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Whether you’re looking to consolidate debt, finance a home improvement project or another big purchase, personal loans can help you achieve just that.
Founded in 2016, Upgrade is an online lender that offers a variety of financial products and services, including credit cards, checking and savings accounts, in addition to personal loans. TD Bank is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., with over 1,100 branches, and offers personal loans for practically any purpose.
Both lenders are good contenders if you’re looking for a personal loan. That said, they cater to different consumer profiles, so make sure you consider the differences between each before applying for a loan.
Upgrade vs. TD Bank at a glance
Upgrade and TD Bank both offer personal loans of up to $50,000, with similar starting APRs and funding times. Still, they differ in several ways, including repayment terms and eligibility requirements.
|Better for||Flexible repayment terms||Low interest rates and fewer fees|
|Loan term lengths||24-84 months||36-60 months|
|Fees||1.85%-9.99% origination fee, $10 failed payment fee, and a late payment fee of up to $10||Late payment fee of $10 or 5% of the amount due, whichever is less and a document stamp fee (Florida residents only)|
|Minimum credit score||600||700|
|Time to funding||Next day after approval||Next day after approval|
Upgrade personal loans
- Many repayment options
- Low minimum credit score required
- Joint applications allowed
- High maximum APR
- High origination fees
- Requires AutoPay for the lowest APR
Upgrade’s personal loans can be used for almost any purpose from debt consolidation to financing a major purchase. The company’s loans also have one of the lowest credit score requirements in the personal loan space at just 600. That means you can still secure a competitive rate even with less-than-perfect credit.
Upgrade also allows joint loan applications — something that’s not offered by all personal loan lenders. This alone can substantially improve your odds of approval with a good rate if your score needs some improvement. On the downside, Upgrade’s maximum APR is on the higher side, plus the lender charges an origination fee, which can increase the overall cost of borrowing. Still, its loans are highly competitive, especially for fair credit borrowers.
TD Bank personal loans
- Quick funding
- In-person attention
- Low interest rates
- Limited to certain states
- Fewer repayment options
- High minimum loan amount
TD Bank’s personal loans are targeted toward borrowers with good to excellent credit as it has a minimum credit score requirement of 700. Because TD Bank has physical branches, borrowers have the option to apply for a loan either online or in-person. Its loans feature flexible amounts, ranging from $2,000 to $50,000 with low APRs and few fees. This combination makes TD Bank’s personal loans lower cost compared to other loans offered by competitors.
The only major downside is that TD Bank doesn’t offer loans in every state, so you’ll need to check if your state is among the ones serviced in order to take advantage of its products.
How to choose between Upgrade and TD Bank
Upgrade and TD Bank are great options if you’re looking for a small to midsize personal loan. That said, their loan products differ in key areas, including eligibility requirements, overall cost, repayment options, minimum loan amounts and availability.
Upgrade is better for flexible repayment terms
If you’re on a tight budget and need a longer repayment period to make your payments more affordable, then Upgrade is definitely a better option than TD Bank. Unlike TD Bank, which only offers repayment terms between 36 and 60 months, Upgrade’s loans can be repaid in as little as 24 months or as long as 84 months. This also makes Upgrade’s loans a better option if you have to finance a big expense, such as a kitchen remodel or another home improvement project, as you’ll be able to repay your loan more comfortably.
Additionally, Upgrade’s minimum credit score requirement is much lower than that of TD Bank’s, so its loans are a good option for those with fair credit or better, plus you can add a co-borrower to your application if you need additional help qualifying.
TD Bank is better for lower interest rates and fewer fees
If you have good or excellent credit and live in one of the states serviced by TD Bank, then you may be better off applying for its loans instead of going with Upgrade. Unlike many other lenders, TD Bank doesn’t charge any application, processing or origination fees. The lender also offers a much lower interest rate cap than its competitors at just 23.99 percent and a starting APR of just 8.99 percent. This, combined with its 0.25 percent rate for enrolling in automatic payments, makes TD Banks loans more cost-effective than Upgrade’s.
Compare lenders before applying
When it comes to personal loans, both Upgrade and TD Bank are solid options to consider. However, if your credit score needs some work, then Upgrade may be a better choice due to its flexible eligibility requirements and the possibility of adding a co-borrower to your application. Upgrade is also a better choice if you need some wiggle room in your budget and a longer repayment period. But if you have excellent credit, then TD Bank is definitely the way to go as you’ll save more money over the life of the loan thanks to its low APRs and few fees.
Still, since both lenders allow you to check offers without hurting your credit, it’s a good idea to compare rates before you apply to ensure you get the best deal available for your situation.