Upgrade was launched in 2017 and provides online and mobile banking and credit services accessible in all states except Iowa, Vermont and West Virginia. Since then, the platform has made more than $3 billion in credit available to more than 10 million applicants and continues to expand its online and mobile services. Although maximum APRs are at the high end of other online lenders, Upgrade makes loans available to those with poor credit history.
Loan amounts, which start at just $1,000, are flexible but cap out at $35,000, less than lenders who focus on low-risk borrowers. Three and five year loan terms are available. Upgrade charges an origination fee of between 2.9% and 8% of the loan, and borrowers will incur a $10 fee if their payment is more than 15 days late or payment is not made; there is no discount for automatic payment. That said, upgrade borrowers aren’t subject to a prepayment penalty, so you can reduce the overall cost of the loan if you’re able to pay it off sooner.
In addition to offering accessible personal loans, Upgrade streamlines the loan process with a mobile app that lets borrowers view their balances, make payments, and update their personal information. Upgrade’s Credit Heath tool also makes it easy to track your credit score throughout the life of your loan.
Eligibility: Prospective borrowers must have a minimum score of 580 to be eligible for an upgrade personal loan (the average borrower score is 697), making it an accessible option for those with fair credit. Additionally, the lender does not require applicants to meet a minimum income requirement, although borrowers earn an average of $95,000 per year. Applicants must have a maximum pre-loan debt ratio of 45%, excluding their mortgage.
The lender also considers each applicant’s free cash flow, which demonstrates their likely ability to make regular, on-time loan repayments. Ideally, applicants should have a minimum monthly cash flow of $800.
The upgrade increases loan accessibility by allowing co-applicants as well.
The loan uses: Like most other personal loans, Upgrade loans should be used to pay off credit cards, consolidate other debts, make home improvements, or pay for other major purchases. However, Upgrade differs from some lenders by allowing borrowers to use personal loan funds to cover business expenses. Additionally, Upgrade will repay third-party lenders directly, making debt consolidation more convenient than with some competing lenders.
There are no specific prohibitions on the use of Upgrade Loans other than those already imposed by law.
Completion time : Once an upgrade loan is approved, it usually takes up to four business days for a borrower to receive the funds. However, if Upgrade repays a borrower’s loans directly to a third-party lender, it can take up to two weeks for the funds to clear.