Best Egg is an online lender that offers personal loans for home improvement projects, debt consolidation, adoption costs and more, and has funded over 1.1 million loans since its inception in 2014. Founded by ex-Googlers, Upstart is an online lender that deviates from traditional underwriting models by evaluating more than just the borrower’s credit score.

If you’re looking for a personal loan and have less-than-perfect credit, both of these lenders could be a great fit for you. That said, there are some key differences to consider before making a choice.

Best Egg vs. Upstart at a glance

Both Best Egg and Upstart offer similar personal loan products. However, their loans differ when it comes to APR ranges, eligibility requirements and more.

Best Egg Upstart
Bankrate score 4.7 4.7
Better for • Borrowers with a good credit score or better
• Debt consolidation
• Borrowers with limited credit history
• Borrowers with a fair credit score or better
Loan amounts $2,000-$50,000 $1,000-$50,000
APRs 8.99%-35.99% 7.80%-35.99%
Loan term lengths 36-60 months 36 or 60 months
Fees • Origination fee of 0.99%-8.99%
• $15 late fee
• $15 returned payment fee
• Origination fee of 0%-12%
• Late fee of 5% of the total payment due or $15, whichever is greater
• $15 returned payment fee
• $10 paper copy fee
Minimum credit score 600 300
Requirements • U.S. citizen or permanent resident living in the country
• Legal age in the state in which you reside
• Verifiable checking account
• Valid email address
• Physical address
• At least 18 years old
• U.S. residential street address (unless you’re in active duty)
• Minimum annual income of $12,500
• Personal bank account in a U.S. financial institution
• Valid email address
Time to funding As soon as 1-3 business days As soon as 1 business day
Co-signers permitted No No

Best Egg personal loans

If you have good-to-excellent credit and are looking to finance a small to midsize expense, Best Egg can be a good option to consider. Although the company has a minimum credit score requirement of 600, you’ll need a minimum FICO score of 700 to qualify for its lowest APR. Still, since the lender’s credit score requirements are fairly low, you could still qualify for a competitive rate — even with a fair credit score.

The company’s loan application process is simple and it’s done entirely online. What’s more, if you’re approved for the loan, you could get the funds as soon as the next day.

Best Egg’s standout feature, however, is its Direct Pay option. With this option, borrowers who are approved for a debt consolidation loan can choose to have Best Egg pay off their creditors directly, simplifying the debt consolidation process.

One of the only major downsides of Best Egg’s personal loans is that the company charges a one-time origination fee of up to 8.99 percent, which makes its loans higher costs compared to those of other lenders. Additionally, the lender only offers repayment terms between 36 and 60 months, so monthly payments may be on the higher side, depending on how much you borrow.

Pros

  • Loans available to those with fair credit or better.
  • Option to change payment due date.
  • Debt consolidation payments sent directly to creditors.
  • Prequalification available.

Cons

  • Origination fee.
  • No co-signers or joint applications.
  • High APR rate cap.
  • High income required to qualify for the lowest rate.

Upstart personal loans

Just like Best Egg, Upstart’s personal loans are inclusive. However, Upstart takes it one step further by using an alternative underwriting process that evaluates factors such as your education and job history to approve you for the loan. The company also states that you may qualify for its loans even with insufficient credit.

Upstart’s application process is entirely online, and you can get a decision instantly. The company also has one of the lowest starting APRs in the market, with a starting rate of 6.70 percent. Even though Upstart charges an origination fee, this could be as low as 0 percent, which can make its loans cheaper than Best Egg’s.

But, like Best Egg, Upstart’s main disadvantage relates to its terms. It only offers two term lengths: 36 and 60 months. Additionally, Upstart caps its APR at 35.99 percent, which is steep, considering that some other lenders have rate caps of under 22 percent.

Pros

  • Low credit score and income requirement.
  • Low starting APR.
  • Next-day funding.
  • Can be used to pay for education-related expenses.

Cons

  • Several fees, including an origination fee.
  • Higher interest rate cap.
  • No option to change your payment due date.
  • Doesn’t pay directly to creditors.

How to choose between Best Egg and Upstart

Both Best Egg and Upstart are good choices if you need a personal loan with less-than-perfect credit. But because of their eligibility criteria, each of them caters to slightly different consumer profiles.

Choose Best Egg if you have good credit and a high income

When it comes to loan amounts, term lengths and fees, Best Egg and Upstart are pretty similar. However, Best Egg’s minimum credit score requirement is higher than Upstart’s at 600. Although that isn’t too bad, the company states on its website that to secure the lowest APR, you must have a credit score 700 or better and an individual annual income of at least $100,000.

If both your credit score and income are under that threshold, then you may be better off looking at what Upstart can offer. Otherwise, you could end up paying more in the long run between interest rates and other fees.

Still, if you do have sufficient income and fair-to-excellent credit and are looking to consolidate debt, then Best Egg could be the better choice, as Upstart doesn’t offer direct payment to creditors.

Choose Upstart if you have fair credit and an average income

Although Upstart accepts borrowers with credit scores as low as 300 and even insufficient credit, you’ll have better chances of securing the lowest rate with a fair — or better — credit score. When it comes to income requirements, you only need to earn $12,500 a year to qualify for an Upstart loan.

Additionally, with Upstart, you could avoid paying the origination fee in certain cases, as this fee could be as low as 0 percent — something that’s not doable with Best Egg.

Compare more lenders before applying

Best Egg and Upstart are two good options to consider if you need a personal loan with a fair credit score, as you could still secure a competitive rate, but they’re not the only options available. Before taking out a personal loan, make sure to compare rates from at least three or more lenders, as this can increase your chances of getting the best deal for your situation.