Upstart Auto Loan Refinancing: 2024 Review

Upstart offers auto loan refinancing, doesn’t require a minimum credit history, and matches you to the best lender with multiple offers.
Whitney VandiverShannon Bradley
By
and
Last updated on January 2, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Julie Myhre-Nunes
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

  • 45+ auto loan products reviewed and rated by our team of experts.
  • 30+ years of combined experience covering financial topics.
  • Objective, comprehensive star rating system assessing 4 categories and 60+ data points across direct lenders and aggregators.
  • Governed by NerdWallet's strict guidelines for editorial integrity.
NerdWallet's auto loans content, including articles, reviews and recommendations, is produced by a team of writers and editors who specialize in consumer lending. Their work has appeared in Nasdaq, MSN, MarketWatch, Yahoo! Finance and other national and regional media outlets. They have also appeared on NerdWallet's "Smart Money" podcast.

Our Take

4.0

NerdWallet rating
The Nerdy headline:

Best for applicants who would benefit from a more holistic view of their creditworthiness, including criteria like highest level of education and occupation.

Jump to:Full Review
Upstart
Upstart - Refinance loan

Est. APR
9.26-29.99%
Loan amount
$5,000 - $60,000
Min. credit score
510
on Upstart's website

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers pre-qualification with a soft credit check.

  • Works with a network of lenders to find the best offer.

  • Does not charge an origination fee.

  • Bases loan approval on a wider range of criteria.

  • Fully online application.

  • Customer service available on Saturdays

  • Provides Spanish version of website.

Cons

  • Not available in all states.

  • No co-borrowers or co-signers allowed.

  • No APR rate discount with automatic payment.

Compare refinance
Lender
Est. APR
Loan amount
Min. credit score
RefiJet
4.0
Visit Lenderon RefiJet's website
on RefiJet's website
5.29- 21.99%
$5,000- $100,000
580
5.24- 29.90%
$5,000- $100,000
575
5.99- 28.55%
$5,000- $125,000
640
5.99- 24.99%
$4,000- $55,000
660
Visit Lenderon LendingClub's website
on LendingClub's website
5.99- 17.99%
$10,000- $200,000
580
Visit Lenderon Gravity Lending's website
on Gravity Lending's website
View more

Full Review

Among lenders that offer auto loan refinancing, Upstart is unique in its approach to loan underwriting and approval. While other lenders rely most heavily on an applicant’s credit score, Upstart says they consider over 1,000 data points for a more comprehensive view of a borrower’s creditworthiness, and that this results in approvals for more applicants.

Upstart also works with a network of lenders to match applicants to the best possible loan rate for which a borrower may qualify. To obtain these estimated rates, Upstart does a soft credit check which does not affect an applicant’s credit scores. When an applicant selects an offer and applies, a hard credit check is done.

Upstart stands out for simplifying the borrower’s end-to-end application process, which it says takes just minutes to complete from starting the application to seeing rates. Through integrations with the Department of Motor Vehicles in all states where Upstart offers loans, it can automatically pull vehicle details, such as VIN or license plate number, and existing loan information for auto refinancing applicants.

Later in the refinancing process, Upstart handles the title transfer and disbursement of funds to the borrower, the dealership or the prior lender.

🤓

Nerdy Tip

Upstart is an auto loan aggregator, meaning it works with a network of lenders to match borrowers to loans. Aggregators can connect you to several lenders with one application. However, you should be aware that aspects of your loan — such as fees, customer service and how your personal information is used — will depend on the lender.

Upstart may be a good fit for those who:

  • Have a thin credit history: Upstart accepts applicants who don't have enough credit history to produce a credit score. Factors such as highest level of education are taken into account.

  • Want to compare rates and terms: Upstart requests offers from its lending partners and determines the best lender match. Within minutes of submitting their information, applicants see multiple offers with various terms or rates from a single lender.

  • Speak Spanish: Upstart offers a Spanish-language version of its website, and Spanish-speaking representatives are available to assist.

Upstart at a glance

Note that lending platforms like Upstart work with many different lenders, so the information provided is general and can reflect the high or low end available among its lending partners.

  • Application process
    • Origination fee: None.

    • Personal information needed: Social Security number or ITIN, address, phone, email, date of birth, employment status, employer name, vehicle and insurance information and highest level of education.

    • Pre-qualification available: Yes, but borrower does not see multiple lender offers for comparison. Upstart presents the best lender match, with various rates and terms to choose from. Offers are good for 14 days.

    • Online, in-person or both: Process is 100% online including document upload.

