Best for: Quick funding
Upgrade is an online lender that offers personal loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 with flexible repayment terms. If you are approved, Upgrade can deposit funds into your account within one business day.
In this review:
- Pros and cons
- Loan details
- Standout features
- What to consider before applying
- How to qualify
- How to take out a personal loan with Upgrade
- How to contact Upgrade
- How Upgrade compares to other lenders
- How Upgrade can improve
- Upgrade FAQ
Upgrade pros and cons
- Quick funding: If you need funds fast, Upgrade may be a good fit. Once approved, you can receive funds within 1 business day.
- Flexible repayment terms: Upgrade offers repayment terms ranging from 2 to 7 years, which allows you to choose a term that works best with your budget.
- Accessible to borrowers with poor or fair credit: Upgrade’s minimum credit score is 600, so you may be approved even with a poor or fair credit score.
- Origination fees: Upgrade charges an origination fee that is deducted from the loan amount. In other words, once approved, you won’t receive the full loan amount. Origination fees range from 1.85% to 9.99%.
- High maximum APR: Upgrade’s maximum advertised APR is high in comparison to other personal loan lenders.
- Late fee: Upgrade charges a $10 late fee for late payments, though there’s a 15-day grace period.
Upgrade loan details
|APR range||8.49% - 35.99% APR11|
|Loan amounts||$1,000 to $50,000|
|Minimum credit score||600|
|Repayment terms||2 to 7 years|
|Time to |
|You should receive your funds within a day of clearing verifications†|
|Fees||Origination fees range from 1.85% to 9.99%; late fee is $10, but there’s a 15-day grace period; returned payment fee of $10|
|Loan use||Debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, home improvement, other personal expenses|
Upgrade standout features
Upgrade personal loans come with several perks, such as:
- Joint loans available: Upgrade offers joint loans, which means you can apply with a co-borrower — someone who agrees to share ownership and repayment responsibility for the loan. Applying for a joint loan could help you qualify for a lower rate or higher loan amount.
- Free credit monitoring: Borrowers can check their VantageScore 3.0 credit score for free using the lender’s credit health tool.
- Direct payment to creditors: If you’re taking out an Upgrade loan to consolidate debt, you may appreciate that Upgrade will send funds directly to your creditors.
- Adjustable due date: You can change your due date to one that fits your unique budget.
- Small loan amounts available: Upgrade offers personal loans as low as $1,000, which may be beneficial if you need to take out a small loan for just about anything.
What to consider before applying for an Upgrade personal loan
Before you apply for an Upgrade loan, here are a few things to consider.
- High maximum rate: Upgrade’s maximum advertised rate is high compared to other lenders. If you’re looking for a loan for bad credit, you may receive an interest rate over 30%.
- High origination fee: Upgrade charges an origination fee ranging from 1.85% to 9.99% of the loan amount. Some other lenders offer personal loans without this fee.
How to qualify for a personal loan from Upgrade
You may qualify for an Upgrade personal loan if you meet these requirements:
- You have a bank account.
- You can provide a valid email address.
- You’re at least 18 years old (19 if you live in Alabama).
- Your credit score is at least 600.
- You have an annual income of at least $25,000.
How to take out a personal loan with Upgrade
If you’ve decided that an Upgrade loan is a good fit for you, take these steps to apply.
- Prequalify: Start the loan application process by prequalifying, which doesn’t affect your credit score. Prequalifying doesn’t guarantee approval, but it does allow you to preview rates and terms you may receive if approved.
- Submit a loan application: Submit a formal loan application if you think the estimated rates and terms are a good fit. You’ll have to share several financial documents with Upgrade to complete this process, such as your most recent pay stubs, government-issued ID, and bank statements.
- Accept loan offer and receive funds: If your loan is approved, you’ll receive an offer. Read the terms carefully before signing your loan agreement. Funds may arrive within one business day, depending on how fast your bank processes the transaction.
- Repay your loan as promised: Once you receive your funds, make payments on time to avoid late fees and harm to your credit.
How to contact Upgrade
You can contact Upgrade by:
- Phone: 844-319-3909
- Email: [email protected].
