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Upstart Personal Loans: 2018 Review

April 18, 2018
Loans, Personal Loans, Personal Loans Reviews
NerdWallet adheres to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from partners. Here’s how we make money.
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.
4.0 NerdWallet rating

Good for: Average credit, new to credit

Upstart makes personal loans to both average-credit borrowers as well as young borrowers who are new to credit but have promising college degrees and financial futures.

Upstart may be a good fit if:

  • Your FICO score, if you have one, is at least 620.
  • You have a short credit history. Upstart considers other factors such as education, employment and income when approving loans.
  • You have a regular, verifiable source of income of $12,000 or more annually — a full-time job, part-time job or job offer letter.
  • You want a loan to build technical skills. Upstart partners with more than a dozen coding boot camps. If you’re accepted by one, you may qualify for a loan to cover tuition even if you don’t have a regular source of income, as long as you have a college degree.

Upstart loan rates and terms

Loan amounts$1,000 - $50,000
Typical APR7.73% - 29.99%
Origination fee0.0% - 8.0%
Time to fundingTypically one day; three days for education loans
RepaymentsMonthly, over 36 months or 60 months
Soft credit check?Yes
How to qualify
  • Minimum credit score of 620
  • At least $12,000 in annual income
  • Debt-to-income ratio of up to 45%
Best forBorrowers with average credit or new to credit
Click "Check Rates" to apply on Upstart.

» MORE: Fixed-rate loans for debt consolidation

Upstart personal loan review

To review Upstart, NerdWallet collected more than 30 data points from the lender, interviewed company executives, completed the online loan application process with sample data, and compared the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. Loan terms and fees may vary by state.

Upstart’s alternative approach to underwriting helps younger applicants or others who have little to no credit history but high earning potential, according to a company spokesperson. In addition to your score and history, the company uses computer models that assess factors like college degrees, area of study and job history.

Accepted applicants typically get their funds the next day, except for loans for educational expenses, which are subject to a three-day waiting period. Students may need to supply additional documents, such as college transcripts, SAT scores or pay stubs.

Loan example: Upstart’s average three-year loan has an annual percentage rate of 16%, according to the company. For an average-credit borrower who takes a three-year loan, the loan would carry monthly payments of $38 per $1,000 borrowed, according to NerdWallet’s personal loan calculator.

How Upstart compares

4.0 NerdWallet rating
4.0 NerdWallet rating

5.0 NerdWallet rating


7.73% - 29.99%

Min credit score


Best for

Borrowers with average credit or new to credit


6.99% - 18.24%

Min credit credit score


Best for

Borrowers with little credit history


5.81% to 15.37%

Min credit score


Best for

Borrowers with high income and good credit

Compare rates on NerdWallet. Click to see estimated rates from multiple lenders.

If you’re new to credit, Earnest and SoFi also consider your academic background and job history in their loan decisions. But both lenders typically approve borrowers with excellent credit scores and very high incomes.

» MORE: Other lenders for people who have good credit

How to apply for an Upstart loan

You can fill out an application on Upstart’s website. You can enter the amount you want to borrow and answer questions about your credit score, level of education and other details in order to see an estimated rate for a loan.

NerdWallet recommends comparing loans to find the best rate for you. Click the button below to see estimated rates from multiple lenders on NerdWallet.

Before you shop for a personal loan:

Updated April 18, 2018.

Personal Loans Ratings Methodology

NerdWallet’s ratings for personal loans awards points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks, no origination fees, payment options, short time to funding, interest rate caps of 36%, and absence of prepayment penalties. Features are considered for their positive impact on consumers’ credit history and financial health. We only review lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

5 stars out of 5 — Among the very best for consumer-friendly features

4.5 stars out of 5 — Excellent; offers most consumer-friendly features

4 stars out of 5 — Very good; offers many consumer-friendly features

3.5 stars out of 5 — Good; may not offer something important to you

3 stars out of 5 — Fair; missing important consumer-friendly features

2.5 stars out of 5 — Poor; proceed with great caution

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