Upgrade is a direct online lender that opened its doors in 2017. It offers personal loans and a line of credit known as the Upgrade Card. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company has offices in Chicago, Montreal, and Phoenix. According to its website, 8 million people applied for an Upgrade Card or loan within two years.
Upgrade’s mission is to reduce fees through its low-cost credit products. The company strives to educate customers about their finances by offering credit monitoring and education, which may help users improve their credit scores over time. It has plans to offer mobile banking in the future.
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Less Competitive APR
- Prequalification Available – Upgrade allows you to check rates online in minutes with a soft pull on your credit. This won’t impact your credit score.
- Co-Applicant Allowed – By applying with a co-signer, you may qualify for a better offer. This may include a bigger loan with a better interest rate if your co-applicant has better credit than you have. Upgrade doesn’t allow joint applicants for personal lines of credit, though.
- Quick Funding – Upgrade will transfer the loan proceeds within one business day of getting approved. You should have access to the money within four business days of approval.
- Payment Flexibility – Upgrade allows you to change your payment date to better fit your monthly budget.
- Origination Fee – Upgrade personal loans have an origination fee of 2.9% to 8%. The company deducts this fee from your loan proceeds.
- Less Competitive APR – You may qualify for an annual percentage rate (APR) of 7.99% to 35.97%, depending on your creditworthiness. This isn’t the most competitive APR on either end of the range.
- Late Fee – If you don’t make a payment within 15 days of your due date, Upgrade will charge a $10 late payment fee.
Types of Personal Loans Offered by Upgrade
Upgrade offers fixed-rate personal loans and personal lines of credit.
Upgrade offers personal loan amounts from $1,000 to $35,000.
Depending on your creditworthiness, you may qualify for a range of fixed-rate APR options. Upgrade doesn’t offer a variable rate APR.
|Fixed Rate Range||7.99% to 35.97%|
|Variable Rate Range||N/A|
Upgrade offers personal loan terms from 36 to 60 months.
Credit Score Requirements
Upgrade is looking for a minimum credit score of 620, according to a representative, but the company may consider other factors to determine your creditworthiness.
Upgrade doesn’t charge a prepayment fee. However, there are a couple of other fees to watch out for:
- Origination Fee – Upgrade charges a 2.9% to 8% origination fee for all personal loans.
- Late Payment Fee – Upgrade charges $10 for late payments after a 15-day grace period.
Time to Receive Funds
After you choose a personal loan offer and get approved, Upgrade may transfer the funds within one business day. Nevertheless, it may take up to four business days until you can access the money.
Upgrade Personal Loan Features
- Need Good to Excellent Credit
- Borrow up to $35,000
- No hidden fees
- Multiple usages (including paying off credit cards, consolidating debt, improving your home, and funding your business)
- Not available in all 50 states
Apply for an Upgrade Personal Loan
Upgrade has an easy online application process. This includes the ability to check rates with a soft pull on your credit—which won’t hurt your credit score.
You can start the process by picking your loan amount and the purpose. The second step includes some basic information:
- Date of birth
- Individual or joint application
Next, Upgrade asks for your annual income. This may include alimony, child support, or separate maintenance payments. There is also a box for other types of income.
Self-employed applicants need more documentation, which may include but isn’t limited to:
- Two years of tax returns
- Form 1040 Schedule C
- Recent bank statement(s)
The last step before checking rates is creating an Upgrade account by entering your email address and password. You will also have to check a box to agree to Upgrade’s policies and authorizations.
After selecting an offer, Upgrade will complete a hard inquiry on your credit to process your application. This will temporarily impact your credit score. The company may ask for more information to complete your application. To speed up the process, Upgrade recommends regularly checking your account’s To-Do List for document requests.
Can I Refinance a Personal Loan With Upgrade?
If you’re looking to score a better interest rate on an existing personal loan, you won’t be able to refinance with Upgrade, according to a representative.
Upgrade may be a good option if your credit score is above 620 and you can qualify for the company’s lowest APR. It may also be a good fit if you want to apply with a co-applicant. However, if your credit score is good to excellent, there may be better options on the market.
Before applying for a personal loan, you should always compare lenders. Depending on your creditworthiness, you may have a lot more options than you expect. A lower APR or smaller origination fee could save your family hundreds of dollars over the life of the loan.
Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of personal loan lenders. We collected over 25 data points across more than 50 lenders—including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms—to ensure that our content helps users make the right borrowing decision for their needs.
Upgrade.com. "About Us." Accessed April 27, 2020.
Upgrade.com. "What is the typical loan process through Upgrade?: Footnote." Accessed April 27, 2020.
Upgrade.com. "How do joint applications work?" Accessed April 27, 2020.
Upgrade.com "Personal Loans Up to $35,000: How Much Can I Borrow?" Accessed April 27, 2020.
Upgrade.com "Personal Loans Up to $35,000: How Much Can I Borrow?: Footnote" Accessed April 27, 2020.
Upgrade.com. "What are the benefits of a personal loan through Upgrade?" Accessed April 27, 2020.
Upgrade.com. "Are there any fees?" Accessed April 27, 2020.
Upgrade.com. "How much can I borrow with a personal loan through Upgrade?" Accessed April 27, 2020.
Upgrade.com. "What are the different uses for a personal loan?" Accessed April 27, 2020.
Upgrade.com. "FAQs for Self-Employed Applicants." Accessed April 27, 2020.
Upgrade.com. "What is the typical loan process through Upgrade?" Accessed April 27, 2020.