RateGenius and Upstart both work with networks of lenders to match drivers with options to refinance their auto loans. Both loan marketplaces earn similar ratings from Bankrate, but they differ in important ways, including repayment terms and whether they allow co-signers.

RateGenius vs. Upstart at a glance

RateGenius and Upstart work with networks of lenders to help borrowers find loan options. While RateGenius solely offers auto refinances and lease buyouts, Upstart also offers debt consolidation and personal loans.



Bankrate score 4.1 4.0
Better for 
  • Borrowers who want to refinance as fast as possible
  • Borrowers who want to buy their leased car
  • Borrowers with bad or limited credit
  • Borrowers who want to add a co-signer
Loans offered Auto refinances, lease buyout Auto refinances
Loan amounts $10,250–$55,000 $9,000-$60,000 ($50,00 maximum amounts in New Jersey and Oregon, and $75,000 max in Wyoming)
APRs From 4.67% Varies by state
Loan term lengths 24-48 months 24-84 months
Fees Varies by lender Varies by lender
Minimum credit score Not specified 510
State footprint All states All states except Maryland
Time to funding 1-2 days 2 weeks
Autopay discount Varies by lender Not specified
Refinancing restrictions
  • Age: Car must be less than 10 years old
  • Mileage: Under 120,00 miles
  • Used for personal — not business — reasons
  • At least 24 months remaining on original loan
  • Age: Car must be less than 10 years old
  • Mileage: Under 120,000 miles
  • No commercial or business vehicles
  • At least 24 months remaining on original loan

RateGenius auto loans

Founded in 1999, RateGenius works with more than 150 lenders to pair customers with an auto refinance or lease buyout option.

RateGenius’s biggest selling point is speed. While refinancing with Upstart typically takes one to two weeks, RateGenius can refinance your auto loan in just one business day.

With excellent credit, borrowers can score an interest rate as low as 4.67 percent, which iscompetitive in the broader market.


  • Fast funding — refinancing can happen as quickly as one business day
  • Low starting interest rate, though its maximum rate isn’t published online
  • You can add a co-signer to improve your odds of approval


  • Most lenders offer maximum terms longer than RateGenius’s 48 months
  • Must have at least $10,500 remaining on your loan — and you can only finance up to $55,000, a smaller maximum than many competitors allow
  • You may face title processing fees

Upstart auto loans

Upstart has been around since 2012, and its network of lenders includes around 70 banks and credit unions. The company’s AI-fueled lending experience translates to a quick application process. Two-thirds of applicants are approved immediately, the lender claims.

The company’s minimum credit score is an unusually low 510. But when making lending decisions, the company looks beyond the credit score to include employment and education history for a more complete view of an applicant. If you have bad credit or limited credit history, this can make a difference in your odds of approval and your rate.

With Upstart’s simple prequalification process, you can get an idea of your new payment terms in just a few minutes.


  • Uses alternative qualifications — including employment and education history — to develop a more holistic picture of your creditworthiness
  • No hidden fees
  • Slightly broader range of loan amounts than RateGenius (though other competitors, like Gravity Lending, offer much higher maximum amounts)


  • Unlike with RateGenius, you can’t apply with a co-signer to improve your rates or approval odds, though co-owners are allowed.
  • Funding takes longer at up to two weeks.
  • Upstart formerly shared its range of available annual percentage rates (APRs), which made comparison shopping simpler. However, its website now states that available rates vary by state.

How to choose between RateGenius and Upstart

RateGenius and Upstart both offer access to a network of lenders. The better choice for you will depend on your credit profile, whether you want to add a co-signer and how much of a hurry you’re in.

Choose RateGenius if you are focused on a fast refinance or need a bigger loan with a co-borrower

RateGenius beats Upstart at speed by promising funding in just 24 to 48 hours. That’s much speedier than Upstart’s process, which takes between one to two weeks.

And if you want to add another applicant, such as your spouse or parent, RateGenius will accept new co-applicants, which is not possible with Upstart.

And, of course, RateGenius offers lease buyouts, while Upstart does not.

Choose Upstart if you need flexible credit qualifications

Upstart is a better option if your credit score is weak, but other factors, such as your employment and education history, make you look more creditworthy. Plus, Upstart accepts borrowers with bad credit scores as low as 510. However, it’s important to note that Upstart’s lender network is less than half the size of RateGenius’ network, so your automated comparison shopping will draw from a much smaller pool.

Compare more lenders before applying

Both RateGenius and Upstart are worth a look to refinance and save some cash. However, it’s important to note that both companies have fairly high minimum loan amounts to qualify. If you have an outstanding balance of less than $9,000, be sure to compare refinance rates from other lenders and explore other options.