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Upgrade Debt Consolidation and Personal Loan Review

Home » Finance » Upgrade Debt Consolidation and Personal Loan Review
7.8

Table of Contents

Upgrade Reviews: Compare 2024 Loan Rates

Upgrade loan reviews describe a highly-rated FinTech online lending marketplace, providing a range of financial products such as personal loans, debt consolidation, credit cards, and checking and savings accounts. The company began in 2016 and consistently scores well across numerous ratings platforms.

  • The Better Business Bureau, where Upgrade carries an A+ grade, awards the company an impressive 4.48 of 5-star rating.
  • Over 39,000 Trustpilot reviewers award the company high marks, giving it an average score of 4.5 of 5 stars.
  • Upgrade is also on our list of the top-rated personal loans for fair credit.

Compare Upgrade vs. Other Top-Rated Loans for Fair Credit

Lender Fixed (APR) Loan Amounts
Minimum Credit Score
Upstart Personal Loan 6.40% to 35.99% $1,000 to $50,000 620
LightStream Personal Loan 7.49% to 25.49% $5,000 to $100,000 700
Discover Personal Loan 7.99% to 24.99% $2,500 to $40,000 660
PenFed Credit Union Loan 8.49% to 17.99% $600 to $50,000 700
Upgrade Personal Loan 8.49% to $35.99% $1,000 to $50,000 600
Sofi Personal Loan 8.99% to 25.81% $50,000 to $100,000
Does Not Disclose
Best Egg Personal Loan 8.99% to 35.99% $20,000 to $50,000 600
LendingClub Personal Loan 9.57% to 35.99% $1,000 to $40,000 660
Avant Personal Loan 9.95% to 35.99% $20,000 to $35,000 550
Universal Credit Personal Loan 11.69% to 35.99% $1,000 to $50,000 560
OneMain Financial Personal Loan 18% to 35.99% $1,500 to $20,000
Does Not Disclose
Zable Personal Loans 8% to 30% $1,000 to $25,000 600
Happy Money Debt Consolidation Loan 11.72% to 24.67% $3,000 to $40,000 640

Source: Top 5 Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit, Good Credit and Excellent Credit

The following review reveals the pros and cons of using Upgrade to get a personal loan, helping you choose the right lender for your borrowing needs. Below, you can get prequalified loan offers from Upgrade and other top-rated lenders. As a lending marketplace, Upgrade operates differently than a traditional bank. The company allows potential debt consolidation and personal loan customers to gather real-time information about the financial products they might qualify for without affecting their credit scores.

upgrade personal loans feature image

Take 60 Seconds to Prequalify for Personal Loans (Upgrade and More!)

Pros

  • No fee to apply

  • No early payment fees

  • Fast funding turnaround

  • Highly-rated company

  • A+ BBB grade

  • Direct creditor payments available for consolidation loans

  • Adjustable payment date

  • Credit lines available

  • Upgrade credit cards offer 1.5% cash back, no annual fees or late fees

Cons

  • No autopay discount

  • Origination fees apply

  • Minimum credit score applies

  • $10 late payment fees apply

Upgrade Loan Features and Benefits

In addition to debt consolidation and personal loan features, Upgrade offers several options for other financial services with flexible terms and a wide range of fixed interest rates.
  • Online lending company
  • Online personal loan and debt consolidation marketplace
  • $1,000 to $50,000 loan amounts
  • Fixed interest rates between 6.55 and 35.97%
  • 12 to 84-month repayment terms
  • No fee to pre-qualify
  • No autopay discount
  • Origination fees apply
  • Mobile app available
  • 600 credit score required for approval
  • Allows joint applicants
  • Deposit accounts and credit lines also available
  • Available nationwide

Upgrade Editorial Rating

Trusted Company Reviews Rating Score for x company: 7.8
Upgrade loans are well-liked by the company’s customers. Our examination of the company focused on several criteria, including interest rate availability, the presence and percentage rate of loan origination fees, loan length term options, loan amounts available, and overall consumer ratings.
We also considered customer-centric metrics, such as minimum credit score and other debt consolidation and personal loan acceptance criteria.
Interest Rates 6.55 to 35.97%
Origination Fee 1.85 to 9.99%
Loan Terms 24 to 84 months
Minimum Credit Score 600
Loan Amounts $1,000 to $50,000
BBB Rating 4.48 / A+

What is Upgrade?

