Upstart Review 2022 – Personal Loans for People With Insufficient Credit History

Last Update: September 15, 2022 Loan Reviews

Upstart in a nutshell

Upstart offers personal loans even for people with insufficient credit history. They are one of the biggest names in personal loans. Here is what we can say about their target.

  • People with FICO score at least 300.
  • People with short credit history can apply.
  • Upstart considers other factors such as education, employment, and income when approving loans, even if your credit history is not OK.
Loan Amount: $1,000 – $50,000
APR: 3.09% – 35.99%
Min. Credit Score: 300
Approval: 1 – 7 Days
Terms: 3 – 5 Years
  • Loan origination fee of 0% – 8%
  • Late payment fee of 5% of the amount due, or $15, whichever is greater, after a 15-day grace period
  • Insufficient funds fee of $15
  • Paper documents fee of $10
  • There are no prepayment fees
Qualification Criteria:
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a credit score of at least 300
  • Have a DTI ratio that doesn’t exceed 45% to 50% (excluding rent/mortgage)
  • Have not filed for bankruptcy in the last 12 months
  • Have no current delinquencies on your credit profile
  • Have less than six credit inquiries on your profile in the last six months (excluding mortgages, auto and student loans)
  • Have recurring employment income or government benefits
  • Fill out your information through Upstart’s online portal
Average Borrower Profile:
  • Borrows roughly $8,600.
  • Incurs an APR of 23.98% on a five-year term
  • Achieves approval nearly twice as often than traditional lenders with a FICO Score of 620 to 660
  • The CFPB found Upstart’s AI risk model approves 27% more borrowers and they incur APRs 16% lower than traditional lenders
Best For: Low credit scores, high DTI ratios
Check rates

The Best Option for Young Millennials

If you are a young millennial, you’ve probably been denied loans several times due to your insufficient credit history. Most lenders rely on FICO scores to determine credit eligibility, and since most young millennials lack enough credit history, they are locked out.

For the record, the FICO score considers the borrower’s payment history, length of credit history, types of credit used, the current level of indebtedness, and new credit accounts.

Upstart Loans addresses this challenge by considering other metrics that favor young millennials entering the job market. These include education, the area of study, ACT scores, GPAs, employment, and income.

In a snapshot, the following questions may arise when applying for a loan with Upstart.

  • Did you complete your college education?
  • What is your area of study?
  • What is your college GPA?
  • What are your SAT scores?
  • Do you have a regular and verifiable source of income? (must be above $12,000 per year)
  • Do you have a job? (both full-time and part-time employment may be considered provided you show a job offer letter)

For borrowers with a credit history, the FICO score must be at least 620.

Background Information

One thing that makes Upstart fit for young borrowers with a bright career future is its dedication to uplifting talents.

In fact, with this lender, you can be considered for a loan if you prove that you will use the proceeds to acquire technical skills that will dramatically increase the chances of getting a well-paying job.

Perhaps the obsession with young people with promising careers comes from the founder’s and investors’ backgrounds.

The platform was founded in 2012 by Anna M. Counselman, Dave Girouard, and Paul Gu, all ex-Google employees. The leading investors include Mark Cuban, the Shark Tank tech entrepreneur, and Google.

Created by tech gurus, Upstart relies on cutting-edge technologies such as AI and Machine Learning to assess borrowers’ qualifications. The lender approves loans within one day for credit card refinancing and three days for education loans. This makes the loan approval process highly accurate and faster than the traditional manual approach.

  • Founded by ex-Googlers.
  • It relies on cutting-edge technology in AI and Machine Learning to approve loans.
  • Approves loans within one to three days of application.

Loan Rates and Terms

You can borrow between $1,000 to $50,000 at a fixed APR of between 3.09% to 35.99%. The lender claims that their rates are 23% lower than those of other lenders.

While we cannot ascertain this statement’s truthfulness, we can confirm that Upstart rates are within the industry average. This is a great thing, given that this is among the most accessible and flexible lenders in the industry.

However, before you decide to settle on this lender, it is essential to explore the rates and terms provided by other lenders. We will be offering credit card comparisons, so subscribe to get notified when this becomes available.

Like most lenders, Upstart Loans charges a loan origination fee between 0 and 8%. While these charges put off many new borrowers, they are a standard in the industry, meaning that you may not be able to avoid them.

Please note that an origination fee is charged upfront on the principal. Therefore, make sure that you borrow enough to cover the cost. Upstart Loans does not provide specifications on when a borrower is likely to incur zero origination fees.

  • The amount is between $1,000 and $5,000.
  • Rates are 23% lower than those of other lenders.
  • Loan origination fees of between 0 to 8%.

Penalties and Other Fees

Upstart Loans charges a late payment penalty of 5% of the unpaid amount or $15. If your payment checks bounce, the lender imposes a fee of $15 per returned check.

However, unlike its competitors, Upstart does not charge a fee for check payments. Also, with this lender, you do not incur any penalties for making early payments.

  • Late payment penalty of 5% of the unpaid amount or $15.
  • Insufficient funds penalty of $15 per returned check.
  • No pre-payment penalties.
  • Zero fees for check payments.

Repayment Schedule

Upstart requires its borrowers to make monthly repayments, including interest, and a part of the principle. The lender’s easy-to-use loan calculator helps you determine the amount to pay, including the applicable fees.

The repayment period is between 36 months and 60 months. The lender provides the borrowers with tips to help increase their credit score, which is necessary for lowering the cost of loans.

  • Monthly payments to include principal plus interest.
  • A loan calculator to help borrowers determine the payable amount.
  • A repayment period of between 36 to 60 months.
  • Tips to help reduce the cost of loans.

Is Upstart Loans Safe?

Upstart has been BBB accredited since 2015 and has an A+ rating. The loans provided by this lender are funded by Cross River Bank, an FDIC-insured New Jersey commercial bank.

The Upstart Loans website is encrypted, meaning that customers’ information is out of reach for hackers.

Another critical thing is that this lender does not share customer information with other parties. This means that you are guaranteed not to receive annoying emails with unsolicited offers when registering with Upstart.

  • BBB accredited.
  • FDIC Insured loans.
  • Encrypted websites.
  • Do not share customer information with other parties.

Other Advantages

Another significant advantage of Upstart Loans is that they conduct a soft inquiry when checking the borrower’s credit.

Unlike a hard inquiry, a soft inquiry does not adversely affect your credit score.


Upstart Loan is a great option, especially for borrowers without sufficient credit history. The lender claims to provide the best lending rates and terms compared to competitors. In our own view, this credit provider is worth a try, especially for young millennials entering the job market.



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