Upgrade Personal Loans Review

This lender may be a good option if your credit score good to excellent

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Upgrade company logo
overall rating
2.0

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.

Depending on your credit history, you may qualify for APR options ranging from 7.99% to 35.97%. Upgrade offers personal loan amounts from $1,000 to $35,000 and loan terms from 36 to 60 months. Upgrade is looking for a minimum credit score of 620, according to a representative, but the company may consider other factors to determine your eligibility.

  • Product Specifications
  • Pros and Cons
  • Fees
Product Specifications
  • APR Range 7.99% to 35.97%
  • Loan Amounts $1,000 to $35,000
  • Loan Terms 36 to 60 months
  • Recommended Minimum Credit Score 620
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Prequalification Available

  • Co-applicant Allowed

  • Quick Funding

  • Payment Flexibility

Cons
  • Origination Fee

  • Less Competitive APR

  • Late Fee

Fees
  • Origination: 2.9% to 8%
  • Late payment: $10 after a 15-day grace period
  • Failed payment: $10 
  • Prepayment: none

Pros Explained

  • 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.

Cons Explained

  • 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. 

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
  • Minimal 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:

  • Name
  • Address
  • 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.

Verdict

Upgrade may be a good option if your credit score is above 620 and you qualify for the company’s lowest APR. It may also be a good fit if you want to apply with a co-applicant. However, borrowers with a good to excellent credit score may avoid an origination fee and qualify for lower APRs elsewhere.  

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.

Methodology

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.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Upgrade. "Are there any fees?" Accessed September 30, 2020.

  2. Upgrade.com. "What is the typical loan process through Upgrade?: Footnote." Accessed September 30, 2020.

  3. Upgrade. "Are there any fees?" Accessed September 30, 2020.

  4. Upgrade. "Are there any fees?" Accessed September 30, 2020.

  5. Upgrade. "Are there any fees?" Accessed September 30, 2020.

  6. Upgrade.com. "How do joint applications work?" Accessed April 27, 2020.

  7. Upgrade.com "Personal Loans Up to $35,000: How Much Can I Borrow?" Accessed April 27, 2020.

  8. Upgrade.com "Personal Loans Up to $35,000: How Much Can I Borrow?: Footnote" Accessed April 27, 2020.

  9. Upgrade.com. "What are the benefits of a personal loan through Upgrade?" Accessed April 27, 2020.

  10. Upgrade.com. "Are there any fees?" Accessed April 27, 2020.

  11. Upgrade.com. "What are the different uses for a personal loan?" Accessed April 27, 2020.

  12. Upgrade.com. "FAQs for Self-Employed Applicants." Accessed April 27, 2020.

  13. Upgrade.com. "What is the typical loan process through Upgrade?" Accessed April 27, 2020.