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If you’re looking for a personal loan from an online lender with accessible borrower requirements, Upstart and Upgrade are two options. Both lenders offer quick funding times and no prepayment penalties, but terms and fees may make one a better choice than the other.

How Upgrade Personal Loans Work

Upgrade range between $1,000 to $50,000. Before submitting an application with Upgrade, you can prequalify to see the interest rates and terms you could be offered without impacting your credit.

After prequalifying, you’ll need to submit an application to be considered for a loan. If you’re approved, Upgrade provides several loan offers, including various loan terms and rates.

Once you accept the best loan offer for you, you’ll sign the loan contract, receive your funds and start making monthly payments. Loans from Upgrade can be disbursed within a day of approval.

Upgrade Personal Loans Pros and Cons

Upgrade offers loans with quick turnaround times, but its loans may be costly for borrowers with poor credit.


  • Quick funding turnaround. Upgrade can fund your loan within a day of applying.
  • Long loan terms. Upgrade’s loan terms range from two to seven years, which can provide flexibility in monthly payment options.
  • No prepayment penalty. If you repay your loan early, Upgrade charges no prepayment penalty.


  • High maximum annual percentage rate (APR). Upgrade’s APRs range between 8.49% to 35.99%. If you have poor credit, rates can be comparable to credit card APRs.
  • Origination fee. Upgrade charges an origination fee of 1.85% and 9.99%, which is deducted from the loan proceeds.
  • Some loans require collateral. Upgrade offers secured loans that are backed by a vehicle. Although these loans can be easier to qualify for, borrowers risk losing possession of their car if they default.

How Upstart Personal Loans Work

Upstart personal loans range from $1,000 to $50,000 and may be funded as soon as one business day. The lender offers loan prequalification, which lets you see your rates and approval without impacting your credit.

Upstart differs from most other lenders in its credit requirements. Upstart doesn’t require applicants to have a long enough credit history to have a credit score and also accepts borrowers with scores as low as 300.

Instead, Upstart requires borrowers to have a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of 45% or 50%, not have filed for bankruptcy in the last 12 months and have no delinquent accounts, among other requirements.

After getting prequalified, you’d need to submit an application to be considered for a loan. If approved, you can accept or decline the loan offer.

Once your loan is funded, you’ll start repayment on a monthly or bimonthly basis.

Upstart Personal Loans Pros and Cons

Upstart offers quick funding and will look beyond credit scores while evaluating applicants, but a high maximum APR and fees can make the loan much more expensive.


  • Quick funding turnaround. You can receive your loan funds as soon as the day after accepting a loan.
  • Looks beyond your credit score. Upstart doesn’t have minimum credit requirements and considers factors such as education and employment in an application.
  • No prepayment penalty. Upstart charges no fee for repaying your loan early.


  • High maximum APR. The APR on Upstart’s loans can reach as high as 35.99%, which is among the highest compared to other personal loan lenders.
  • Limited term options. Upstart only offers loan terms of three or five years, giving you limited repayment options.
  • Charges origination fees. Loans from Upstart can include origination fees as well as late, check refund and repossession fees.

Upgrade vs. Upstart: Which Should You Choose?

Upgrade and Upstart are comparable options, including in their loan limits, quick funding turnarounds, origination fees and lack of repayment fees.

For borrowers with little or no credit, Upstart can be a better option due to its flexible borrower requirements and an application process that looks beyond your credit score. Upstart also allows borrowers to schedule automatic bimonthly payments, making it easier to make extra payments each month.

On the other hand, Upgrade is better for borrowers who are looking for more repayment options. Upgrade offers repayment terms of up to seven years, compared to Upstart’s terms, which only reach five years.

Since both lenders offer personal loan prequalification, it’s best to compare the rates and terms each lender offers to determine which option is right for you.

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Personal Loans,

Last Update: July 10, 2024