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Upgrade Lender Review
3 Jul 2018

Upgrade Lender Review

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A whopping 220 million credit-scoreable individuals call the United States home.

Now, of these millions, how many do you think fall under the excellent category?

A. 100 million

B. 80 million

C. 60 million

If you answered A, B, or C, then we’re sorry to inform you that it’s less than 50 million. Only 22% of scoreable consumers have scores between 781 and 850. 36% have prime or good credit, with scores of between 661 and 780.

So, does this mean you no longer have hopes of securing a personal loan with your score of 620?

Not necessarily. Upgrade, a personal loan lender now making a bang in the industry, can still help.

Before you send in your loan applications though, it’s best you know more about this loan company first.

And that’s where we can help. Read on to learn more about Upgrade personal loans!

Upgrade Lender Review: Who They Are

In a nation where consumer credit has reached a staggering $9.26 billion total, you’d think that it’d be easy to qualify for a personal loan, wouldn’t you?

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. The lending industry has become more restrictive, enforcing stricter loan application requirements.

The same goes true for credit cards. More than a third of 67% of surveyed respondents saying card companies have rejected their application.

This hasn’t stopped hundreds of millions of U.S. consumers from seeking help from personal lenders though. Despite the possibility of rejection.

Enter Upgrade, a lending company operating out of its San Francisco, California headquarters. With a minimum required credit score of 620, this lender may just be what you’re looking for. All applications and transactions take place online, so don’t worry about having to fly to the Bay.

Upgrade loans allow you to borrow anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000.

You can even monitor your credit through their on-site tools and check how much your potential loan interest rest is.

Its co-founders include Soul Htite and Renaud Laplanche. These two also co-founded the marketplace lending facility LendingClub, which made $33 billion in loan amounts available to more than 2 million borrowers.

A Quick Rundown on Upgrade’s Pros and Cons

We believe that it’s best you know right away what to expect from Upgrade loans. That said, here’s a list of the advantages and disadvantages of working with this loan lending company:


  • Low credit score requirement of 620
  • Having good to excellent credit score can land you a low annual percentage rate (APR)
  • Loan amounts greater than other lenders – up to $50,000
  • Considers free cash flow more than income
  • Availability in 43 states + Washington D.C.
  • The convenience of online application


  • Only two-term options available: three- and five-year
  • The higher end of APR is greater than those of other lenders

We’ll discuss these in more detail below, so keep reading!

The 620 Minimum Credit Score Advantage

Regardless of your reasons for taking out a personal loan, know that most lenders will want your credit score to fall within the 661 and above bracket. If you fail to meet this primary consideration, you’ll have problems qualifying for the loan.

This is why you’ll find many Upgrade loan reviews raving about how they find this loan lender helpful. It’s much thanks to the lower credit score qualification of 620.

Another great thing about this loan company is that its focus is on an applicant’s cash flow instead of income. What does this mean?

Simple. Even if your salary falls below the standard average, you only need to make sure you have $1,000 free after you’ve paid your expenses. This can already qualify you for a loan.

In fact, you can even qualify for a bigger loan amount if you have more than $1,000 leftover!

Are You Eligible?

It’s quite easy to meet the eligibility criteria of Upgrade. Here’s what you need to meet the company’s qualifications (in addition to a 620 credit score):

  • Be a U.S. citizen or at least a permanent resident
  • Be 18 years or older
  • Must have a valid email address and bank account

Keep in mind, however, that satisfying all these doesn’t 100% guarantee your approval. But at least, the company responds right away. They won’t leave you in the dark for a long time and you’ll know immediately whether you qualify or not.

When Upgrade Loans Aren’t for You

Unless your credit score falls below 620 or you live in one of the areas Upgrade isn’t available, then you should check out this lender. Here’s where you can’t find this lender doing business:

  • Connecticut
  • Colorado
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Guam
  • Puerto Rico

They do offer their loan products to Washington D.C. though. So, if you hail from here (or the other 43 states) and you’re short on cash, consider applying for a personal loan from them.

Other Key Upgrade Loan Facts You Should Know About

All Upgrade loans come with a deductible origination fee of anywhere between 1% and 6%. You don’t have to shell out money for this. Instead, the lender will deduct it from your loan proceeds.

As for other fees, be careful when it comes to missing your repayment dates. There’s a $10 late payment fee for every payment you forget to pay on time. There’s also a $10 fee applied on returned payments or non-sufficient funds (NSFs).

When it comes to loan terms, you can choose between three and five years and make repayments every month. Also, unlike other lenders, you don’t have to worry about prepayment penalties in case you want to pay off your entire loan before you reach the end of your term.

The Application Process from Start to Finish

Seeing as Upgrade is a marketplace lender, the application takes place online. This is a great and convenient thing since you don’t have to worry about more travel expenses or long queues.

The application starts with you filling out a basic form. This is your ticket to getting a rate quote.

From here, you’ll give some details about the loan you want, such as how much you need and for what. You’ll also have to provide personal information, including complete name, place of residence, date of birth, yearly earnings, and Social Security Number.

Creating an account with the company’s website is also a requirement. Keep in mind that once you finish this part, Upgrade will conduct a soft credit report inquiry on you.

Don’t worry. Soft inquiries don’t have any impact on credit scores.

The company will then send you an initial rate offer. If you want to push through with the loan application, you can go ahead and complete the rest of the application steps. It’s possible that the lender may ask you for identity and income verification documents, so prepare a copy of your latest pay stubs, W-2 forms, passport, and driver’s license.

After all these, Upgrade will carry out a hard inquiry on your credit report to finalize the process. Upon confirming all your provided information, you’ll receive a loan agreement, complete with the loan amount you can expect. The lender will also ask you to provide banking details where you’ll find your loan funds in a few days.

Then comes the fun part:

Within one to four business days from the time you accepted and signed the loan agreement, you’ll see the money in your bank account!

How it Stacks Up with Other Similar Loan Companies

You’ll notice that many Ugprade reviews compare the lender with Prosper and SoFi. Why?

For starters, they share similarities when it comes to the required minimum credit score. Both have slightly higher requirements though, with Prosper’s at 640 and SoFi’s at 660.

Prosper has, however, a greater maximum debt-to-income ratio. If you already have a considerable amount of debt, then you should also check out this company’s loan offers.

SoFi is also a good option when you have a lower income but has more free cash flow. It’s also a good lender for people who don’t have credit yet.

Upgrade may still be the best choice for you if you have a stronger cash flow and need a higher loan amount. The same goes true if your credit score is below than 640.

These, combined with the company’s credibility, solid foundation, and impressive reputation, make Upgrade personal loans an overall great choice. Especially if you’re looking for reasonable rates (the lender charges APRs of only of 5.96%-35.97%) and more loan options.

To Upgrade or To Not?

The final decision on whether to choose Upgrade for your personal loan rests on your shoulders. But hopefully, this review will have enlightened you enough to determine if it’s the best fit for your loan needs.

What we can say for sure is that you should take as much time as possible in reading Upgrade loan reviews and comparing the company with other lenders. This way, you’ll have an even clearer idea on your top personal loan options.

You should also check out our blog’s personal loan section. There you’ll find more reviews like this as well as other useful borrowing advice!