While external appearances may confuse the issue, Upgrade isn’t a banking institution. Consumers may apply for debt consolidation and personal loans at Upgrade as if it were a bank. Customers can also acquire lines of credit, debit cards, and checking and savings accounts.
However, instead of acting as a lender, Upgrade’s business model connects borrowers and deposit account customers to appropriate lending organizations.
The company accomplishes this task by offering a website where customers can submit information and, by using that information, matches them with partnering banks, lenders, and products that best fit their needs.

Upgrade Personal Loan and Debt Consolidation Interest Rates

An interest rate and an origination fee will accompany your Upgrade loan or debt consolidation. Current interest rates at Upgrade vary widely from 6.55 to 35.97%.
Upgrade offers the lowest interest rates to customers with excellent credit who also:
  • Allow Upgrade to pay lenders directly for consolidation loans
  • Choose the auto-pay option for loan repayment

By taking these steps, you can potentially lower your interest rate and save money on your loan.

How to Get an Upgrade Loan

Obtaining an Upgrade debt consolidation or personal loan is a two-step process.

Step 1: Review Upgrade Pre-Qualified Loan Offers.

Begin by applying for pre-qualification on the company’s website by inputting personal and financial information, such as employment status, income amounts, and your social security number.

Upgrade will evaluate the information and return one or more loan or debt consolidation offers within minutes in most cases if you pre-qualify.

The pre-qualification step only requires a soft inquiry on your credit report that won’t affect your score and won’t appear on other inquiries.

Step 2: Apply for Upgrade Loan

When you receive your offers, you can choose one to apply for that best fits your needs.
However, there’s no obligation to choose any offers, and you’ll owe nothing for taking the pre-qualifying steps.
Apply for your chosen personal loan or debt consolidation by submitting additional information and documentation on the website.
Upgrade will ask for proof of the statements provided in the previous step, identification, and other supporting documents. It will then evaluate the documents, run a hard inquiry on your credit report that will affect your score, and return a final approval or denial within one to four business days, if not immediately.
If approved, Upgrade will transfer the money into your existing bank account minus the origination fee, or pay your creditors directly if you’re consolidating debt and choose that option.
Transferring money into your account typically takes a single business day but could take up to five days. Expect several days and up to two weeks for Upgrade to pay your creditors during debt consolidation.

Upgrade Loan Requirements

Upgrade determines the interest rate, origination fee, and other terms of your personal or debt consolidation loan by evaluating several factors. The factors include your credit score, credit history and usage, payment history details, and the requested loan amount.
Customers with higher credit scores and more favorable credit history details will generally pay less interest on their Upgrade loan than those with less favorable histories and scores.
Upgrade lists several minimum requirements to apply for a loan with the company, including the following items.
  • Ownership of a valid checking or savings account
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older in most states
  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or visa holder in the country
  • Have a valid email address
  • Have required verifying documentation
  • Prove an acceptable debt-to-income ratio (DTI)

Calculating Debt to Income Ratio

Upgrade doesn’t define an acceptable debt-to-income ratio to qualify for its financial services. However, most lenders prefer loaning to customers with a DTI of under 40%.
To calculate your DTI, start by adding your monthly debt payments together. Include only debt payments and disregard everyday living costs. Divide the debt payment total by your gross monthly income and multiply the answer by 100. The result equals your DTI percentage.

Approval and Acceptance

Pre-qualifying for an Upgrade loan doesn’t automatically equate to approval. After pre-qualification, customers must formally apply for the loan they choose by submitting documents and identification to support the statements made in the pre-qualifying step.
Submitting additional information may also be necessary. Upgrade evaluates the information, performs a hard credit inquiry, and returns an approval or denial response.

