Upgrade Personal Loans Review

Get funded anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000 with Upgrade Personal Loans

Upgrade Loans Review


Financial hardships are frustrating, stressful, and in some cases they can be a bit embarrassing to face. The good news is that you’re not alone when it comes to facing complicated money situations so there are plenty of resources and options to help you navigate through your current circumstances. You might need to learn about investing, financial planning, or you might be interested in taking out a loan. You might also be facing an emergency of some kind such as a necessary medical operation and need funds soon.

No matter what your situation is, you can look into loans. There are so many options and you might find them overwhelming when you start your search. Upgrade is one of the many loan options you might discover and if you’re wondering if you should use it, we can help!

What is Upgrade?

Upgrade is an online banking and lending company that aims to offer customers a more efficient experience that helps alleviate financial stress. They strive to innovate the financial world and create an experience that truly benefits their clientele. If you’re an Upgrade customer you can sign up for free credit score monitoring and use other services such as a credit score simulator.

Upgrade Rates & Terms


5.94% to 35.97%

Loan term:

2 - 7 years

Loan amounts:

$1,000 - $50,000

Hidden fees:

Charges origination fees from 2.9% to 8%

Minimum credit score required


Extra perks:

Joint applications allowed, direct payments to third-party creditors + mobile app

Fund availability

As fas as next business day

How Does Upgrade Work?

Upgrade functions as a lender as well as a bank - customers will see the most benefits when they use a variety of services that Upgrade offers. You can use their rewards card and their financial education services for the complete experience.

Who Should Use Upgrade?

Borrowers who have bad to decent credit will find loan options through Upgrade. Specifically, those with credit scores of 689 or lower will qualify. Co-borrowers are allowed and secured loans are also an option.

As the credit score requirements are lower than the average lender will ask for, Upgrade is a great option for anyone who needs help building credit and or is trying to revitalize their credit health.

Is Upgrade a Reputable Lender?

Upgrade is a completely reputable and trustworthy online lender with a history of providing a transparent and straightforward process to their borrowers. Upgrade has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and while they have received seven or so complaints over the years, this is fairly standard and lower than the average number of complaints a business that deals in financials will receive.

Do I Need a Credit Check to Take Out a Loan With Upgrade?

Before processing the loan, Upgrade will need to do a credit check on you. When you initially visit their website when you are planning to apply, the first thing you should do is prequalify so you can see what rates and conditions you could be eligible for before committing to a loan. This stage merely necessitates a mild credit check, which has no impact on your credit score. This may be really advantageous since you can view all of your possibilities without jeopardizing your credit score. Upgrade will conduct a hard credit pull after you pick a loan option, which will result in a temporary drop in your credit score. If you're unfamiliar with credit scores, know that this will not harm you in the long term and credit scores will regularly fluctuate.

It's also worth noting that Payoff will send records of your payment history to all three main credit bureaus. This can help you enhance your credit, but if you skip a payment, it will have a severe negative impact that will make your situation worse in the long run. However, this is something you can't avoid with official lenders so it is just something you will need to plan for.

Does Upgrade Cost Any Money?

While it does not cost anything to apply for a loan with Upgrade, if you accept an offer that is presented to you then you should expect a few fees to come up throughout the process. You’ll firstly have to pay an origination fee although that is usually factored into your overall payment schedule. You’ll also have to pay interest on the loan as you would for any other loan but you will not have to pay a fee if you pay your loan off early. Upgrade also charges late fees if applicable but if you pay your bills on time you won’t have to deal with this cost.

What Are Some of the Pros of Upgrade?

When people are searching for loan options they are often looking for quick funding options and Upgrade does not disappoint. In most cases you can get your funds within 24 hours after applying.

There are also a wide range of repayment terms available to borrowers. The flexibility can make Upgrade a good fit for many and you are more likely to find an option that is well-suited to your situation when you use their services.

Upgrade offers banking services as well as personal loans so if you already have a credit card or checking account with them you will find discounts on your personal loan. On the flip side, if you have a personal loan through Upgrade you’ll likely find it much easier to qualify for a credit card or set up a checking account. It’s very convenient to have all your banking information under one account and the ability to manage an account in one place can be very appealing to borrowers.

Consumers who face emergencies such as job loss or medical situations may be eligible for temporary relief in the form of a temporary decrease in the monthly payment amount or an amendment to the terms of the original loan to make the process more manageable while you’re dealing with whatever urgent situation you are dealing with. This feature should only be used in emergencies as it can end up increasing the amount of interest you pay throughout the total term of your loan. While it’s not always the best option in the long run, it will provide peace of mind to know that they can work with you and alleviate your stress instead of adding to it when things are difficult.

What Are Some of the Downsides to Using Upgrade?

After you accept a loan from Upgrade, you will almost certainly be required to pay an origination fee. This fee is normally roughly 1% of the total loan amount but it can be much higher depending on the specific terms of the loan. It is a fee levied by the lender to cover the cost of processing the loan and any administrative work that may be required. You can pay the charge up front, but most lenders, including Upstart, will add it to your total. So, if your loan is for $1,000 and your origination charge is roughly $100, you'll end up paying $1100 to Upgrade, plus any interest, by the time your payment plan is through.

Upgrade will charge borrowers late fee if a relevant situation arises. This can be easily avoided by paying your monthly bills on time but it is important to be aware of the possibility. If you think you may pay your bill late more than once, it’s best to find a loan option that does not include late fees.

Upgrade also charges an origination fee. Although this is standard with many loans, it is not a requirement so you may be able to find loans that do not charge origination fees that you might qualify for.

Upgrade does not offer loans to residents of West Virginia or Washington, D.C. If you live in one of those two places then you won’t be able to use Upgrade’s services.

How Does Applying for a Loan Through Upgrade Work?

When you decide you are ready to apply to a loan through Upgrade you will start by going to their website and filling out the brief online questionnaire. This is how Upgrade will learn about you and your financial and job history so that they can determine how much they can offer you.

Once you complete your application, Upgrade will show you any loans that you will qualify for. You can spend some time weighing your options and determining which loan you want to accept. Loans will be anywhere between $1,000 and $50,000.

After you select the loan you are happy with, you will accept it and choose a repayment plan that works for you. There may be several options available - generally the shortest is between two years and the longest will be around seven years. Once everything is finalized you will receive the money in your account quickly, usually within a day.

Is Upgrade Worth It?

In summary, Upgrade is a wonderful option for borrowers with bad to fair credit scores. It is also a great choice for anyone who is looking for a complete banking experience as well as a loan. If you are able to handle a loan responsibly, Upgrade will have far more benefits than negatives and can provide you with the loan that you need.

Upgrade Personal Loan

Borrow $1,000 - $50,000

APR from 5.94% - 35.97%

Original fee required

Loan Term: 2-7 years

No prepayment penalties 

Minimum credit score: 580

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Personal Loans for Every Occasion

"A seamless experience from start to finish, and not to mention FAST! I got funded in just 3 days for an unexpected family expense and was able to obtain a great rate"

Marc Amado

"They are a team of top-notch professionals and were very responsive to a few questions I had on my loan application. I’d definitely work with them again. Thank you for making the process so easy and painless!"

Allison Brenner

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