Pros & Cons
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.
Not available in all states.
No co-borrowers or co-signers allowed.
No APR rate discount with automatic payment.
Compare to Other Lenders
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.
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.
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.
To review Upstart, NerdWallet sent a survey requesting more than 60 data points and followed up with company representatives. This information was compared with other lenders that seek the same customer or offer a similar product.
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.