Upgrade Personal Loans: 2021 Review

At a glance

4.8

Bankrate Score

  • Availability
  • Affordability
  • Customer Experience

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About Upgrade

  • Loan amount

    $1,000 – $50,000

  • Min. credit score

    Not specified

  • APR from

    5.94% - 35.97% (with autopay)

  • Funds available in

    As soon as one day

Upgrade features

Here's a breakdown of some of the benefits and drawbacks of Upgrade personal loans.

Pros

  • Fast funding
  • Wide range of loan amounts
  • Accessible to most borrowers

Cons

  • Origination fee
  • Doesn’t allow co-signers

Upgrade is best for borrowers who want fast funding

Upgrade offers fixed-rate personal loans of up to $50,000 to borrowers with fair credit or better. The application process is entirely online, and applicants can get approved and receive their funds in as little as one day and within four days. While several of the lenders we reviewed offer same-day loan approvals, few provide same-day funding. Upgrade may be a good choice if you need money quickly and your credit qualifies you for the lender’s best rates.

Upgrade snapshot

Loan amount $1,000 – $50,000
APR 5.94%–35.97% (with autopay)
Minimum credit score Not specified
Time to receive funds As soon as a day

Lending terms

Upgrade offers fixed-rate personal loans from $1,000 to $50,000 (the minimum is $3,005 in Georgia and $6,400 in Massachusetts. Upgrade loans are not available in Iowa, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.

You can repay your Upgrade personal loan over two to seven years. Interest rates range from 5.94 percent to 35.97 percent, and the lowest rates require using autopay and directly using a portion of the loan to pay down existing debt. Rates are based on your credit score and history, loan terms and other factors.

You can’t use an Upgrade personal loan for postsecondary education expenses, investments, illegal activities or gambling.

There is no minimum income requirement and no minimum credit score. Borrower requirements include:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or living in the U.S. on a valid visa.
  • You must be the age of majority based on the state you live in.
  • You must have a verifiable bank account and valid email address.
  • Upgrade doesn’t allow co-signers, so if you can’t get approved on your own, you’ll need to choose a different lender.

Upgrade charges an origination fee of 2.9 percent to 8 percent of your loan amount. There is no application fee or prepayment penalty. If you don’t pay your monthly bill within 15 days of its due date, there’s a late fee of up to $10. There’s also a fee of $10 if your payment fails.

Because of the origination fee, it’s important to make sure you borrow enough to get the funds you need. If you need $10,000 after fees, for instance, and the origination fee is 5 percent, multiply the amount you need by 1.05 to get the amount you’ll need to request. For example, if you need to pay your contractor a $10,000 down payment, request a loan amount of $10,500, as Upgrade will take $500 up front due to the origination fee, leaving you with $10,000.

How to apply for a 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

You’ll also create an account with Upgrade at this stage, which requires an email address and password. If you’re approved based on the soft inquiry, you’ll be able to view your loan offers.

Once you pick the offer that best fits your needs and ability to repay, accept it and provide your Social Security number to verify your identity and get your loan funded.

Before you accept a loan from Upgrade, though, take a few minutes to compare the quote you receive with other personal loan rates from top lenders.

Upgrade has customer service representatives available seven days a week. Customers can call Upgrade customer service at 844-319-3909 Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific, and Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

How Bankrate rates Upgrade

Overall score 4.8
Availability 5.0
Affordability 4.3
Customer experience 5.0

Availability

Upgrade earned a perfect score for approving and funding loans in as little as one day, plus offering smaller loan amounts than most of the personal loan lenders we evaluated. It also has no minimum income or credit score requirements, meaning more people may be able to qualify for its loans.

Affordability

Upgrade has a minimum APR that’s on par with other lenders, but borrowers may have as much as 8 percent of their loan funds deducted for the origination fee.

Customer Experience

Upgrade got top marks for having an application process that’s entirely online and customer support available by phone seven days a week. It also has a mobile app — rated highly by both Android and iPhone users — that lets borrowers manage their loan payments.

Methodology

Bankrate’s reviews of lenders that offer personal loans are based on Availability, Affordability and Customer Experience, evaluating features like how long it takes borrowers to get approved and get their money, minimum APRs and convenient online applications and account access.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.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.