Upstart Auto Loan Refinancing: 2024 Review

Upstart matches applicants to the best auto refinancing offer from a network of lenders, and doesn’t require a minimum credit history.
Funto Omojola
Last updated on March 29, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Julie Myhre-Nunes
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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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.

Auto loan reviews

Auto loan refinancing
The Nerdy headline:

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

Auto loan refinancing review

Upstart - Refinance loan

NerdWallet rating
Est. APR
Loan amount
$9,000 - $60,000
Min. credit score
on Upstart's website


  • Offers pre-qualification with a soft credit check.

  • Application process 100% online including document upload.

  • Bases loan approval on a wider range of criteria.

  • Retains loan servicing.


  • Not available in all states.

  • Doesn't allow co-borrowers or co-signers.

  • No APR rate discount with automatic payment.

Best for applicants who want a wider range of refinance loan approval criteria.

Full Review of Upstart

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 scores, Upstart says they consider other factors like employment and education for a more comprehensive view of a borrower’s creditworthiness.

Upstart is an auto loan aggregator, which means it 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 registration records in all states where Upstart offers loans, it can automatically pull vehicle details, such as VIN or license plate number.

Later in the refinancing process, Upstart maintains the loan servicing, which means it handles the title transfer and disbursement of funds to the borrower, the dealership or the prior lender.


Nerdy Tip

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.

Table of contents

Upstart at a glance

Upstart works with many different lenders, so the information provided here is general and can reflect the high or low end available among its lending partners.

Minimum credit score


Minimum credit history


Minimum annual gross income


Maximum debt-to-income ratio

Did not disclose.

Maximum loan-to-value ratio


Loan terms

24-84 months.

Co-applicants allowed?

Does not allow co-borrowers or co-signers.

Pre-qualification or preapproval offered?

Offers pre-qualification with a soft credit check.

Origination/processing fee?

Less than 25% of borrowers could have a fee of up to $999, depending on the lending partner.

Rate discount offered?

No rate discount offered.

States covered

Not available in MD.

    • Maximum vehicle age: 12 years.

    • Maximum vehicle mileage: 140,000.

    • Other vehicle restrictions: None.

    • Loan amount minimum: $9,000.

    • Loan amount maximum: $60,000.

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

    • Refinance time restrictions: None.

    • Bankruptcy restrictions: Did not disclose.

    • Approval speed: Immediate in most cases. Approved loan offer is good for 14 days.

    • Initial deferred payment: Does not offer.

    • Existing loan payoff: For refinancing, funds are mailed electronically if possible and by check, otherwise.

    • Selected payment due date: Borrowers can select their payment due date during the application process.

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

    • Late payment grace period and fee: Borrowers have a 15-day grace period from the payment due date, before they incur a late fee. Upstart charges a late fee of 5% of the past due amount or $15, whichever is greater.

    • Hardship plans: All of Upstart’s lending partners offer hardship options. Specific hardship options can vary and depend on the individual borrower’s situation and are subject to review by the Upstart Customer Support team.

    • Contact options: Email and phone.

    • Availability: Customer service is available seven days a week: Mon-Fri 6 a.m.-5 p.m. PT and Sat-Sun 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. PT.

    • Online resources: Provides educational articles about auto refinancing, as well as a payment calculator which helps borrowers estimate their monthly car payments.

Upstart may be a good fit for those who:

  • Have a thin credit history: Upstart uses factors beyond credit history, like level of education and occupation, to make a decision.

  • 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.

Do you qualify for an Upstart auto loan?

Here are Upstart's basic eligibility requirements to apply for an auto loan:

  • Must live in the U.S.

  • Must be at least 18 years or older.

Here are Upstart’s minimum borrower requirements to qualify for an auto loan. Note that meeting these requirements doesn’t guarantee approval. However, since aggregators work with a network of various lenders, some may be more flexible with minimum requirements when considering an applicant's total financial picture.

  • Minimum credit score: None.

  • Minimum credit history: None.

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

  • Minimum annual income: $12,000.

Before you apply

Check your credit. You can get your free credit report on NerdWallet or at If you find errors, file a credit dispute to correct them before you apply for an auto loan.

Figure what monthly payment you can afford. Use an auto loan calculator to determine what APR and repayment term you need to get monthly car payments that fit your budget. When you know your maximum car payment, a car affordability calculator can help you determine a realistic car price.

Gather your documents. Upstart requires the following to submit an initial application: Address, phone, email, birthdate, employment status, employer name, income and other savings information, including checking and savings accounts and investment accounts.

How to apply for an Upstart auto loan

  1. Pre-qualify online. Applicants can pre-qualify for a loan on Upstart’s website. During the pre-qualification process, potential borrowers are asked to provide personal information like their name, phone number, address, education and income. They’ll also be asked to create an account with Upstart with an email and password. Pre-qualified offers will include multiple loan terms and rate estimates from more than one of Upstart’s lending partners. Pre-qualifying does not affect an applicant’s credit scores.

  2. Make a loan decision. If an applicant accepts a loan offer, the lender will perform a hard credit check. A hard credit inquiry slightly lowers your credit scores, but only temporarily. Applicants will also be asked to confirm their personal, vehicle and current loan details at this point in the application process. Note that Upstart will automatically pull applicants’ vehicle and loan details like VIN or license plate and existing loan information. After loan approval from a matched lender, Upstart handles the title transfer and disbursement of funds to the borrower, the dealership or the prior lender.

  3. Stay on top of your loan payments. Upstart’s lending partners report car payments to all three major credit bureaus, so on-time payments will help build your credit score, but missed payments will hurt it. Setting up automatic payments, if available, is a good way to make sure your payments arrive by the due date.

How auto loan rates work and how we collect them

The auto loan APR range NerdWallet displays is provided by the aggregator. We make every attempt to keep rates updated, by sending out bimonthly rate surveys and encouraging aggregators to send us updates when rates change. We also compare these rates to APRs on the aggregator's website, if available. The accuracy of our rates depends on the information aggregators provide to us. It’s always a good idea to check average auto loan interest rates, and compare to similar aggregators or lenders, to determine if the provided rate seems realistic.

We ask aggregators to provide the lowest rate among their lending partners without including any potential rate discounts. We also ask that the provided rate be one that at least 10% of applicants applying for the lowest rate have qualified for in the previous three months. The lowest rates shown are typically available only to borrowers with good or excellent credit (a FICO score of 690 and above).

We also ask aggregators for the highest rate among their lending partners, which typically reflects rates available to borrowers with fair or bad credit (a FICO score in the mid-600s or below). The highest interest rates result in higher monthly payments and more total interest paid.

Actual rates received by this aggregator’s auto loan borrowers may be different from the rates shown in this review.

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.

Compare refinance
Est. APR
Loan amount
Min. credit score
Visit Lenderon RefiJet's website
on RefiJet's website
5.29- 21.99%
$5,000- $150,000
4.99- 17.99%
$3,000- $250,000
Visit Lenderon Gravity Lending's website
on Gravity Lending's website
5.24- 29.90%
$5,000- $100,000
5.95- 28.55%
$10,000- $125,000
5.24- 24.55%
$10,000- $150,000
Visit Lenderon Auto Approve's website
on Auto Approve's website
View more

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Frequently asked questions

  • Upstart is an AI-lending marketplace that offers consumer 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 doesn’t require a minimum credit history and considers factors like employment and education for a more comprehensive view of a borrower’s creditworthiness.

  • Upstart offers a range of loan products in addition to auto loan refinancing, 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 1-855-438-8778.

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