Upgrade personal loans are designed for mainstream appeal, supporting a wide range of credit scores and incomes. However, borrowers with credit scores between 620 and 680 should check their rates 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 upfront as a one-time origination fee.
Review of Upgrade Personal Loans
The 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 simple 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
- The hardship program allows you to defer two payments
- Get access to free credit monitoring
- Available in 44 states
- There are only two loan term options: 3 years or 5 years
- The high origination fee ranges from 1.5% to 6%
- Must have at least $1,000 leftover after monthly expenses
- Stricter eligibility criteria and more documentation are 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.
|Loan Amount Range||$1,000–$50,000|
Origination fee: 1.5–6%
Late payment fee: $10
NSF/returned payment fee: $10
There is no check processing fee
There is no prepayment penalty
|Loan Terms||3 or 5 years|
|Direct Payment to Creditors||No|
Eligibility and Criteria for Upgrade Personal Loans
To be eligible for an 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.
- A credit score of 620 or higher.
However, meeting these requirements will not guarantee that you will be approved for a loan. The upgrade is not available to residents of the following states: Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont, and West Virginia.
How To Apply for Upgrade Personal Loans
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 is Upgrade Personal Loans Best for?
- Consumers with fair to good credit can’t qualify for a personal loan without an origination fee.
- Borrowers 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.
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How Does Upgrade Compare to Other Lenders?
Upgrade vs. LendingClub
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 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. 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.
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 a 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 an excellent 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 besides 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
An Upgrade personal loan offers access to funds within 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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