Upgrade 2023 Review
Founded in April 2017, Upgrade is a fairly new personal loan company with a quick and easy one-page application. Applicants can get a decision in seconds with no negative impact on their credit scores.
Upgrade was founded by Renaud Laplanche and Soul Htite, both of whom were co-founders of the online loan marketplace LendingClub before founding Upgrade around ten years later. Laplanche, who is also CEO of Upgrade, was also formerly the head of LendingClub. Htite founded Dianrong, which is a large online marketplace in China.
Upgrade provides unsecured loans, which means you do not have to provide any collateral. In addition, their loans have fixed -- rather than variable -- interest rates.
Upgrade's application process is done entirely online. If you are interested in seeing your potential interest rates, you must visit Upgrade’s home page, enter your loan amount and the reason you want to borrow, and click on “Check Your Rate.” You must then submit your personal and financial information, which includes your address, date of birth, income, and employment information.
This initial process does not harm your credit score and when you have completed these steps, Upgrade shows you multiple loan options with varying amounts and length, or they will notify you that your application has been denied and give you a reason. Your qualification for Upgrade's loans is determined by an algorithm.
Once you have chosen the best loan terms, filled out a detailed application, and agreed to the terms, Upgrade performs a hard credit check and verifies your bank account information before directly depositing your cash within the same business day.
**Pros of Upgrade **
- Accredited service: As of May 18, 2020, Upgrade holds an A+ accreditation from the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and a 4.8/5 rating on Trustpilot.
- Experienced founders: Upgrade’s co-founders have years of experience with online lending.
- Credit repair support: If you are denied due to your credit, Upgrade provides you with support to improve your credit so you can be approved later on.
- Upgrade allows you to pick your payment due date.
- Upgrade’s plans can provide credit monitoring and alerts.
- Quick deposit: Upgrade's funds are transferred quickly and directly to your bank account.
- Unemployment protection: They provide programs in the case that you lose your job or go through a personal hardship. This means you can change your loan term by lengthening it or reducing your monthly payment until you are back on your feet.
- Upgrade allows co-signed and joint loans. You can apply for a loan with someone else, which can be helpful if you don’t have great credit.
- Upgrade offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.,Upgrade will send the funds from your loan directly to your other lenders, saving you the effort of having to get the loan funded and then submit payments.
Cons of Upgrade
- Fixed rates only.,Upgrade only offers fixed rates, as opposed to fixed and variable rates.
- High costs.,Their interest rates are higher than some of their competitors.
- Fees.,Upgrade charges an origination fee.
- Not available in all states.,Upgrade does not provide services to 5 states (Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Vermont and West Virginia).
How Does Upgrade Work?
Upgrade works very similarly to other personal lenders. The company allows you to apply for loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 through its website and get a quick lending decision. If you're approved, Upgrade disburses the funds to your bank account and you’ll start getting a bill each month.
The lender aims to make the process as painless as possible. The application is simple and you can check your rate online in just minutes without impacting your credit score. If you like the rate you receive, you can view multiple loan options and choose the one that’s best for your needs. Money is disbursed within a day of Upgrade verifying your information.
One thing that works differently at Upgrade is its credit cards. The company offers cards that combine aspects of credit card and personal loans. You can use the cards to make purchases. If you don’t pay the balance off in full when you get the statement, whatever you don’t pay converts into a personal loan with a fixed interest rate.
Products Offered by Upgrade
Upgrade offers two lending products: personal loans and the Upgrade Card. What makes the Upgrade Card unique is that it combines features of a credit card and a personal loan. If you don’t pay your card’s balance in full at the end of the month, the remaining balance converts to a personal loan with a fixed interest rate.
This can make it easier to afford to pay purchases off over time compared to using a traditional credit card.
Upgrade Personal Loan - How to Qualify
In order to qualify for an Upgrade personal loan, you’ll need to meet the lender’s requirements. Like any lender, Upgrade is primarily concerned with whether you’ll be able to make your monthly bill payments. That means the company will want to see a strong credit score, low debt-to-income ratio, and reasonable income before approving your loan.
In order to qualify, you’ll need to meet these requirements:
- Minimum credit score: 560
- Minimum number of other accounts on your credit report: Two
- Maximum debt-to-income ratio:40%, excluding your mortgage
The higher your credit score, the lower your DTI ratio, and the more income you have, the lower the interest rate you’ll qualify for. That means good credit can help you get a cheaper loan.
How to Apply for an Upgrade Personal Loan?
One of the perks of using Upgrade is that it makes the borrowing process online. You’ll follow these steps to apply:
- Check your rate. Upgrade lets you check your interest rate without impacting your credit score. provide some basic information about your credit and your financial situation and Upgrade will give you a sample APR. You can use this info to calculate your monthly payment and fees.