How Upgrade compares to other lenders
Although Upgrade may be a good lender for some borrowers, it’s not the best fit for everyone. Comparing multiple options before applying can help you choose the loan that’s best for your situation and budget.
|APR||8.49% - 35.99% APR11||9.95% - 35.99% APR||6.4% - 35.99% APR4|
|Minimum credit score||600||550||620 (in most states)|
|Loan amounts||$1,000 to $50,000||$2,000 - $35,000||$1,000 to $50,0005|
|Repayment terms||2 to 7 years||2 to 5 years||3 or 5 years4|
|Fees||Origination fee, late fee, returned payment fee||Origination fee, late fee, returned payment fee||Origination fee, late fee, returned payment fee, paper copies fee|
|Time to fund||You should receive your funds within a day of clearing verifications†||As soon as the next business day (if approved by 4:30 p.m. CT on a weekday)||As soon as 1 - 3 business days6|
How Upgrade can improve
Although Upgrade offers a competitive loan, the lender could improve its Credible rating if it made these changes.
- No origination fees: No origination fees would allow approved borrowers to receive the full loan amount.
- Lower maximum rates: If Upgrade lowered its maximum rates, its loan offering would be less expensive for approved applicants with bad credit.
- No late fees: Some of the top personal loan companies don’t charge late fees.
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about Upgrade.
What types of personal loans does Upgrade offer?
Upgrade generally offers unsecured personal loans, meaning you don’t have to pledge collateral — an asset such as a bank account or car title — to take out a loan. But in some cases, Upgrade may allow you to secure the loan with an asset to get a lower interest rate. You can use an Upgrade personal loan for nearly any purpose, though you’re not allowed to use loan funds for investing, post-secondary education expenses, gambling, or illegal activities.
How does an Upgrade personal loan affect my credit?
When you apply for a personal loan with Upgrade, the lender performs a hard credit check to review your credit history, and this can cause your credit score to drop by a few points. If you repay your loan on time, however, your credit score should recover. On the other hand, If you miss a payment, Upgrade may report the late payment to the national credit bureaus, which can cause damage to your credit.
Can I repay a personal loan from Upgrade early?
Yes, you can repay your loan as soon as you want without worrying about penalties; Upgrade doesn’t charge prepayment fees.
Credible evaluated the best personal loan lenders for fair credit based on factors such as customer experience, minimum fixed rate, maximum loan amount, funding time, loan terms, minimum credit score, whether cosigners are allowed, and fees. Credible’s team of experts gathered information from each lender’s website, customer service department, and via email support. Each data point was verified to make sure it was up to date.
Matt Carter has contributed to the reporting of this article.
The company above is one of Credible’s approved partner lenders. Because they compete for your business through Credible, you can request prequalified rates from them by filling out a single form. Then, you can compare your available options side-by-side. Requesting prequalified rates is free and doesn’t affect your credit score. Credible receives compensation if you close a loan with one of our partner lenders. The rates you receive and the fees you pay (if any) are not impacted by this compensation.
About Rates and Terms: Rates for personal loans provided by lenders on the Credible platform range between 5.20%-35.99% APR with terms from 12 to 84 months. Rates presented include lender discounts for enrolling in autopay and loyalty programs, where applicable. Actual rates may be different from the rates advertised and/or shown and will be based on the lender’s eligibility criteria, which include factors such as credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history, and vary based on loan purpose. The lowest rates available typically require excellent credit, and for some lenders, may be reserved for specific loan purposes and/or shorter loan terms. The origination fee charged by the lenders on our platform ranges from 0% to 12%. Each lender has their own qualification criteria with respect to their autopay and loyalty discounts (e.g., some lenders require the borrower to elect autopay prior to loan funding in order to qualify for the autopay discount). All rates are determined by the lender and must be agreed upon between the borrower and the borrower’s chosen lender. For a loan of $10,000 with a three year repayment period, an interest rate of 7.99%, a $350 origination fee and an APR of 11.51%, the borrower will receive $9,650 at the time of loan funding and will make 36 monthly payments of $313.32. Assuming all on-time payments, and full performance of all terms and conditions of the loan contract and any discount programs enrolled in included in the APR/interest rate throughout the life of the loan, the borrower will pay a total of $11,279.43. As of March 12, 2019, none of the lenders on our platform require a down payment nor do they charge any prepayment penalties.11Personal loans made through Upgrade feature Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of 8.49%-35.99%. All personal loans have a 1.85% to 9.99% 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 24 to 84 months. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.59% APR (which includes a 13.94% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $341.48. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,293.46. 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. Personal loans issued by Upgrade's bank partners. Information on Upgrade's bank partners can be found here.
†Accept 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 sent directly to you should be available within one (1) business day. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to 2 weeks to clear, depending on the creditor.