Upgrade Personal Loans Review 2019

By: Heather Hanks Mar. 24, 2019

Upgrade offers online personal loans of up to $50,000 with low fixed rates and no prepayment fees. You need a credit score of 620 to qualify and an annual income of $35,000. They promise that your fixed monthly rate will never go up. You can pick between a three year or five-year term and use your money however you want.

The company is ideally suited for those with a steady cash flow or who need debt consolidation. In addition to providing personal loans, Upgrade also offers credit monitoring and lines of credit. You can use their online educational tools to make better financial decisions to make sure your credit score stays strong. Here's everything you need to know about Upgrade’s personal loans and how to qualify.

upgrade personal loans

on Upgrade website

What is Upgrade Personal Loan?

Upgrade is a personal loan lender that was founded in 2016 by the former head of LendingClub, Renaud Laplanche. They also offer lines of credit, educational tools, and credit monitoring. The company is unique because it's one of the few online lenders that looks at an applicant's free cash flow. This is because having a high cash flow is important when it comes to paying back loans. The company was ranked among the best personal loan lenders in 2019 and is ideally suited for those with bad credit.

You can prequalify for a personal loan with Upgrade through a soft credit pull. This will not affect your credit score. After you accept an offer, the company will do a hard credit pull on you and this will show up on your credit report. The company is also unique because it offers a high debt to income ratio of 60%. The company also offers free credit health tools to help you understand your credit. These include credit monitoring, a credit simulator, and free educational content. The company sends alerts to your phone when changes are made to your account.

You can borrow as much as $50,000 with a fixed annual rate of 6.49% to 35.89% if you qualify

Repayment terms range from 12 to 60 months.

If you fall behind on payments, then you can take advantage of the company's hardship program. Borrowers who suffer a sudden job loss may qualify for a temporary reduction of their payments. They may even be offered a permanent loan modification that runs through until their loan is paid off. According to the website, the company's goal is to help you understand your credit and unlock your potential. They also seek to lower the cost of your credit to help establish good financial habits in the future.

Upgrade states that they were founded on the premise that an online platform would work better for borrowers. This is because it helps the company operate at a lower cost and delivers a better customer experience than a bank. The Upgrade platform combines online lending with the latest technology to reduce the cost of your credit. They also seek to deliver access to tools that are designed to help you understand and improve your credit. The company believes that credit should be affordable. This is why you will receive free credit monitoring, educational tools, and alerts with your loan. Their goal is to help you build healthy financial habits to establish long-term financial health

How Does Upgrade Work?

Upgrade uses an online platform to do business. This means you'll never have to step foot inside a bank or office. All communication can be done through the company's website and your online portal. To qualify for a loan or to view your offers, you'll need to visit the website and answer a few basic questions. The company will do a soft pull on your credit and consider other data to comprise a list of loan offers. Once you pick the loan that works for you, click on that loan and follow the steps to complete the offer.

You can get a personal line of credit from Upgrade in the amount of up to $50,000. One of the benefits of taking out a line of credit with Upgrade is that you only pay interest only on the amount you take out. An Upgrade line of credit also uses fixed rates, just like their personal loans. This means that you can budget for your monthly payments because they will never change or increase. Taking out a line of credit is a good idea if you wish to improve your credit by establishing good monthly financial habits. On the other hand, a personal loan can help you out if you need cash quickly.

Here are some of the key highlights of a personal loan through Upgrade:

Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $50,000

There is a $10 late fee for late payments, but you can avoid this by changing your payment date

You must have a minimum credit score of 620 to qualify

Repayment plans are flexible and can range from monthly, three year, or five-year repayment terms

Origination fees range from 1.5% to 6%

You must have an annual income of $35,000 to qualify

A soft credit check will be performed upon completion of an application

You have a grace period of 15 days to make your payment after it’s late

The maximum debt-to-income ratio is 60%

APR’s range from 7.99% – 35.89%

You must be 18 years old and have a valid bank account to qualify

You can receive your funds in 24 hours

Here are some of the key highlights of a line of credit through Upgrade:

● Credit lines have a fixed APR that ranges from 6.49% to 35.89%
● Loan terms range from 12, 24, 36, 48 come over 60 months long
● No prepayment or origination fees
● You must be 18 years old and have a valid bank account to qualify

How To Apply Upgrade?


Applying for a personal loan through upgrade is easy.

All you need to do is visit the website and fill out some basic information. Before getting started, you want to have all of your documents ready and make sure you meet the qualifications. You must be at least 18 years old to apply.


You must also have an active bank account, an email address, and a primary address.

You'll need to provide your birth date, proof of identification, social security number, and other personal information. Have your checking bank account information handy to speed up the funding process. If you meet all of the qualifications, then you should have your funds within 24 hours.


Upgrade considers your free cash flow when viewing your application. Be sure to include this when you apply.

The company also takes into account your credit score and financial activity. They may want to see that you are currently employed and have your funds distributed into your account via direct deposit. It's a good idea to make sure there's activity in your checking account within the past several months. This allows the company to see that you're responsible enough to handle a loan or line of credit.

