Upgrade Personal Loan Review

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Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

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What is Upgrade?

Upgrade is an online lender that offers affordable personal loans and lines of credit along with credit health monitoring tools. The company, founded in 2016, has its headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Phoenix, Chicago and Montreal.

Upgrade co-founders Renaud Laplanche and Jeff Bogan previously helped build LendingClub, the peer-lending marketplace that links borrowers with investors willing to fund their loans.

Upgrade’s mission is to make credit more affordable while educating borrowers on how to manage credit responsibly. What makes the company unique is its credit health monitoring platform, which helps users track their scores, visualize trends and stay on top of updates and changes.

Upgrade personal loan highlights

  • Origination fee: Upgrade charges an origination fee on all personal loans ranging from 1.50% - 6.00%. This fee is subtracted from your total loan amount before it is deposited to your account.
  • Quick turnaround: You can expect your funds to appear in your account within one to four business days, which is a nice perk if you need money fast.
  • Credit management tools: Upgrade offers free credit monitoring, as well as educational articles and personal finance resources.
  • No prepayment penalties: Upgrade doesn’t charge fees for paying off your loan early. This means you can save on interest if you close out your balance before the end of your loan term.
  • APR range: 7.99% to 35.89%
  • Minimum credit requirement: 620
  • Terms: 36 or 60 months
  • Fees: Late payment fee of $10, failed payment fee of $10
Upgrade Personal Loan Details
Terms
Fees and Penalties
  • Term lengths: 36 or 60 months
  • APR range: 7.99% – 35.89%
  • Loan amounts: $1,000–$50,000
  • Time to funding: 1-4 business days
  • Credit check: Upgrade does a soft pull when you check your rates and a hard pull once your loan is funded
  • Origination fee: 1.50% - 6.00%
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late payment fee: $10
  • Other fees: $10 for failed electronic or check payments

Upgrade product details

One perk of working with Upgrade is access to free credit monitoring, even if you don’t end up applying for or receiving a loan. You can use this tool to track your VantageScore 3.0, which gets updated each week.

There’s also a credit simulator for how certain scenarios (such as opening a new account) will impact your score, as well as educational articles to help you better manage your finances. Finally, Upgrade will send you email alerts if there is a major change to your score or suspected fraud.

Borrowers may take out an Upgrade personal loan for a variety of reasons, from home improvement to vacation to debt consolidation. But keep in mind that you cannot use your loan to pay for postsecondary education and expenses or on investments, gambling or illegal activities.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: 620
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified

To be eligible for an Upgrade personal loan, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or hold a valid visa
  • Be at least 18 years old (or 19 in several states)
  • Have a verifiable bank account
  • Have a valid email address

Upgrade does not provide loans to residents of Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Vermont or West Virginia.

When you apply for a personal loan, Upgrade may request information about your employment status, including your employer’s name and contact information, as well as your hire date. You’ll have to provide your salary information during the application process, and you may have to submit documentation to verify your income.

If you’re self-employed, you can still apply. You’ll just need to provide your tax returns from the previous two years as well as additional tax forms and bank statements depending on your business type.

Applying for a personal loan from Upgrade

The first step to apply for a personal loan from Upgrade is to check your rate on its website. This is free and won’t impact your credit score, but you will have to provide some personal information, including your name, address, email and annual income.

Upgrade will perform a Soft Pull on your credit and come back with the loan offers, including interest rates, for which you qualify.  Once you choose to accept an offer and enter your bank account information, Upgrade will begin its loan review process. This is when you’ll submit documents that verify your income and employment status. The company will also do a hard pull on your credit.

You can check your application status in your online account, which you’ll create when you check your rate. This is also where you’ll find your “To-Do List” — required action items to finalize your application.

Once Upgrade completes its review and approves your loan, you can expect to see your funds in your bank account within four business days. Keep in mind: Upgrade deducts an origination fee from your total loan amount before transferring the money to your bank.

Pros and Cons of an Upgrade Personal Loan
Pros
Cons
  • Fast funding: You’ll receive your funds within four business days of final loan approval. This is helpful if you need your money quickly.
  • Free credit monitoring: Upgrade offers free credit health tools that help you monitor your score, even if you decide not to take out a personal loan.
  • Soft Pull: Checking your rate won’t affect your credit score. Upgrade does a hard pull during the final approval process.
  • No prepayment penalties: Upgrade doesn’t charge fees for paying off your loan before the end of your term.
  • Origination fee: Upgrade deducts an origination fee of 1.50% - 6.00% from your total loan amount before depositing funds into your account.
  • Short(er) terms: Upgrade offers loan terms of 36 or 60 months, which may not work if you’re looking to spread your payments out for longer.

Who’s the best fit for an Upgrade personal loan?

Upgrade is a good option for borrowers who need money quickly — you’ll receive your funds within four business days — and those who have credit scores down to the low 600s. Even if you qualify with a lower score, however, you may receive better rates if you work to improve it.

