Upstart Review

Upstart is an online lending marketplace established in April 2012 in California that offers installment loans. The company offers non-traditional variables when they determine the terms of their loan offers, including education and employment.  

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    The goal of Upstart and its basis for the Upstart installment loans is to offer affordable credit to help with mobility and provide opportunities to those who might be overlooked by other loan providers. Their aim is to provide effortless credit based on true risk.

    Founded by ex-Google employees, the company uses an artificial intelligence (AI) lending platform in order to offer credit and limit the risk and cost of lending for their bank partners. The AI platform presents an opportunity for higher approval rates and lower loss rates. They boast 69% of loans are fully automated, and $5.1 billion has been originated so far.   

    The goal of all Upstart reviews is to analyze what the company offers, to determine who might benefit from a loan from Upstart, to assess Upstart interest rates, Upstart loan customer service, the rates, terms, and fees of the Upstart personal loans, and the eligibility criteria of using Upstart. Ultimately, this review will help give customers a concise picture of who Upstart are and how they could help them with their installment loans and personal loans. This review will aim to help customers determine the best installment loans they can get.

    Why get an Installment Loan from Upstart?

    Upstart pride themselves on rejecting the traditional FICO model of assessing loan eligibility – which provides a score to determine credit risk. Instead, they use a more qualitative approach that takes into account other factors when deciding whether their Upstart installment loans would be viable.

    With the smart model, Upstart claim that twice as many loans could be approved, with fewer defaults. Indeed, only 43% of Americans have access to prime credit, while 83% have never defaulted on a loan. Upstart aims to bridge this gap by raising the former figure to meet the latter. An Upstart personal installment loan offers credit but doesn’t secure the loan against property. The digital technology offered by Upstart means that other factors can go into securing a loan that aren’t based solely on credit score and property (house and car) owned. Upstart reviews also focus on aspects such as their customer service, which is accessible should a problem occur.   

    What does Upstart offer?

    Looking at Upstart reviews can help assess their offering when it comes to personal loans. With Upstart personal loans, they offer between $1,000 and $50,000, with terms ranging from three years to five years at an interest rate of between 5.69% and 35.99%. Given the smart nature of the digital lending platform, 99% of users receive their money within one business day of having the loan accepted. Upstart also offer the ability to pay as much of the loan off at a time with no penalty, which reflects their understanding that a multitude of factors often go into why people would want an installment loan and how these factors can result in prepayment. Upstart also boast that their customers save 23% compared to other credit card rates.  

    As far as the range of personal loans go, you could take an installment loan out from Upstart for anything from an auto loan to moving day loans and home improvement loans, medical loans to wedding loans. They also offer credit card consolidation and debt consolidation.  

    Eligibility Criteria?

    Upstart reviews a wide range of factors to determine eligibility for their Upstart installment loans. To be eligible for an Upstart personal loan you must be a US citizen or a permanent US resident; you must be 18 years of age; you must have a full-time job, a part-time job with regular hours, or another source of provable income. You must have a credit score of 620 or higher to be eligible, as well as having no bankruptcies, a low debt to income ratio, no delinquencies, and no more than five credit inquiries over the past six months. These factors will be used alongside your proposed terms of repayment and your probable ability to repay the loan when making a decision on your loan.

    Some states have regulations on the minimum amount that can be borrowed, and this could affect an application. Thorough checking of state-specific rules can help mitigate any issues in a fast turnaround. Borrowers in Iowa and West Virginia, for instance, may miss out on some opportunities.  

    Pros and Cons


    • Monthly repayments
    • No fee for prepayment
    • No fee for check processing  
    • Other factors are considered when applying for the loan
    • Range of uses from wedding to medical and home improvement


    • No joint applications allowed  
    • Not the best for Iowa or West Virginia due to state rules

    How to apply for an Upstart Installment Loan?

    The first step is to check the Upstart loan requirements and your eligibility on Upstart, which involves a soft credit check that will not affect your credit score. You will be expected to input information which will help determine your candidacy for the installment loan. When you decide to apply properly to one of the loan options, you will undergo a hard credit check, which could affect your credit score. Once you have chosen a loan offer, you will need to provide evidence of your residence, bank account information, identity, and source of income. Once this is complete, you will usually receive your money within one working day.

    Rates, Terms and Fees

    Upstart loans offer a fixed rate, but there are factors that can determine an individual rate for the Upstart installment loans. These include the applicant’s education, their work background, and their credit history. These rates, therefore, range from 5.99% to 35.99%. The Upstart interest rates represent just one factor in the cost of the loan overall. The cost of the loan is based on the APR (annual percentage rate) of the loan. Consider this figure as well as other associated fees when making a loan decision.

    All Upstart installment loans are subject to the following fees:

    • Origination fee of 1% to 6%
    • Late payment fee of the greater figure out of 5% of monthly past due or $15
    • Returned payment fee of $15

    However, there is no fee for processing a check and no fee for prepayment, which could be factors in the lifestyle of those who would opt for an Upstart loan and a factor considered in Upstart personal loan reviews.  

    The loan terms are subject to three to five years, which would depend on the amount being borrowed and the reason for borrowing in the first place. Loans are repaid monthly, with a cost associated with missing a repayment. Upstart loans are not directly repaid to the creditors.  

    Bottom Line

    When looking at Upstart reviews, considering their entire offering is important. Upstart installment loans offer a different way of analyzing your credit, which can benefit those with more unconventional lifestyles, but who still have the ability to repay a loan. The digital AI technology attempts to offer credit to more people and presents competitive rates for doing so.