Upgrade Personal Loans Review

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Contributor, Benzinga
May 2, 2022

As a lender of personal loans, Upgrade offers a host of benefits, such as a wide range of financing solutions with funding times as little as a few days. Upgrade maintains options for a range of credit scores and incomes; however, APRs tend to be higher than if you were to work with a traditional bank. 

Nonetheless, it’s easier and faster to get approved for a personal loan from Upgrade than it would be at a bank or credit union. Upgrade isn’t a direct lender, so Upgrade doesn’t actually lend you the money but rather works with its network of partners to get you the funds you need. 

Upgrade features annual percentage rates (APRs) between 5.94% to 35.97% on its personal loans. And although there are origination fees, you won’t have to worry about prepayment penalties if you decide to pay off your loan early. Plus, Upgrade offers a considerable number of discounts for things like opening a qualifying checking account or setting up autopay. 

You’ll only need a credit score of 560 to qualify for funding — making Upgrade a great choice for borrowers with fair or less-than-perfect credit. However, for the highest funding amounts and the best interest rates, you’ll want your credit score to be in as strong shape as possible 

Funding amounts range from $1,000 to $50,000, which makes these loans ideal for small- to mid-range financing needs. You can use a personal loan from Upgrade for a variety of purposes. However, funds can’t be used for gambling, investing or funding college expenses. 

Most borrowers will use Upgrade personal loans to finance their business, consolidate debt, cover medical expenses, complete home upgrades or pay for a wedding. Whatever the scenario, when you need funding fast Upgrade is a solid choice. 

Upgrade doesn’t allow co-signers on loans. 

Upgrade, founded in 2017 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, was launched by a team of veteran fintech executives with prior experience at leading personal loan lenders, such as Lending Club. Upgrade has helped millions of people access personal loans and issued more than $10 billion to borrowers. 

Best For
  • Secured loans
  • Debt consolidation loans
  • Wide range of funding solutions
  • Fast approval process for secured loans
  • No prepayment penalties or fees
  • Wide range of options for repayment terms and funding amounts
  • 0.5 percentage point rate discount in exchange for setting up autopay
  • Funding times as little as one business day
  • Charges origination fees
  • Higher-than-average APRs
  • Not a direct lender
  • Does not accept co-signers

Upgrade Personal Loans Ratings at a Glance

Upgrade Fees

Upgrade is an online, or an alternative lender, which means its APRs tend to be higher than average. In exchange for higher rates, you’ll unlock benefits like fast funding times and higher approval rates. 

With Upgrade, APRs can range between 5.94% to 35.97%. In general, you’ll be able unlock the best rates if you have stronger credit. Fortunately, Upgrade’s APRs on personal loans are fixed. This means your rates will stay the same for the duration of the loan and you won’t have to worry about sudden rate hikes that could end up costing you more. 

Upgrade offers a number of rate discounts. For example, if you set up auto payments or if you   open a checking account with Upgrade, you may be able to access as much as 20% off your approved interest rate. 

Origination Fee2.9% to 8% 
Late Fee$10
Prepayment FeeNone

Upgrade Customer Service

A lender’s customer service is critical to consider whenever you are seeking funding. If something goes wrong, if you’re unsure of the terms you’ve agreed to or you need help managing your loan — you need to know that you’ll be able to get in contact with a reliable representative to assist you within a reasonable timeframe. 

Fortunately, Upgrade checks all the key boxes when it comes to customer service. For starters, you can use many different ways to contact an Upgrade representative. You can choose between phone, chat or email. Plus, it offers options for seven-day support. 

Here are some ways to contact Upgrade’s customer support. 

Chat: Found online and through Upgrade’s website

Phone: 844-319-3909

Email: support@upgrade.com

Upgrade’s customer support is available Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. PST. It offers weekend hours — including Saturday and Sunday from 6:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. PST. These extensive customer support hours make it easy to contact Upgrade’s customer service department outside of normal business hours and around your work schedule. However, you may run into closures on holidays. 

If extensive customer support hours aren’t enough to convince you, consider the overwhelming number of positive reviews Upgrade has earned. On sites like Trustpilot and BBB, Upgrade has racked up significantly positive feedback. Customers are continuously pleased with Upgrade’s fast funding times and straightforward application process. Many also cite Upgrade’s customer support team as helpful and responsive. 

No matter how great a company is, some complaints are inevitable. The minority of negative reviews for Upgrade center around higher-than-average APRs and origination fees. 

BBB RatingA-
Trustpilot Score4.7 out of 5
Benzinga’s Score4 out of 5

Upgrade Terms and Loan Purpose

The term length on a loan is important because it shows how long you will be in debt. Loans with longer terms tend to have lower monthly payments, but you’ll stay in debt longer and end up paying more in interest over time. Loans with shorter terms may seem more expensive on a month-by-month basis because your payment will be higher. However, you’ll pay off your debt faster and save on interest over the long haul. 

