About the Author

Dana George

Dana has spent the last two decades as a business writer and news reporter, specializing in loans, debt management, investments, and business. She considers herself lucky to love her job and appreciates the opportunity to learn something new every day.


Is Upstart loans a legit company?

Upstart loans was founded in 2012, it is a well-established company that has been in business for 10 years. Upstart Personal Loans are strongly not recommended by SuperMoney community users. Upstart Personal Loans Disclosure: This offer is conditioned on final approval based on our consideration and verification of financial and non-financial information. Duplicate offers received as a result of multiple injuries by the same person are void. This offer may be accepted only by the person identified in this offer and legally able to enter into a contract for the extension of credit and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and currently a resident in the US. You may be eligible for loan amounts from $1,000 to $50,000, subject to final loan approval. The minimum loan amount is $6,000 for borrowers in Ohio and $7,000 for borrowers in Massachusetts. APRs range from 6.00% – 29.99%. Not all applicants will qualify. Loan approval, APR and loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income and other information provided in the application. Closing your loan is contingent upon you meeting our eligibility requirements, our verification of your information and your agreement to all of the terms and conditions on the website. If you accept your loan by 5 PM ET (except weekends and holidays) you will receive your funds the next business day. Education-related loans are subject to a mandatory 3 business day waiting period, following the applicant’s acceptance of the loan terms. SuperMoney Disclosure: is an independent, advertising-supported service. The owner of this website may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. Read more… Editorial Disclaimer: Editorial and user-generated content on this page is not provided or commissioned by the issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and have not been approved or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution, including those that are advertising partners.

Final Verdict

Because this lender is willing to evaluate non-traditional sources of creditworthiness, Upstart is an excellent resource for many people who do not fit the traditional model of a loan borrower. If you don’t have an established credit history for whatever reason, you may still qualify for affordable rates from this lender.

Although there are a few complaints circulating about Upstart, it’s evident that most borrowers have an excellent experience. Furthermore, those complaints are common in the loan industry at large; you risk being turned down for a loan or paying extra fees from any of Upstart’s competitors as well.

Again, anyone considering getting a business loan from Upstart should make a few comparisons before settling on a lender. Most lenders will be able to give you an estimated rate without affecting your credit. If you’re curious about your other options, check out our full list of startup business loan reviews.

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Improving Your Chances of Qualifying for a Personal Loan

Once you’ve decided to apply for a personal loan there are a few steps you can take to improve your chances of qualifying for the loan.

Lenders always look at your credit score when you apply for a loan, so improving your credit score should be a priority.

Though a long history of on-time payments is the best way to improve your score, there are some short-term steps you can take.

One way is to reduce your credit utilization ratio.

The more debt you have when compared to your credit limit across all your credits cards, the lower your credit score will be. This is because maxing out your credit cards is a red flag to lenders.

Your credit card utilization is calculated each month and utilization history isn’t tracked.

That means that if you pay down your credit card debts, or just don’t use your cards for a month so that they have no balance, your utilization ratio will improve, improving your credit score.

Paying down your credit card balances will also help with your debt-to-income ratio.

The more debt you have compared to your income, the harder it will be for you to find money to pay your bills.

You can lower this ratio by increasing your income or paying off your debts. Either will make you more attractive to lenders.

If you have derogatory marks on your credit report, such as a late or missed payment, you can try to negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement with the lender.

Under such an agreement, you pay the lender what they are owed and they remove the mark from your credit report. Most lenders are primarily concerned with getting their money back and will be more than willing to negotiate with you.

Review your credit report for any errors or mistakes that could hurt your chances of loan approval. Dispute these errors to have them removed.


Available in 49 states and Washington, D.C. Alaska Alabama Arkansas Arizona California Colorado Connecticut Washington, DC Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Iowa Idaho Illinois Indiana Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Massachusetts Maryland Maine Michigan Minnesota Missouri Mississippi Montana North Carolina North Dakota Nebraska New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico Nevada New York Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Virginia Vermont Washington Wisconsin Wyoming

Upstart Compared to Other Lenders

Loan term range3 or 5 years2 to 5 years3 years or 5 years
Loan amount$1,000–$50,000 (minimums vary by state)$2,000–$35,000$1,000–$40,000
Credit score needed600580600
Prepayment penaltyNoNoNo
Origination fee0%–8% of loan amountAdministration fee up to 4.75% of loan amount3%–6% of loan amount, based on creditworthiness
Unsecured or secured debtUnsecuredBoth unsecured and secured optionsUnsecured
The NextAdvisor editorial team updates this information regularly, though it is possible that certain loan and fee details have changed since this page was last updated. For the most up-to-date information about APRs, fees, and other loan details, check with the lender directly. Also, some loan offerings may vary depending on your location.

