Upgrade and Upstart both 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 both come with different perks, rates and repayment terms.

Here’s everything you need to know about both lenders and which personal loan would best benefit you and your future finances.

Upgrade vs. Upstart at a glance

Upgrade Upstart
Bankrate Score 4.7 4.7
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% 6.70%-35.99%
Loan term lengths 24-84 months 36-60 months
Fees • 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 560 Not specified
Requirements • U.S. citizen, permanent resident or valid visa holder
• At least 18 years old (19 in certain states)
• Have a verifiable bank account
• Have a valid email address
• At least 18 years old
• Have a valid, current U.S. residential address
• Have a valid email address, name, birthday and Social Security number
• Not live in West Virginia or Iowa
• Have a verifiable U.S. bank account with routing number
Time to funding As soon as one business day As soon as one business day
Cosigners permitted Yes No

Upgrade personal loans

Upgrade offers personal loans that come with competitive, fixed interest rates, funding in as little as one business day and offer flexible borrowing options. What sets this lender apart from its competitors is that Upgrade will pay your creditors directly for you with a direct consolidation loan.


  • Low credit score minimum
  • Rate discounts
  • Secured and joint loan options


  • Origination fee
  • High interest rates
  • Low maximum amount

Upstart personal loans

Catering to borrowers with less-than-stellar credit or a thin history, this lender takes a holistic approach to evaluating its applicants. Rather than looking strictly at credit, Upstart also considers education, work history and financial history for approval.


  • Fast funding timeline
  • No credit score minimum
  • Lower minimum APR


  • HIgh origination fee
  • Borrowing minimums vary by state
  • Few repayment options

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 offers a surprisingly low credit score minimum for a loan that doesn’t cater to those with bad credit. The lender also offers direct payment to creditors for those with a debt consolidation loan, which can organize your repayment and even save money in interest (if you pay down your consolidation loan faster).

Choose Upstart for holistic approval odds

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, borrowers are more likely to get approved for an Upstart loan when they wouldn’t otherwise qualify with another lender.

Aside from its hefty fees and higher maximum APR, the lender’s same-day approval and seven day customer support make this a good choice for those who have less-than-stellar credit and need the funds quickly.

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. To get a better idea of what you’d qualify for, prequalify with as many lenders as possible to make sure you walk away from the process with the personal loan that will best suit your needs, both now and in the future.