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  • Loan Amounts$1,000 – $50,000
  • Loan Terms36 or 60 months
  • APR Range7.8% - 35.99%
  • Minimum
    Credit Score
    300 or above More Info

    A credit score is used to indicate the creditworthiness of an applicant, but it is only one of several factors considered for approval. These credit scores alone are not guarantees for approval and should only be used as guidelines.

Using artificial intelligence to help evaluate borrowers, Upstart is a unique lending platform that looks beyond your credit score for personal loan approval.

Quick & Accessible Loans for Fair or Thin Credit Borrowers

A personal loan from Upstart is likely best for borrowers with fair or thin credit who may not qualify with another lender. Unlike many other lending platforms, Upstart looks beyond your credit score when deciding if you qualify for its personal loans. This could make it an option for you even if your credit isn’t stellar, though you may face high rates. The lender also offers other perks, like a wide range of loan amounts, a quick application and approval process, and no prepayment penalties. But other lenders may be better if you’re seeking the lowest possible rate and no origination fees.


  • Considers factors beyond your credit score in lending decisions
  • Loans up to $50,000
  • Fast funding time
  • Check rate without affecting credit score
  • Low minimum credit score requirement


  • No physical locations
  • Limited repayment terms
  • Has origination fees
  • High maximum APR
  • Not available in Iowa or West Virginia

Loan Uses

While Upstart will accept a lower credit score than some competitors, its maximum APR is relatively high. This is important to note if your credit isn’t great, as you could end up with a fairly high personal loan rate. For this reason, Upstart may be better if you need to borrow a small sum to cover an unexpected medical bill, vet bill, or car repair.

Upstart personal loans can be used for several purposes, including the following:

Upstart doesn’t mention any restrictions for using its personal loans. But in general, personal loans can’t be used to pay for college tuition, investing, or illegal activities.

Upstart Loan Details

Loan Amounts

$1,000 – $50,000

Loan Terms

36 or 60 months

APR Range

7.8% - 35.99%

Minimum Credit Score

300 or above

Funding Time

As soon as one business day



Co-Signer Allowed?


Joint Applicant Allowed?


Income Requirements

$12,000 per year

Origination Fees

0% - 12% of the loan amount

Late Fees

5% of past due amount or $15, whichever is greater

Prepayment Fees




Hightlghts & Perks

  • Wide range of loan amounts: Upstart has a wide range of loan amounts, from $1,000 – $50,000, making it a suitable option if you need to borrow a small or large sum. 
  • Flexible borrower requirements: Unlike many competitors that require good credit, this company has a 300 or above minimum credit score requirement. Its annual income requirement is also a fairly low $12,000. 
  • Prequalification available: You can prequalify with a soft credit check through Upstart, which will provide insight into potential rates before you move forward with a full loan application. 
  • Fast funding time: Upstart offers a relatively fast funding time, disbursing loans as soon as one business day after approval.
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  • Origination fee may be high: Upstart’s origination fees could be up to 12% of the total loan amount, which is very high compared to competitors’ origination fees. Of course, your origination fee with Upstart could also be 0%; it doesn’t provide insight into why there’s such a wide range for this fee. 
  • APR may be high: Depending on your credit, debt, income, and other factors, you may get a fairly high APR. Upstart has a fairly high maximum APR compared to its competitors. 
  • No rate discounts: Automatic payment discounts are common with personal loans, but Upstart doesn’t offer this rate discount or any others. 
  • Late fees apply: If you miss a loan payment, Upstart will charge a late fee. Other lenders offer no-fee personal loans, which can include no late fees, no origination fees and no prepayment fees.

How to Qualify

Here are the criteria you’ll need to meet to qualify for an Upstart personal loan:

  • Credit score of 300 or above or above
  • Annual income of $12,000 or more
  • Verifiable Social Security number, name, and birthdate
  • Valid email address
  • Existing bank account

In addition to meeting the criteria above, you’ll also need to be 18 or older to get an Upstart personal loan. Residents of Iowa and West Virginia aren’t eligible for Upstart loans at the time of article publication.

