Upstart Personal Loans Review

Upstart differentiates itself from other online lenders with its underwriting model. The company uses artificial intelligence (AI) and nontraditional data to help more borrowers qualify and get a low rate, even with imperfect credit. What’s more, AI lets Upstart approve a majority of loans almost instantly. Personal loans between $1,000 to $50,000 are available with terms of three or five years.


  • Accepts borrowers with fair credit
  • Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check
  • Option to choose a custom payment date
  • Fast funding
  • 10-day grace period on late payments


  • May charge origination fee up to 8% of the loan amount
  • No joint, co-signed or secured option
  • Loans only available for three- or five-year terms
  • No mobile app to manage loan

How It’s Compared

Upstart vs. Upgrade

Upstart offers similar rates to Upgrade, but may more easily approve borrowers with low credit scores or thin credit histories using its alternative data underwriting model.

Upgrade may be the better debt consolidation lender because Upstart doesn’t offer direct payment to creditors or debt consolidation discounts.

Upstart vs. Best Egg

Both Upstart and Best Egg have similar rates and terms; however, Upstart’s minimum APR is lower, coming in at 6.50% while Best Egg’s APR range starts at 8.99%. Borrowers with a more established credit history or good credit score should first consider Upstart to potentially score the most competitive rate.

Upstart vs. SoFi

SoFi and Upstart are polar opposites when it comes to terms and eligibility qualifications. While Upstart does offer a lower APR for the most creditworthy borrowers, SoFi has a higher borrowing maximum of $100,000 and offers best-in-class perks and benefits. However, it is harder to get approved for a SoFi loan, so borrowers should keep that in mind prior to applying.

Upstart vs. LendingPoint

Like Upstart, LendingPoint personal loans are a solid choice for large purchases. LendingPoint can fund loans the same day or next day, which is similar to Upstart’s funding time. LendingPoint offers more repayment term options If you need more flexible terms, LendingPoint is worth considering.

Bottom Line

Upstart stands out from other lenders with its AI-driven platform, low credit score requirements, and available loan amounts. Borrowers with less-than-perfect credit or no established credit history may find that they have a better chance of getting a loan through Upstart.

It is worth noting that Upstart’s increased accessibility comes at a price. Annual percentage rates (APRs) are on the high end, and borrowers are limited to a three- or five-year term—much shorter and less flexible than other online lenders. Upstart may also charge borrowers origination, late, unsuccessful payment and paper copy fees. With Upstart’s high average APRs and origination fees, borrowers with good to excellent credit may be better off shopping around.

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