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Upstart: 2022 Auto Loan Review

2022-05-24 07:45:00

At a glance

Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Availability
    Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5
  • Affordability
    Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5
  • Customer Experience
    Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
  • Transparency
    Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
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About Upstart

  • Moneybag

    Loan amount

    $9,000 to $60,000

  • Credit Good

    Min. credit score


  • Rates

    APR from

    Up to 29.99%

  • Funds available in

    14 days following promissory note

Upstart features

Before you refinance with Upstart, consider the whole of what it has to offer.


  • Checkmark

    Smarter rate approach

  • Checkmark

    Fully online experience


  • Close X

    Not available in every state

  • Close X

    No co-borrowers

Upstart is an online lender that was established in 2012. It has pioneered a new approach to lending by using AI technology to determine risk rather than more traditional underwriting criteria. Drivers looking to refinance their loans will be measured on factors such as income and education instead of just their credit score. This unique approach allows drivers with poor credit to still have a chance at good rates.

Through its website or app, drivers are able to see potential rates in minutes.

Pros and cons of Upstart auto loans

Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of Upstart auto loans.


  • Smarter rate approach. Upstart measures more than just your credit score, factoring in your work experience and education alongside your credit history.
  • Fully online experience. Upstart has a seamless online application along with an app.


  • Not available in every state. Upstart does not offer loans in Iowa, Maryland, Nevada or West Virginia.
  • No co-borrowers. Although you can have a co-owner and still receive refinancing, Upstart doesn’t allow for a co-borrower on its application.

Who is Upstart best for?

Upstart is a great option for drivers that wish to refinance their vehicle but may not have good credit. This is because its AI approach to underwriting gives you a chance at a fair rate even with less than perfect credit — if you have other marks in your favor.
Spanish speakers may also find Upstart easier to use than other lenders in the U.S. Upstart’s website can be easily translated to Spanish. It also has many bilingual loan officers on staff to provide person-to-person assistance.

Upstart specializes in auto loan refinancing outside of personal loans

Upstart’s AI system will match you with a new rate and term to save money by lowering your current APR or give you breathing room in your budget by reducing your monthly payments. Loans can range from $9,000 to $60,000 — with a $50,000 maximum in New Jersey.

Interest rates and terms

Upstart does not disclose its minimum APR for auto loan refinancing, but its maximum APR is 29.99 percent. Terms range from 24 to 84 months.

How to apply for a loan with Upstart

Upstart boasts a simple online application process that can provide a few quotes based on the borrower’s goals. Although the process starts with a soft credit pull for prequalification, a hard credit inquiry will happen if you accept a quote and continue with the application.
An application with Upstart takes three primary steps.
    1. Check your rate. First, you will have to share some personal information about yourself and the vehicle on Upstart’s website. You will then be offered a rate within minutes if you prequalify.
    2. Confirm your details. You can then choose a new loan and verify information about yourself, the vehicle and your current car loan.
    3. Get a new loan. Finally, Upstart will handle the payoff of your previous loan along with updating your vehicle title.
Some information you will need to provide includes:
  • Name and contact details.
  • Social Security number and birthdate.
  • Education.
  • Source of income.
  • Amount of money in savings.
  • Vehicle information.
  • Current loan and lender details.

Auto loan refinancing requirements

Upstart has a few requirements to keep in mind if you wish to refinance.
Your vehicle must:
  • Be less than 10 years old.
  • Have under 140,000 miles.
  • Be an insured, personal use car.
Your current loan must have:
  • An outstanding balance of $9,000 to $60,000.
  • Been initiated at least one month ago.

Customer service

Although Upstart ranks fairly low according to Better Business Bureau it does offer support seven days a week by phone or email, and has an extensive, searchable online help center available for applicants. Upstart representatives can be contacted Monday through Sunday from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.

How Bankrate rates Upstart

Overall score 4.1  
Availability 3.8 Upstart offers a high maximum loan amount but has mileage and vehicle age restrictions and is not available in every state.
Affordability 3.8 Upstart doesn’t disclose its minimum APR for refinancing, but it has a very reasonable maximum APR and does not charge fees unless the vehicle is repossessed.
Customer experience 4.6 Upstart offers a range of customer service options, including person-to-person assistance seven days a week. It also has an app and an autopay option.
Transparency 4.5 Upstart both allows prequalification and hosts most of its rates and fees — or lack thereof — on its website.
Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by 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.
Written by
Rebecca Betterton
Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers in navigating the ins and outs of securely borrowing money to purchase a car.