4.5 out of 5

Funded by: Upstart

At A Glance

Upstart can be a good option if you have a limited credit history but have a high career potential to qualify for a competitive loan rate. You can apply with a minimum 620 credit score and receive your loan funds on the next business day.

Pros & Cons


  • Uses education and job history to offset a low credit score
  • Can receive funds the next business day
  • Competitive minimum loan APRs


  • Origination fee is between 0% and 8%
  • No co-sign loan options

Upstart Borrowers Qualifications

Annual income


Credit history

None disclosed

Credit score



No recent bankruptcy or delinquencies

State eligibility

Upstart is available in all 50 states

Upstart Key Details

Loan amount

$2500 – $50,000

Loan term

3 or 5 years terms

Estimated APR

7.98 – 35.99%

Approval time

Get approved in minutes

Time to funds

As fast as 24 hours

  • Origination fee: Between 0% – 8%
  • Late payment fee: 5% of amount past due or $15, whichever is greater
  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15 per occurrence
Pre-payment option

Prepayment option available

Credit inquiry

Soft credit check

Upstart Review

Our Experts Take
Josh Patoka - Spade Business Team
Josh Patoka
November 11, 2020

Upstart bills itself as “the first lending platform to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to price credit and automate the borrowing process” for issuing personal loans. While other lenders primarily base their loan interest rates on the borrower’s credit score, Upstart also considers your level of education, career field, and salary. If you have a high-demand college degree or work in a promising industry, Upstart may offer a lower interest rate than other lenders.

Upstart requires borrowers to have a minimum 600 personal credit score and a full-time income. If you are self-employed, you will need to be in business for at least one year and have filed a tax return to verify your income. Personal loans are available between $1,000 and $50,000 with a 3 or 5-year repayment term. Interest rates are currently between 7.98% and 35.99% fixed APR with an average 3-year APR of 19%.

Where Upstart Stands Out

Data-based approval decision: Most lenders rely on personal credit scores and current annual income to determine a borrower’s interest rate. Borrowers with little credit history can qualify for lower interest rates if they have advanced education, steady job history, and a high income.

Competitive interest rates: Maximum interest rates are 35.99% APR. These interest rates can be lower than short-term loans and only require monthly payments instead of daily or weekly payments that other lenders require.

Next day funding: Upstart states most loan offers accepted before 5 pm Eastern will deposit in the borrower’s account the next business day. It might take other lenders 5 to 14 days to fund an accepted loan offer as they rely on individual investors to fund the loan.

No prepayment penalty: You can repay your loan early without paying a prepayment penalty.

Where Upstart Falls Short

Minimum 600 personal credit score: Applicants will need “good” or “excellent” credit scores to qualify. However, Upstart still has flexible minimum qualifications as you only need a full-time job and be at least 18 years without any bankruptcy reports in the public records to be approved.

Origination fees up to 8%: Borrowers may pay origination fees up to 8%. These fees are relatively high, but the next day funding and potentially lower interest rates can help offset this fee. Well-qualified borrowers most likely won’t pay the 8% fee.

Not available in every state: Upstart issues loans through partner banks in every state except West Virginia and Iowa. Borrowers in the other 48 states can get personal loans to start or expand a business and get an interest rate that’s potentially lower than a business term loan.

No cosigners: Upstart doesn’t allow cosigners. The flexible borrower qualifications can make it easy to qualify for a personal loan based on your education and job history to offset a lower credit score and still get a competitive interest rate. Having a 3 or 5-year repayment term can also make personal loans more borrower-friendly than traditional business term loans.

Is Upstart The Best Option For Me?

Borrowers with a college education, perhaps at the graduate or post-graduate level, may consider Upstart because of the data-driven approval process that bases interest rates on the level of education and areas of study. Business owners that only need to borrow up to $50,000 may also appreciate that Upstart only analyzes your personal credit profile and not the business revenues to make an approval decision.



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