How Long Does Upgrade Take to Approve a Loan?

The pre-qualifying step on Upgrade’s website only requires a few minutes to receive an answer and loan options if you qualify. After submitting a formal application, most customers receive an approval or denial within a few minutes. However, some applicants may wait for up to four business days for Upgrade to verify documents and provide a decision.

Why Is My Upgrade Loan Taking So Long?

In some situations, Upgrade can’t offer final approval before performing a more detailed evaluation of your documentation. Often, the company must wait for verification of one or more documents.
To check your application’s status, Upgrade asks consumers to log into the Upgrade account they established while applying and check the To-Do List to ensure all steps are complete. Customers can also check their Account Summary and their email for any updates.

Upgrade Loan Reviews

Upgrade debt consolidation reviews and personal loan reviews showcase the company’s high ratings from numerous online resources, including those from both consumers and experts.
The company earns an A+ rating from the BBB for its high response rate to customer complaints. Upgrade’s BBB review score is currently 4.48 of 5 stars. It scores similarly high at the competitive Trustpilot, with a 4.5 of 5-star rating.

Is Upgrade Legit?

Upgrade is a legitimate online lending marketplace, in business since 2016 and accredited by the Better Business Bureau in 2017. The company partners with lenders, including Cross River Bank, an FDIC member chartered in New Jersey.

Upgrade Loan Scam

Multiple scams have occurred via email and other methods using the word, ‘upgrade’ to attempt to defraud respondents by coercing them to “upgrade” their account details. While these scams have nothing to do with Upgrade.com, the company has been the target of illegal use of its name and logo in scam situations.
On Upgrade’s What is Upgrade page, the company provides details and contact information for customers who believe they’re victims of one of these scams having to do with Upgrade.com.
upgrade loan scam statement and information

Upgrade Vs. The Competition

When comparing Upgrade to other top contenders in the debt consolidation and personal loan industry, the company stacks up quite well. Here’s how Upgrade does, compared to other lenders, in our personal loan company evaluations and our review of the best debt consolidation companies.

Upgrade Loans Vs. Upstart Loans

Upgrade and Upstart have several common themes between them. However, a closer look reveals some important distinctions. Our Upstart review points out that the company has advantages for some borrowers with less-than-stellar credit. A low credit score may not exclude all Upstart borrowers who score below 600.
On the other hand, for those with scores over 600, Upgrade may offer a few more perks than Upstart, such as longer loan term options and slightly better average review scores.
BBB Grade / Rating Average Reviews Rating Interest Rates Origination Fee Loan Terms Minimum Credit Score Loan Amount
Upgrade 4.48 / A+ 4.6 6.55 to 35.97% 1.85 to 9.99% 24 – 84 months 600 $1,000 to $50,000
Upstart 1.24 / A+ 3.4 5.39 – 35.99% 0 – 12% Varies by Lender 36 – 60 months 300 $1,000 to $50,000

Upgrade Vs. Credible

Upgrade’s and Credible’s business models are very similar. Both companies are online lending marketplaces that offer consumers a way to check for pre-qualification before taking a hit on their credit scores. Both may return several loan options for borrowers to choose from.
While similar, each company has qualities that set it apart from the other. Our Credible review highlights a lending platform company that works with multiple lending institutions to offer financial products to a wide range of customers—even many with lower credit scores.
Conversely, Upgrade focuses its attention on customers with slightly higher credit scores and longer credit histories. Upgrade offers several products that Credible doesn’t, such as savings and checking accounts, credit cards, and lines of credit.
BBB Grade / Rating Average Reviews Rating Interest Rates Origination Fee Loan Terms Minimum Credit Score Loan Amount
Upgrade 4.48 / A+ 4.6 6.55 to 35.97% 1.85 to 9.99% 24 – 84 months 600 $1,000 to $50,000
Credible 1.29 / A+ 4.6 4.60 – 35.99% 0 – 12% Varies by Lender 12 – 84 months No minimum stated $600 to $100,000

