Upgrade Review - Personal Loans

Application & Approval Process
9.0/10
Rates & Fees
9.0/10
Payment Terms
9.0/10
Customer Support & Benefits
9.0/10

About Upgrade

Upgrade is a direct personal loan lender that has been in operation in California since 2016. Renaud Laplanche is the founder of Upgrade. The brand’s goal is to reduce the cost of credit and help its customers to understand the significance of well-thought-of credit decisions. Upgrade uses its online platform to offer lines of credit and personal loans so customers can borrow money at an affordable rate. 

In addition, consumers get ongoing education and credit monitoring to help them improve their financial health and credit scores over a period of time. Although Upgrade has physical offices in various locations, they offer personal loans via their online portal only. Its robust platform provides a straightforward loan process, which can be a big help if you are trying to consolidate your debts, start a home improvement project, or planning on a significant purchase. 

Upgrade personal loans are for mainstream appeal. It supports a wide range of incomes and credit scores. This brand is probably one of the very few lenders in the market who emphasizes the free cash flow of loan applicants. Typically, a loan applicant’s credit score and debt-to-income ratio play a significant role in their loan application; however, Upgrade believes they do not account for monthly expenses and rent payment. The idea behind the philosophy is to prevent customers from borrowing a loan more than they can afford. 

A consumer can apply for a loan of up to $35,000 for 3 to 5 years. According to Renaud Laplanche, their loans rely on how much free cash a consumer really has at the end of each month. 

i

Excellent

9.0/10

Pros

  • Low and fixed rates
  • Customers can pay off the loan anytime
  • Accepts minimum credit score of 620
  • Offers flexibility of changing payment dates

Cons

  • Upgrade charges an origination fee 
  • Deducts fee from the consumer’s loan amount

Key Highlights

  • Typically, lenders prefer good credit scores, but Upgrade caters people with bad credit scores of as low as 620. 
  • Upgrade offers personal loans only. 
  • They have fixed rates, and the APR rates vary from 6.97 to 35.89%. For example, a consumer with a loan of $10,000 for three years will get an APR of 17.98%. This APR will include 14.32% of annual interest rate and 5% one-time loan origination fee. 
  • Upgrade is best suited for customers denied by other banks due to low or poor credit scores.
  • The minimum down payment will depend on the loan amount and the tenure of the loan. However, a $10,000 loan over a period of 36 months will result in monthly payments of $343.33. 
  • A customer can apply for a loan amount of up to $35,000.   

Application & Approval Process

Application

The application process is relatively straightforward. With Upgrade, a customer can pre-qualify for a personal loan without any hard inquiry on a credit report. However, the applicant will have to provide certain information and documentation when applying for the loan, such as:

  • Desired Loan amount 
  • Purpose of the loan
  • Applicant’s Name
  • Full Address
  • Applicant’s Date of Birth
  • Annual Income
  • W-2 Forms
  • Proof of Employment
  • Pay stubs
  • Bank account details
  • Social Security Number

Once the consumer has entered the basic information, they will be presented with a range of loan offers. The applicant can then choose if they would like to proceed forward with one of the loans provided and submit their application. 

Approval

If the loan application is approved, the consumer will receive a notification, and the loan fund will be electronically transferred to their bank account within a few business days. 

Agreement

Once the lending institution finalizes the offer, the consumer will have to agree to the terms and conditions of the loan agreement such as the rate, the amount required per month, and payment terms. 

Rates & Fees

Upgrade charges a loan origination fee ranging between 1.5% and 6% of the loan amount. This fee is taken from the initial loan amount that the consumer will receive. For example, a consumer approved for a $10,000 loan for 36 months will receive an amount of $9,500 after the deduction of a 5 % origination fee. 

Payment Terms

The payment terms vary from 36 to 60 months with fixed rates. However, the consumer has an option of flexible payments, where they can set or re-set their monthly payment dates as per their convenience and budget constraints. It is advisable to speak to the lenders if they offer any additional payment options or features such as pausing payment, pre-payment of the loan in full, etc. 

Customer Support & Benefits

Despite being a lender that operates 100% online, Upgrade has a wonderful customer support team. They are open seven days a week, from 6 AM to 6 PM (PT) from Monday to Friday, and 6 AM to 6 PM (PT), Saturday to Sunday. You can get in contact with a representative via email and telephone. In addition, you can connect to their social media platforms for the latest news and offers. 

Alternatively, Upgrade has a highly detailed Help Center on their website, which covers a range of popular topics and questions relating to personal loans, the application process, information about offers, rates, etc. There are a dozen topics covered and over 100 queries addressed. At the bottom of the page is a list of the most commonly asked questions asked by Upgrade customers for easier access. 

One benefit that Upgrade provides its consumers is a Credit Health tool which allows them to monitor their credit score online, anytime they wish. It is free to use and will not impact their credit score. Get a deeper understanding and insights of your credit score, personalized recommendations to tailor your specific credit history, and weekly updates and email alerts. There are also various credit health articles available for educational purposes.

Contact Details

Address: 275 Battery Street, 23rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA

Phone: (855) 997-3100

Email: [email protected]

Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

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Excellent

9.0/10

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