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Upgrade Personal Loans: 2023 Review

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Written by Cate Deventer

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Edited by Amy Sims

Proofread by Amy Sims

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The Tellernote promise

At Tellernote we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict editorial integrity, this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for how we make money.

At a glance

4.7
4.7/5
Availability
5/5
Affordability
4.1/5
Customer Experience
5/5
Transparency
4.6/5

The Upgrade personal loan comes with the benefit of competitive, fixed rates, a quick application and funding process, plus flexible borrowing amounts. These loans can be used to refinance credit cards, consolidate debt, take on home improvement projects or to finance major purchases.

 Loan amount

 $1,000 – $50,000

 APR from

 8.49% – 35.99%




 Term lengths

 24-84 months

 Min Credit Score

 600

This lender is best for fast funding.

Best for fast funding

Upgrade offers fixed-rate personal loans of up to $50,000 to borrowers with poor credit or better. The application process is entirely online, and applicants can get approved and receive their funds in as little as one day after approval.

While some of the lenders we reviewed do offer same-day funding, their loan products are aimed at borrowers with good-to-excellent credit. Because Upgrade’s minimum credit score requirements are among the lowest we’ve seen, it could be a good choice if you need the funds fast and have less-than-perfect credit, as you could still qualify for a competitive rate.

Upgrade pros and cons

PROS

  Loans available as low as $1,000

  Direct payment to other creditors for consolidation loans

  Low credit score loans

CONS

  High origination fees

  Higher interest rates

  Maximum loan amount is $50,000

Do you qualify?

While there are no minimum income requirements, you’ll need to meet the following requirements to qualify for Upgrade’s personal loans:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or living in the U.S. on a valid visa.
  • You must be at least 18 years old (or 19 years old, depending on your state of residence).
  • You must have a verifiable bank account and valid email address.
  • You must have a minimum credit score of at least 560.

What Upgrade doesn't allow loan funds to be used for

Upgrade doesn’t allow you to use your personal loan proceeds for postsecondary education expenses, investments, illegal activities, or gambling.

How this lender compares

Tellernote Score

APR from                   8.49%-35.99%
Loan Amount             $1000-$50,000
Term Length               24-84 months
Min Credit Score       600

Tellernote Score

APR from                   8.49%-35.99%
Loan Amount             $1000-$50,000
Term Length               24-84 months
Min Credit Score       600

on Tellernote

Tellernote Score

APR from                   8.49%-35.99%
Loan Amount             $1000-$50,000
Term Length               24-84 months
Min Credit Score       600

on Tellernote

Upgrade vs. Prosper

If you’re looking to consolidate debt with excellent credit, Prosper’s personal loans may be a better choice than Upgrade’s. First, the lender’s starting APR is just 6.99 percent compared to 8.49 percent, which is Upgrade’s starting APR. And while Upgrade’s origination fees are capped at 9.99 percent, Prosper’s origination fees are capped at 5 percent. Because of these factors, Prosper could potentially be a more cost-effective option than Upgrade.

Upgrade vs. Upstart

While both Upgrade and Upstart offer loans of up to $50,000 to borrowers with different credit profiles, Upstart is more flexible when it comes to its eligibility criteria. The lender notes that it may approve borrowers with a credit score as low as 300 and even those with insufficient credit by evaluating other factors, such as education and employment. 

Upgrade: in the details

Loan Amount
$1,000 – $50,000
APR from
8.49% - 35.99%
Min. credit score
600
Term lengths
24-84 months
Funds available in
As soon as one day
Additional requirements
1 business day after clearing any verifications. 1-3 business days is typical.

What we like and don’t like

What we like

  • Loans available as low as $1,000: The low loan amount makes it easier to borrow only what you need.

  • Direct payment to other creditors for consolidation loans: If you want to use an Upgrade personal loan for debt consolidation, this feature makes things simpler for you.

  • Low credit score loans: People can qualify when they might not with other lenders.

What we don't like

  • High origination fees: Upgrade charges an origination fee between 1.85 percent and 9.99 percent for its personal loans, making your debt more expensive.

  • Higher interest rates: Upgrade’s personal loans have a maximum APR of 35.97 percent, which could be problematic for those with low credit scores.

  • Maximum loan amount is $50,000: Depending on what you're planning to use the funds for, Upgrade’s maximum loan amount may not be enough.

How to contact Upgrade

Upgrade's customer service team is available by emailing support@upgrade.com or toll-free at 844-319-3909. The customer service hours are Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT, and Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT.

How to apply for a personal loan with Upgrade

The entire application process is online, and Upgrade provides online account access to its customers.

To apply for an Upgrade personal loan, you’ll start by filling out a one-page application to see which terms you qualify for based on a soft credit check (a credit inquiry that doesn’t impact your credit score). You’ll need to provide the following:


  • Name

  • Address

  • Date of birth

  • Income

Features and additional perks

Upgrade offers competitive loan products that fit multiple credit profiles. You can check your rate, without impacting your credit, which is particularly useful if you’re on the hunt for the best deal. Additionally, the company allows you to choose your payment date, which isn’t common among lenders in this space.

Fees and penalties

Upgrade charges an origination fee of between 1.85 percent and 9.99 percent on all its loans. Other fees include a $10 failed payment fee and a late fee of up to $10 if you miss your payment due date by 15 days or less. Upgrade doesn’t charge any application fees or prepayment penalties.

Upgrade Frequently asked questions

Upgrade has been in business since 2016 and has a 4.6/5 rating, with over 38,000 reviews on TrustPilot. Additionally, the company has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau website, with close to 3,000 customer reviews.

The minimum credit score needed for a personal loan from Upgrade is 560.

Yes, you can get pre-approved for a loan with Upgrade and several other lender’s using Tellernote's personal loan prequalification tool. You can also view your rate — without impacting your credit, by visiting Upgrade’s website.

How Tellernote rates Upgrade

Overall Score4.7Explanation
Availability5.0Low minimum loan amounts and approval and funding as quickly as one day.
Affordability4.1Low starting APR, but several fees.
Customer Experience5.0Customer support on weekends, online access and mobile apps.
Transparency4.6Prequalification is available, but not all credit requirements are listed.

Methodology

To select the top personal loan lenders, Tellernote considers 20 factors. These factors include credit requirements, APR ranges, fees, loan amounts and flexibility to account for a wide range of credit profiles and budgets. Tellernote reviewed over 30 lenders and gave each a Tellernote rating, which consists of four categories:

  • Availability: What the minimum loan amounts are, its eligibility requirements and loan turnaround are considered in this category.
  • Affordability: The interest rates, penalties and fees are measured in this section of the score. Lower rates and fees and fewer potential penalties result in a higher score.
  • Customer experience: This category covers customer service hours, if online applications are available, online account access and mobile apps.
  • Transparency: This category is measured by how accessible credit requirements, rates and fees are on the lender’s page. We also took into account whether prequalification was available, as all these factors are key for consumers to make an informed decision.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Tellernote.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.

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