Upstart Auto Refinance Loans: 2021 Review

Upstart auto refinance loans are available in most states and may benefit borrowers with bad or thin credit.
Ryan LaneSep 8, 2021

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Our Take

The bottom line: Best for applicants whose bad or thin credit history led to a high rate on their current auto loan.

Upstart
Learn More

on Upstart's website

Min. Credit Score

510

Est. APR

4.20 - 29.99%

Loan Amount

$9,000 - $60,000

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Prequalify with a soft credit check.

  • Low minimum credit score requirement.

Cons

  • Does not allow co-applicants.

Compare to Other Lenders

Upstart
LendingClub
Tresl
Learn MoreLearn MoreLearn More
Min. Credit Score

510

Min. Credit Score

640

Min. Credit Score

580

Est. APR

4.20 - 29.99%

Est. APR

N/A

Est. APR

1.99 - 17.99%

Loan Amount

$9,000 - $60,000

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $55,000

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

Full Review

To review Upstart, NerdWallet collected and compared more than 15 data points from the lender, interviewed company executives and compared the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar product.

Upstart is an online lender that offers auto refinance loans, but not cash-out or lease buyout refinancing. Upstart is different from many lenders because it relies on artificial intelligence to evaluate and underwrite applicants. Upstart says this results in more approvals and better interest rates for consumers.

Upstart may be a good fit for those who:

  • Have bad or little credit history. Upstart’s minimum credit score of 510 is lower than many lenders require. Upstart also says that it works with applicants with no credit history.

  • Want to shop around. You can pre-qualify with Upstart to see what rate you might receive without affecting your credit.

  • Live in an eligible state. Upstart auto refinance loans are currently available nationwide excluding Nevada, Iowa, West Virginia and Maryland.

Refinancing your car loan may make sense if your credit has improved since you bought your car, if the selling dealer put you in a loan with a higher rate than you might have otherwise qualified for or if interest rates overall have dropped. In addition, you may be able to extend the term of the loan, helping to lower payments.

Upstart review details

Upstart was founded in 2012 and began refinancing auto loans in August 2020. Loans are available to residents of all U.S. states except Nevada, Iowa, West Virginia and Maryland.

Upstart may be a good choice if you have bad credit — generally a FICO score below 630 — or a limited credit history. Upstart considers non-credit factors, like your work history and education, when making lending decisions and says it accepts applicants with no FICO score whatsoever.

When refinancing with Upstart, you can keep your current repayment term or extend it by 12 months. The maximum term length is 72 months. NerdWallet generally doesn’t recommend loan terms longer than 60 months or extending your term, as you run the risk of owing more than the car is worth.

A spokesperson says Upstart's APR — which includes interest rate — is often lower than other refi lenders. Be sure to look at the total cost when comparing loans.

Upstart auto loan rates

Although Upstart works with bad- or no-credit borrowers, you will likely get the best rate possible if you have excellent credit.

If your credit is less than top-tier, your interest rate will be higher. This means your monthly payment will be more, and over time, you’ll pay more interest. If you know your credit score, you can get an idea of the rate you might qualify for.

Applying to Upstart

  • Loan offers are good for up to 14 days.

  • You are not obligated to accept an offer.

  • You can check your rate in minutes online.

  • No application fee.

  • There is no origination fee; late fees of 5% of past-due amount or $15, whichever is greater.

  • Does not allow co-applicants.

Upstart restrictions

  • Maximum vehicle age: 10 years.

  • Maximum vehicle mileage: 140,000 miles.

  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 185%.

  • Loan terms: Upstart will match your current term or let you add 12 months to it. The maximum term is 72 months.

  • Upstart auto refinance loans are available nationwide, excluding Nevada, Iowa, West Virginia and Maryland.

More from Upstart

Upstart offers personal loans for debt consolidation, home improvement and other expenses.