Upstart Review 2021 – Personal Loans for People with Insufficient Credit History

Last Update: December 18, 2020 Loan Reviews

Upstart in a nutshell

Upstart offer 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 620.
  • 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 amounts $1,000 – $50,000
Typical APR 7% – 35.99%
Min Credit Score 620
Time to funding 1 – 3 Days
Loan terms 3 – 5 Years
Origination fee 0% – 8%
Debt-to-income ratio 45%

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Are You looking for:

The Best Option for Young Millennials

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

For the record, the FICO score takes into account 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 taking into account other metrics that favor young millennial 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 $12000 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 background of the founders and investors.

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.

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

  • Founded by ex-Googlers.
  • 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

With Upstart Loans, you can borrow between $1,000 and $50,000 at a fixed effective APR of between 7% – 35.99% depending on the borrower’s level of risk. The lender claims that their rates are 23% lower than those of other lenders.

While we cannot ascertain the truthfulness of this statement, 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 that you 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.

Just like most lenders, Upstart Loans charges a loan origination fee of between 0 to 8%. While most new borrowers are put off by these charges, 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 which include interest and a part of the principle. The lenders easy to use loan calculator helps you determine the amount to pay including the applicable fees.

Loans can be repaid for a period of 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 is 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 when register with Upstart, you are guaranteed of not receiving annoying emails with unsolicited offers.

  • BBB accredited.
  • FDIC Insured loans.
  • Encrypted websites.
  • Does 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 Loans is a great option especially for borrowers without sufficient credit history. The lender claims to provide the best lending rates and terms when compared to competitors. In our own view, this credit provider is worth a try especially for young millennial entering the job market.



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