How Long Does It Take to Get the Money?

Upstart disburses funds the day after you’re approved.

Since most loans are approved the same day that you apply, you can get your loan very quickly. That makes Upstart a great choice for emergencies where you need cash now.

4. Upstart

I took a loan out with Upstart out of desperation, in which I felt they for the loan and that My rate and the terms would change if I was approved.(9)

As a result, the Upstart loan program is able to offer credit to that Upstart’s model makes both approve/deny decisions, as well as pricing decisions.(10)

Learn How to Apply for Upstart Personal Loans Online

You can accept them and they e-sign the loan documents. As soon as this is done, you’ll get a confirmation sent to your email, and the money will be deposited (11)

Quick Turnaround Times – Upstart has a quick process and an easy application. Many borrowers are approved with money in their account by the end (12)

How Long Does It Take to Get the Money? Upstart disburses funds the day after you’re approved. Since most loans are approved the same day that (13)

How Upstart Personal Loans Stack Up

The best personal loans offer competitive rates, flexible loan amounts and a wide range of terms. Here’s how Upgrade personal loans stack up against other popular lenders:

Upstart Upgrade Avant Wells Fargo
Loan amounts $1,000 and $50,000 $1,000 to $35,000 $2,000 to $35,000* $3,000 to $100,000
Best for Credit scores of at least 600 Credit scores as low as 580 A range of repayment options Banking with a traditional bank
Minimum credit scores 600 580 580 No requirement
Term length Three or five years Two to seven years Two to five years One to seven years

*Example: A $5,900 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,619.75, repayable in 36 monthly installments, with an APR of 29.95% would have monthly payments of $250.30. If approved, the actual loan terms that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination, state law, and other factors. Minimum loan amounts vary by state.

Upstart Vs. Upgrade

Upstart and Upgrade are designed to be able to lend to borrowers with less than good credit. While Upstart’s minimum recommended credit score requirement is 600, Upgrade’s is 580. If you qualify for Upstart, you may be able to receive larger loan limits—up to $50,000. However, Upstart only offers two terms—three and five years—whereas Upgrade offers terms between two and seven years. The best provider for you depends on how much money you need to borrow and how quickly you want to repay it.

Related: Upgrade Personal Loans Review

Upstart Vs. Avant

Similar to Upgrade, Avant’s recommended minimum credit score is 580, 20 points less than Upstart. Again, this makes it a solid option for borrowers who don’t have excellent credit but still need access to financing. What’s more, Avant offers more repayment options compared to Upstart. If you are approved for a loan with Avant, you’ll have access to terms between two and five years, depending on your credit score and other factors.

Related: Avant Personal Loans Review

Upstart Vs. Wells Fargo

Unlike Upstart, which is an online lender, Wells Fargo is a traditional bank. Applying for a personal loan through a bank like Wells Fargo is typically a good idea if you have an existing relationship with it. Wells Fargo offers personal loans between $3,000 and $100,000 with terms of one to seven years. Wells Fargo doesn’t have a minimum credit score recommendation, it may put more weight on other factors like your existing relationship with the bank, debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and monthly income.

Related: Wells Fargo Personal Loans Review

How to Qualify for an Upstart Personal Loan

Personal loan applications are approved or declined based on a number of factors. All lenders have their own unique underwriting requirements, but these typically include information from an applicant’s credit profile and other factors that demonstrate the ability to repay the loan, such as income. Meeting the requirements below won’t guarantee approval, but they can help you decide if a personal loan is the right fit for you.

