- Borrowers who want to build their credit
- Fast loan funding
Universal Credit is a lending platform powered by Upgrade, a San Francisco-based loan broker that’s been around since 2017. Upgrade, in turn, provides and services personal loans funded through partner banks.
If you’re considering Universal Credit for a personal loan, here’s what you should know first.
In this post:
- Universal Credit interest rates and loan details
- Universal Credit personal loans review
- How Universal Credit compares to other lenders
- How to take out a personal loan with Universal Credit
- What to consider before applying for a Universal Credit personal loan
Universal Credit interest rates and loan details
Universal Credit offers fixed-rate personal loans from $1,000 to $50,000 with repayment terms of three to five years. If you’re approved, you could get your loan funds within one business day after clearing any necessary verifications.
|Fixed rates from (APR)||11.69% - 35.93% APR7|
|Loan amount||$1,000 to $50,000|
|Min. credit score||560|
|Loan terms||3 to 5 years8|
|Time to get funds||Within one day, once approved9|
|Loan use||Debt consolidation, home improvements, auto repairs, weddings, moving, boats, and other personal expenses|
Universal Credit personal loans review
In addition to a fast application and loan funding process, Universal Credit also provides access to free credit-score monitoring, educational tools, and personalized recommendations to help you understand and build your credit. These tools can help you stay on track with your financial goals, especially if you’re trying to stick to a budget or working on your credit.
But keep in mind that Universal Credit loans have origination fees ranging from 5.25% to 8.99% of the loan amount. The lender will deduct this fee from from your loan amount before it’s disbursed to you.
Learn More: Types of Personal Loans
How to qualify
To get a personal loan through Universal Credit, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or live in the U.S. with a valid visa
- Be at least 18 or older (at least 19 in Alabama)
- Have a verifiable bank account
- Have a valid email address
- Not be a resident of South Carolina, Washington, D.C., or West Virginia
You’ll also need to meet Universal Credit’s other personal loan requirements, such as its criteria for credit and income. Many lenders look at your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio when considering you for a loan, which is the percentage of your gross monthly income that goes toward your debt payments.
Universal Credit doesn’t allow cosigners, so you’ll need to qualify for a loan on your own. But since the lender works with borrowers who have fair or poor credit (a minimum required credit score of 560), it’s possible to get approved for one of its loans even if your credit is shaky.
With Universal Credit, you can choose a repayment term of three or five years. You’ll have a fixed rate and monthly payment, which means you’ll have an exact date for when your loan will be paid off.
You also have the option of signing up for automatic payments. This can be a great way to ensure you won’t miss payments in the future.
Learn More: Personal Loans From Banks: Where to Get Loans
How Universal Credit compares to other lenders
When you’re shopping for a personal loan, it’s important to consider as many personal loan lenders as you can to find the right for you. Here’s how Universal Credit compares to two of Credible’s other partner lenders:
|Fixed rates from (APR)||11.69% - 35.93% APR7||6.99% - 24.99% APR||8.3% - 35.89% APR|
|Loan terms||3 to 5 years8||3 to 7 years||3 or 5 years|
|Loan Amounts||$1,000 to $50,000||$2,500 to $35,000||$1,000 to $40,000|
|Time to fund||Within one day, once approved9||As soon as the next business day after acceptance||Usually takes about 2 days†|
|Min. credit score||560||660||600|
|Origination fee||5.25% to 8.99%||None||1% to 6%|
Credible only partners with reputable lenders and we never sell data, so you can shop around and compare rates from our lenders with confidence.
How to take out a personal loan with Universal Credit
To take out a Universal Credit loan, you’ll need to:
- Fill out an initial form on the Universal Credit website. You have to provide basic information such as your name, address, and income as well as consent to Universal Credit performing a soft credit check (this won’t affect your credit score).
- Pick your loan option. If you’re eligible for preapproval based on the information you provide, you’ll be shown the personal loan options and rates you qualify for. If you see a loan option you like, you can select it.
- Fill out the full application. At this point, you’ll need to complete a full application and undergo a hard credit check, which can temporarily lower your score by a few points. You might also have to submit documentation, such as income verification. Your application will then be approved or declined based on your credit, your income, the amount requested, and any other debt you might owe.
Before you take out a personal loan, remember to consider as many lenders as you can to find the right loan for you. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from Universal Credit and several other vetted lenders in just two minutes.
What to consider before applying for a Universal Credit personal loan
While Universal Credit offers fast loan funding as well as options for poor or fair credit, you’ll want to consider a few things before you apply:
- Its minimum rates aren’t the lowest around: Universal Credit’s rates are generally higher than competitors’ rates (this is often the case with lenders who work with bad credit borrowers). If you have good to excellent credit, you can likely find better rates on good credit loans with other lenders.
- Charges an origination fee: While personal loan origination fees are common, you might pay more with Universal Credit compared to other lenders. Some lenders — such as LightStream and SoFi — don’t charge origination fees at all.
- Limited information on its website: If you visit the Universal Credit website, you’ll have to dig deep to understand that Universal Credit is the platform for Upgrade and that Upgrade serves as a broker and loan servicer for the actual lender.
Keep Reading: Where to Get a Personal Loan
7Personal loans made through Universal Credit feature Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of 8.93%-35.93%. All personal loans have a 5.25% to 8.99% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. Loans feature repayment terms of 36 to 60 months. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 27.65% APR (which includes a 22.99% yearly interest rate and a 6% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,400 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $387.05. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $13,933.62. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early.
9Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to 2 weeks to clear, depending on the creditor.†Between April 2021 and June 2021, personal loans were funded within 48 hours after loan approval, on average. The time it takes for a loan to be funded is not guaranteed and individual results vary based on multiple factors, including but not limited to investor demand.