Launched in 2017, Upgrade provides accessible online and mobile lending and banking services in every state except Iowa, Vermont and West Virginia. Since then, the platform has provided more than $3 billion in loans to over 10 million applicants and continues to expand its online and mobile services. Although the maximum APR is on the high end compared to other online lenders, Upgrade makes loans available for those with bad credit histories.
Loan amounts that start as low as $1,000 are flexible, but end as low as $35,000 — lower than lenders who focus on lower-risk borrowers. Terms of three and five years are available. A processing fee of between 2.9% and 8% of the loan is charged when upgrading, and borrowers face a $10 fee if their payment is more than 15 days late or if the payment does not go through; There are no discounts for Autopay. However, upgrade borrowers are not subject to a prepayment penalty, so you can reduce the overall cost of the loan if you can repay it early.
Upgrade not only offers accessible personal loans, but streamlines the lending process with a mobile app that allows borrowers to view their balances, make payments, and update personal information. Upgrade’s Credit Health tool also makes it easy to track your credit score over the life of your loan.
Eligibility: Prospective borrowers should have a minimum score of 580 to qualify 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 a minimum income requirement from applicants, although borrowers earn an average of $95,000 per year. Applicants should have a maximum pre-borrowing debt-to-income ratio of 45%, excluding their mortgage.
The lender also considers each applicant’s free cash flow, which shows their likely ability to make consistent on-time loan payments. Ideally, applicants should have a minimum monthly cash flow of $800.
The upgrade improves loan accessibility by also allowing co-applicants.
Loan Used: As with most other personal loans, Upgrade loans must be used to pay off credit cards, consolidate other debt, do home improvements, or pay for other large purchases. However, Upgrade stands out from some lenders by allowing borrowers to use personal loan funds to cover business expenses. Additionally, Upgrade will pay out third-party lenders directly, making debt consolidation more convenient than some competing lenders.
There are no specific prohibitions on using upgrade loans, other than those already imposed by law.
change of sides: Once an upgrade loan is approved, it typically takes up to four business days for a borrower to receive the money. However, when Upgrade repays a borrower’s loans directly to a third-party lender, it can take up to two weeks to clear the funds.