Personal Loans

Upgrade Personal Loan Review 2021 — Pros and Cons, Features

Upgrade offers unsecured personal loans to eligible borrowers. Learn more about Upgrade personal loans to help decide if they're right for you.
A married couple use their computer to apply for an Upgrade personal loan
authorimg
By Rebecca Lake
Updated on: October 6th, 2021
Editor's Rating

Personal loans can help you to get caught up on bills, consolidate debt or cover unexpected expenses when life throws a curveball your way. More online lenders are offering personal loans, making it easier to find funding when you need it.

Upgrade offers online personal loans with competitive rates. Over 500,000 customers have used Upgrade to borrow more than $7 billion in loans. Wondering if it’s the right loan option for you? This Upgrade review walks you through some of the most important things to know about how this platform works.

Compare Your Personal Loan Rates
Check Your Personal
Loan Rates
Choose a purpose for your loan
Always free and will not impact your credit score.

Pros and Cons of Upgrade

Any time you’re comparing personal loan options, it’s important to consider what’s good or not so good about a lender. With that in mind, here’s a rundown of Upgrade’s pros and cons.

Pros Cons
Borrow up to $50,000 for a variety of purposes, including debt consolidation and home improvement Loan approval isn’t as fast as other online lenders
Enjoy low fixed rates on loans, with rates starting under 6% Origination fee for loans
No prepayment penalties for early loan payoff Loan can’t be used to pay for college expenses or to make investments
Choose the monthly payment and loan term that fits you best There’s no variable rate loan option
Get a rate discount when you enroll in autopay or if you’re a checking customer

Who Is Upgrade For?

Upgrade may appeal to a variety of borrowers who are seeking personal loans. In general, Upgrade is good for people who:

  • Need to borrow up to $50,000
  • Are looking for competitive interest rates on personal loans
  • Want to avoid prepayment penalties
  • Can enroll in autopay to get a discount
  • are looking for a loan and a checking account in the same place

Upgrade loans can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

You could also use Upgrade loans to fund a vacation or wedding, pay for medical expenses or purchase a vehicle. The minimum you can borrow is $1,000.

Top Features of Upgrade

Wondering what sets Upgrade apart from other personal loan lenders? Here’s how some of its top features measure up.

  • Loan limits. Upgrade offers personal loans of up to $50,000, which is great if you need the money for a larger financial goal. Other personal loan lenders, meanwhile, may cap loans at $35,000 or $40,000 instead.
  • Competitive rates. Upgrade personal loan rates start low for the most creditworthy borrowers. With other lenders, the lowest rates may be in the 7% to 9% range. So if you have a good credit score, Upgrade could be the best fit for low rates.
  • Rate discounts. You can get a rate discount of up to half a percentage point when you enroll in automatic payments. Upgrade also offers rate discounts for customers who have both a personal loan and an Upgrade Rewards Checking account.
  • Joint loans. If you want or need to borrow money with someone else, it’s possible to apply for a joint loan with Upgrade. You can apply with a spouse, partner, family member or friend, assuming you both meet Upgrade’s credit score and income requirements.
  • Hardship program. Upgrade offers a hardship program for borrowers who are struggling to make loan payments. That’s a benefit you don’t always find with other personal loan lenders.

How to Apply

You can apply for a personal loan with Upgrade online in minutes. First, you can check your rate. This does not impact your credit score.

If you like any of the rate offers you’re presented with, you can move ahead with a full loan application. You’d need to decide how much you want to borrow and what repayment term works best for you. Loan terms range from 24 to 84 months.

Upgrade will need your personal information as well as some financial information, including your:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number and email address
  • Home address
  • Social Security number
  • Annual income and income source

You may be asked to provide pay stubs or bank account information as part of the application process. Once you’re approved for a loan, which can take a few days, you can get loan funding deposited into your bank account in as little as one day.

Rating the Features

Upgrade has some impressive features and benefits, compared to other lenders. To wrap up this Upgrade review here’s more on how individual features rate.

User Experience

Upgrade offers a good online and mobile user experience overall. The website is easy to navigate so you can get your rate quote in minutes to see which loan offers you might qualify for. There’s a detailed FAQ section in case you have questions about Upgrade’s loans that aren’t answered on the home page.

There’s also an Upgrade mobile app for Android and iOS users. Having a personal loan mobile app is a nice feature, as you can use it to track your loan payoff progress or make payments at any time. Not all personal loan lenders offer a mobile app, which gives Upgrade an edge.

Fees and Rates

Personal loan rates for Upgrade loans range from under 6% to close to 30%. The rate you qualify for can depend on your creditworthiness, as well as the loan term and the loan amount you’re interested in. Remember that you can qualify for rate discounts if you sign up for autopay or you have an Upgrade Rewards Checking account.

As far as fees go, you won’t pay a prepayment penalty. But Upgrade does charge late fees and origination fees.

The origination fee ranges from under 3% to 8%, which is fairly steep compared to other personal loan lenders that may cap origination fees at 5% or not charge them at all. Your origination fee is deducted from your loan proceeds, so it’s important to factor that in when deciding how much you need to borrow.

Transparency

Upgrade is very straightforward about providing loan information, including loan amounts, interest rate ranges and fees. You can get your rate quote and see loan offers without affecting your credit to decide if an Upgrade loan is right for you. The FAQ includes answers to a wide variety of questions you might have about Upgrade and how its personal loans work.

You can even see examples of how much your monthly payment might be, based on the loan amount, term and interest rate. Upgrade also offers a breakdown of how the origination fee works so you can gauge what amount you need to borrow.

Flexibility

Personal loans from Upgrade have terms ranging from 24 to 84 months. When you complete the initial rate quote process, you can tell Upgrade how much you want to borrow and see different loan offers. You can then choose the monthly payment and the loan term that works best for your budget.

You also have the ability to choose your payment date. Keep in mind that if you miss your payment due date, you’ll be subject to a $10 late payment fee. There’s also a $10 fee for returned payments.

Customer Support

If you need help, you can contact Upgrade by email at support@upgrade.com. Or you can call (844) 319-3909 for help Monday through Friday, 6 am to 6 pm PT or Saturday and Sunday 6 am to 5 pm PT.

Again, the help center is designed to answer most of the questions you might have about Upgrade. In addition to the help center, you also get access to free credit monitoring and a library of articles to help you improve your credit and financial health.

Bottom Line

Upgrade could be a great fit if you need a personal loan and you’re looking for low fixed rates. The loans are particularly suited to credit card refinancing and debt for people who are able to qualify for the lowest interest rates. If you’re interested in an Upgrade loan, you can get the process started by checking your rates.

About the Author

Rebecca Lake joins AmOne as a contributor writing about personal loans, credit and debt, small business, and other personal finance topics.

Rebecca brings her expertise as a personal-finance journalist to AmOne, having written about money for over five years. Her work has appeared online at U.S. News and World Report, Life + Money by Citi, CreditCards.com, and Bankrate. Connect with her on LinkedIn.