- Submit your application. If you like the rate Upgrade offers, you can submit a formal application. You’ll need to provide paperwork that backs up the information you provided when checking your rate, so have things like recent pay stubs and bank statements ready.
- Select a loan offer. Once Upgrade reviews your formal application, it will make a final lending decision. If you’re approved, you’ll be offered a few loan options. Things like the APR, fees, monthly payment, and the loan term can vary from offer to offer. Choose the one that best fits your needs.
- Funding. Upgrade claims it can fund loans as soon as the day after it finalizes your loan and checks all of your details. On average it can take up to four business days before the money hits your account.
- Make payments. After you receive your loan, you’ll start receiving a monthly bill. Make sure to make your payment each month to help build credit and avoid paying late fees.
Terms & Requirements
Upgrade has several requirements for potential borrowers to qualify for their loans (their primary demographic is in the fair to excellent credit segment):
- You are over 18 years of age (for most states). You must be at least 19 to be eligible in Alabama and a few other states.
- You must be a US citizen, permanent resident, or be living in the US with a valid visa.
- You must have a verifiable bank account.
- You must have a valid email address.
- You must have $800 of your monthly income left over after your monthly expenses. Upgrade determines if you have enough free cash flow by looking at your income, the cost of living in your area, tax rate, and your rent or mortgage.
- You must live in one of the eligible states. Upgrade does not provide services to Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Vermont or West Virginia.
- You must have a minimum credit score of 600. The average borrower's score is 675.
- There is no minimum income requirement.
- You must have at least 3 years of credit history.
- Your credit history, usage, and available amount are taken into consideration.
- You must have a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 40%, excluding your mortgage.
- Upgrade offers unsecured loans with fixed rates.
- Their loans range from $1,000 to $50,000.
- The length of these loans’ ranges from 36 or 60 months.
- Upgrade’s interest loans run from 6.55% to 35.97%.
- Upgrade charges an origination fee of 2.9% to 8%.
- There is a returned payment fee of $10.
- Upgrade charges a $10 late fee after a 15-day grace period.
For Whom is Upgrade Good?
Upgrade is a great choice of lender for many people, but it excels when it comes to small loan amounts. Allowing people to borrow as little as $1,000 makes it easy for borrowers to get loans of exactly the right size for their needs. Borrowing more than necessary means paying additional fees and interest for no reason, making the option for small loans highly valuable.
Upgrade is also highly flexible when it comes to reasons for applying for a loan. That means most people will be eligible for loans, assuming they can meet the lender’s credit requirements.
Here are some real customer reviews from Trustpilot:
This was, by far, the easiest application process I've gone through. I provided the standard identification information and suddenly was at the "Approved! Your loan will be dispersed in a few days!" screen. The funds were actually dispersed before I got the paperwork from the partner bank. Upgrade was fantastic from start to finish.
-May 16, 2020
I had a temporary cash flow problem. Upgrade helped me bridge that shortfall in a very timely manner. Thank you
-May 16, 2020
Upgrade Personal Loan Alternatives
Upgrade is just one personal lender. If you’re in the market for a personal loan, it’s worth the effort to compare your options.
Upgrade is an online loan marketplace that focuses more on your monthly cash flow rather than your income. They offer unsecured loans with competitive fixed rates along with free credit monitoring and alerts.
Upgrade disclaimer: Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 6.98%-35.89%. All personal loans have a 1.5% to 6% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Personal loans issued by Upgrade's lending partners. Information on Upgrade's lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes Upgrade unique?
Upgrade is an online marketplace founded by Soul Htite and Renaud Laplanche, both of whom have years of experience in the loan service industry. They offer unsecured, fixed rate loans to borrowers with good credit.
What does Upgrade offer?
Upgrade offers unsecured personal loans and additional perks to help their borrowers. This includes free credit monitoring, alerts, and programs to help you in case you go through a financial hardship or lose your job.
Will submitting an application with Upgrade affect my credit?
Simply submitting an application for pre-approval will not affect your credit score since Upgrade performs a soft pull on your credit history (which does not damage it). However, if you choose to accept an offer, your lender may authorize a hard pull on your credit, which can damage it slightly.
How long does Upgrade take to review a loan?
Upgrade can review your application and get money into your bank account in as little as four days.
**Is Upgrade company legit? **
Yes, Upgrade is a legitimate lender that offers personal loans and other financial products.
Does Upgrade do a hard pull?
Yes, Upgrade does a hard pull on your credit when you apply for a personal loan. However, you can check your rate with no obligation or impact on your credit score.
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|Credit Score Required||600|
|Minimum Loan Amount||$1,000|
|Max Loan Amount||$50,000|
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