Upgrade Loans Review 2021 – Company That Helps in Bad Financial Situation

Last Update: December 10, 2020 Loan Reviews

Upgrade in a nutshell

In the last two years, Upgrade Loans has grown to become one of the most popular lending options for ordinary consumers.

This lender is the best choice for you if:

  • You are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid visa.
  • Have a credit score of 600 or higher.
  • Have a free cash flow of $1,000 and above.
  • Have a debt to income ratio of less than 40% (excluding mortgages).

It is important to note that other factors such as income and credit usage may be considered in addition to the above.

Upgrade loans is available in all US states apart from Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, Maryland, Colorado or West Virginia.

In this review, we will discuss the pros and cons of this lender and everything else you need to know to make an informed decision.

Upgrade Disclaimer

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 7.99%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Personal loans issued by Upgrade’s lending partners. Information on Upgrade’s lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/.

Loan amounts $1,000 – $35,000
Typical APR 7.99% – 35.97%
Min Credit Score 600
Time to funding 1 Day
Loan terms 3 – 5 years
Origination fee 2.9% – 8%
Debt-to-income ratio 40%

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What You have to Know About Upgrade Loans?


  • Origination fee: 2.9% to 8%
  • Late payment fee: The late fee is up to $10 and charged if your payment isn’t received within 15 calendar days of your payment due date.
  • Other fees: Returned check payments or failed electronic deposits cost $10 on top of whatever your bank charges for the returned payment.
  • No application fees.
  • No early payment fees.
  • No check processing fees.
  • No returned check fees.
  • No annual fees.


  • Min Credit Score: 600
  • Debt-to-income ratio: 40%
  • Income requirement: Have a free cash flow of $1,000 and above.
  • Credit history: N/A
  • They have great customer support.
  • Free monthly credit report.
  • State restriction: Upgrade isn’t available in: Colorado, Iowa, Vermont, Maryland, or West Virginia.
  • Type of credit check: Soft

Best for

  • Credit card debt consolidation.

Now Let’s Review Upgrade in Details

Founded in 2016, Upgrade is the brainchild of Renaud LaPlanche and Soul Htite.

These two are icons in the personal lending industry having founded Lending Club, America’s largest lending marketplace. Htite is also the founder of Dianrong one of China’s largest lending marketplace.

Unlike Lending Club and Dianrong, which are platforms that connect borrowers with lenders, Upgrade originates loans directly through a partnership with WebBank.

Upgrade loan products include:

  • Personal loans.
  • Personal credit lines.
  • Credit monitoring software.

Eligibility and Lending Terms

Apart from the metrics mentioned above, Upgrade may also take into account other parameters when determining loan eligibility. These include the borrower’s income, credit usage, and  credit history.

This means that a borrower may qualify for credit even when they have not met all the qualifications listed above.

With Upgrade personal loans, you can borrow up to $35,000 and pay within three to five years. The least you can borrow is $1,000.

When it comes to cost, Upgrade APRs are fixed and range from 7.99% – 35.97%.

Compared to other top personal loans providers, Upgrade scores highly in regard to leniency. Perhaps this is because the lender takes into account many factors when determining loan eligibility.

Upgrade rates are also among the best for borrowers with average credit score.

  • Amount from $1,000 to $35,000.
  • Fixed APR of between 7.99% – 35.97% .
  • Alternative loan eligibility assessment criteria.

Fees and Penalties

The only downside of Upgrade is its loan origination fee which ranges between 2.9% and 8%. While most industry players charge these fees, they are usually a put-off to most borrowers.

Upgrade also charges a late payment fee of $10 for each missed payment. The same fee may apply if payments are not received in full within 15 calendar days of the due date.

However, unlike most lenders of its category, Upgrade does not charge prepayment fees.

  • Loan origination fee of between 2.9% and 8%.
  • The late fee is up to $10 and charged if your payment isn’t received within 15 calendar days of your payment due date.
  • No prepayment fees.

Loan Application and Approval Process

Upgrade applies cutting-edge technology to ensure fast and secure approval of loans.

The whole process from loan application to approval process happens online with funds being disbursed within four business days; most applicants report receiving the loan within a day of clearance.

Once you have applied, it is important you keep checking the status since you may be required to provide more details or clarifications during the approval process.

In a nutshell, the loan application follows the steps below.

  • Open Upgrade homepage and specify the amount you want to borrow and for what purpose.
  • Provide necessary information about yourself.
  • Create an account, confirm details and agree to the terms.
  • Check your rates.

Avoid The Debt Cycle

The Upgrade, free cash flow requirement, is meant to help borrowers avoid the temptation of borrowing beyond their means.

Simply put, free cash flow is the amount left from your monthly income after deducting all expenses.

According to Renaud LaPlanche, Upgrade CEO and co-founder, without a free cash flow requirement, people are more likely to find themselves trapped in a debt cycle.

Improve Your Credit Score

Another great thing about Upgrade is that they help unsuccessful applicants manage and improve their credit so that they may qualify in the future. This happens through multiple tools including a credit score simulator.

With the simulator, users can visualize different scenarios and how they may impact their credit score. Also available are trending charts to help track progress and weekly updates to help users keep track of their credit score. Users also receive email alerts informing them of what’s affecting their score and warning them in case of potential fraud.

Upgrade also provides highly customized and up to date educative materials to help users unlock their full credit potential.

Other Customer Reviews

Upgrade has a A rating on. The lender has a rating of 4.6/5 out of 396 reviews. For the last three years, only 11 complaints have been lodged against the company.

The lender is also rated highly on Trustpilot with a score of 9.5/10 out of 3,276 reviews. At least 85% of Trustpilot raters have given the lender an excellent score, with only 1% rating it as “bad.”


Upgrade Loans is an excellent choice for borrowers with an average credit rating and with free cash flow. Their loans terms are considerable when compared to the industry average and very favorable to those with average credit rating.

This lender is rated highly by other consumers on platforms such as BBB and Trustpilot. Their only downside is loan origination fee which ranges between one and six percent.

We highly recommend them to borrowers looking for lending options with fast and flexible loan approval process.



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