Upgrade is a personal loan company that offers higher borrowing limits than many other non-traditional lenders. They offer competitive rates and fees, and as a result, we consider Upgrade to be one of the best personal loan lenders overall.
You can find the full list of Best Personal Loans here.
Is Upgrade right for you? Check out our review below and see if it makes sense to get a personal loan with Upgrade.
- Offers personal loans and lines of credit
- Loans from $1,000 to $35,000 and terms of 36 or 60 months
- Competitive rates and fees
Upgrade Personal Loans Details
Upgrade Personal Loan
Min Loan Amount
Max Loan Amount
As low as 7.99% APR
36 or 60 months
Who Is Upgrade?
The company was founded in 2016 and its headquarters is located in San Francisco.
Whom Does Upgrade Lend To?
Upgrade doesn’t seem to have any restrictions on whom it allows through its application process. Its minimum loan requirements are standard (borrowers must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years old, and have a bank account). They do ask about your gross income on the loan application but the application questions appear to be fairly standard as well.
There are some variations in loan amount and availability between states. Minimum loan amounts are $3,005 in GA and $6,005 in MA. Upgrade is not available in Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
What Types of Loans Are Offered?
You can choose between a personal loan or personal line of credit. Both are fixed-rate loan products. Upgrade loans are unsecured. This means collateral is not required for Upgrade loans or lines of credit.
Personal loans can be used for many things except the following:
- Post-secondary education (school loans including tuition, room and board, supplies, etc.)
- Illegal activities
- Gambling of any kind
Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $35,000 with APRs from 7.99%-35.97%.
Remember, rates and fees are subject to change and based on credit qualification. These rates are accurate as of August 18, 2020. Please see their website for the latest rates and terms.
Upgrade is one of the only online lenders that offer a personal line of credit, which is currently in beta. Lines of credit can go up to $50,000. There aren’t any origination fees on a line of credit and the interest rate is fixed.
The way an Upgrade line of credit works is that you choose the amount to draw on the line. If the line is $10,000 and you draw $1,000, $9,000 remains available on the line of credit. For the $1,000 draw, you choose the terms to pay back the draw and the interest rate. Funds are moved from the line of credit directly into your checking account.
One of the main benefits of using a line of credit is that you don’t have to apply for a loan every time you take a draw. It also means no hits to your credit report for each draw.
How Does the Loan Application Process Work?
You can apply online at Upgrade.com. Once you fill out an application, you’ll be able to choose an offer. This part of the application process does a soft pull on your credit report. A soft pull does not affect your credit score.
Once you accept an offer, a hard pull is done on your credit report. This can affect your credit score. If approved, funds are deposited into your bank account within four days. If you are not immediately approved, additional documentation about your identity and income may be required.
Are There Any Hidden Fees?
All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds.
Any failed check (or e-check) will be charged a $10 fee. A $10 late fee is applied if payment isn’t received within 15 calendar days of your payment due date.
What Else Does Upgrade Offer?
- Access to your VantageScore® 3.0 anytime
- Credit score summary
- Credit Health insights
- Credit score simulator
- Customized recommendations
- Weekly updates
- Trending charts
- Email alerts
There are also many articles available on Credit Health. It’s a great, free resource for anyone who wants to learn how to improve their credit.
If you need a personal loan or want to open up a personal line of credit, Upgrade offers compelling loan products. Their rates are competitive with other online lenders and terms are similar.
Unlike other online lenders, Upgrade’s personal line of credit is unique. With a line of credit, you don’t incur origination fees or have to go through a loan application every time you want to use the line of the credit.
Upgrade wants to provide people with insight into their financial lives, especially their creditworthiness. It’s worth working on your credit before applying for an Upgrade loan. The better your credit score, the better your interest rate will be.
A credit score isn’t the only factor when considering your rate. You’ll also want to have a good job — preferably one you’ve been at for a little while. All of these factors paint a picture of your creditworthiness and determine if you’re approved or not for an Upgrade loan.
If you believe your finances are in order and you have a good credit score, Upgrade is certainly worth applying to.
Disclaimer: Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 7.99%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% 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/.
Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to 2 weeks to clear, depending on the creditor.
Rates and Fees
Products and Services
Upgrade is a personal loan platform that provides loans for a variety of uses.
- Low starting rates
- Higher than the average maximum loan amount
- Potential for very fast funding
- APRs can be very high
- Unclear on the credit requirements
- Origination fees
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.