Here are some documents you may want to have handy when you apply: State identification, Driver's license, Bank account number of your active and current checking account, Proof of identity, Proof of citizenship or residence permit, Proof of income, Recent pay stubs, Bank stubs, The amount of money you want to borrow and desired loan term length, Other information regarding your credit history.

You can apply in three easy steps first, visit the website and apply online. You'll be able to see your rate within minutes with no obligation. There's also no impact your credit score. Next, you'll need to choose your offer. You'll get to review several loan options and decide on the best one for you. after you accept an offer, you should expect to see your funds within your account the next day. The company will do a hard pull on your credit after you accept an offer and this would be reflected on your credit score. Filling out an application is free and does not affect your credit. You are not required to accept any of the loans extended to you. This means that you can review your options without any pressure to accept.

Upgrade Pros and Cons

One of the benefits of working with Upgrade is that you can change your payment dates. This means that you should never have a late payment because you have the ability to move around your dates. Upgrade also offers a hardship program that allows modifications during emergencies. This includes if you lose your job or experienced a sudden loss.

Upgrade also encourages you to have a cash flow of $800 per month before qualifying. This ensures that you'll be able to make your payments in a timely manner. They have a high debt to income ratio, which means that they will work with you even if you're in debt. The company encourages you to consolidate your loans into one small monthly payment to minimize your interest and save money.

Upgrade PROS

  • You can spend your money and anything you'd like, including home improvements, auto repairs, or even a vacation
  • They have flexible repayment terms and you can change your monthly payment date
  • There are no prepayment penalties, which means that you can pay off your loan as early as you want to save interest
  • Upgrade reports to TransUnion, which can positively affect your credit score if you make on-time payments
  • The company offers fixed monthly rates that never go up
  • You can borrow as much as $50,000 if you qualify
  • You only need a credit score of 620 and an annual income of $35,000 to qualify
  • Hardship programs are available if you lose your job
  • They offer a 15-day Grace period before charging you a $10 late fee
  • The company encourages you to have a high cash flow
  • You can choose monthly repayment terms or three to five-year loan terms
  • Upgrade also offers a line of credit that is equally as easy to qualify for
  • Free credit monitoring and educational tools come with your membership
  • The company is 100% online, which means you can access your account anytime

Upgrade CONS

  • Services are not available in all states. Borrowers located in Iowa, Colorado, Massachusetts, and West Virginia will not be able to apply.
  • Upgrade the charges higher than average interest fees. For example, SoFi offers loans of $100,000 with APR’s that range from 5.75% to 16.99%. They also do not charge origination fees and can pause payments during hardships.
  • As mentioned above, upgrade reports to TransUnion. This can negatively impact your credit if you consistently make late payments. If you're worried about your credit score but still need to take out a loan, then you may want to find a lender that does not report your activity.

Upgrade Vs Other Personal Loan Lenders

Upgrade is an ideal lender if you're looking to consolidate your loans. They're a good company to work with if you have a decent credit score and a high monthly cash-flow. They will work with you if you experience a hardship by allowing you reductions in your payments. You can also change your repayment dates as needed. The company encourages you to save money by paying off loans early and enrolling in their auto-pay. They also offer a 100% online portal, which is unique poor credit lenders. Most credit providers require you to visit them in office. Their convenience and technology makes Upgrade a good company to work with when you're in need of cash fast.

Here’s how Upgrade compares to other lenders:


APR ranges from 7.99% to 35.89%, minimum credit score is 620, debt to income ratio is 60%, ideal for those with a high monthly cash flow


APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.99%, minimum credit score is 640, debt to income ratio is 50%, ideal for those with good credit


APR ranges from 5.74% to 16.99%, minimum credit score is 680, no debt to income ratio, ideal for those who are new to credit or loans

As you can see, Upgrade has similar rates to Prosper. But Prosper has a higher minimum credit score and a reduced debt to income ratio. SoFi is ideal for new borrowers because they do not require you to have credit history. But they require you to have a credit score of 680, which is high for a new borrower. Additionally, Upgrade does not allow co-signers, but they welcome joint applicants. This means that your spouse can sign on to your account, but they cannot act as a co-signer. The company encourages active duty service members to apply for a loan by falling under the requirements of The Military Lending Act. Other companies that allow a cosigner include FreedomPlus and LendingClub.

Upgrade is ideal for someone who is looking to consolidate their loans. They have a dedicated page on their website for loan consolidation. Consolidating your loans with Upgrade can help you reduce your payments by consolidating them into one single monthly payment. This makes it easier to manage and pay off your bills. You can also lower your interest rate when you consolidate your loans with Upgrade. Your rates are guaranteed to stay the same, which means that there will be no surprises as your term matures. Lastly, consolidating your loans helps you pay them off quicker because you'll have an end date in mind.


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CreditNervana promises to keep our information as accurate and up-to-date as possible. However, you should always consult a financial advisor for specific questions about personal or business finances and investment opportunities, especially if you are looking in your area. Working with a trained professional who is familiar with your case is a safe and guaranteed way to make the best investment decision possible. Please review our terms and conditions before making any decision based on the information we provide. Financial institutions are constantly changing. Because of this, it’s a good idea to cross check the information you read here with any company you are considering working with.


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