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Refinancing lenders LendingClub and Upstart cater to borrowers who may not meet traditional bank criteria. LendingClub offers lower overall rates and slightly more flexible terms through LendingClub Bank. Upstart matches borrowers with a network of partner lenders and is a good choice if you have bad credit.
Both lenders offer prequalification so you can check your rates and see which will offer you the better deal on refinancing your auto loan.
LendingClub vs. Upstart at a glance
LendingClub and Upstart both offer similar loans, though Upstart is available in more states and accepts borrowers with poor credit.
|Loans offered||Auto refinance||Auto refinance|
|APRs||4.99%-24.99%||Varies by state|
|Loan term lengths||36 to 60 months||Not stated|
|Fees||Late fees may apply||Late fees may apply|
|Minimum credit score||600||510|
|State footprint||41 states||49 states|
|Time to funding||2 days||14 days|
|Autopay discount?||Some lenders may offer||No|
LendingClub auto loans
LendingClub is an alternative, direct lender that offers refinancing to borrowers with fair or better credit. Its minimum credit score of 600 is relatively low.
It also stands out because it offers loans of just $4,000. This smaller loan amount allows you to refinance even if you bought a less expensive car or have paid off a significant amount of your current loan. However, you will still need at least 24 months on your current loan in order to qualify.
Still, allowing you to refinance with a low amount means you can potentially lower your rate or monthly payment. And its application process is quick, too. You could check your rates, complete an application and have your loan funded within two days if you are approved.
- Mileage can be up to 120,000 miles
- Quick turnaround
- Low minimum loan balance of $4,000
- Maximum loan set at $55,000 — a lower max than many competitors set
- Must have fair credit
- Refinancing unavailable in Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming
Upstart auto loans
Similar to LendingClub, Upstart only offers refinancing. But because it caters to borrowers with lower credit scores, it charges higher rates — potentially up to 29.99 percent.
Despite that, it may be a good fit for refinancing your auto loan. Its application process is powered by AI and is almost completely automated. This means it considers more than just your credit score, and you may be able to qualify with a credit score as low as 510.
However, there are a few drawbacks. It requires you to borrow a significant amount in order to qualify. It also may take one to two weeks to process and fund your application despite it being a fully online experience. So while it can be a good choice for some, it may be better to prequalify with both Upstart and LendingClub to see which has the better offer.
- Mileage can be up to 140,000 miles
- Bad credit accepted
- Your loan gets shopped around to multiple lending partners
- High maximum loan amount of $9,000
- Slow funding time
- Annual percentage rate (APR) range is no longer shared online, making comparison shopping challenging.
How to choose between LendingClub and Upstart
You should base your decision on your credit score plus how much of your current auto loan you have left to pay. If it’s a smaller amount, then LendingClub will be your choice. For larger loans, both LendingClub and Upstart have similar products — though Upstart caters to borrowers with lower credit scores.
Choose LendingClub for lower rates
LendingClub is a better overall choice because it has a competitive APR. Borrowers who meet its minimum credit score may be able to lock in a more competitive rate than they could with Upstart.
Its general requirements are also more relaxed than many lenders. Most will not refinance vehicles with more than 100,000 miles, but LendingClub accepts vehicles with up to 120,000 miles. And while that’s lower than Upstart’s mileage cutoff, it also approves smaller loans. Bigger lenders like Bank of America require you to refinance at least $7,500, and Upstart requires you to finance at least $9,000.
Because of this, LendingClub should be your choice if you don’t have much left to repay on your current auto loan.
Choose Upstart if you have bad credit
Upstart is one of the few lenders that accept credit scores as low as 510. This makes it ideal for borrowers who cannot qualify for refinancing with other lenders, including LendingClub. It also means you may face higher rates, which could make refinancing more expensive.
Despite the higher potential rates, Upstart is also a good choice if you have more mileage on your vehicle. With a cutoff set at 140,000 miles, you may still be able to qualify if your odometer is higher than another lender would consider.
Compare more lenders before applying
Ultimately, LendingClub and Upstart offer similar products. Since both offer a prequalification process, you can check your rates with both to see which will offer the better deal. This will ensure you’re refinancing to meet your goals, whether that’s to lower your total cost or your monthly payment.
If you are looking to finance a new or used car, however, you will need to compare other lenders to find an option that fits your budget.