Upgrade Personal Loans Review

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Upgrade Personal Loan

Overall Rating

9.5

Bottom Line

Upgrade personal loans offer quick decisions on loan applications and funding in as little as one to five business days.

Pros

  • Various Loan Amount Options
  • Preapproval Won't Affect Credit
  • Fast Funding Time

Cons

  • Not Available in all 50 States
  • Higher Origination Fees

Funding Time

10.0

Loan Amounts

10.0

Fees

9.0

Availability

9.0

If you have a goal this year, such as consolidating debt or doing renovations on your house, you may consider taking out a personal loan.

Personal loans are a great way to fund a new project, consolidate debt, take a trip, or just make a big purchase. Before you take out a personal loan, you need to do your due diligence to research companies with the best interest rates and loan terms.

Many people are turning to Upgrade to finance their personal loan. But are they the best choice for you? Check out our review below to find out.

About Upgrade Personal Loans

Upgrade is a personal loan lender that focuses on free cash flow as a way to gauge eligibility. They offer quick decisions on loan applications and funding in as little as one business day.

Upgrade’s methodology sets them apart from other lenders. Their founder, Renaud Laplanche, says that setting a high bar for disposable income keeps people from borrowing more than they can afford.

Specifically, you need $1,000 in free cash flow per month to get a loan with Upgrade.

What Upgrade Personal Loans Can Be Used For:

  • Debt Consolidation
  • Home Improvements
  • Personal Expenses
  • Large Purchases

What Upgrade Personal Loans Can NOT Be Used For:

  • Education
  • Gambling
  • Home Buying

Be sure to check with their site to make sure that your reason for taking out a loan is approved by Upgrade.

Upgrade Personal Loan Features

Upgrade has some features and services that set them apart from other personal loan providers. Here are some unique features that are included when you take out a loan with Upgrade.

Hardship Program

If you are experiencing economic hardship, you may be eligible for Upgrade’s hardship program.

This program allows for a temporary reduction of monthly payments, delayed loan payments, or permanent loan modification. If you lose your job, experience an injury, or are critically ill, you may be able to take advantage of this.

Make sure to notify Upgrade if you need to utilize their hardship program. Skipping payments or ignoring the lender will only make the situation worse. Upgrade can work with you to manage your payments and get your loan back on track.

Free Credit Monitoring

There are many people that have little understanding of credit or what their credit score is. Upgrade wants you to understand your credit health and how you can improve it.

They offer tools such as credit monitoring and a credit simulator to help you understand where you stand and how you can improve. They also offer a variety of educational tools to help you understand how credit works and what it means for your financial wellness.

Upgrade Line of Credit

Upgrade also offers a line of credit, which is a unique offering compared to other personal loan providers.

Upgrade offers credit limits as high as $50,000 with no origination fees. The line of credit is unsecured, which means you won’t have to put any collateral down when you borrow.

Rates are dependent on the amount and term length, which can be anywhere from one to five years. You will only be required to pay interest for the amount that you borrow.

The line of credit comes on a credit card, and you are eligible for a new rate (6.49% to 35.89%) each time you draw from the line of credit.

Upgrade Personal Loan Details

Let’s talk numbers. What are some of the rates, loan terms, and loan amounts that you can expect through Upgrade?

  • Loan Amounts: $1,000 to $35,000
  • Loan Terms: 3 – 5 Years (which is rather limited compared to Upgrade’s competitors)
  • Funding Time: 1 – 5 business days
  • APR: 7.99% to 35.97% (fixed interest rates)
  • Origination Fee: 1.5 – 6% (deducted before you receive the money)
  • Minimum Credit Score: 600
  • Cosigner/CoBorrower Option: Yes
  • Late Fee: $10 if Upgrade hasn’t received your payment within 15 days of the due date
  • Prepayment Penalty: No

Eligibility Requirements

  • Before you apply for a personal loan through Upgrade, you should be aware of their eligibility requirements. You must:
  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid bank account
  • Have a valid email address
  • Have a monthly free cash flow of at least $1,000
  • Have a maximum DTI ratio of 40% including mortgage

If you’re self-employed, Upgrade will require a few extra pieces of information from you to ensure that you qualify.

Additional Self-Employed Requirements

  • At least two years of tax returns: all forms and pages
  • Your most recent bank statement: Upgrade wants a reflection of your personal income. You can provide either a personal or business bank statement.
  • Annualized income: Calculate your annual income so that Upgrade can understand the state of your income flow.

How To Apply

Upgrade’s application is largely self-explanatory and similar to competing loan providers.

First, you will need to go to Upgrade’s application on their site. You will be asked to select the desired loan amount and the purpose of your loan.

From there, you will be asked to enter personal information, including your income and birthdate. You will also need to provide an email, create a password for your account, and agree to Upgrade’s terms of service and privacy policy

This is all Upgrade needs in order to provide a prequalified rate. Upgrade uses a soft credit check to provide this rate, so this won’t affect your credit score. If you like the rate and want to move forward, you can do so at this point.