    • Approval speed: After choosing an offer, approval can take up to two weeks for all information to be verified if additional documentation is required.

    • Minimum FICO credit score: 510.

    • Minimum credit history: Upstart accepts applicants with insufficient credit history to produce a credit score.

    • Minimum annual gross income: $12,000.

    • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.

    • Bankruptcy-related restrictions: Yes, but Upstart did not disclose what they were.

    • States covered: All except NV and MD.

    • Maximum vehicle age: 12 years.

    • Maximum vehicle mileage: 140,000 miles.

    • Other vehicle restrictions: Vehicles registered as or used for commercial purposes.

    • Loan amount minimum: $5,000.

    • Loan amount maximum: $60,000.

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

    • Refinance restrictions: None.

    • Loan terms: 24-84 months.

    • Rate discount: None.

    • Greater-than-minimum payments: Yes, and can be made through automatic payment.

    • Biweekly payments: Yes, and accepted by automatic payment.

    • Late payment fee: Yes, the greater of $15 or 5% of past due amount.

    • Prepayment penalty: None.

    • Co-borrowers allowed: No.

    • Co-signers allowed: No.

    • Payment options: Mailed-in check, phone, online and ACH.

    • Selected payment due date: No.

    • Hardship plans: Yes. Upstart says it may be able to defer one month’s payment or reduce two months’ payments by up to 50%. Hardship information is provided on its website.

    • Offers cash-out refinancing: No.

    • Existing loan payoff: Upstart disburses funds to prior lender.

    • Assistance provided: Customer support team is available by email and phone six days a week to help applicants during the application process. Upstart also provides a Help Center on its website.

    • Availability: Mon-Fri, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. ET; Sat, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. ET.

    • Contact options: Phone and email.

More for Upstart

Based in San Mateo, California, in addition to refinance loans, Upstart offers personal loans, small business loans and debt consolidation.

Its website offers resources for borrowers to assist in navigating the financial world, including articles to learn more about loans, interest and loan calculators and an FAQ page to better understand the loan application and payment process.

Many lenders quantify how much money they save their customers, and Upstart says it saves clients an average of $103 monthly in car payments. NerdWallet is unable to verify any of these claims.

Upstart auto loan rates

Credit requirements vary by auto lender, but Upstart’s lowest rates are typically available only to borrowers with good or excellent credit (a FICO score of 690 and above). With fair or bad credit you won’t get the lowest interest rates, which means your monthly payment and total interest paid will be more. You can check your credit score before applying for a car loan. 

Loan example: According to NerdWallet's auto loan calculator that uses the VantageScore credit model, a borrower with a credit score of 300-499 (considered deep subprime), a $20,000 used car loan, repayment term of 72 months, interest rate of 18% APR and $0 down payment would have monthly payments of $456. One year later, if all payments were made on time, the borrower will have paid the loan down to a balance of $17,963. If the borrower is able to then refinance at 12% APR for the remaining 60 months, the payment would drop to $399 and result in interest savings of $3,394 over the life of the loan.

How do we review auto loan aggregators?

NerdWallet's review process surveys companies that offer any combination of new car purchase loans, used car purchase loans, auto refinance loans (traditional and/or cash-out) and lease buyout loans. These companies include direct lenders and aggregators; the latter group doesn't have in-house loan products but matches borrowers to third-party lenders within a network. Our aim is to provide an independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgements on which ones will best meet your needs. We adhere to strict guidelines for editorial integrity.

Because aggregators are not the actual lender and servicing of the loan passes to the lender in most cases, NerdWallet focuses most heavily on the front end of the loan process. This includes level of service/support and transparency, with less focus on the actual loan product. In all, our survey for aggregators includes more than 60 data points. NerdWallet independently confirms product details and, when necessary, follows up with company representatives. At least two writers and an editor verify the facts for every lender review to ensure data are accurate.

To receive a star rating, an aggregator must respond to NerdWallet’s annual auto loans survey. Star ratings are then assessed from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars).

For more details about the categories considered when rating aggregators and our process, read our full methodology.

on Upstart's website

Save on Your Car

Find a car loanRefinance a car loanCalculate car paymentsGet car insurance quotes

Frequently asked questions

  • Upstart is an online lending platform that offers personal loan products, including auto loan refinancing. It is based in San Mateo, California. Upstart is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating.

  • Upstart offers a range of loan products in addition to auto loans, including personal loans, small business loans and debt consolidation.

  • The Upstart privacy policy states that personal information is not sold or rented to third parties for marketing purposes. Questions can be directed to [email protected] or by calling 855-438-8778.

NerdWallet Pixel