Application Process

If you’d like to apply for an Upstart personal loan, here’s what the application process might look like:

  • Prequalify: Check the rate you might get from Upstart by entering some basic info, including potential loan amount, name, and email, on the company’s site. 
  • Apply: If you’re happy with your rate, you can complete a full loan application. Expect to share additional information about your employment, income, debt, and assets, and verify your identification. You may also need to provide supporting documentation, such as bank statements, W-2s, or prior year tax returns.  
  • Hard credit pull: Upstart will do a hard credit pull when you apply. This may cause a slight decrease in your credit score. 
  • Approval: The Upstart team will review your loan application and determine if you’re approved. It doesn’t indicate how long the review process usually takes, but providing any requested documentation quickly can help you speed the process up a bit. 
  • Funding: If you’re approved, Upstart will disburse your loan funds to your bank as soon as one business day. Depending on your bank, it might take a couple of days for your funds to arrive, though.

Example of Loan Payments

If you’re wondering how much your monthly payment might be with an Upstart personal loan, here’s a quick example of what you might pay for a $12,000 loan with a 3-year term and 17% APR.

  • Monthly payments: $428
  • Total interest costs: $3,402

A longer-term loan can lower your monthly payment, but you usually pay more in interest over the life of the loan. It's important to consider all factors when deciding on a loan term.


Upstart is highly rated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with an A+ rating overall. Despite this, customer reviews on the BBB site are overwhelmingly negative. The company has a 1.24 out of 5-star average rating across more than 200 reviews. Reviewers report issues with customer service and problems making payments.

That said, Upstart fares much better with Trustpilot reviewers. It receives an average of 4.9 out of 5 stars across 41,700 reviews. Happy customers praise its simple and quick loan application and approval process and professional customer service team. 

Reviews from past borrowers can be helpful, but it’s best to make your own decision about a potential lender based on your research and financial situation. This will help ensure you find the most suitable company and loan option for your needs.

How Upstart Compares

If you’re wondering how Upstart stacks up to the competition, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how it compares to two top personal loan lenders, SoFi and Upgrade. While all are online lending platforms, there are a few key differences between them.

Upstart Upgrade SoFi

Best for

Thin credit

Fair credit

Large loans

Loan Amounts

$1,000 – $50,000 $1,000 – $50,000 $5,000 – $100,000

APR Range

7.8% - 35.99% 8.49% - 35.99% 8.99% – 29.49%

Loan Term

36 or 60 months 24 – 84 months 24 – 84 months

Minimum Credit Score

300 or above

560 or above

680 or above

Upstart vs. Upgrade

Upstart and Upgrade offer similar loan amounts, but you’ll get more flexible loan terms with Upgrade. Instead of only being able to choose from two repayment terms, borrowers have the option to repay their loan over 24-84 months. Despite this added flexibility, Upgrade’s minimum APR is significantly higher than Upstart’s, and its credit score requirement is higher too. 

While it still makes sense to compare options, Upstart could be a better choice if you have thin credit, and Upgrade could be better if you’re seeking repayment flexibility.

Upstart vs. SoFi

While Upstart offers loans of up to $50,000, SoFi offers personal loans of up to $100,000. Its loan terms are also slightly longer than Upstart’s terms. Overall, SoFi is likely a better choice if you have good-to-excellent credit and need to borrow a large amount. Upstart is probably better if you have limited credit and are looking for a small loan.


  • $1,000 – $50,000 Loan Amounts
  • 8.49% - 35.99% APR Range
Check Your Rate

SoFi Personal Loans

  • $5,000 – $100,000 Loan Amounts
  • 8.99% – 29.49% APR Range
Check Your Rate


  • When you apply for an Upstart loan, the company will do a hard credit pull. This could hurt your credit score slightly, but the dip is usually temporary. Whether an Upstart loan will hurt your credit depends on how you manage your payments. If you make your payments on time and in full, your credit score could increase. If you pay late or miss monthly payments, it could drop.

  • Yes, Upstart is a legit lending platform that was founded in 2012. It lends to borrowers in 48 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., and it’s accredited by the Better Business Bureau.

  • It's possible to qualify for an Upstart personal loan even if you have bad credit. This company has a low minimum credit score requirement of just 300. But you’ll also need to meet certain income, debt-to-income, and other requirements to qualify.

  • Upstart offers personal loans of up to $50,000 to qualifying borrowers. The loan amount you’re approved for will depend upon your unique situation, so you might not qualify for a $50,000 loan.


Jessica Ullrich

Jess is a freelance personal finance writer. She's been creating financial and business content for over a decade. Before venturing into freelance writing, Jess was on the editorial teams at Investopedia, The Balance, and FinanceBuzz. She's created content across several verticals, including budgeting, credit, debt, insurance, investing, loans, and side hustles. In her spare time, you can find Jess reading about money, working in her garden, or spending time with family.