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Upstart Personal Loans Review: Best Personal Loan

Upstart personal loans are great for people who have fair or limited credit. Upstart relies on more than 1,500 variables as part of its underwriting process, and much of the data is highly correlated. This process is different from traditional lending models, which use simple FICO-based models to provide a snapshot of an individual’s credit and are quite limited in their ability to assess the true lending risk of each consumer. APPLY FOR UPSTART NOW.


Upstart Overview

Upstart was founded in 2012 in San Mateo, California, and has helped over 2.7 million customers with their lending needs through personal loans, consolidation loans and car loan refinance. It uses an AI-based lending model to improve access to affordable credit for consumers with lower credit scores due to challenges or limited credit profiles. Overall, 84% of Upstart’s loans are fully automated with no human interaction — from origination to final funding.

Key Features 

Here’s what you need to know about the key features of Upstart loans.


Upstart claims it offers up to 43% lower rates than lenders using a credit score-only model to make lending decisions. Rates offered range from 4.6% to 35.99% APR. Although the starting rate is more competitive than many other lenders offering personal loans, the 35.99% APR is much higher. However, if you have challenged or limited credit and need a personal loan, Upstart might be able to approve you when other lenders won’t. Just keep in mind that your rate could be quite high. Upstart allows you to check your potential rate before applying. APPLY FOR UPSTART NOW.

Loan Amount

Upstart issues personal loans in amounts from $1,000-$50,000. This range is on par with personal loan amounts offered by other personal loan lenders, although some personal loan lenders do offer up to $100,000.

Note that Upstart has minimum loan amounts for the following states:

  • Georgia – $3,100
  • Hawaii – $2,100
  • Massachusetts – $7,000


When it comes to fees, Upstart has several. For starters, it charges a one-time origination fee of 0%-12%. The origination fee is taken out of your loan amount before it’s funded. There’s also a late payment fee of the greater of 5% of the monthly past due amount or $15. Late payment fees may be assessed if you fail to pay within 10 calendar days of the payment due date. Upstart also charges $15 per occurrence for returned ACH or check payments, and a $10 fee if you request paper copies of your loan documents.


In most cases, Upstart provides fast funding. It funds personal loans on the next business day — as long as you accept the terms before 5 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday. If you accept the terms after 5 p.m. (or on a weekend or holiday), the funds will be transferred on the following business day unless you are using the funds to pay off credit cards. If the personal loan is for education purposes, it will take three additional business days to receive the funds.. APPLY FOR UPSTART NOW.

How To Apply for an Upstart Loan

To apply for an Upstart loan, do the following: 

  1. Go to Upstart’s website and click “Check your rate.” This will not affect your credit. 
  2. Select the desired personal loan amount and loan terms.
  3. Fill out the loan application. You’ll be asked for information about your education and work experience as well as the loan’s purpose. The lender will initiate a hard pull on your credit.
  4. Wait for Upstart’s decision on your loan application.  

Who Upstart Is Best For 

Upstart is best for consumers who have challenged or limited credit, which makes it difficult to get a personal loan through a traditional lender. Upstart uses an AI-powered lending model that examines over 1,500 variables, including education and employment, to determine consumer credit risks, which leads to greater approval rates than what traditional lenders can offer.

Final Take 

When considering a personal loan, it pays to shop around. Take into consideration the fees and rates of each lender. And if you have a limited credit profile or other credit challenges, including fair credit instead of good or excellent ratings, Upstart is worth considering. Keep in mind, however, that Upstart’s personal loan origination fees can be up to 12% and are deducted from the total loan amount before you receive it. 

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