If you’re looking to consolidate debt, make a large purchase, start a business or cover some personal expenses, an Upstart personal loan may be able to help you do it.
The peer-to-peer lending platform offers loans of up to $50,000 to borrowers with fair credit or better, and it doesn’t charge a fee if you pay your debt off early. Watch out for Upstart’s one-time origination fee, which can be as high as 8 percent of your loan amount and which will be deducted from your loan proceeds.
Pros and cons of Upstart personal loans
Before signing up for a loan with Upstart, it’s important to consider some of its benefits and drawbacks.
- Fast funding: Upstart can fund your loan as soon as one business day after you accept the terms, which makes it a great option if you need funds for an emergency.
- Accessible for many borrowers: Upstart has no minimum credit score requirement, which means that even borrowers with below-average credit may qualify for a loan. Upstart is also clear that it considers factors outside of your credit score when determining your rate, like your education, area of study and job history.
- No prepayment penalties: With Upstart, you can pay your loan off early without being subject to prepayment fees.
- Origination fee: Upstart’s origination fees are on the steep side, maxing out at 8 percent. In contrast, some online lenders have eliminated origination fees altogether.
- High maximum APR: While Upstart does lend to people with lower credit scores, those borrowers may face high APRs — up to almost 36 percent.
Upstart offers fixed-rate personal loans, which generally range from $1,000 to $50,000, in every state except Iowa and West Virginia. In certain states, however, the minimum can be higher. States with higher minimum loan amounts are:
- Georgia: $3,100.
- Massachusetts: $7,000.
- New Mexico: $5,100.
- Ohio: $6,000.
You can repay your loan over three or five years. Interest rates range from 4.37 percent to 35.99 percent APR and are based on your credit history, education, work experience and more. Unlike some other personal lenders, Upstart doesn’t offer an interest rate discount if you set up automatic payments.
Upstart does has no minimum credit score requirement, so you may be able to get approved if your credit history is too limited for a credit score. You also need a U.S. bank account and a source of regular income. There is, however, no advertised minimum income threshold.
Once you’re approved and you accept the terms of the loan, you can receive your funds as soon as the next business day.
Fees and penalties
Upstart charges an origination fee of 0 percent to 8 percent of the loan amount, which is a higher maximum than that of many online lenders. This fee will be deducted from your loan funds before you receive them, so it’s important to borrow enough to ensure that you get the money you need.
The lender charges a late fee of 5 percent of the past-due amount or $15, whichever is greater, if you’re more than 10 calendar days past your due date. There’s also an ACH return or check refund fee of $15 if a payment from your bank account or by check is returned due to insufficient funds. Finally, if you request to switch from getting records electronically to getting paper copies, there’s a $10 fee.
That said, Upstart doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty, so you don’t have to worry about incurring an extra fee for paying the loan off early.
How to apply for a loan with Upstart
Upstart’s application process is relatively simple. You’ll start by providing some basic details about yourself and register to get a rate quote. The lender does a soft credit check for this part of the process, which means that the inquiry won’t impact your credit score.
If you like what you see, you’ll review the information you shared, add your Social Security number and bank account information and finalize the application.
Once you submit the official application, Upstart will run a hard credit check, which can knock a few points off your credit score.
Before you apply, though, compare the rate quote you receive with other personal loan rates from top lenders.