Upgrade is a legit lending company that offers strong personal loan options with a broad range of repayment terms, several interest rate discounts, and money funding as soon as the next business day. Besides other positive features, the service accepts applications from fair credit borrowers. However, if you’re interested in the lowest possible rates and have a good credit score, Upgrade’s personal loans may be a bit overpriced for you.
Pros and Cons of an Upgrade Personal Loan
- No fees for paying a loan early;
- Autopay, direct pay, and reward checking discounts;
- Secured and joint loan options are available;
- The ability to change your payment date.
- Interest rates are higher compared to some competitors;
- Steep origination fees;
- The service charges late fees.
Things to Know About an Upgrade Personal Loan: Review In Nutshells
Upgrade is an online lending company based in San Francisco. As it’s not a direct lender, Upgrade personal loan options are issued by its lending partners, which are Cross River Bank and Blue Ridge Bank. An Upgrade loan can be from $1,000 to $50,000. The company accepts borrowers with good to fair credit, although each lender from its network may set its specific requirements. Below are the key features of Upgrade personal loans.
At Upgrade, you can get a fixed rate loan, meaning that your APR won’t fluctuate over the loan life. This makes your loan payments predictable, making it easier for budgeting and money management.
Upgrade can transfer loan funds to cover your existing debt directly to a creditor. More than that, there’s a direct pay discount of 1 to 3 percentage points. This not only simplifies the consolidation process but also allows you to save on your loan.
Secured and Co-Applicant Options
Besides providing unsecured personal loans, Upgrade also has secured loans for bad credit and allows co-applicants. Borrowers with less-than-perfect credit scores can bring their cars as collateral or add a co-borrower to get a loan with more favorable terms.
Multiple Rate Discounts
Besides a perk offered for a direct payment, Upgrade also offers interest rate discounts for automatic payments and reward checking. An auto pay provides a reduction of about 0.5 percentage points. Reward checking allows Reward Checking Plus holders to get an up to 20% discount.
The Ability to Manage Your Loan via the Mobile App
Upgrade has a convenient mobile app with multiple loan- and money-management tools. One of the best features is that you can change your loan payment date. However, the company notes that extending your due date by a day or more may result in paying additional interest over the loan life.
Fast Funding Times
You can get loan proceeds in as little as one business day after clearing verification. Upgrade asks borrowers to check their emails and dashboards after submitting applications. There may be additional document requests from lenders to complete the verification procedure.
A Broad Range of Loan Amounts and Repayment Terms
Both minimum and maximum loan amounts can meet various customers’ needs. Upgrade borrowers can request installment loans for bad credit between $1,000 and $50,000. Additionally, Upgrade loans feature repayment terms are also flexible from 24 to 84 months.
APRs and Fees Can Be Higher Than Average
Upgrade offers loans at higher APR compared to some other personal loan lenders. An estimated APR can be between 8.49% and 35.99%, which also includes an origination fee between 1.85% and 9.99% of the loan amount. The actual rate depends on how much you borrow, the repayment period, your credit score, and your credit usage history.
What Products and Services Does Upgrade Offer?
Here’s the list of products and services you can get via Upgrade:
- Personal loans;
- Debt consolidation loans;
- Home improvement loans;
- Auto loans;
- Auto refinancing;
- Credit cards;
- Checking accounts;
- Savings accounts.
Who Is Upgrade Good for?
Upgrade can be a perfect fit for borrowers with fair credit who need money quickly. Whether it’s a major purchase or a small emergency, you can request a suitable loan amount and repay it in affordable installments. Also, it can work for you if you need to consolidate debt due to direct payments available. They make the process convenient and come with an extra interest reduction.
If you’re looking for an online lending service with the lowest possible rate while having good or excellent credit, Upgrade loans are more likely to seem expensive for you.
Am I Eligible for Upgrade Personal Loans
To be eligible for Upgrade personal loans, you need to meet the following requirements:
- Be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident, or living in the U.S. on a valid visa;
- Be at least 18 years old or 19 in Alabama and other select states;
- Provide verifiable bank account information and a valid email address;
- Prove your income is high enough to make your monthly payments.
Additionally, you may be asked to meet some extra criteria that can vary by lender. They include:
- Minimum credit score requirement;
- Length of credit history;
- Maximum debt-to-income ratio, etc.
How Can I Get an Upgrade Personal Loan?
Upgrade offers personal loans with a quite simple application procedure. You need to follow these steps to apply:
- Pre-qualify via the Upgrade website. The service provides an opportunity to check your rate and estimated loan terms without affecting your credit score. To do this, you need to fill out a pre-qualify form.
- Review loan offers. If you’re potentially eligible, the service will show you several offers you can qualify for. Compare them and choose a loan offer at better terms.
- Complete an application. At this stage, you may be asked to provide some supporting documents. Then, you need to submit your application form.
- Get a loan approval decision. Upgrade lenders perform hard credit checks, so it may take you about two business days to get a response from a loan provider.
- Receive your funds. If approved, a lender will make a direct deposit into your valid bank or checking account specified in your application form.
Compare Upgrade vs. Other Lenders
Before settling on a particular lender, it’s recommended to shop around and evaluate offers from several loan providers. As each lender may have its unique requirements and terms, comparing loans can help you get the best deal that meets your current needs.
Upgrade vs. Upstart
Upstart uses an alternative data underwriting model, making it easier to get approved for borrowers with lower credit scores. Both companies have similar interest rates. At the same time, Upstart loans can be faster due to instant approval decisions and funding within one business day. However, Upgrade will better meet your needs if you’re going to consolidate debt. This is because the service makes direct payments to creditors and offers rate discounts for it.
Upgrade vs. SoFi
SoFi can be a better solution to borrowers with good credit who seek large sums. SoFi loans come with APRs from 5.74% to 20.28% and don’t involve any extra fees. However, you need to have a credit score of at least 680 to qualify. Additionally, SoFi sets a higher minimum loan amount of $5,000, even for borrowers with bad credit, and offers no cosigner options. Upgrade will be a better choice for you if you have questionable credit history and need money fast.
Upgrade vs. Rocket Loans
Rocket Loans may offer lower interest rates, which are between 8.416% and 29.99%, and apply origination fees of up to 7%. Also, same-day loans are available for those who apply before 1 PM. However, the service has a minimum credit score requirement of 640. Also, Rocket Loans offers no direct payment for debt consolidation and has shorter repayment terms of up to 60 months.
Methodology: How We’ve Made an Upgrade Review
BadCredify’s reviewed Upgrade based on several parameters, such as:
- Loans cost;
- Accessibility and eligibility;
- Repayment terms;
- Customer experience;
- Application process;
- Funding times.
We conducted a thorough website research and contacted Upgrade’s representatives to make sure the information provided on the website was accurate. We also checked out how its customer service works. Our insider underwent a pre-qualification process to get a better understanding of estimated loan terms and APRs.
As Upgrade partners with many personal loan lenders, there’s no unified requirement. Each of them may set their own eligibility criteria. It’s recommended to have a credit score of at least 620 to qualify. However, borrowers with lower credit scores can also qualify. Just keep in mind that the lower your FICO rating, the higher the APR you can expect to be offered.
An average borrower typically gets a personal loan from Upgrade as soon as the next business day after clearing verification. However, it may take a bit longer if you provide the needed documents with delay.
Upgrade is a trusted company that has worked for over 5 years and has accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. However, you need to make sure your potential loan corresponds to your current financial situation. If you’re not sure about your ability to repay the funds on time, it’s not safe to go into debt, no matter what lender you deal with.