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Upgrade personal loans provide financing from $1,000 to $50,000 when you need to borrow a small sum and want fixed monthly payments. The lender is also one of the easier to qualify for as they consider low credit scores that are typically rejected by other institutions. Here is a closer look at your loan options and potential fees and decide if Upgrade has the best personal loans.

Link to apply: Upgrade personal loan

Cavallo Point Lodge Sausalito San Francisco
(Aug. 2023). Credit: Johnny Jet

How Upgrade Personal Loans Work

Individuals and joint applicants can apply for an Upgrade personal loan that can be used for a variety of expenses including major purchases, debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, and home improvements. It’s possible to borrow from $1,000 to $50,000 with a repayment period of 2 to 7 years and enjoy the stability of a fixed interest rate.

There are no application fees, and you can preview your interest rate and loan terms without impacting your credit score. A hard credit check is still necessary if you decide to apply.

Here are several of the best Upgrade personal benefits:

  • 580 minimum credit score: The lender requires a credit score of 580, which is in the “bad credit” camp. Despite the flexible credit requirements, you will need a qualifying income. Borrowers with a higher score can be eligible for lower rates.
  • Joint personal loans: Upgrade accepts personal loan applications with a co-borrower. Joint applications are fairly uncommon as most lenders only allow one individual to apply.
  • Autopay discount: You can receive a 0.50% interest rate discount when enrolling in automatic monthly payments.
  • Collateral is optional: The vast majority of Upgrade personal loans are unsecured and don’t require collateral. However, the lender offers secured personal loans where you might use your car as collateral to qualify for a better rate or a higher loan amount.
  • Send money to creditors: If you’re applying for a debt consolidation loan, you can coordinate for Upgrade to send your funds to your current lender instead of to your bank account to save a step as you improve your finances.

Link to apply: Upgrade personal loan

Borrower Requirements

Some of the minimum borrower requirements include:

  • Live in the 50 U.S. states or the District of Columbia
  • Are at least 18 years old (19 in Nebraska and other states)
  • Can provide a verifiable bank account and email address

The lender doesn’t disclose minimum credit or income requirements. But, your approval odds are better with a score of 580 or higher.

Additionally, Upgrade will review your credit history and current debt obligations to calculate your debt-to-income ratio. Several online sources state a maximum debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of 75%, which includes your mortgage payment. So, you can qualify for financing when your debt payments go up to 75% of your monthly income.

Having a lower DTI lets you qualify for a higher loan limit and a lower interest rate.

Loan Costs

All loans have a fixed interest rate between 8.49% and 35.99% APR. Enrolling in autopay reduces your interest rate by 0.50%.

Additionally, personal loans have an origination fee between 1.85% and 9.99% which is deducted from the starting loan balance. The maximum fee is relatively expensive, and borrowers with good or excellent credit (670 to 850) may consider other lenders that don’t charge this fee but only accept applications from well-qualified borrowers.

Late payments incur a $10 fee if payment isn’t received within the 14-day grace period after the due date. Returned payments are also charged $10.

Upgrade Personal Loans Application Process

Applying for an Upgrade personal loan is easy, and you can receive same-day approval when you have the necessary documents to verify your credit, income, and financials.

Prequalification

Like most personal lenders, you can prequalify with only a soft credit check. You can compare your loan offers to choose the best monthly payment and repayment period for your desired borrowing amount. This step also lets you estimate your origination fee and interest rate.

As a reminder, you must formally apply when Upgrade verifies your financial details. Your final credit offer can be different from the initial offer.

The loan offers break down these details:

  • Loan amount
  • Interest rate
  • Loan term
  • Minimum monthly payment

Loans with a shorter term are more likely to have a lower interest rate but a more expensive monthly payment. This aggressive repayment schedule helps you pay less interest overall while longer loans have a more affordable payment but can charge a higher rate.

Link to apply: Upgrade personal loan

Apply for Funding

After choosing your loan offer, you will submit a loan application and agree to a hard credit check. There is no fee to apply, but the inquiry remains on your credit report for two years.

The lender will work on verifying your annual income and financial history to ideally provide a credit decision on the same business day. You may need to submit recent pay stubs or tax returns for additional verification which can take several days to process.

Receive Loan Proceeds

After accepting the final loan agreement, you will most likely receive your funds in your linked bank account on the next business day. You can also arrange for Upgrade to send the funds to your current high-interest debt accounts.

The lender lets you choose your payment due date. It’s possible to request a change as your circumstances change.

Upgrade Personal Loans Pros and Cons

These are the advantages and disadvantages of borrowing money from Upgrade.

Pros

  • Flexible credit score requirements
  • Accepts joint applications
  • 0.50% autopay discount
  • No credit impact to prequalify
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Fast funding speeds

Cons

  • Potentially high origination fee
  • All borrowers pay an origination fee
  • Potentially high interest rates compared to competing lenders
  • Reports of long customer service wait times

Link to apply: Upgrade personal loan

Who Should Use Upgrade Personal Loans?

Consider Upgrade if you have a credit score in the low 600s or lower. This lender can also be easier to qualify for than other personal loan lenders, and you can give them a try when you struggle to prequalify for a loan.

While it’s usually easier to qualify for an Upgrade loan, the lender receives many borrower complaints for charging higher rates and origination fees. The higher borrowing costs are frustrating, but at least it’s possible to qualify for a loan.

This lender isn’t the best option when you have good credit or excellent credit as other lenders are more apt to waive origination fees and charge lower interest rates when your credit score is above 700.

Link to apply: Upgrade personal loan

Summary

Upgrade personal loans is one of the best options to get a personal loan with bad credit or fair credit. The application process is quick, and you can check your rates and borrowing potential without hurting your credit to see if you can afford the monthly payment.

Link to apply: Upgrade personal loan

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