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Upgrade: Personal Loan Review

The basics

Estimated APR

8.49% - 35.99%

Min. Credit Score


Max. DTI Debt to Income Ratio


Origination Fees

1.85% - 9.99%

Late Penalties

up to $10

Prepayment Fees


Good for: Low loan amount

Our verdict

If you're only looking to borrow a small amount, Upgrade is a solid choice. Upgrade also offers loans to those with bad credit, and even if you don't qualify on your own, you can use a joint applicant. On the flip side, Upgrade charges lots of fees and offers limited repayment term options.

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Beyond the basics

Fixed rates

Low credit scores eligible

No prepayment penalty

Payment flexibility

Loan Amounts

$1,000 to $50,000

Loan Terms

24-84 months

Time to Funding

1-4 business days

Full review

Lender description Upgrade is an online and mobile banking service that offers affordable loans and credit cards to help consumers make wise financial decisions.

What can Upgrade personal loans be used for?

Permitted usersProhibited users
Large miscellaneous purchases Investment purposes
Home improvement expenses School expenses
Debt consolidationIllegal activity
Refinancing existing debt Down payments

Suitable for you if

  • You are looking to borrow a small amount
  • You have bad credit
  • You need a joint applicant

Pros & cons

Low minimum loan amount compared with other lendersCharges numerous fees, including origination fee, late fees, and returned payment fees
Allows joint applicants Doesn't offer direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans
Low credit score eligibility requirements

Do you qualify This is what Upgrade looks for in qualified borrowers:| Credit score: Minimum of 560 (FICO version 9 from TransUnion)| Credit history: Minimum of two years with one account| Debt-to-income ratio: 75% (including mortgage and the loan you’re applying for.)| Income: No requirement. Lender will accept income from employment, alimony, retirement, child support, and Social Security.

How to apply Apply online in three steps by checking your rate, choosing your offer, and getting your funds.

Footprint Upgrade is available in 49 states and Washington, D.C. Loans aren't available in West Virginia.

Loan example If you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.59% APR (which includes a 13.94% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $341.48.

How to contact Upgrade? 

Upgrade offers a customer service team who can be reached by either emailing [email protected] or by calling (844) 319-3909 (toll-free). Their hours of service are Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time, as well as on Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time.  

How long does it take for Upgrade to review a loan? 

The Upgrade platform is often able to offer an automated decision within a few seconds. As with any lender, such as Upgrade vs. Sofi or Upgrade vs. Upstart, the decision can take up to a few days if there are additional questions with your application.

Is it hard to get a personal loan from Upgrade? 

When looking at Upgrade loan reviews, something that stands out is the ease of approval seen with this platform. Personal loans from Upgrade typically only require a credit score of 600, meaning they are not terribly hard to be approved for. 

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Given the many Upgrade reviews that exist including against competitors such as Lending Club vs. Upgrade and Upgrade vs. Upstart, it’s clear that Upgrade is a legitimate company. They have been in business since 2016 and have a 4.6 out of 5.0 rating on TrustPilot.

Upgrade uses the FICO score version 9 from TransUnion when looking at a person’s credit score and history.

When considering how long does Upgrade take to review a loan, many people wonder if they can simply submit for preapproval instead on the loan to speed up the process. The short answer is that, yes, Upgrade allows you to input your specific information including a prior preapproval code issued to your person.

Yes, Upgrade will perform a hard pull on your credit in order to determine whether or not you qualify for a loan with them.

Per Upgrades’ site, the majority of personal loans through Upgrade are unsecured and do not require any form of collateral whatsoever. However, they may offer you the option of adding collateral in order to be approved for the loan or to receive a better rate.