Upgrade Personal Loans Review 2024

Upgrade is a financial services business that specializes in budget-friendly financing options. Is Upgrade the type of lender you need? This review answers all of your questions.

What is Upgrade personal loan?

People who have a decent credit score can easily qualify for an Upgrade personal loan. The lender features discounts for payments sent directly to creditors on debt consolidation loans. They provide unsecured, secured, joint loan offerings, etc.

The loans that are offered are:

  • Business
  • Consolidation of debts
  • Medical costs
  • Large purchases
  • Relocation

The upgrade loan is not on offer for gambling, investing, or college expenses.

What are the benefits of Upgrade?

  • Direct payments on debt consolidation loans receive a discount

    Upgrade provides a rate reduction of 1% to 5% points for borrowers who obtain a debt consolidation loan and get the lender to pay their other debts directly. This discount is uncommon on personal loans. The 5% is a significant reduction compared to discounts offered by other lenders.

  • Pre-qualify with soft credit pull

    The Upgrade loan allows you to evaluate your rate and offers with a soft credit pull that does not affect your credit score. If you accept the offer, a hard credit pull gets initiated. Upgrade evaluates borrowers using the FICO 9 credit rating.

  • Credit building tools

    You can sign up for free credit score monitoring, a credit score simulator, and customized credit-building advice. Many lenders offer free credit score monitoring, but additional tools are rare.

  • Existing customer discount

    If you have an active reward checking account, the lender says it may reduce your loan APR by up to 20%. For example, a 30% APR can reduce by up to 24% with this discount.

  • Joint and secured loans

    Upgrade enables applicants to partner with a co-borrower to increase their chances of loan approval. A co-borrower, unlike a co-signer, will have access to the loan funds.

    You can also put up a vehicle as collateral for a secured loan. The lender will consider the vehicle value and may offer a lower interest rate. But when you obtain a personal loan and cannot pay it back, the lender has the authority to take possession of the collateral.

  • Hardship program

    If a borrower suffers a financial setback, like losing their job, they may be eligible for a temporary reduction. The benefit may pertain to their monthly payment or a permanent modification to their loan's term.

    Although this alternative might be convenient in an emergency, extending your loan's repayment term without receiving a lower interest rate will cost you more money in the long run.

What are the drawbacks of Upgrade?

  • Moderate funding time

    Upgrade may take a few days to approve a loan application. In contrast, some of its competitors claim instant approval and same-day funding. Upgrade estimates that approximately half of all applicants will have their loan funds deposited a day after their application is approved.

  • Origination fee

    Upgrade charges an origination fee, which is the norm among online lenders. However, Upgrade's origination fee is high compared to other lenders, at 2.9 % to 8%. Origination fees are reflected in your APR (annual percentage rate).

How do you qualify for an upgrade loan?

Upgrade does not require a high credit score. Instead, it examines your credit history and focuses on what you earn and how you spend. To be eligible for an Upgrade personal loan, you must have the following:  

  • You must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • You must be 18 years old.
  • A verifiable bank account and email address are required.
  • A recommended minimum credit score of 560; the borrower average is 678.
  • The minimum of two accounts on a credit history.
  • The maximum debt-to-income ratio should be 75% or less, such as mortgage and calculating your new personal loan.

For Instance, when Upgrade approves a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR, you will receive $9,500 and need to make a monthly payment of $343.33. Across the loan term period, you will pay $12,359.97 in total.


Is Upgrade a good company?

Yes. Upgrade has an excellent rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, based on an average of over 20,000 reviews. Upgrade has a B+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and got accredited in 2017.

When can you use Upgrade loans?

Upgrade provides personal loans for a variety of uses, including:

  • Credit card refinancing
  • Consolidation of debts
  • Home enhancement
  • Big purchases

The lender does not allow borrowers to use loan funds for postsecondary education expenses such as tuition, room and board, transportation, and supplies.

How long does Upgrade take to approve a loan?

If you get approved for a loan through Upgrade, you will receive your loan proceeds within one business day. With that said, how fast your loan funds are available depends on how quickly your bank processes the transaction.

Is it possible to pay off an Upgrade loan early?

Yes. You can pay off your loan before it expires without accumulating a prepayment penalty.

Is Upgrade a direct lender?

Upgrade is not a bank but instead collaborates with banks to generate loans obtained through Upgrade's online lending platform. The following banks provide loan options through Upgrade:

  • Blue Ridge Bank - a member of FDIC.
  • Cross River Bank - FDIC-insured institution that provides all personal lines of credit.
  • Sutton Bank, an FDIC member, issues the Upgrade Card, which lets you connect your credit line.

Final Thoughts

When you need money fast, personal loans from Upgrade are a convenient option. They provide disbursements within one day, making it easy to cover unforeseen expenses. Upgrade loan allows joint applicants and offers personal loans against your car as collateral, helping borrowers with less-than-perfect credit. 

On debt consolidation loans, the lender distinguishes itself by offering features such as rate discounts for having payments sent directly to creditors. Customer feedback is generally positive, emphasizing Upgrade's convenience and simple application procedure. Its rates and fees, however, could be steep. So, before signing a loan agreement, review Upgrade's loan disclosures and fee structure to ensure you understand what you need to repay.

About the author Greg Lorenzo

Greg is a financial expert who has been advising his audience on loans for over 10 years. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the area, and he is passionate about helping people get the best possible deal on their loans. Greg is an expert in negotiating loans, and he has a proven track record of getting his clients the best possible terms. He is also a strong advocate for financial literacy, and he regularly gives workshops and seminars on the topic.

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