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Upstart

Rating
  • Lending criteria includes education and employment info
  • Partners with banks and credit unions using AI-based underwriting
  • Started in 2012 and based in San Francisco

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Upstart for product eligibility.

Our eligible credit type estimate is a general guide based on FICO® Scores:

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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all
fair
good
great
We are not affiliated with nor endorsed by Upstart. We are an independent review site.

Upstart Review

Personal Loans
Features
LOAN FEATURES
$1,000 to $50,000 Loan Amount
5.69% to 35.99% APR Range
USABILITY
Chat Help
Phone contact
Online Acct Mgmt
Branch Access
TRUST
Great Sniff Rating
State licensed lender
Privacy Policy
A+ BBB Score
27 BBB Complaints
Addresses BBB Complaints
BBB Accredited

Upstart is a solid choice for a personal loan. They partner with banks providing origination and underwriting services. They use a non-traditional, artificial intelligence based underwriting approach that considers both traditional factors (credit, income, and debt) and non-traditional factors (education and employment history) when making loan decisions. This means in theory Upstart may arrive at loan qualification or interest rate decisions different from traditional lenders.

We believe today, the real value that Upstart offers to its bank partners is an automated online application and origination process versus any material change to the underwriting process. We do like different approaches to the market as it brings innovation and new options, so look forward to seeing how Upstart evolves over time. Upstart partners with licensed banks and credit unions and has competitive rates and offerings. We think they are worth considering when thinking about a personal loan.

Product

Upstart offers loans from $1,000 and $50,000. Rates are fixed rates from 6.14% to 35.99%. They have origination, late, return check, and paper statement fees. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 8% and is a one-time, non-refundable fee that is deducted from loan proceeds once approved for a loan. Late fees are $15 or 5% of the unpaid loan amount and are charged per occurrence for payments made more than 15 days from your due date. The return check or ACH return payment fee is $15. The effective APR is 5.69% to 35.99% when accounting for fees.

Individual rates, fees, loan amounts, and loan terms will depend on various individual factors including an applicant’s education history, work experience, credit history, and state residence. The numbers provided here are general estimates. Always check Upstart's website for the latest rates, terms, and eligibility.

Loan Eligibility and Requirements

To check eligibility, you will be asked to provide information about your academic history, work experience, and what you plan to do with the loan proceeds. Any offers you received will be contingent on the verification of what you provided plus an additional hard pull of your credit report. Checking to see your rates and eligibility will not impact your credit score. If you do decide to apply, your credit profile may be impacted as they will do a hard pull.

To qualify for a loan, borrowers must

  1. be a U.S. citizen currently living in the U.S., or a permanent resident currently living in the U.S. (military personnel on active duty are not required to be currently living in the US.),
  2. be at least 18 years old (applicants from Alabama and Nebraska must be at least 19 years old);
  3. not be residing in Iowa or West Virginia,
  4. have a valid email account,
  5. have a verifiable name, date of birth and social security number,
  6. have a full-time job, a full-time job offer starting in 6 months (except if accepted to a partner bootcamp and seeking employment after graduation), a regular part-time job, or another source of regular income,
  7. have a personal banking account at a U.S. financial institution with a routing transit number,
  8. have a minimum FICO or Vantage score of 580 as reported by a consumer reporting agency. For residents residing in Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont, and West Virginia, the minimum FICO or Vantage Score is 620,
  9. not have any bankruptcies or public records on your report,
  10. not be currently delinquent on any accounts,
  11. not have charged-off accounts in the past three years and
  12. have fewer than 6 inquiries on your credit report in the last 6 months, not including any inquiries related to student loans, vehicle loans, or mortgages.

Upstart also checks how much debt you have in comparison to your income.

Exisiting Upstart borrowers must (i) have made on-time payments for your 6 previous consecutive payments, with no failed payments, (ii) have no more than one outstanding loan in the Upstart Loan Program at the time of application, and (iii) have no more than $50,000 of total principal outstanding at the time the loan originates. If you have finished paying off an existing loan and made on-time monthly payments for the 6 previous consecutive months, you are able to apply for a second loan after your most recent payment is cleared (14 days from the payment date). If you have finished paying off an existing loan and any of the 6 most recent monthly payments were not on time or you paid off the loan before reaching 6 monthly payments, there is a 60-day, cooling-off period before reapplying.

Funding and Payments

If you accept your loan and complete all steps before 5 pm ET on a business day, you should receive your loan proceeds approximately the next business day. If accepted after 5 pm ET on a business day, you should receive your loan proceeds approximately 2 business days later. For loans that are being used for education-related purposes, there is an additional 3 business day period between when you accept your loan and when you will receive the funds. To receive the loan proceeds you must add and verify a personal bank account in your name.

Once you receive your loan, payments can be made through either recurring ACH, manual ACH, or check. Upstart does not lend its own money. Instead, they are the origination engine for banks. This means that once you go through the Upstart application and underwriting process, if you are approved, you will get an offer from one of their partner banks. Your loan will actually be through a partner bank. We assume this means all servicing, i.e. statements, collections, customer services, etc. will be provided by the underlying bank so will differ depending on who you get your loan from. We think in the long run more clarity on this would be helpful as your Upstart experience can vary greatly depending on their partner banks.

Upstart

The main differentiating feature for Upstart is their underwriting approach. They use an artificial intelligence based lending approach. They partner this underwriting approach with banks and credit unions to generate loans. Traditional lenders such as banks have used statistical models for decades to predict risk. Everyone generally uses the same approach. This means that everyone generally arrives at the same conclusion. An Upstart study completed in partnership with TransUnion found that 83% of borrowers have never defaulted on a loan yet only 45% have access to prime credit. Upstart is trying to incorporate other information such as education and employment along with new types of modeling to be able to better predict the likelikhood of paying your loan back as current models could do a better job at predicting reality. Again, we think this type of approach will take time to develop and today the real value Upstart brings to its partners is an online origination process.

Upstart has originated over $5.2B in loans for over 300,000 borrowers. They are backed by Google Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and other leading investors. They are based in the San Francisco area and have over 200 employees. They originate loans for bank and credit union partners. These loans are regulated and appear to be serviced by banks.

We think they are a solid choice.

We are not affiliated with nor endorsed by Upstart. We are an independent review site.