Upgrade and Upstart cater to borrowers with fair to good credit and offer similar loan amounts up to $50,000. While both are reputable lenders that have gained a trusted reputation among consumers, they have different credit requirements, repayment terms, fees and perks, which must be weighed before making a choice.

Upgrade vs. Upstart at a glance

Upgrade Upstart
Bankrate Score 4.7 4.8
Better for
  • Fast funding
  • Debt consolidation
Borrowers with bad credit
Loan amounts $1,000-$50,000 $1,000-$50,000
APRs 8.49%-35.99% 6.4%-35.99%
Loan term lengths 24-84 months 36-60 months
  • Origination fee: 1.85% to 9.99%
  • Failed payment fee: $10
  • Late fee: Up to $10
  • Origination fee: 0% to 12%
  • Late fee: Greater of 5% or $15
  • ACH or returned check fee: $15
  • Paper copies fee: $10
Minimum credit score 600 None
Time to funding As soon as one business day As soon as one business day

Upgrade logo

Upgrade personal loans

Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
Learn morein our Bankrate review

Upstart personal loans

Upstart personal loans

Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
Learn morein our Bankrate review

How to choose between Upgrade and Upstart

Although they share similarities in details, Upgrade and Upstart best serve different types of borrowers.

Choose Upgrade for debt consolidation

Upgrade’s loans have repayment terms of up to seven years, compared with Upstart’s five-year maximum. Although this can result in more interest paid over time, a longer term can result in a more comfortable monthly payment, giving you more breathing room.

Upgrade’s origination fee is capped at 9.95 percent, whereas Upstart’s origination fee is capped at 12 percent, which is quite hefty. While Upstart does offer a more competitive starting rate than Upgrade, it doesn’t allow co-applicants. This and its higher fees can make its loans costlier if you have imperfect credit.

Additionally, Upgrade offers direct payment to creditors — something Upstart lacks. This alone makes it a better choice for those looking to consolidate debt, as it streamlines the entire process.

Choose Upstart if you have a thin credit file

Upstart stands out among its competitors due to its unconventional underwriting methods and requirement criteria. Because it looks at your financial health, education and work history alongside creditworthiness, low credit borrowers are more likely to get approved for an Upstart loan.

Aside from its hefty origination fees and higher maximum APR, Upstart’s loans offer a more competitive starting APR than Upgrade’s. If you have good or excellent credit and are able to secure a low origination fee, this could translate into a cheaper loan.

Compare more lenders before applying

Both Upstart and Upgrade offer competitive minimum rates and eligibility requirements; however, that doesn’t mean that either are the best option for you. Ensure you prequalify with as many lenders as possible to compare realistic offers. This will help you walk away with the personal loan that will best suit your current and future needs.