Upgrade’s personal loans have term lengths ranging from 24 to 84 months, which is considered middle range

You’ll be able to apply for your loan entirely online — there’s no need to walk into a physical location, and you won’t have to mail documents either. Instead, you’ll create an online account which will be your hub throughout the application process and beyond.

You’ll also be notified whether you’ve been approved or denied online and within just a few business days — sometimes even sooner. You’ll be able to manage your entire loan through the online portal where you can change your contact information, sign up for automatic payments, make lump-sum payments and track your loan’s progress. You can also opt to download Upgrade’s mobile app and manage your loan on the go.

With Upgrade, you don’t need to set a reminder for your due date. Instead, your payment will be automatically deducted from your bank account. You’ll provide this information during the application process, but you’ll be able to update your bank details at any time through your online portal. 

Your first payment will typically be due within 30 days of receiving your funds. From there, your payments will be due on the same day each month for the duration of your loan’s terms. You may be able to customize your payment date through the online portal. 

Term Options24 months to 84 months
Loan Amounts Available$1,000 to $50,000

Upgrade Approval Requirements

Getting approved for a personal loan isn’t always easy or even an option for many people. However, the great thing about Upgrade is that they make the process far more accessible than a traditional bank. However, the downside is that you’ll have to pay for it with above average APRs. 

To qualify for an Upgrade personal loan, you’ll need to meet a number of requirements with regard to credit history and income. Even if you meet all of Upgrade’s qualifications on paper, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll receive funding. Lenders receive the right to make their own decisions based on who seems reliable and trustworthy. 

Although working with a co-applicant or co-signer can up your chances of obtaining a loan, Upgrade doesn’t allow co-signers, but they do work with co-applicants. If your co-applicant has strong credit or a reliable, steady source of income, they may be able to boost your application. Just keep in mind that your co-applicant will be equally responsible for the loan. Make sure to work with someone you trust who’s willing to take on the financial burden of paying the loan. 

Credit score

Minimum Credit Score Requirement560

To qualify for an Upgrade personal loan, you’ll need to have a credit score of at least 560. In some rare cases, the lender may make an exception if you have a steady and strong income stream. However, it’s never a guarantee. Keep in mind that although you may be able to access financing with poor to fair credit, you’ll likely pay the highest interest rates and your funding amounts won’t be impressive. Upgrade reserves the best interest rates, terms and higher funding amounts for borrowers with better credit. If possible, you may want to consider holding off on applying until your credit score improves. 

Income Requirements

Upgrade doesn’t maintain strict income requirements like other lenders. However, this factor doesn’t mean you can qualify for funding if you’re low income. Average borrowers from Upgrade have an annual income of $78,000. 

Upgrade will also look into your existing debt-to-income ratio. If you have a higher amount of personal debt compared to your annual income, you’ll have a harder time obtaining a loan. Ideally, your debt-to-income ratio should be no more than 75% — including your new personal loan.

Upgrade vs. Competitors

Compared to leading competitors, Upgrade has some of the fastest funding times available on the market. Its qualification requirements are also fairly relaxed. Funding times are mid-range. A handful of competitors offer higher funding amounts. In general, Upgrade tends to have higher-than-average APRs. 

Upgrade Overall

Considering Upgrade’s strong customer service, fast funding times and multitude of financing options for various credentials, Upgrade earns a positive rating. The primary downside comes with the higher-than-average APRs on Upgrade’s personal loans. 

Nevertheless, there is a reason for the surcharge. Upgrade’s personal loans are more easily accessible than loans from traditional banks. You can access funding up to $50,000 in just a few business days — or sometimes in one day. You could also qualify even if you have fair to poor credit. Plus, Upgrade boasts a simplified and straightforward application process as well as a customer online portal that makes it easy to manage different aspects of your loan. 

Taking all these factors into account, Upgrade is a solid choice for borrowers who need funding fairly quickly and who also want to skip the hassles of working with a traditional bank. 

Frequently Asked Questions


How long does it take to get approved by Upgrade?


It can take anywhere from one to three business days to get approved for a personal loan by Upgrade. Once you’ve been approved your funds should be deposited within several business days — typically no more than four. Having all your documents readily available and ensuring your information is correct can help speed the approval process.


Does Upgrade verify your income?


Yes, you should expect Upgrade to verify your income when you apply for a personal loan. Although Upgrade doesn’t maintain an exact figure for an income requirement, your income will heavily impact your approval odds and the funding amount you could qualify for. If you decide to apply with a co-applicant, Upgrade will verify both your incomes.

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