If you’re thinking about taking out a personal loan to consolidate debt or finance a major purchase, it’s important to shop around to find the best rates and repayment terms. You also want to make sure that the lender you choose is reputable and dependable, and is readily available should you have any questions.
Upstart is a popular lender that allows you to borrow up to $50,000. If you’re thinking about applying, here’s what you need to know about how to get a loan in order to make an informed decision.
What is Upstart?
Upstart is a lending platform that was founded in 2012 by former Google employees. It uses artificial intelligence to identify who qualifies for a loan and how much they should be able to borrow.
Upstart doesn’t issue loans; instead, it connects borrowers to lenders willing to work with them. It primarily works with young borrowers who don’t have a comprehensive credit history, helping them get loans when they otherwise wouldn’t be able to qualify through traditional lenders.
Because Upstart uses artificial intelligence, there’s no need to go through a phone screening or submit extensive documentation. Its platform does all of that work for you, so you can apply for a loan and get approved within minutes.
Since its inception, more than $3.3 billion in loans have originated from Upstart.
Which loan products does Upstart offer?
Upstart offers a variety of personal loans for different needs, such as debt consolidation, moving, or medical procedures. With Upstart, you can borrow between $1,000 and $50,000 and choose a loan term of three or five years.
Personal loans from Upstart
When you get a loan through Upstart, you can get your money in as little as one business day. And, the loans offer much lower interest rates than you’d get with a credit card.
Upstart personal loans can be a good option if you’re planning on credit card debt consolidation, or if you have a major expense coming up that you can’t pay for from your savings.
To qualify for a loan, you need to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- You must have a U.S. residential address
- You must be at least 18 years old (19 in Alabama and Nebraska)
- You must have a valid email address
- You must have a Social Security number
- You must have a full-time job, or a full-time job offer that starts within six months, a part-time job, or other verifiable source of income
- You must have a personal banking account in the U.S.
- You must have a credit score of at least 620
Please note that Upstart is not available to borrowers in West Virginia or Iowa.
|Loan amount||$1,000 to $50,000|
|Loan term||3 years & 5 years|
|APR||5.40% to 35.99% (as of July 6, 2022)|
|Credit score needed||Minimum 620|
What can Upstart personal loans be used for?
Upstart personal loans offer you flexibility, as they can be used in a number of different ways. Regardless of your intended use, Upstart loans offer the same interest rates and repayment options.
1. Credit card consolidation
If you have high-interest credit card debt, consolidating that debt with a personal loan can be a smart way to pay it off and save money. With Upstart, you can qualify for a loan with an annual percentage rate (APR) as low as 5.40% (as of July 6, 2022).
2. Debt consolidation
If you have multiple forms of debt, such as credit card and medical debt, consolidating those debts with a personal loan can streamline your payments. Going forward, you’ll have just one loan and one simple payment to remember.
3. Home improvement projects
Whether you’re planning on renovating your bathroom or replacing kitchen cabinets, home improvement projects can be expensive. Instead of using a credit card, which can have a sky-high interest rate, a home improvement loan can give you the money you need at a much lower rate.
4. Medical procedures
Unfortunately, your health insurance may not cover the full cost of necessary or elective medical procedures. If that’s the case, a personal loan can help cover the cost of the procedure or your deductible, allowing you to get the treatment you need.
According to The Knot, wedding costs in 2018 averaged $33,931. Few people have that much money in the bank, so if you’re planning your dream wedding, a personal loan can help make that goal a reality. And, you can choose a repayment term as long as five years with Upstart, making your payments more affordable.
If you’re moving to another city or state for a new job, you may get sticker shock from the cost. Movers, packing materials, and transporting your stuff can easily cost thousands. Taking out a loan to pay for your expenses can be much cheaper than using a credit card, helping you save money.
What Upstart customers are saying
If you’re shopping around for the best personal loan, make sure you pay attention to the company’s customer service and customer reviews. How a company handles customer inquiries can have a big impact on your experience as a borrower.
Upstart has an “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau, with a three-star rating out of five from customers. On other platforms, Upstart ranks well. On CreditKarma, it has 458 reviews, with a total ranking of 4.9 out of five stars. On TrustPilot, it has over 5,000 reviews and has a five-star rating. In general, users praise its ease of use, speed, and customer service.
However, you should know that Upstart was targeted by a scam in August 2019. Fake representatives were reaching out to customers and requiring them to pay upfront fees or to pay with gift cards. Upstart never requires upfront fees and does not accept payments with gift cards. If you think you’ve been contacted by a scammer, contact Upstart directly by calling 650-204-1000 or 855-438-8778 to verify.
FAQs about Upstart
Is Upstart reputable?
Upstart is a reputable company, with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. It has been in operation since 2012. Since its inception, over $3.3 billion loans have been originated from Upstart.
Will Upstart hurt my credit?
You can check your eligibility for a loan from Upstart with a soft credit inquiry, which doesn’t affect your score. However, once you apply, you’ll have to undergo a hard credit check, which can cause your score to drop slightly. According to myFico, the organization behind the FICO credit score, one credit inquiry will take less than five points off your score.
Does Upstart require proof of income?
Yes, Upstart does require proof of income. You’ll need to verify your income by submitting a recent pay stub, bank statement, or tax return.
Can I pay off my Upstart loan early?
Paying off your loans ahead of schedule is a smart way to get out of debt faster and save money. Some lenders charge a prepayment penalty, but Upstart is different. You can pay off your Upstart loan whenever you like; there is no prepayment penalty.
How is Upstart's customer service?
Upstart typically receives high marks for its customer service. It has over 5,000 reviews on TrustPilot, with a five-star rating.
Customer support is available via phone or email. Its operating hours are 6:00 am to 5:00 pm PST, Monday through Sunday. You can reach customer service by calling 1-855-438-8778 or by emailing email@example.com.
The final word on Upstart
If you are thinking about taking out a personal loan, Upstart can help you get the money you need quickly. And with a minimum credit score requirement of 620, applicants with less-than-stellar credit may be more likely to qualify for a loan through Upstart than they would through other lenders.
Looking for more options? Here’s how to get a personal loan that works for you.
Disclaimer: All rates and fees are accurate as of July 6, 2022.