That’s where Upgrade’s free credit monitoring tools come in. Track your score, see how certain financial scenarios will impact your credit and learn how you can improve over time. This service is available even if you don’t receive an Upgrade personal loan.

Upgrade may also work well for borrowers who need a larger loans (up to $50,000) and those who may be able to pay off their loans early since there are no prepayment penalties.

Alternative personal loan options

If you’re ready to search for offers, here are some other options.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

  • APR: 5.99%–28.99%*
  • Credit requirements: Varies
  • Terms: 36 to 72 months
  • Origination fee: No origination fee

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® offers no-fee personal loans — all you’ll pay is your loan principal and interest. This makes it an attractive alternative to Upgrade and other lenders that charge origination and late fees or prepayment penalties. That said, Marcus by Goldman Sachs® generally has stricter credit requirements. While Goldman Sachs Bank USA doesn’t explicitly state a minimum credit score, you’re more likely to qualify with a score in the high 600s.

*For New York residents, rates range from 5.99% to 24.99% APR. 

LendingClub

  • APR: 6.95%–35.89%
  • Credit requirements: 600
  • Terms: 36 or 60 months
  • Origination fee: 1.00% - 6.00%

LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lending marketplace. Borrowers request loans, and investors offer to fund them. If you have a lower credit score that won’t qualify you for a loan from Upgrade or a similar lender, you may be able to get funding from LendingClub. But keep in mind that LendingClub personal loans can take about a week to receive.

Upstart

  • APR: 7.54%–35.99%
  • Credit requirements: 620 (580 for California residents)
  • Terms: 36 & 60 months
  • Origination fee: 0.00% - 8.00%

Upstart has similar rates, terms, requirements and fees to Upgrade. Both are online lenders that allow you to check your rates with a Soft Pull on your credit. What makes Upstart unique is that it doesn’t rely solely on your credit history to approve your application. It also considers your education and area of study. That said, it has strict policies about bankruptcies, delinquencies and inquiries — you may not qualify if you have one or more of these in your history.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2019!
LenderAPR RangeLoan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Fixed rates from 5.990% APR to 16.990% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.74% APR to 14.70% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of March 18, 2019 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.72% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.49% plus 4.28% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.
    See Consumer Licenses.
  3. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  4. SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.
  5. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.

3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. All loans available through FreedomPlus.com are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details. The following limitations, in addition to others, shall apply: FreedomPlus does not arrange loans in: (i) Arizona under $10,500; (ii) Massachusetts under $6,500, (iii) Ohio under $5,500, and (iv) Georgia under $3,500. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. The range of APRs on loans made available through FreedomPlus is 5.99% to a maximum of 29.99%. APR. The APR calculation includes all applicable fees, including the loan origination fee. For Example, a four year $20,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and corresponding APR of 18.34% would have an estimated monthly payment of $561.60 and a total cost payable of $7,948.13. To qualify for a 5.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan for an amount less than $12,000.00, and with a term equal to 24 months. Adding a co-borrower with sufficient income; using at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the loan proceeds to directly pay off qualifying existing debt; or showing proof of sufficient retirement savings, could help you also qualify for the lowest rate available.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.79% – 20.89% (6.79% – 20.89% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.

LendingPoint Disclosures

  • Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 6% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon LendingPoint’s final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. LendingPoint makes loan offers from $2,000 to $25,000, at rates ranging from a low of 9.99% APR to a high of 35.99% APR, with terms from 24 to 48 months. The loan offer(s) shown reflect a 28 day payment cycle which is being offered as a courtesy as many of our customers are paid on a biweekly schedule and thus this may better align the loan payment dates with your actual income receipt schedule.

6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.

LendingClub Disclosures

All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.89%*. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: LendingClub, 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94105.

†Per reviews collected and authenticated by Bazaarvoice in compliance with the Bazaarvoice Authentication Requirements, supported by anti-fraud technology and human analysis. All reviews can be reviewed at reviews.lendingclub.com

**Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between January 1, 2018 to July 20,2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.


7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Earnest does not lend in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, or Rhode Island.

8 Important Disclosures for Avant.

Avant Disclosures

* The actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Funds are generally deposited via ACH for delivery next business day if approved by 4:30pm CT Monday-Friday. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

** Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33


* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

* Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from you bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade’s Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.

5.74% – 16.99%1$5,000 - $100,000

Visit SoFi

7.54% – 35.99%$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upstart

7.99% – 35.89%*$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upgrade

5.99% – 24.99%2$5,000 - $35,000

Visit Payoff

5.99% – 29.99%3$7,500 - $40,000

Visit FreedomPlus

6.79% – 20.89%4$5,000 - $50,000

Visit Citizens

9.99% – 35.99%5$2,000 - $25,000

Visit LendingPoint

6.95% – 35.89%6$1,000 - $40,000

Visit LendingClub

6.99% – 18.24%7$5,000 - $75,000

Visit Earnest

9.95% – 35.99%8$2,000 - $35,000

Visit Avant

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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