Once you formally apply, Upgrade will perform a hard credit inquiry to confirm your identity and credit score. After you are approved, the funds will move into your account. Your first repayment will be due one month after your funds are received.

Customer Support

Upgrade’s customer service team is available by phone (855-997-3100) or email (contact@upgrade.com.) You can reach them between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Their customer service team also uses Twitter and Facebook (@UpgradeCredit) to assist customers and field inquiries.

Upgrade has an A+ rating with the BBB and 4.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. This indicates that customers are happy with their experience with Upgrade and their customer service team. Some customers, however, have expressed concern about Upgrade’s communication when it came to their payment due dates and policies.

Pros and Cons

Every personal loan provider has factors that make them great and not so great. Here are some things to consider before you commit to a personal loan with Upgrade.

Pros

  • Hardship program: Hard times fall on everyone at some point. Upgrade’s hardship program allows you to defer two payments, alter your payment amounts, or alter the details of your loan to assist. This is helpful if you have a rough couple of months and need some wiggle room on loan payments.
  • Preapproval won’t affect credit: Like many personal loan providers, Upgrade uses a soft credit inquiry to gauge your credit when you apply. They will not perform a hard inquiry until you accept the loan offer. This allows you to shop around before deciding to close on a loan offer.
  • Funds available in as little as one day: If you need funds from your personal loan quickly, Upgrade can accommodate. If you clear verifications, you can receive your funds in as little as one business day. This can help you tackle those money goals even more quickly.

Cons

  • Origination fees: Unfortunately, Upgrade charges an origination fee that is 1.5% to 6% of the total amount of the loan. What’s worse is that this fee is applied before you receive the funds. This means that, no matter what, you will receive less than what you applied for.
  • Not available in every state: Upgrade does not provide personal loans in every state. If you live in Iowa, Colorado, Maryland, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wisconsin, you will need to search for a loan through a different lender.
  • Strict eligibility criteria: Upgrade has pretty rigid requirements in order to qualify for a loan. You must have $1,000 leftover per month after expenses, which can be limiting for many applicants. They also require additional documentation if you are self-employed. Be sure to keep this in mind as you begin to apply for a loan through Upgrade.

Alternatives To An Upgrade Personal Loan

Before you sign on the dotted line with Upgrade, be sure to check out some similar lenders that could potentially offer you a better rate. Here are some alternatives to Upgrade that you should consider.

Prosper

Prosper is a lender that is very similar to Upgrade in terms of APR and loan terms. However, they are a better option if you are seeking a personal loan for medical reasons.

Prosper works with several healthcare providers across the countries, so they can help finance certain medical procedures. Their limits are higher for this, and you can get up to $100,000 in medical costs covered by Prosper. You will need a slightly higher credit score, but this is a wonderful option for those seeking a loan for medical reasons.

Learn More: Read our full Prosper Loans Review.

Get Started:

SoFi

In today’s day in age, many lenders are abandoning origination fees to draw in customers. SoFi is an example of a personal loan lender that does not charge an origination fee.

SoFi’s interest rates are better much better than Upgrade’s at 5.99% to 18.82%, but you must have a minimum credit score of 680. SoFi also offers longer loan terms, which can further reduce the cost of your monthly payments.

SoFi has high qualification standards, but you will be rewarded with low rates, longer terms, and member benefits such as credit counseling and financial advising.

Learn More: Read our full SoFi Review.

Get Started:

Lending Club

Lending Club is a loan marketplace that is largely comparable to Upgrade. However, there are some differences that set Lending Club apart.

Much like Upgrade, Lending Club has APRs that range from 10.68% to 35.89% and charges an origination fee of 2% to 6%. Unlike Upgrade, Lending Club offers to pay creditors directly.

If you are seeking a personal loan to consolidate debt, Lending Club will pay your creditors directly so that you can avoid an awkward interaction. Additionally, Lending Club operates in every state except for Iowa, while Upgrade is limited to 44 states.

Lending Club takes longer to transfer your loan funds, but you may consider them if you are seeking to consolidate debt or are in a state in which Upgrade does not operate.

Learn More: Read our full Lending Club Personal Loans Review.

Is An Upgrade Personal Loan for You?

Upgrade is a great option for getting a loan quickly and is one of the few lenders to offer a line of credit. You will need to look elsewhere if you don’t want an origination fee or have less than $1,000 in free cash flow each month.

At the end of the day, Upgrade is going to be the best option for people whose credit is right down the middle – not too high but not too low.

If your credit is extraordinarily low, you will be stuck with a massive interest rate. Even if you have excellent credit, Upgrade’s lowest APR is 7.99%. You will likely be able to find a better rate elsewhere.

You will save the most money on your personal loan by doing your research. Choosing the best company will make sure that you end up with the lowest interest rate and minimal hidden fees. Be sure to check out some of our other personal loan reviews to ensure you’re making the best choice.

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