Upgrade Vs. LendingClub

It would seem that Upgrade and LendingClub are indistinguishable from one another. However, closer inspection reveals that although the two have nearly identical customer review scores, interest rates, origination fee potential, and similar available loan amounts, some key differences exist.
Our LendingClub review identifies the company as a full-service online bank where customers can access a full suite of banking services, minus the brick-and-mortar locations. Upgrade, while also offering several financial products, uses third-party organizations to fund its products and doesn’t offer as wide a range of products as LendingClub.
Besides that fundamental difference, the only real differences between the two regarding personal loans and debt consolidation are loan length term options and available maximum loan amounts.
BBB Grade / Rating Average Reviews Rating Interest Rates Origination Fee Loan Terms Minimum Credit Score Loan Amount
Upgrade 4.48 / A+ 4.6 6.55 to 35.97% 1.85 to 9.99% 24 – 84 months 600 $1,000 to $50,000
Lending-

Club

4.56 / A+ 4.4 6.34 – 35.89% 3 – 8% 36 or 60 months 600 $1,000 to $40,000

Upgrade Credit Card Reviews

We cannot end this review on Upgrade without discussing its credit card. Upgrade credit cards offer unlimited 1.5% cash back with no annual fees or even late fees ever to be charged.

A $200 bonus is also offered to new Upgrade credit card holders with an Upgrade checking account.

Positive Reviews on Upgrade Credit Cards:

  • Customer reviews on Credit Karma mention how easy it was to qualify for a high credit limit on the Upgrade Card.
  • The Nerdwallet review on Upgrade’s Cash Rewards Visa credit card talks about how the card offers high reward points and cash back, no annual fees, and it’s available for credit scores as low as 600. Nerdwallet also discusses how customers are charged a fixed interest rate without pre-payment penalties, unlike most other cards that carry variable rates.
  • Customer reviews at the BBB mention that qualifying for the Upgrade credit card is easy and fast. Customers also praised Upgrade’s customer service department for being helpful and easy to reach.

Learn more about the Upgrade Credit Card.

Negative Customer Reviews on Upgrade Credit Cards

While most online reviews for Upgrade are positive, our in-depth analysis uncovered some negative feedback. The common theme in the negative reviews concerns customers expressing dissatisfaction with Upgrade’s decision to lower their credit limits without apparent justification.

While it may be understandably unsettling for cardholders, the practice of creditors reducing credit limits is not unique to Upgrade. Many credit card companies resort to this measure when seeking to minimize risk amid rising interest rates and default rates.

Credit limit reductions may occur due to factors such as perceived insufficient card usage, tightened lending policies aimed at mitigating risk, or other underlying considerations. It’s important to note that this practice extends beyond Upgrade alone.

Upgrade Checking and Savings Account Review

Upgrade’s Rewards Checking Plus account, provided through Cross River Bank, offers an impressive 5.07% APY and up to 2% cash back on everyday purchases. 

With no monthly fees, and the option to add the Upgrade Performance Savings account to boost potential rewards, Upgrade is a great option for those looking for a high-yield checking account with cashback rewards.

Key Features:

  • High APY: Earn an impressive 5.07% APY on all balances without monthly fees.
  • Cashback Rewards: Earn up to 2% cash back on everyday purchases with the Upgrade VISA® Debit Card.
  • Early Direct Deposit: Direct deposit users may receive payments up to two days early.
  • No ATM Fees: No fees for ATMs nationwide.
  • No Overdraft Fees: There are no overdraft fees. 
  • No Transfer Fees: No fees for transfers between Upgrade accounts or to other banks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does an Upgrade loan review take?

Is Upgrade a good loan company?

Does Upgrade do a hard pull?

What bank does Upgrade use?

How many Upgrade loans can I have?

Does Upgrade credit card payment history help build credit?

Source

Image Sources: upgrade.com – bbb.org – trustpilot.com

About Author

Dr. Ali
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Dr. Ali

Deane Biermeier

Last Updated: January 31, 2024