Online lenders are popular alternatives to banks, credit unions, and other traditional lenders. These fintech companies use technology to offer personal and business loans directly without visiting a physical financial institution. Fintech lenders are reputed for their simple application process and faster approval period. In this article, we will review Upgrade — an online lending company that offers personal loans.
Upgrade entered the online lending scene in 2017. The lending platform aims to help borrowers reduce fees and build solid credit history with low-cost Upgrade financial products. They offer personal loans between $1,000 - $50,000 with APRs ranging from 6.95 - 35.97%. Once you qualify and get approved, you’ll get funded within 1 - 4 days.
Loans feature repayment terms of 3 - 5 years. The good thing is, Upgrade doesn't charge a prepayment fee. So you can pay your loan sooner than the original loan term at no extra costs.
Upgrade Loan Types
Common types of Upgrade personal loans include:
- Refinance Credit Card Loans. You can get a personal loan from Upgrade to eliminate high-interest credit card debt at a lower rate, with a fixed monthly payment, and clear payoff date.
- Debt Consolidation loans. If you have multiple loans (credit cards, medical bills, etc.), it might help to combine all your debts into one. Instead of making multiple payments to different lenders, you can structure and streamline repayments with a single monthly payment. You could be eligible for a lower rate with direct payments to creditors on your debt consolidation loans.
- Home improvement loans. Upgrade offers personal loans to finance home improvement projects. You can choose from customized fixed rate options that fit your budget and use the proceeds for all types of home improvement projects.
- Large purchase loans. Not everyone has out-of-pocket money for large purchases. A Large Purchase loan from Upgrade can help cover major furniture upgrades and home appliance purchases.
- Other loans. Upgrade also offers many other types of specialized personal loans like Dental Loans, Pool Loans, Vacation Loans, Medical Loans, and loans to cover sudden expenses or plan special occasions.
You can apply for the following types of loans: refinance credit card, debt consolidation, home improvement, large purchase, other loans.
|APR||6.95 - 35.97% |
|Amount||$1,000 - $50,000 |
|Term||3 - 5 years |
|Origination fee||2.9 - 8% |
As you can see from the table the maximum loan amount is $50,000, and the APR starts at 6.95% for the best graded borrowers. The loan period varies from 3 to 5 years.
Upgrade Personal Loans: Pros & Cons
|Pros: ||Cons: |
|Low rates. Upgrade APRs start at 6.95% for best-rated borrowers and offer a discount for setting up autopay. ||Origination fee. Upgrade charges an origination fee of 2.9 - 8%. |
|No minimum credit requirement. Upgrade doesn’t impose strict minimum credit requirements. Loans could be accessible to borrowers with a fair credit score or better. ||Other fees. Late payment fee up to $10 after 15 days, and failed payment fee of $10. These can quickly add up and increase the cost of borrowing if you run into financial hardships. |
|Fast funding. You can get approved and receive funding within a day. That's great if you need money within a short call. |
|Reports to three major credit bureaus. Upgrade reports to all three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. That makes building credit easier. |
|Joint applications. You can add a co-borrower to improve your chances of qualifying for a loan. |
|Direct payments on existing debt. Upgrade offers direct payments to lenders on debt consolidation loans. |
Applying for an Upgrade loan
General Upgrade lender requirements include:
- U.S. Citizenship or permanent residence
- At least 18 years old
- Verifiable bank account and email address
- Upgrade doesn't disclose minimum FICO score or debt-to-income ratio. Eligibility depends on Upgrade’s evaluation of your income, credit history, and other factors.
- Upgrade isn't available in West Virginia and Washington, D.C.
You can start the application by choosing your loan amount and loan purpose. You'll be required to provide basic personal information and your annual income details. Additionally, you would need to enter your email address and password to create your Upgrade account and sign in to see loan offers. At this point, Upgrade performs a soft credit pull, which doesn’t affect your credit score, and provides a range of eligible loan offers and loan terms you can choose from.
Once you select a suitable loan offer, Upgrade will perform a hard inquiry on your credit to complete the application process. Upgrade may request more information or documents before final approval. Self-employed applicants will be required to provide tax returns for two years, bank statements, form 1040 Schedule C, etc. So keep an eye out on your accounts To-Do List.
Upgrade offers personal loans at competitive rates to borrowers with fair credit or better, who need funds quickly. The lender doesn't charge prepayment fees, so you can pay your loan sooner and save money on interest rates. Plus, Upgrade reports loan activities to the three major credit bureaus, which helps you build credit faster.
That said, borrowers have to contend with an origination fee of 2.9 - 8% and late payment fees or failed payment fees. So make sure you can make on-time payments.
What is the Upgrade customer service number?
Is Upgrade loan legit?
Yes, Upgrade is a legit online lender headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in Chicago, Phoenix, and Montreal.
Does Upgrade offer business loans?
No. Upgrade offers personal loans only. Though you can choose «Business» as one of their loans' purposes, you'll be directed to Fundera, an online lender that offers business financing.
What is the Upgrades minimum credit score requirement?
Upgrade doesn't disclose a minimum credit score for its loans. Based on the information from third-party sources funds could be accessible to borrowers with at least fair credit.