Upstart Personal Loan review

Upstart has a loan for everyone, even those with less credit history and poor FICO scores.

Upstart personal loans
(Image: © Upstart)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

Upstart, as the name suggests, is an ideal loan option for those that are new to loans like graduates and have very little credit history. This also means the loan is good for anyone with less decent FICO scores or lower credit ratings. With fast funding this is a great option for those in a hurry but be warned there are origination and late fees here.


  • +

    Good for new borrowers

  • +

    Fast funding

  • +

    Graduate friendly


  • -

    Origination and late fees

  • -

    Higher starting rates than some

Why you can trust Top Ten Reviews Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

From all the best personal loans out there, Upstart is a stand-out option for those new to the world of borrowing. The loan allows those with poor or short credit ratings to potentially get an amount they need, and fast.

While the starting fees begin higher than some of the competition like Marcus by Goldman Sachs and Lightstream, and there are both origination and late fees, these are just a few bumps on the road to loan access. Since this is a service for those who might not otherwise be able to get a loan at all, it's to be expected there will be costs.

With loan amounts from $1,000 right up to $50,000 there should be something for everyone.

Upstart is aimed at those who are consolidating debt, paying for medical expenses, getting home improvements or paying for college fees. It's particularly suited to graduates looking for a loan right out of college. But, of course, there are wider needs that this will cover too.

Since this loan is aimed at those with little credit history it's ideal for your borrowers who are new to loans, hence the use for college fees. Upstart does favour those who have a high earning potential so that's a great thing for graduates.

This is a fast funding process making it ideal for those in a rush. Here's everything you need to know about Upstart as one of the best personal loans out there.


Compare personal loan rates at Credible
Credible is the perfect place to search for personal loan rates. Get rates from hundreds of banks and lenders without having to fill out the same details again and again.

Cost: How much does Upstart charge?

Upstart Personal Loans: Key figures

APR variable: 7.69 - 35.99%
Loan range: $1,000 - $50,000
Min credit score: 620
Term: 12 - 60 months

  • Minimum APR: 7.69%
  • Maximum APR: 35.99%

Since Upstart is all about speed and convenience for those new to loans, the rates are a little higher than some of the competition out there. As such that start rate is a pretty high 7.69% which then can skyrocket all the way up to a painful 35.99% at the high end.

You will have between three and five years to pay back the loan but if you go for a faster time then you will have a lower APR to pay back.

Upstart Personal Loans review: Fast funding

  • Funding within one day
  • Three days for education expenses

Upstart is all about speed and as such can offer loans as quickly as one day from application. While this is ideal for home improvements or medical bills it doesn't apply to education.

For fast education loans you'll still need to wait, only for three days, but it's a little longer than the quickest type. Since this is for college expenses, students may be required to provide extra documents like college transcripts.

Upstart Personal Loans: Flexible payments

  • Bi-weekly or monthly
  • Optional adjustments

Since Upstart was created by three former Google employees, it's heart is future-focus. That means it's able to offer flexibility that will appeal to the youthful loan seekers it's aimed at.

As such loans can be paid either monthly or bi-weekly. But should that prove a problem it's also possible to qualify for a different type of payment option - ideal if you run into financial problems.

Upstart Personal Loans review: Coding bootcamp

  • Partnering coding bootcamps available
  • No job loans

Upstart looks at your education as a method to gauge your ability to pay back the loan. As such you can get a loan even without a job. 

Thanks to the Google background of the company's founders this favours coding and even has partner coding bootcamps for which loans apply.

So it should be easy for those leaving college with a coding background to get a loan to invest in themselves so as to gain crucial experience for a future career.

If you're not in a coding bootcamp you will need a job with a minimum income of $12,000.

Upstart Personal Loans review: Requirements to qualify

  • At least a 620 credit score
  • Average income is $100,000

While the minimum credit score is 620 and the average loan borrower's wage is $100,000, that doesn't mean you can't get a loan if these numbers don't fit you.

Since the loan is all about looking at your background and education, you can still potentially get a loan even if you're not ideal on paper. Of course you may end up paying a higher APR in the long run so be sure you have a method to make the payments as there are late fees.

There is a max debt-to-income ratio that applies here which tops out at 45%.

Upstart Personal Loans review: Fees

  • Origination fees from 0 to 8%
  • Late fees

Upstart might be a good option for those new to borrowing but it can cost you as a result, and not just in high APR. There are fees that apply here.

The origination fee, which is an amount you pay for starting out the loan, can be nothing but could be as high as eight percent depending on your circumstances. 

Late fees also apply so be sure you can repay what you owe or you may end up getting in over your head. These fees are 5% of the past due amount or $15, whichever is greater. 

Thankfully there are no repayment fees so if you come into some money you can pay off the loan right away for free.

Upstart Personal Loans review: Application process

  • Hard pull
  • Second loan option

Upstart will ask for lots of details since it looks at more than just your credit score when working out if you're able to qualify for the loan. As such the process can take a little longer at the start.

There will be an official credit report run so you will have that affect your score if you are rejected. If not, then you will be given loan options available to you and you can take one out right away.

The final step is to setup an online account and automatic monthly payments. You can also apply for a second loan if you've made your payments on time for six consecutive months.

Upstart Personal Loans review: What users say

  • Five star rating on Trustpilot
  • Four star, 873 point, JD Power rating

The JD Power 2019 customer satisfaction study found Upstart to be one of the best loans out there. It achieved a score of 873 out of 1,000 placing it third best overall in the US. It got four starts for interaction, billing payment, loan offerings and terms, plus application and approval process categories.

According to customer reviews aggregator site Trustpilot, the Upstart user experience is a very good one. There is a five star rating based on 5,230 reviews of which 96% are excellent, 3% are great and there are no average, poor or bad reviews at all.

Upstart Personal Loans review: Verdict

For anyone new to borrowing and those with lower credit scores, Upstart is a great option for a loan. Not only could it mean you get approved where others would decline you, it also means a fast and efficient service that customers are happy with.

This service is ideal for college graduates, especially those in the coding area considering a boot camp experience.

Rates are high, there are fees for late payments and the loan can affect your credit score if the hard pull on your application gets rejected. If none of that bothers you then this could be a great way to get on the borrower system to help you with a loan and build your credit score. 


Compare personal loan rates at Credible
Credible is the perfect place to search for personal loan rates. Get rates from hundreds of banks and lenders without having to fill out the same details again and again.

Luke Edwards

Luke is a veteran tech journalist with decades of experience covering everything from TVs, power tools, science and health tech to VPNs, space, gaming and cars. You may recognize him from appearances on plenty of news channels or have read his words which have been published in most tech titles over the years. In his spare time (of which he has little as a father of two) Luke likes yoga, surfing, meditation, DIY and consuming all the books, comics and movies he can find.