at least $1,000 left over after monthly expenses
Stricter eligibility criteria and more documentation required for self-employed applicants
Rates, Terms and Fees
Upgrade makes unsecured personal loans with fixed interest rates. Loans are only available in two repayment terms.
To be eligible for a Upgrade personal loan, you must meet the following criteria:
U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
At least 18 years old.
Must have a verifiable bank account and email address.
Credit score of 620 or higher.
However, meeting these will not guarantee that you will be approved for a loan. Upgrade is not available to residents in the following states: Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont and West Virginia.
How Do I Apply?
You can apply for an Upgrade personal loan online by following these steps:
Click the Go to Site button on this page to visit Upgrade’s application.
Enter your desired loan amount and select the purpose of your loan. Click Check Your Rate.
Enter information about yourself, including your income and date of birth.
Provide your email and choose a password to create an account.
Who Upgrade Personal Loans are Best for:
Consumers with fair to good credit who can’t qualify for a personal loan without an origination fee.
Borrowers who can qualify for the best rates this lender offers.
Anyone who needs to borrow up to $50,000 and repay it in up to 60 months.
Anyone who wants a personal loan with no prepayment penalties.
LendingClub and Upgrade are nearly identical in terms of loan amounts, loan terms, fees and rates. That said, there are a few instances where LendingClub is a better choice than Upgrade, and vice versa.
If you want to apply jointly for the loan or have your creditors paid directly, LendingClub provides both of these options, while Upgrade does not. LendingClub is also available in more states than Upgrade.
In fact, the only state where LendingClub does not operate is Iowa. On the other hand, Upgrade will fund your loan offer faster than LendingClub. That’s because LendingClub is a marketplace lender, which means you must wait for investors to fund your loan.
This process can take upwards of one to two weeks. To be eligible at LendingClub, you’ll need a credit score of 640 or higher and a debt-to-income ratio of under 31%. You will also need to be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or on an eligible visa.
APRs: 6.95% – 35.89%
Amounts: $1,000 – $40,000
Terms: 3 or 5 years
Origination fee: 1% – 6%
Upgrade vs. Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank has more term options than Upgrade, offering loan lengths of between three and seven years. The maximum APR you can receive at Citizens Bank is also significantly lower than the maximum at Upgrade.
However, you will need to have good to excellent credit history to even qualify at the bank (you don’t have to be an existing customer, though).
Citizens Bank also lets applicants apply with a cosigner or joint applicant, and the bank is open to residents of all states.
In most cases, we recommend applicants with good credit history check their rate at both Upgrade and Citizens Bank. The only exception to this is if you plan to use your personal loan to cover home improvement expenses, which Citizens Bank does not allow.
If that’s the case, consider other lenders in addition to Upgrade, including as SoFi or Earnest.
APRs: 6.80% – 20.91% with AutoPay
Amounts: $5,000 – $50,000
Terms: 3 to 7 years
Origination fee: None
1. Will applying for an Upgrade loan affect my credit score?
It could. To evaluate your loan application, Upgrade performs a soft credit inquiry — or soft pull — of your credit history, which doesn’t affect your credit score. However, when you qualify for a loan and accept an Upgrade offer, the lender performs a hard credit inquiry that stays on your record for two years and could affect your credit score for a maximum of 12 months.
2. I received a letter from Upgrade. Is this legit?
Yes. Upgrade will occasionally send preapproval letters to borrowers who might qualify for a loan. To see the amount and terms you might qualify for, enter the 15-digit code onto Upgrade’s website.
3. Can I increase my loan amount from Upgrade after I’ve accepted a loan offer?
No. After you submit your online application and accept the terms of an offer, you can’t increase your loan amount. Before your accept your agreement, confirm that your offer fits your specific financing needs.
4. Wasn’t there trouble with Upgrade’s founder?
Yes. Renaud Laplanche was forced to step down as the CEO of LendingClub — another company he founded — after it was revealed that he invested in funds that purchased LendingClub personal loans. While it doesn’t impact Upgrade, you may still want to consider it when you’re looking into the company.
An Upgrade personal loan offers access to funds as fast as one day of clearing verifications. However, good credit is required, and the monthly free cash flow requirement could hinder some borrowers.
You’ll want to compare other providers and loan options, including personal loan providers like Upgrade, to find what works best for your needs.
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