Credit Score Requirements

Borrowers must have a minimum FICO or Vantage score of 600 to qualify for a personal loan. However, Upstart does consider non-conventional variables—like college education, job history and residence. Even applicants who don’t have enough credit history to have a FICO score may be accepted. In addition to credit score, Upstart’s AI platform considers:

  • The borrower’s debt-to-income (DTI) ratio
  • Whether the borrower has any bankruptcies or delinquent accounts
  • Number of credit report inquiries in the last six months, not including any inquiries related to student loans, vehicle loans or mortgages (must be fewer than six)

Income Requirements

Upstart borrowers must have a full-time job or offer starting in six months, a regular part-time job or another source of regular income—with a minimum annual income of $12,000. Furthermore, applicants must not have had a recent bankruptcy or outstanding delinquencies.

Co-signers and Co-applicants

Upstart does not allow prospective borrowers to apply for a personal loan with a co-signer. Likewise, co-applicants are not permitted—loan applicants are evaluated on their own merits.

Fast Rate Checks and Funding

In addition to distinguishing itself from other lenders with its unique underwriting, Upstart uses automation to verify applicant information.

While some companies may take a few business days to review your information, Upstart approves about 70% of applications with a fully automated process—meaning no human involvement is required.

If you accept your loan offer before 5 p.m. Eastern time during a business day, Upstart will initiate the loan disbursement the next business day. Upstart says about 99% of its personal loans get sent to applicants the next business day. If you plan on using the money for educational expenses, however, there’s an additional three-day waiting period.

Upstart Interest Rates Fees

Rating: Excellent

Here are the stats posted on Upstart’s website:

Column HeadingData

Borrowing Amount


Term Length

3 OR 5 years

Interest Rate


Origination Fee






Note that in certain states (Massachusetts, Ohio, New Mexico, and Georgia), the minimum borrowing amount will be higher than $1,000. In addition, Upstart may charge a fee for the following situations:

  • Late Payment: The larger of 5% of unpaid amount or $15
  • Insufficient Funds Fee: $15
  • Paper Copies Request Fee: $10

Your interest rate is determined by a number of factors that Upstart considers to evaluate how risky a bet you are. The riskier you are perceived to be, the higher your interest rate.

One factor that will affect your interest rate is your term length. Three-year loans have smaller APRs because lending somebody money for three years is less risky than five. The downside is that three-year loan terms will have higher monthly repayments.

Keep in mind that Upstart usually requires an origination fee. This fee comes right out of the principal, so if you need a specific amount of money, make sure that you ask for enough to cover the cost of the origination fee. While some customers are annoyed by this fee, an origination fee is standard in the industry.

Upstart does not charge any other fees, such as prepayment penalties, aside from the origination fee and potential late fees.

Check Your Rate

*Checking your rate will not affect your credit score

Time in business: N/A Personal credit score: Minimum 580 Business revenue: N/A Have a regular source of income Have a bank account Cannot be a resident of West Virginia or Iowa Borrower requirements (click to expand) Hide

8. Upstart vs Best Egg 2022

How long does Upstart take to approve?(24)

How Do I Work With Upstart? — This form does not affect your credit and will allow you to review the full terms of the loan before you apply (25)

Once your loan is accepted, your money will arrive by the next business day if you signed before 5 PM ET Monday through Friday. This is a rapid (26)

Unique Underwriting May Improve Your Loan Offer

Another reason that Upstart may be an especially good option for those with fair to good credit is that it uses a unique underwriting process to review applicants.

In 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) gave the company a “no-action letter,” allowing Upstart to test using alternative data to evaluate applicants. Its use of alternative data, artificial intelligence and machine learning means you could have a better chance of getting approved and receiving a lower interest rate with Upstart over other lenders.

Similar to other lenders, Upstart will still consider your credit report and scores, income, outstanding debt, how you plan to use the money and other personal financial information. However, Upstart also considers alternative data, such as which college or graduate school you attend, your major, grade point average, whether you recently graduated, your standardized test scores and your employment history.

In August 2019, the CFPB released the results of a study that compared Upstart’s underwriting with a traditional underwriting model. It found that Upstart’s use of alternative data and machine learning led to the following:

  • Overall, 27% more applicants were approved for a loan.
  • Borrowers received an average of 16% lower APRs on their loans.
  • Those with FICO® Scores in the 620 to 660 range were about twice as likely to be approved.
  • Young applicants (under 25 years old) were almost 32% more likely to get a loan.
  • Applicants who make less than $50,000 a year were 13% more likely to get a loan.

The use of alternative data is also one reason that Upstart may be able to offer loans to people who don’t have enough credit history to qualify for a credit score but are still able to meet the other minimum requirements.


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